Ok I’m exaggerating but it was interesting! We passed through the last real town before continuing our 6 hour journey to the rural north. Suddenly on a one track road we came across a roadblock where we were persuaded by a dozen men dressed in Spanish football tops (only in Bangladesh eh?) that in order to continue our journey it would be better to pay a small ‘toll’. No fuss, certainly no threats and having paid a small token gesture it was all smiles and the roadblock was removed! It was explained to us by our World Vision guide that they had just won a local football match and were of a mind to celebrate and needed some money. Strangely now I know I can’t fault them!!
More importantly we made it to our meeting with the Nalitabari project leaders and dedicated staff. I can only say I am full of admiration for all of those who (between about a dozen of them – note to self… check they don’t own any Spanish football tops!) have given World Vision and the people of Bangladesh over 100 years of dedicated support.
It was a great meeting and we learnt a lot about how the money provided so far has helped and what we can all do going forwards to improve things further, including supplying The Student Support Centre’s ‘simply’ maths and English programmes possibly to help the children at home but more likely to work as a training aid to help teachers with their tuition.
We arrived to a wonderful parade and dance put on by a local girls’ primary school and both Sarah and I were showered with flowers. The effort and time that must have gone in beforehand is truly moving and I think I’ve well and truly been taught a lesson in common decency and unconditional friendliness!!
We’ve now driven further (if that’s possible) in to the country to what was described to me as a hotel and I’m really looking forward to visiting some local schools tomorrow.
Don’t let the bedbugs bite!!!!!