higybigy in Bangladesh

Most of the towns and cities of Bangladesh are higybigy

 Manik,our amazing driver and Hannan,field supervisor and translator for BPKS, aNGO of and by the disabled

people in Bangladesh, taught me this word. We have

been traveling for several days in the more remote areas of the country. There is a breathtaking landscape of rice fields surrounded by village houses

built of mud and tin. The floors are dirt, electric is

minimal and running water is rare. Most people bathe

themselves and wash their clothes in murky green  ponds or small rivers. Sometimes they have been able to dig wells.  The first day we drove from Dhaka

for 8 hours north to the Indian border to reach the

town of Kurigan. This is one of the poorest areas of

Bangladesh.  After 9 hours of dodging buses and trucks

on the narrow highway, we reached a river past sundown and basically drove the Toyota van onto

a wooden raft pulled by a smaller boat. Most of the other vehicles were bicycle rickshaws, the major form of transport in the country.   My nifty REI head flashlight beamed the way for everyone to get onto dryland.   Most of these people did not read or write and had never gone more than 50 km from theirvillage.  I  felt like the visitor from another planet. Our accomodations were to say the least, rustic. There was a squat toilet and a sink in a dismal,primitive space next to the sleeping area. (I survived the night with my handy REI sleeping bag liner and  newly purchased quilt, creating my own sleeping bag.We were greeted by a group of men, all with disabilities, who were in charge of the BPKS office in this district.   They were crippled by polio or blinded by lack of vitamin a and c, or without an arm or leg because there were no hospitals or doctors in the area when they fell and broke a limb,  it became infected and then it was cut off.    So poverty and lack of education and

bad government has ruined the lives of so many people here. I will continue my story and my journey

as soon as i find another internet this week..




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