My last weekend in Dhaka was shockingly wonderful. I met Paola, a girl from Italy, and the other interns for lunch, and then we took CNGs to the boat terminal. It was some new interns and ones who have been going out drinking a lot, so I didn't expect the day to be that great since I haven't really connected with them. But when we arrived at the boat terminal, we ended up meeting a Bangladeshi with great English who said we'd have to cross the river to see the shipyards and then offered to show us. He helped is get little boats (again;) to take us across the river, and ended up coming along himself as a tour guide. He knew exactly where to take us and knew lots of things about the history and activities of what we were seeing. I was the one who wanted to go so bad, because I heard that these shipyards are the places where big ships are both torn apart and rebuilt. It is hard, hot work and full of action. National Geographic did a spread on the ship-breaking yards in Chittigong (12+ hours south), where poor laborers salvage materials from ships in inhumanly dangerous conditions, the death rate is high. But not only is Chittigong far, the government won't let people in to see what is going on there. So I figured the shipyards in Dhaka would have to do, to give a glimpse at this work. And they did: Big ships, old pieces, sparks flying, sawdust, paint-stained faces, curious eyes, scraggly beards, sweat-soaked backs, kites. We got to climb on one ship being rebuilt to see each deck in it's state of chaotic busyness and dirt.
Then we took little boats back across the river and our "guide" took us through a brightly colored vegetable market on the wharf, a pungent and candle-lit spice bazaar, the dank wet rooms of the meat market. We saw cement welfare housing and climbed to the roof of the lonely building just as the sun was sinking. We couldn't have planned a better end to the day: watching the silhouetted wooden boats glide across the water by the hardworking rower's strength, the blue water shimmering with floating plants, everything awash in the sun's golden glow. It was beautiful.
Then we trekked back through the market, found ourselves some cold Cokes in a street store, and set off in CNGs for the hour and a half ride home.
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.