Gathering from Kenya, California, Maryland, Texas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Bangladesh our team and a mountain of luggage and supplies converged in Dhaka early on October 29th. It’s a big, bustling city of twelve million people moving to and fro on foot, bicycle, rickshaw, three-wheel mini-cab, car, van, truck, bus - all in a hurry, intertwining on streets without lanes or traffic lights: scenes of certain disaster, narrowly averted time after time. For the residents it’s just business as usual, and in the midst of all the frantic activity there are a surprising number of friendly smiles and waves.
Fazli, the Team Logisitcs coordinator set up an afternoon visit to a couple of local shops near our hotel. Bangladesh is known for its fabrics, porcelain, crafts and pearls among other things. We had a good time browsing and investing. In the evening we visited Fazli’s Father and Mother-in-Law’s house in Dhaka. We enjoyed their good company and warm hospitality in their lovely home while sipping on some delicious mango shakes and a sweet yogurt dessert.
Our 7:00 AM departure the next morning for Rangpur was delayed by a late arriving bus. On the road by 8:30 AM, we had a eight-hour ride, which one of our team members who had done it before, described as the "white-knuckle ride of your life." It lived up to its billing. Fortunately we made good progress as lighter than normal traffic allowed us to get back on schedule. Arriving at the RDRS Travel House about 6:00 we unloaded the bus, and Jan and a team went to visit the hospital as other made up charts and went thought their supplies.
It’s currently 5:45 AM on Saturday, 10/29. We understand that there are about 150 patients waiting to be seen, and we’ll be screening most of the day.