Heartland teen experiences earthquake aftermath - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Heartland teen experiences earthquake aftermath

(Source: See Change Foundation) (Source: See Change Foundation)
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Maddie Baumgart is a recent graduate of Notre Dame High School in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

She is currently on a service trip with the See Change Foundation in a western district of Nepal.

Maddie was there to teach English at schools in the Lamjung region.

A little more than a month into her trip, April 25 started out like most days, however, Maddie said it certainly didn't end that way.

"I was walking from my village down to the city to do some work," Maddie said. "And all of a sudden there was a really strong breeze and then the ground started to rumble and the rocks kind of started to slide down. I had like a really vivid flashback of my emergency preparedness poster that hung in my third grade classroom but it didn't say what to do on a mountain side. So I kind of just sat there."

Thankfully her village fared well.

She noticed only cracks in many of the buildings.

However, she said a few miles away that wasn't the case.

"The district I am in is not that much bigger than cape county and there are parts of it where it's completely leveled," Maddie said. "Seventy percent of the houses are just reduced to rubble."

For her mother, that is a nerve-racking scene.

"I've kept up with the news somewhat but I had to stop myself from watching too much of it because it was just a little to scary," Debbie said.

Debbie knew there were concerns about sending her daughter to Nepal, but she said an earthquake wasn't on her radar.

"We worried about her getting sick or hurt or something over there. But we never even considered natural disasters," Debbie said.

Maddie is now helping with relief efforts.

The See Change Foundation donated 364 tarps to the district police for building emergency housing on Tuesday.

Maddie believes she was meant to be there.

"I've been so lucky my whole life and I am lucky here," Maddie said. "I don't have to worry about where I am going to find my food and I have clean drinking water. But I feel obligated to try and share some of that, my blessings."

Her mother does admit service work seems to be Maddie's calling.

"She's really just taken it into her own direction and done things that we would've never suggested for her," Debbie said.

Debbie said she is just glad her daughter will be home soon.

"We talk to her everyday and she is fine," Debbie said. "She keeps saying 'don't worry about me, I'm fine, just pray for the people of Nepal.' So she's good."

If you are looking to donate, here is a small list of relief organizations:

Click here for a list of dozens more organizations helping.

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