How we got here

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 andΒ 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!

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47 Responses to How we got here

  1. Hi Ken,
    Wonderful blog! I wanted to drop by to say hello – I don’t *think* we’ve met before, but I did live in Parbatipur for 2 years (2008-2010), working as a VSO volunteer. I can’t find a reference to where exactly you live, but I’m assuming there’s only one LAMB…
    Good luck for your last 30 days – I know how hard that farewell period can be,
    K

    Like

    • There is, indeed, only one LAMB! We arrived in Bangladesh in 2008! Maybe our paths crossed somewhere along the line?

      Yes, it must have been hard for you to leave after two years so you’ll know just where we’re coming from. Thank you so much for commenting and sharing your good wishes πŸ™‚

      Like

  2. Hey, My dad went to Bangladesh about a month ago to work with the N.G.O named I.L.O.
    Its a good country indeed.

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  3. archecotech says:

    Hello Ken, I think the post about “Life in Bangladesh” is a hit. Would you be interested in creating a post specifically to share about your life there for “Life in Russia”. I currently have a gal that will be creating a post about Israel, would enjoy doing the same for you. Let me know if this interests you.

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  4. Pingback: Mirror Reflections – Bangladesh & Russia | Life in Russia

  5. You are very fortunate to be in the midst of such a welcoming culture. Additionally, to have your family share your love of this country is very fortunate as well. Not to mention, they are fortunate to have your family. I’m sure at the end of the day any challenges become revelations that are truly treasures that will last you forever.

    Like

  6. girlseule says:

    That sounds like an incredible adventure.

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  7. godtisx says:

    You are living my dream in life. I think all the time I would like to help the people’s of the world with a great husband and have at least one child. I probably think about this every day. Even my will to be successful at what I do has that as an end. I completely get where you’re coming from and send you and your family many blessings for taking that leap. I am so glad! I found your blog!!

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  8. BG says:

    Wow. This almost brought tears to my eyes. I am a bangladeshi girl born and raised in the west and I applaud you and your family for the great work that you are doing! Keep up the good work as you are an inspiration to many.

    Like

    • That is really very kind of you BG. I hope you will visit my blog again and that your high opinion of me and my family doesn’t sink low! Your encouragement is very much appreciated πŸ™‚

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  9. sarsm says:

    Home is where the heart is ultimately, isn’t it?

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  10. mj says:

    Amazing story. Very inspiring… especially to people who believe ‘third world’ is only mosquitoes and high summer temperatures.

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  11. David says:

    That is such an awesome story! It’s so true that sometimes in life the negatives seem to outweigh the positives (ie, the heat in Bangladesh, the political situation, etc), but the rewards turn out to overwhelmingly outweigh the struggles. I’d love to read more about all that you do there.

    David

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  12. Pingback: The Top and bottom of it – in case you missed these… | kenthinksaloud

  13. lightningpen says:

    Hi, I think the work you’re doing should be applauded! My extended family has 4 doctors and my mother was a nurse. So I know how incredibly challenging it can be, but worthwhile at the same time! I hope it all works out the best it can! Thank you for the follow! Keep writing!

    Like

    • Thank you so much! It is good when someone who knows something of the situation can give praise – it is much appreciated πŸ™‚ I surely will keep writing – it’s in the blood now! πŸ™‚

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  14. Its one thing to follow your dreams /passion and to be blessed with a partner who is with you in every thing you do..but what is more amazing and wonderful is to have kids who are so loving and giving as well…
    It is not easy to leave comfort zone of ones own country and go to some distant part of a developing nation and do that you are doing..
    Beautiful write up…you guys are such lovely souls
    Wish you all a blessed happy day πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you Soma – very kind words that are really touching. We definitely have great kids who are very special to us – I’m not sure we’ve done anything very special though. It’s been a real special thing that has happened to us really. It’s easy to tear yourself away from your home when you go to a place that you love. πŸ™‚

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  15. I admire your and your wife’s passion to help others. I know how difficult it is to move to a place completely different from what you know as home, I can’t fathom moving with children! Looking forward to reading about your experiences on this blog!

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    • Thank you! I’m pleased you are joining my little band! Feel free to browse around the blog – there’s many post talking about what we do. I’ve enjoyed your blog recently too – looking forward to more! πŸ™‚

      Like

  16. What an amazing story Ken! I felt exactly like that when I visited India – that I have fallen in love despite (or perhaps because of) all logic. Congratulations on following your heart – it is a tough thing to do nowadays!

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    • Thank you! India is a very special place in my heart and always will be. Just as Bangladesh will forever be home to me. Thank you for joining my little blog – you are most welcome here πŸ™‚

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  17. tiainkorea says:

    Just when I thought it couldn’t get better than your “My Family and the Indian Subcontinent” post. This story is even more beautiful… and inspiring! Reading this made me realize that my love of traveling may not have to stop after I have kids. I love that your kids have embraced Bangladesh and love it there as much as your wife and you do!

    Like

    • DEFINITELY! I think it is brilliant to get your kids used to seeing the world and experiencing life beyond their own culture. Ours will never be the same again and that is something I wish could happen for all the kids from my home town. Their world is often a very small one. We all love Bangladesh though we all have our pet hates about it too! Not always the same though. My son really struggles with hot food but I ADORE curry! I am not that keen on Bangla style dancing but my daughter loves it and is REALLY good at it! They would never have had all these experiences just living in Whitehaven.

      Thanks for your lovely comments – great to meet you πŸ™‚

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  18. wanderfool says:

    I am humbled by your words. Your journey has been beautiful, and may it continue to inspire both and others.

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  19. Thank you Ken for dropping by at the blog, and sharing those thoughts; for thinking aloud there too πŸ™‚ I do admire the work you are doing, your family too, for having the courage to step out of a comfort zone, of one’s own homeland, and be part of a larger family elsewhere. Kudos to the kind of person you and your wife are. I wish more of us could do this!
    Best wishes, and warm regards to you and your family!

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    • Thank you Usha for such a lovely comment. I’m not sure we’re all that brave but I do hope that by making a small step it will encourage others to do the same. I think there are a lot of people out there who could do with extending their families. I know that ours has been blessed by doing so. Best wishes to you and yours too πŸ™‚

      Like

  20. love;y family….your daughter is like a doll πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ …and lovely blog…..cross cultures have always been beautiful πŸ™‚

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  21. Jox says:

    Your family is wonderful and you are all experiencing LIFE in contrasting and complementary ways. It is in chaos that we truly seek who we ought to be so we may impart ourselves to others who need our generosity. Looking forward to reading your posts! πŸ˜€

    Like

    • Thank you and welcome to my blog! πŸ™‚ I hope you enjoy it – the posts are very eclectic but hopefully there is something to interest everyone somewhere in this collection of rambling thoughts. I look forward to hearing from you (and reading your own blog of course!)

      Like

  22. SR says:

    Will surely come back as you are own my blogroll. You are very welcome
    and I thank you for the compliment as well. God Bless, SR

    Like

  23. SR says:

    What a lovely family. The happiness shines on all of your faces and is not that what family is about. God Bless, SR

    Like

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