Nepalese native keeps a smile at Huntsville clerk job amid tragedy at home

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's one thing to watch video of the devastation in South Asia on television -- it's another entirely when you call the country in crisis home. Monday, WHNT News 19 spoke to a Nepalese native about coping with tragedy, a world away.

Sushant Ghimirey is a ray of sunshine to every single person who steps foot inside Kyle's Corner convenient store on Andrew Jackson way in Huntsville's Five Points neighborhood.

"Will that be all for you today," he politely asks a regular at the gas station. It took the clerk almost 2 days to learn his mother and other family members were safe.

"But it's okay right? I mean no family hurt" another customer casually asks Ghimirey. "Well, almost 4,000 people have lost their lives, so it's pretty bad, man. We lost all our cultural heritage and monuments we had," he told the patron.

Ghimirey is putting on a happy face in front of customers. Truth is though, many of them couldn't even point Nepal out on a map.

"Do you know where Everest is? And they usually say Colorado. Someone says in Europe and I tell them 'okay, just Google it.'"

Ghimirey says he's been glued to his phone for updates. It's all smiles at the shop, but his head and heart are with the people of Nepal.

"I'm in a lot of pain," Ghimirey says. "I can't believe it. It's kind of dream to me. I never thought -- I feel like I was in a dream, like I'm asleep."

Ghimirey's rays of light may be a bit clouded at the moment, but if you pay him a visit, you probably won't even notice.

"Still we try to smile but we still have a lot things going on in our mind; when it's quiet it kicks up."

The owner of the convenience store is active with NANA, the Nepalese Association of North Alabama. He says the organization has already started fundraising locally to provide reputable relief services to the people of Nepal.