Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bruna's November 2009 visit to Bhola with Holger, Jelena and Isabella

Dhaka was a cultural shock for my new companions:
the traffic and noise, impossible to believe and describe!;
the dirt and the heavy polluted atmosphere, incredible!;
the millions of men around the streets doing nothing,
shocking!; being always surrounded and stared at as
rare 'extraterrestials' disturbing and surprising!. But
with the help and guidance of very happy and smiling
Ali, Shamin (student/teacher in our home) and
Sumon (Ali's son) we all got involved in the 'Bangladeshy
way' and went around Dhaka to buy the special items
for the newly built kitchen in Bhola ('European' cooker,
extractor, water-heaters, etc) and the new computers,
printer, projector, etc. with money donated from
Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany.

We finally arrived at Bholas Children Protibondi
School where we were welcomed by all the
children and staff. I was worried my new
companions were not comfortable enough, I
was worried that they would find it difficult to
be surrounded by so many deaf-dumb children
eager to talk, waving their hands so fast, making
funny faces; being always followed and touched;
worried by the lack and confused verbal communication
because the level of English is still very poor in our
home; I was worried about the same type of food
everyday; about the continuous power cuts and
'no connection' that made it difficult to use the
computer to keep the 'web journal' of our adventure.

But Bholas Children Protibondi School is a real
magic place. Within two days we all seemed to
be in such a natural harmony all together, Jelena
kept filming the everyday life and activities
surrounded by many fans and eager 'actors';
Holger became immediately very popular among
the girls.
Isabella at the beginning found it hard to
relate to so many 'complicated' children, but very
soon she was playing with them, communicating
in sign language, laughing, teaching them games,
rowing the boat on the pond.

Our time in Bhola kept flowing like a smooth
river, full of activities, excitement and fun sharing
with the children school lessons, singing and
playing the keyboard with Rozina and Sofia;
swimming and playing water polo in the pond,
with Ali the referee blowing the whistle and
waving signs language. The last day Mammi
Bruna went in the water too to the delight of all!

One of the most beautiful days we had was
when we all went to Valimia, the land we bought
last year where we cultivate most of the
vegetables and fruits, teaching the children
agricultural skills for their future. In Valimia
we have also a big canal and pond where we
fish. It was really emotional to see our boys
and girls swimming together, fishing together,
throwing their nets and then slowly pulling it at
one time the girls catching the bigger fish! While
we were watching them being so happy together,
so excited, so free, I explained to Holger, Jelena
and Isabella about the uniqueness of our project.
In a Muslim country, where there is always a
division of gender and capabilities, in our beautiful
land and home, our children whatever is their
disability and gender are all together, they play
together, they work together, they learn together,
they fish together, they cook together, they enjoy
together, they really 'live' together, appreciating
anything we give them, any amount of time we
spend with them. They are genuinely and infectiously

Jelena has taken hours of film of our visit there. She
will obviously edit it preparing a version for the website,
planning also to make a DVD that we would like to give
to friends so that they can experience, at least virtually,
the wonderful atmosphere and achievements we have all
contributed to this special project, hoping to inspire some
of them to go to Bhola in the near future.

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