Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas from Dhaka, Bangladesh!

Assalamaleykum! After a week of Internet heartbreak, one after the other, I am finally posting again with the help of my wonderfully fabulous host sister, Sumaita. :)
In short, this week has been filled with eye-opening experiences at every turn. On the first day here, we got to meet our Bangladeshi counterparts, and met some of the staff working at Scholastica. The next day, we checked in again, did plenty of group activities, and geared up to meet some Madrassa students. When we met the Madrassa students, it was slightly awkward at first, because the US kids weren't very accomodated to separating themselves by gender, but the meeting ended with nearly everyone exchanging "Facebook names"! 
Later this week, we went and visited one of the poorest slums in Dhaka. I personally had never seen a level of poverty even close to that. Child labor, overcrowding, and sanitation are all major issues in the slums. But we visited a solution: an organisation called JAAGO. It is an education facility in the heart of the slums, that has made a major impact in the hearts of the children, who once said they dreamed of being rickshaw drivers, now hope to be engineers. I cried more than once on that day, it was pretty emotional for all the US kids. I drew a peace sign (meaning victory here) and  passed it around for everyone to sign. We left our names, and a thankyou in English and Bengali.
Later that day, I got pretty sick from food poisoning. Half the kids have been ill on this trip, so it was only a matter of time. The slums were so intense for everyone, and about 4 kids got sick just on the trip home. My host family is like a real family to me. My host mother stood in my doorway all night to see if I would need her assistance. I spent all of yesterday watching Pirates of the Carribean with Raida (Sumaita) and her friend Tashvia, a huge Kurt Cobain fan. <3
I am feeling better enough to embark on the three day boat trip, thank god. I will not be able to post again, but I want everyone to know I'm missing them, and every day feels overwhelming in how honored I am to be on this trip, meeting the fabulous indivuals who increase my faith in humanity in even their smallest actions.
Merry Christmas everyone.

1 comment:

  1. This just all sounds so fantastic. I couldn't think of a better representative- and a better listener/learner than you! Soak it all in.