Bang: Day One
We arrived into Dhaka this morning [Feb 20] at 5 am. Getting here was the best international travel experience I’ve had yet, and probably because Etihad Airways is the equivalent of Aladdin’s Magic Carpet becoming a savvy business tycoon. Especially when we arrived at Adu Dhabi – the capital and second largest city of the United Arab Emirates [think Dubai] – for our lay over, the camels and hookahs and items of luxury surrounding me made me feel like I was being offered a real chance at becoming Princess Jasmine.
Water.org India staffer, Nayakam, is here for the week to lead and accompany us. He picked us all up from the airport like a trooper – one of the nicest people I’ve ever met. [Coincidentally, Nicole and I were on the same flight with two of the Nick News crew guys.] A pick up truck with a cow in the back, some brightly painted trucks, and a few early morning markets later, we were able to try and get a few hours of sleep before we went to a few slums for pre-visits, as we officially begin everything tomorrow.
Our first stop, Board Gurd slum, a community in need of access to safe water.
Salepur slum, which now has access to safe water because of Water.org and our local partner, DSK :D wahoo!
Tomorrow we head back to Salepur so Nick News can do more filming. The producer met with the kids today and talked with them a little bit about what it is for – a program in the US for other kids just like them, to teach them about water in other places and kids like themselves – and what we will do with them tomorrow. The plan is Nicole and I will try to talk to some more community members, capturing our own pictures and video.
The people here are incredibly warm, beautiful, and gracious, as they’ve let us completely invade their worlds. I’ve written down some main Bengali phrases that I tried to use – hello, what is your name, nice to meet you, how are you, how old are you, etc – and will keep working on throughout the week.
More to come. Goodnight, good morning :: Asalammu Alhikkum!