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Back in Bangladesh

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Movie night

Already a week back from Thailand and back in the routine. Bangkok was so much fun and so much different then I imagined. I felt like I was in LA but with a language barrier everywhere I went. Maybe it felt so western to me since I’ve been in Bangladesh but it was a lot more modern than I thought. The highlights were laying on the beach, riding a horse on the beach and dancing for over 2 hours straight to an awesome band with my friend Michelle. And of course seeing a movie but not just any movie, a Ryan Gosling movie! We had so many funny experiences that I’m still laughing about. The other day while in the school office with another teacher I started laughing and she had no idea why I was laughing but started laughing too and I couldn’t tell her why I was laughing since she barely understands english. It was awesome.

On my way back I bought a bottle of wine at the airport in Dhaka and when I went through security for my flight to Khulna security not only tried to take my wine even though I bought it there, they also tried to get me to give them cash. I couldn’t believe it. Luckily I can just say that I don’t understand what they’re saying. Then another man who worked at the airport voluntarily walked me to my airline which was a whole 10 feet away then he asked me to pay him for it. Ha! Another glimpse into the corruption here: my friend Moon was trying to get her passport and twice a cop showed up to her door and said if she didn’t give him money then he would say she didn’t live there and she wouldn’t get her passport! A little different from America.

I was curious to see how I would feel coming back. The truth is, it was hard. The break was really nice to say the least. Sadly right before I went to Thailand I was told that my friends in Boston needed to close the salon here. The salon was getting no business and they couldn’t keep putting money into it. It was a hard conversation to have with the 2 girls that worked there but they’ve had a lot of training and hopefully they will take that to another salon and be successful.

A few days ago another girl joined the Alingon Home! Her mother is not a sex worker but she works all day everyday laying brick and her daughter who is 10 was alone all day. She was living in the slums so it put her at a huge risk to be trafficked. World Vision referred her to the home. I’m teaching her now so it will be rough for her to understand anything for a while. It made me realize how far the girls have come since January. They could barely read and now they’re reading short stories! I always tell them how amazing it is that they can read 2 languages! She seems really happy to be at the home. I don’t think she has seen a foreigner before. She usually just stares at me and tries to hold my hand while I’m teaching. It’s very sweet.

Since the salon closed I have more time so I’m helping the older girls more with their english homework. Some of them aren’t doing well in school right now. I try to make it fun for them since their usual tutors can be a little tough on them. I can’t imagine studying that many hours a day 6 days a week at 10 years old. I was outside rollerblading and singing Whitney Houston with my friends. During their break time it’s usually the best times. We have dance parties. Some of them really let loose and get so silly. I love it. I tried to teach them some country dancing but they didn’t think it was very cool.

Please pray for 1 of the Alingon girls, Fatima. I talked about her mom trying to talk her into going back to the brothel with her in my last blog and a week ago she called and said she is coming to take her. If she wants to take her there is nothing the home can do. They are trying to stop her but legally they can’t keep Fatima. Please pray her mom will never come. This will be beyond devastating and a trap for Fatima.

Below are pictures of how so many men transport wood, brick etc. I’m always amazed they are pulling this. Just 2 men barefoot.

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2 Responses to “Back in Bangladesh”

  1. Tifany says:

    Thank You Maggie for another insightful post. I love reading the joy in your words! Blessings!!

  2. Lori says:

    Love reading your blog, Maggie. Keep the faith? You are doing wonders for these girls. Prayers go out to Fatima. Her mom must feel desperate to do this if she does. If there was only some way to reason with her mom. Miss you . 🙂 Take care, Lori

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