Hundreds of Canadians were in Nepal when the earthquake struck, including a woman from Vancouver who was teaching a dance class at an all-girls orphanage near Kathmandu.
Emilie Teichroeb, along with dozens of orphans, slept outside in open field in the town of Pathshala, about 35 kilometers from Kathmandu, for two days until they managed to get back to shelter.
She was teaching a dance class when the earthquake struck.
“We were just about to run through the piece one more time before joining the others when a really loud sound came,” she said. “At first, I had so many thoughts going through my mind. I thought, is it a plane going to crash into the orphanage, what’s going on?”
“This loud noise, followed by extreme shaking.”
Teichroeb said the children seemed to understand much quicker that it was an earthquake. They started screaming and crying and running for the doorway.
“People were running down the stairs, calling out ‘mama, mama!’ It was heartbreaking but, at the same time, I can’t even remember what I felt.”
She said the earthquake is going to follow her for the rest of her life.
I have a hard time now, every time I hear any sound – a door shut – I jump and I think an earthquake is coming,” she said
Teichroeb is now in Kathmandu with the children and said she worries all the time about them. She also has nightmares about them.
“At the orphanage we spent a lot of time talking about what had happened and tried to make the children laugh and keep them happy,” she said. “The only strength they had was us.”