My family have loved Bangladesh for over a decade now.
We first came to know of it when we became friends with a family who had been living here for well over 15 years at the time. They worked at an NGO project called LAMB which primarily gives health and medical care to one of the poorest areas in Bangladesh.
It was my wife who first came out in 2005 for a few weeks to experience the culture and give help and support to the Therapy department. She was hooked, as I was when I read her emails every day telling me about life here.
It was inevitable that the following year we would both come out and bring our two children with us. I had not realised that LAMB also had a school and that there was work I could do here.
That began a long hard struggle in ourselves, with our families and friends and also with our work places back in Cumbria. 2006-2007 were tough, tough years and I know I went to dark places as I tussled with life in general and life in the West.
We came out one final time to LAMB in 2007 for 6 weeks to really make sure this wasn’t some silly ‘mystical fling’ we were having and that we really had fallen in love with the country. We also really wanted to make sure that LAMB wanted us. Foolishly, they said they did want us and we confirmed what we already knew – that Bangladesh was in our hearts forever.
So, in 2008 we packed up our house and packed our bags and set out to live, for as long as seems right, in Bangladesh. We never regretted a moment of it. Despite the heat, despite the poverty and despite the awful situations we see here, despite the difficult political situation and corruption which seems to be everywhere, we have never felt so welcomed by a wonderful people or been so happy and in our lives. This country gave us far more than we could give back and we were proud to be there.
Right at the end of 2013 we were returned to England and settled back into our British life there. However, we continue to visit Bangladesh regularly and have never given up our ties and responsibilities there. Thanks to the wonders of the internet we continue to be an active part of the culture and life there. We really do live in two worlds!