Back from Bangladesh, one of many

Now more than ever in my life I understand that a fundamental part of what it means to be human, what makes us human, is the obligation we have to take care of each other. The health and well being of our neighbor increases our own well being and in turn increases the well being of our community. A community, a country, is only as strong as the health of its citizens. However goopy it sounds, we’re just one giant family.

Last week I saw poverty on a scale I could not have ever imagined. I saw kids wearing makeshift pants, bare-chested, walking around in fetid water. I saw hundreds of cold-eyed men and women waiting along the dimly lit hallways of a hospital, possibly days away from seeing a physician. I met an anesthesiologist in a village clinic who had that morning turned away two women who needed emergency c-sections because he was too busy serving also as the manager of the clinic. And outside there were hundreds of women in line waiting to receive care.

I met a fourteen-month-old baby who weighed only twelve pounds.

I also got to see the work of several organizations who are working tirelessly to change these conditions. Organizations who are teaching volunteers and midwives in the community to make sure that when women give birth they aren’t doing so alone. Organizations who are intervening early and teaching children and adolescents how to prevent future problems. I saw hope where it would be so easy to give up.

I have so much to share with you.

For the next couple of days we have company in town, and just now I’m moving all 48 gigs of photos and video I shot while in Bangladesh to my computer. I’m still processing everything I experienced, so please be patient with me. Right now I’m still trying to make sense of the luxury it is to be able to brush my teeth with tap water without fearing that I might catch a disease that could possibly kill me.

More to come.