Kathmandu, April 19 -- On the morning of 25 April 2015, my father was out running some errands, my mother was watching tv and I was trying to sleep off a headache. It is easy to remember the details of some days more than others.

I started to feel a little dizzy, and I thought my headache was getting worse. I was shaking. "Wow, I have never had a headache so bad that everything around me feels like it's trembling," I thought.

Then, my bookshelf fell on top of my bed and I knew it was more than just a headache.

At that moment, I remembered everything I was taught in school about what to do if an earthquake struck. I knew I was supposed to duck under a desk or stand in the doorway, but I did neither of those things.

I ran downstairs and...