Animals. Cats and dogs in our village were rogue! All the pets were up for grabs….
Badminton. I played this sport every day for most of the 10 weeks I was out there, it certainly brought communities together!
Culture. In our rural town, called Mongla, I discovered a sacred and beautiful culture based around food, family and religion. It was simple, full of wonder and completely inspiring.
Driving. There are absolutely, ABSOLUTELY, no rules when Bangladeshi’s drive. Its terrifying.
Eating. An event! Families buy, prepare and cook the food over long periods of time to achieve the best flavour of curry.
Family. Many families live close to each other, with the tradition of the wife moving in with the husbands parents as her own parents live nearby. Families build their own homes from their natural surroundings – there is no planning permission of passive aggressive letters to neighbours! You basically pitch up where ever..
Green. The landscape. Enough said.
Hello. Everyone knew each other in our village, I loved it. It was Rev 21, but in the flesh – open doors from neighbours with local communities trusting and believing in each other.
Impression.What I learnt as a volunteer was that first impressions are everything. Some of the people we worked with were meeting foreigners, us, for the first time. So it was on myself and the team to entertain – it the best way I know, making a complete idiot of myself signing songs and attempting the tricky language!
Joke. Once you make a joke in Bangladesh they will remember it for ever. I was Velka (meaning foolish) president. I can’t even remember how it came about!
Love. This was one of the most inspiring things I witnessed between parents and children.
Mud. Is. Heavy. To. Carry. Definitely developed some guns whilst working cutting the mud!
Nuts. A late night snack sold on the the streets in our village.
Open. Families that we met in the village were so open in their generosity and sharing of their food and lives with us. It was completely endearing and really challenging.
Pride. The Bangladeshi’s are proud! End. Of.
Religion. Is the most important thing next to family. Everyone practices it, and its the basis for most of peoples daily routine. Being a Christian is tricky, because Sunday isn’t a holiday or rest day – so whilst the rest of the country gets up early to work and earn a living – Christians attempt to meet in Churches to worship and remember Christ.
Stars. A natural phenomenon in our village where there wasn’t a car in sight.
Tea. Tea shops are wonderful places. I would go and people watch as families gossiped and children played. Our cook’s husband ran our local tea shop – and was one of the kindest men I had met, generous and clever, eager to make a living for his children.
Ultimate. This was my team. I couldn’t have asked for a more laid back, mis-matched group of people to spend my ICS journey with. We all had similar expectations, and when one was down or disappointed, we worked on it as a group – laughing at ourselves as we embarked on the pretty hard task of building relationships in a challenging community.
Water. Its everywhere in Bangladesh. Its beautiful.
Xperience.… (it sort of works) I wouldn’t change anything that happened on our 10 weeks for the world. It was utterly wonderful, and I shall certainly be returning to Bangladesh in the future.
YOU! Bangladesh is a country that is slowly succumbing to flooding and national disaster, so seriously, go and visit this beautiful hidden country so that your perspective can be changed and you palette improved by the insane cooking!
I hope thats a bit of an insight into the 10 weeks. I mean it was completely life changing and I would definitely return to Bangladesh again, just to see the water and eat the curry and play more badminton! Peace xx