Bang: Day Four
Everyday, the kids and adults I meet will touch my arms, furrow their brow, and ask what is wrong with my skin [my eczema, red and inflamed, scabbing from itching]. I think many people even think that it is skin disease from contaminated water, of which they are unfortunately familiar. Their concern and compassion has been especially moving. It also made me realize that I don’t particularly get a lot of physical touch [hugs, hand-holding] in my daily life at home, and I’m a pretty affectionate person. I’ve really enjoyed sharing that type of communication with the people here – they really are amazing people.
Bangladesh is a place of constant stimulation. With 12 million people, the senses are bombarded and overloaded with sounds, sights, smells, and tastes at every moment. Rickshaws, honking, bike carts, markets, incessant honking [which means I’m coming, so move now], intense traffic, people walking in and out of the busy streets, trash everywhere, the thick haze of pollution, ash all over the trees, bright colors, swarms of people everywhere, rice fields, slums, brick, tire, and wood yards, people squatting on sidewalks and medians, beggars, motorcycles, Muslim calls to prayer five times a day, disabled and crippled kids, huge billboard advertisements, construction, thick and wild telephone cables, mosquitoes, broken windows, laundry hanging out to dry, flies, dusty roads, almost every vehicle and bus has deep scrape marks covering their sides, barefoot kids, people selling fruit or toys or snacks or shoes on the side of the road, stray animals, strands of lights decorating halls and carnivals, the dark night because of little/no electricity in most of the city, beautiful women with nose rings and colorful saris, men with hair died bright orange, kids selling newspapers to cars at stoplights, traffic controllers…
Day four was probably our most intense yet. We went back to Salepur and Board Gard slums. Because the camera crew was going to capture interviews and the daily lives of a few kids, and we all attract a crowd in a way that could rival Matt Damon, Nicole and I had to distract and attempt to entertain dozens of kids. Throughout the day, between our own interviews and photo capture of all things water, we taught the Hokey Pokey, Simon Says, Father Abraham, songs, learned hand games, took pictures [everyone LOVES having their picture taken] and painted nails [I brought pink nail polish with me, which turned out to be a hit]. We made for an awesome team. It was a complete blast, and utterly exhausting.
Scenes from our day:
Day five is our last day. Then we catch a 5 am flight and make our way back in time to apparent snow and cold of KC. The weather here has been perfect – it was a little hot yesterday afternoon, but otherwise it is the kind of temperature that you forget exists because you are neither hot nor cold.
Thanks for letting me share this experience with you! :)