coming home

I have not been able to bring myself to write since our return. But I’ve been back two weeks today, and I owe you a coming home story.

Nicole, Marty and I were leaving our hotel at 2:30 am on Friday morning, so we decided sleep was pretty pointless [although I think Marty took a nap]. We ended our stay with a late night dinner after a very long day, and Nicole and I enjoyed a nightcap in the perfect-evening-after-storm-air with Mark and Ted.

Much unlike the three hour van ride fiasco only hours earlier, we zipped to the airport. Marty strummed some jazzy, bluesy tunes on his travel guitar to pass the time, and then off we went, with no shortage of screaming babies or flocks of mosquitoes to accompany us. The perfect combination, really.

Our first flight was a five hour jot from Dhaka to Abu Dhabi. As we were about to take off, an attendant came over the speaker and instructed everyone to cover their eyes and mouths as they came down the aisle with bug spray. Nope, this was not a joke. Flight attendants walked down the aisles, double-fisted with giant aerosol cans of bug spray, spewing their magic in our precious air.

The mosquitoes left me alone the entire trip, probably because they could not penetrate my skin, but poor Nicole was eaten alive. I still did my part and punched a ton of them in the face on that plane ride though. It was ridiculous.

I also have not mentioned that on our airline, it was really interesting that before each take off, a travel prayer from the Koran was read over the speakers and on our chair-front-tv-screens in Arabic. There was also a separate boarding line for the women and men on each flight home. Oh, and all of the plane food was REALLY good.

I had never seen desert with my own eyes before. It was really neat to look at the plane window at vast, light red hills of sand, trying to imagine what life would be like there.

Those were the highlights. As I’m sure most of you can relate, the coming home part is not always as enjoyable, especially when you’re exhausted. And screaming babies are your soundtrack. So I’ll spare you the extended complaining and poor-me commentary.

There is a comment I heard years ago during my Convoy internship that has always stuck with me. Our intern group was talking with the Director of International Programs who had been to almost every country in the world. Having only been to two countries [Mexico & Lithuania] myself at the time, I eagerly asked him, “Where is your favorite place you’ve ever been?” To my disappointment, he replied, “Home.”

I can now say I understand that more and more each time I take a trip. Bangladesh made for my sixth. And while it was an incredible trip, I agree – how truly sweet home is.

I missed you! Thanks for sharing this with me. I’m ready to be boring awhile and see what else God brings my way this year.

And if you somehow have not had enough or are curious, I’ve been writing longer posts about each day of our trip for Water.org. Read them here.

A few more pics from our last day in Board Guard. Nicole and I really hope we can raise money this year to help this community receive access to safe water and sanitation.

Lipi in Nicole's sunglasses :) She and her sister were a hoot! Very gregarious women with distinct personalities. We had a lot of fun with them.

Sorry, graphic - but this is their reality and why they suffer from so much disease. Unhygenic latrines.

Lipi's vivacious sister, Moina.

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One Comment on “coming home

  1. love all of your stories, erin! thanks for sharing the trip with us. and that bug spray on the plane business cracks me up. sounds like bangladesh maybe isn’t for me (just the bugs, they love to munch me…)
    hugs to you!

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