Courtesy Photo: David Peck

BYU-Idaho faculty visited Nepal days before earthquake

An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 7.8 shook Nepal Saturday, April 25, near its capital, Kathmandu, according to the New York Times.

Three faculty members from the BYU-Idaho history department, David Peck, David Pigott and Tyson Yost, were in Nepal days before the earthquake hit.

Peck said the trio made the trip to India and Nepal for first-hand experience and research in their fields of study and teaching. Their trip lasted 16 days, three of which were spent in Nepal.

Pigott said the earthquake hit 48 hours after the group left Nepal.

“Three quarters of the sights we visited don’t exist anymore,” Peck said. “They’re just gone.”

Peck took a picture of two young children on the street in Nepal.

“I think a lot about those children,” Peck said.

Peck said he had considered extending his trip for a few more days.

“I worry about the people,” Pigott said. “I worry about the people in our hotel. I think of the very kind manager who was so good to us. It makes you think, that’s for sure.”

Pigott said that if they had been in Nepal for the earthquake, they would’ve found a way to help in the relief effort.

Yost said that distance allows people to detach from events like this earthquake, but that travel opportunities like theirs bring back the reality of these faraway peoples.

Peck and Yost said they would both like to go back to Nepal in the future.

“We need to reach out to the world more like other institutions,” Peck said.

He said events like this earthquake should serve as a catalyst for increased travel study.

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