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A Nation In Distress

By
Sarah Snodgrass
May 15, 2015

A NATION IN DISTRESS
5/15/2015

A Nepal Journal by Sarah Snodgrass reporting for JAS Worldwide
On April 25th, a massive 7.9 earthquake ripped through the remote Himalayan country of Nepal followed by another major quake a week later.

For three years, Sarah Snodgrass worked among the people of Nepal, specifically focusing on women and children at risk. JAS Worldwide is supporting her as she focuses on meeting the immediate needs of the Nepalese people. These are her reflections as she currently assists in the efforts in the rural areas outside Kathmandu.

The most recent journal entries are at the bottom of the page.

TO THE VILLAGES

May 16, 2015

It's strange to be back in a place that is so familiar, but has changed so drastically since I last visited in January. In Kathmandu, the capital city, where building codes were [mostly] followed, the devastation is not nearly as bad as I expected it to be. Of course, many buildings have been rendered unlivable because of cracks in the foundation, but as I bicycled around the city yesterday, things have remained relatively intact. People continue to sleep outside, either because their home was destroyed or condemned, or simply out of fear. Tremors are a daily experience, and just yesterday, a 5.7 magnitude quake hit, just thirty or so miles to the east.

​As I go into the villages today, I'm expecting to see a much worse picture. The villages are the areas that have been hit the hardest, as their homes are poorly built and they sit on the sides of mountains.

The nation is in mourning and the trauma everyone has gone through is palpable. It's heartbreaking to witness and I feel mostly helpless to do anything.

Thanks to JAS Worldwide and other friends who have stepped up to help me participate in the Nepal relief effort.

-Sarah


TEAR DOWN BEFORE REBUILD

May 18, 2015

Yesterday was my first day in the villages - I wasn't prepared for the wide spread destruction throughout every single home. We spent the day leveling what was left of one family's home so that they could begin to rebuild. We shoveled through piles of rubble, sorting out big rocks and medium sized rocks. We picked ears of corn out from beneath the piles of debris and clay. Valuable seeds and grain were mixed into the dust and needed to be salvaged.
Picture
Families are left with literally nothing. Resources are so scarce, rebuilding is a daunting challenge.

​There is a great crew here with me in this village. A few Americans, a team of Indians from a church in Mumbai, and a handful of young Nepalis. It's six thirty in the morning now and after a long night of sleeping on the ground with only my pack as a pillow, we are about to head out once again. We'll go a little farther up into the mountains today to reach a more remote home.

- Sarah


100 Degrees Farenheit in the Shade

May 21, 2015

Yesterday was undoubtedly the most physically grueling day so far. We left our camp around 7am, which put us at the house we were demolishing by 7:20. It's already pushing 80 degrees by that time, which makes the work so much more difficult. Our crew has been working on this house (among others) all week, and yesterday, we knocked down the second story.

All of these homes are built with stones and mud, so I spent four hours with a pick axe undoing the walls rock by rock. By 9am, it had passed 100°, my arms and back ached, and I was craving rehydration salts (which are gross, so you can imagine the state of my body).
Picture
Since the villagers will rebuild with the same material, we have to sort out the big rocks from the rubble, as well as all of the wood. It's tedious and exceedingly unfun - not glamorous at all. But the team up here is great and no one complains.

Last night was rough, as a huge storm passed through and soaked through our tent. In the middle of the night, ten of us girls had to move all of our bags to the middle and attempt to patch holes with duct tape. A stray dog found his way inside as well, which caused quite a ruckus at 1am. Around 2am, a big aftershock jolted me awake again. Never a dull moment, and 5am came early.

- Sarah


REBUILDING

May 26, 2015

Kathmandu had already looked like a war zone prior to the 2015 quakes. I first said that sort of tongue in cheek, but it's true and it's sad.

Between government corruption, poor infrastructure, and an impoverished population, many roads, buildings, and homes were crumbling before the earthquake ever hit. So at first glance, it's hard to tell what damage was caused by the quake and what was that way already.
Picture
I've been back in the city from the village for a few days and have had the opportunity to take the bicycle through town, talk with locals, and assess the damage. It's not good. Yesterday, I sat and had tea with my old landlord, and we lamented over the fact that the house he grew up in had been destroyed. I chatted with a taxi driver who I have known for years, and he explained how so many businesses that were already struggling are now in dire straits because of the lack of tourists. Thousands of people continue to sleep in tents in open areas and there are lines for food and water.

Not only has the country taken a hit in terms of physical destruction, but the psychological destruction is massive. People pulled the bodies of friends and neighbors from the rubble. No one feels safe indoors. The quake has set Nepal back in so many ways.

The rebuilding process will take a long time, but good work is being done. Locals and internationals alike have stepped up to the plate and progress is being made. Cynicism has infiltrated some of the media, but I have not lost hope. Nepal will rise again thanks in part to the efforts of humanitarian organizations, individuals from around the globe, companies like JAS Forwarding, and the Napali people themselves.

- Sarah


All photos copyright 2015, Sarah Snodgrass
If you would like to support the relief efforts in this earthquake-torn country, Sarah suggests contacting any of the following reputable organizations.
Samaritan’s Purse
World Vision
Medical Teams International
Save the Children
Tiny Hands International

DISCLAIMER:
Sarah is writing of her experience and observations in her personal capacity. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of JAS Worldwide, its employees, or subsidiaries.

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JAS Brazil has completed five more air charters successfully. JAS Brazil accomplished this by carrying out a 5-step shipment in record time, carrying more than 200 tons of parts and equipment for the automotive industry/sector.

