The sounds, smells, and commotion of this new country was something that made me snap out of my exhaustion and feel alive once again. Robby, the Bangla Hope treasurer, met us at the door and helped us load our luggage into a van. Then we piled into a second van and headed for the former Adventist dental clinic in the heart of Dhaka. I have been on some wild car rides in my past, but let me tell you, nothing came close to this one. Lots of swerving from left to right, honking horns, speeding right up to a bus, on the opposite side of the road, and then a quick turn back into the lane just in the nick of time. I give the drivers around here a lot of respect. Now that I've been here for awhile, I’m not at all worried, it’s just how they get places. Traffic accidents are one of the top leading causes of death in Bangladesh due to the heavily populated areas. Lots of the land is rural which means even more people will be in the cities causing more traffic. Bangladesh has a population of 164.7 million people and is geographically about the same size as the state of New York.
The next morning I awoke to many sounds of the city. Birds chirping, people talking, and lots of different horns honking. While getting ready, I smelled the most amazing aromas coming from the kitchen and was excited to see and eat my first Bangladesh meal.
I went to the deck to watch the daily bustle of people and then was able to go up on the rooftop, which was even more amazing.
The van ride to the orphanage took about 9 hours with lots of things, people, and places every way you look.
We crossed what the Banglai people like to say, “the longest bridge in the world” which isn’t true, but could be close because it was fairly long. We stopped a few times to get a bite to eat and gas. Around 4 pm we made it to my new home.
The guard opened the gate for the two vans and then I saw them, ALL the children and staff in a moon shaped circle waiting and excited to greet us. We stepped out of the van and right away they sang us their welcome song and then handed us each a bouquet of flowers.