You never know where a Quest education might take you — I sure never expected to end up in Bangladesh!
My Question was “What is Poverty and How Might it be Reduced?” Because of the nature of my studies, Bangladesh, with lots of poverty and lots of ongoing NGO/aid efforts, made more sense for me than more popular exchange choices like Germany or Hong Kong. And so, in the Fall of 2011, I shipped off to Bangladesh to study at North South University, a partner institution. I jumped into my exchange with very little knowledge of the culture or history of Bangladesh, but emerged with a profound respect for the country’s struggle for liberation as well as a love for Bengali food, music, and culture. I also became good friends with some of the nicest people I had met anywhere in the world.
It was the friendships and the culture that drew me back to Bangladesh this past June — I was itching to see more of a country I felt like I had only seen glimpses of, and my wide open schedule (void of any classes) meant I could explore at will. And explore I did, covering large swaths of the lush green countryside with good friends from my first trip. We travelled by tractor, tuk-tuk, rickshaw, and bus, and I drank enough sweet tea to last me another 3 years. Not your typical tourist destination, Bangladesh is raw – but this rawness and authenticity is what makes it so beautiful — often dirty, often devastating, but beautiful nonetheless.
I’ve never been the best at relating my travel adventures, so I tried something new this trip: a video edit of my time away. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Bangladesh!