Beautiful eleven hour train ride up to Dinajpur, close to the India border. It was nice to get “off the road” from the blasting horns and watch the landscape of green and yellow mustard fields go by. At the train station a man waits for me with a flower. It’s Siful, the driver who takes me back to NGO where I’ll be staying for five days. Mesbah is a student at IUB and his mother’s family runs Aloha Social Services of Bangladesh. She has been a woman’s activist for over twenty years. The name of the NGO was inspired by some of the doctors who come over from Hawaii every year to provide medical care. They also partner with a German NGO called Shanti. This region is one of the poorest parts of the country.
‘Local” buses in North Bengal
I wasn’t planning to be in Bangladesh for all of the cow sacrifices but ended up celebrating Eid-Ul-Azha. with Mesbah and family. We took a few side trips to Thakurgaon and Saidpur and there learnt the important meaning of the word “gate lock”. The only problem was that all of the buses in the area were not “gate locked” so they stopped every other mile to pick up and stuff in as many passengers as possible.