We’ve been here for two weeks today. On the way to our community, a small village in the north of Bangladesh, we saw some pink ducks; the farmers dye them, so that they know whose ducks are whose. Something about those pink ducks stood out to me, I got a zap of inspiration to write something. That something being a brand new novel, already 5,187 words in. The main idea revolves around a group of people who travel to Bangladesh with the YMCA, and it will definitely have some pink ducks in there. Maybe even dedicated to them.
To my mother, always supporting me, and my father; kind and generous. To Chloe, to Nescafe, and to the pink ducks dotted in that arsenic infected water in rural Bangladesh.
That’s another thing; a few years ago Bangladesh experienced the biggest accidental mass poisoning in history, and 80,000,000 people got infected with arsenic – I’m too paranoid to even brush my teeth with the water.
Most of the time we are planning things; workshops, focus groups, community development projects, and lesson plans. We usually teach in a few groups that stick to their own schools; and I was lucky enough to get chosen for the disabled school. We went to visit today and speak to the teachers. Attitudes toward disabled people are exactly how I had read; they are shunned and teased on the street, and parents and guardians are completely out of their depth with very little support. We’ve also been told by professional’s that “they bite”, and they are constantly compared to “normal” children.
In the following weeks we will be deciding what to focus on in the communities around us – some of the biggest things, especially with young men, is the need for more education on how to stop smoking or using drugs. One man in a focus group commented on how smoking near his pregnant wife had caused their child illness when it was born, but he still had not quit since then, despite wanting to.