Traveling is not only a dream in my life but it is also my passion. So when my parents told me that I would be going to Bangladesh over the summer I couldn’t wait. This would be an adventure I would remember. There were many questions that were going through my mind like what would I see and what would I do? I was anxious and nervous at the same time. I didn’t know what to expect. In the end I really enjoyed my trip to Bangladesh because it showed me new places and things I wouldn’t have been able to see in the United States.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
Through my leisure time I started to adjust to Bangladesh. No longer was I in a new foreign environment where fear was my biggest concern. Now my biggest concern was actually going back to America. No longer did I fear the poverty or the idea of going home before 10:00 at night because it got too dark. Now as I close my eyes the poverty is a novelty as much as it is a memory. The awkward moments of not being able to speak Bengali and just being an American outcast faded away with time. I was now able to get in touch with my Bengali inner self.
Through my journey I learned how to make Bengali pottery and other different objects. More importantly I learned interesting facts about my culture and country. Being poor in Bangladesh is nothing new. The country is developing and finding people in the airport or at bazaars asking for money is routine. In the beginning it felt as if I was an outsider in a country that supposedly carried my blood. The language and the third world culture (like eating with your hands) felt very uncomfortable and unusual to me. Imagine sitting down to eat and watching everyone just grab their foods and stuff it into their mouths like savages. I felt like society didn’t develop in this area. However as time progressed my dialect started improving through continuous communication with my cousins. I also saw a change in how I viewed Bangladesh. I realized forks and spoons are expensive and eating with our hands has been a precedent set by Bengalis years ago. I thought it was a remote country with no establishments or anything to do. However my expectations were erroneous. Bangladesh had beautiful ponds in the backyard, trees and forest, city, town, and village life. I felt like Henry David Thoreau in Walden Pond. It also contained amusements like Dream World Park and Matup Kondo Waterfall. However, most of all, Bangladesh contained family. Being in touch with my family and learning about my culture made the stay not only valuable but everlasting. I really can’t imagine what would’ve happened if I never learned this much about my culture had I not gone to Bangladesh.
The day came when we had to go back to America. I felt the urge to go back to where I was raised. I wanted to see my friends and family in the United States but I didn’t want to leave this land behind. My mom was crying and I was crying inside to leave my family in Bangladesh. In the airport I was still thinking about the memories I had. I felt like I was leaving another world, another piece of land that I didn’t know existed behind. My heart aching I entered the airport and boarded the airplane, saying goodbye one last time. Through my stay for two months, Bangladesh has shown me things I could never see staying in the United States.
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