From the collection at the origin to the final delivery point, it took 5 days of operation, involving JAS specialists and air analysts. In order to distribute the weight correctly the cargo was divided into five aircraft, three Charter Boing 777, one Boing 767-300F, and one Airbus A339-900 for heavy loads. All of which comply with the excellence standards, and have the agility and safety measures in place to assure the deliveries to JAS customers.

Talk to your JAS representative for more information on air charters for Shanghai, Hong Kong and Frankfurt.

Count on JAS to optimize your logistics processes.


Mais 5 Charters finalizados com sucesso!

A JAS Brasil, realizou com tempo recorde um embarque em 5 etapas carregando mais de 200 toneladas de peças e equipamentos do setor Automobilístico. Da coleta na origem ao ponto final de entrega foram 5 dias de operação, envolvendo nossos especialistas e analistas aéreos da JAS. Para distribuir bem esse peso, a carga foi dividia em  cinco aeronaves sendo três Charter Boing 777, um Boing 767-300F e  um Airbus A339-900 próprios para cargas pesadas os quais cumprem com excelência, agilidade e segurança para garantir a entrega ao cliente!

A Equipe JAS Brasil opera com charter semanais  , para as rotas de  Shanghai, Hong Kong e Frankfurt.

Conte com a JAS para otimizar os seus processos logísticos!

The JAS RIO Branch, located in the heart of the city of Rio de Janeiro, has been improving its processes every day. They are doing this by expanding the team and structure, and qualifying to serve with excellence on all levels of the logistics chain. JAS RIO have a trained and experienced team for air, sea, and road freight operations. One of the distinguishing features of the JAS RIO Branch is their expertise in, and ability to serve the oil and gas industry segment. In addition to being AEO certified, the JAS RIO Customs Brokerage team specializes in Repetro-Sped (special customs and tax systems related to the oil and gas sector), which guarantees JAS more assertiveness in the process, optimizing time and costs for customers.

A further strength of the JAS Rio team is the in-depth know-how to serve the pharma industry with extensive knowledge of the processes and specific industry certifications required providing high performance in operations. JAS Brazil believes that a qualified team who is committed to the customers leads to success.

Here people make the difference! The RIO Branch is ready to assist you, count on JAS as your international logistics partner.


A Filial JAS RIO localizada no coração da cidade do Rio de Janeiro vem melhorando a cada dia seus processos, ampliando a equipe e estrutura e se qualificando para atender com excelência todos os níveis da cadeia logística. Temos uma equipe capacitada e com expertise para as operações de frete aéreo, marítimo e rodoviário.

Um dos diferencias do nosso atendimento são as nossas especializações para atender com empenho o Segmento de Óleo e Gás. Além de sermos OEA, nossa equipe de Desembaraço se especializou em Repetro-Sped (regimes aduaneiros e tributários especiais relativos ao setor de Óleo e Gás), o que nos garante mais assertividade no processo, otimizando tempo e custo para os clientes. Outro ponto forte do nosso time é o grande know-how para atender a Industria de farmacêutico, com largo conhecimento nas particularidades do processo e Certificações Especificas do setor que nos garante alta performance nas operações.

A JAS Brasil, acredita que uma equipe treinada, capacitada e comprometida com o cliente nos leva ao sucesso, aqui as pessoas fazem a diferença! A Filial do RIO está pronta para te atender, conte com a JAS como seu parceiro logístico!

Over the course of the past few years, JAS Chicago has been one of the fastest growing and top performing branches within the global JAS organization. Then, in March 2020, the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting disruptions threatened to derail the results and momentum: the culmination of many years of hard work.  Business continuity, especially consistency in high levels of customer service, was always goal number one, but shifting an entire office staff to a virtual work environment overnight while ensuring the safety of essential warehouse personnel was an incredible challenge.

While the immediate challenge was met head on, and successfully so, by the entire JAS organization, anxiety regarding the lingering economic impacts of the pandemic was ever-present. The challenge was now how does JAS adapt to a global industry that had essentially changed overnight.  Based on the feedback of customers, JAS invested immediately into an own-controlled flight network with additional adhoc charter space to inject much needed air capacity on key trade lanes.  Due to its strategic geographic location, warehouse, and airport infrastructure, Chicago became the US hub for both the trans-Pacific and trans-Atlantic flight operations.

In one month’s time, the uncertainty had begun to fade and the excitement about a new direction was taking hold.  By the end of April 2020, the Chicago branch had transformed from a successful large local branch into a key strategic global gateway servicing the entire JAS network.  This held its own challenges and many lessons were learned from issues that arose, but every challenge was met with hard work, determination, and an eye towards the future.  

Over the following months, a continual drive to find efficiencies and improve the process and structure around the flight operations was a central focus.  The JAS Chicago team knew that this would ultimately bring value to their customers while offering a differentiator in the market for future growth.  Efficiencies in the warehouse were implemented in order to accommodate incredible volume growth in a limited space.  Warehouse efficiencies resulted in faster turn-around times from flight arrival to final-mile delivery. High performing staff were given opportunities to grow into newly created gateway leadership roles, while no less than six other promotions within the branch were executed.  New high-level talent was recruited and on-boarded that will one day grow into the future leaders within the Chicago branch and beyond.

In March of 2021, the annual USA Executive/Branch Manager meeting was held virtually.  As a result of their incredible performance and impact to the JAS global network over the course of a most challenging year, it was announced that Chicago was named the JAS USA Branch of the Year for 2020.  In the same meeting, it was announced that JAS Chicago would be expanding its footprint with plans to acquire additional warehouse space in the Chicago area in the very near future.  These two announcements illustrate what has made JAS Chicago a true success story: utilizing the success of the past to invest in the future.    

In the face of all challenges, thanks to the continued dedication and innovation of team members, JAS Chicago is able meet the needs of their customers.  Especially over the last year, it is more apparent than ever, at JAS, people make the difference!

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