Community Walking Tour

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June 19th 2013
Published: June 19th 2013
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Hello, I hope that today finds you well.

On Saturday all VCC students and me went on a walking tour of the village that is directly beside and behind our apartment. The tour was conducted by a student from Nursing at IUBAT and it took us approximately 2 hours to complete the walk. According to our guide the area is for lower to middle income people. As with everywhere in Dhaka the area is under construction. When asked what would happen if developers came and built in the area and took away their places to live, our guide replied that most families would have to find another place to live - unless they owned the property. The village is home to approximately 25,000 people, but no one is positive how many actually live there. The community is self contained with a few barber shops or 'saloons" as our guide called them plus public schools and a market. There are many parents who send their children to private school and they are taken either by cycle rickshaw or bus.

The most striking aspect of the community is the garbage. Regardless of where your front door or kitchen is located, garbage is just thrown into the yard. The stench is amazing. There are goats, dogs and children everywhere as well as chickens. The homeowners try to spruce up the place by planting shrubs in plastic bags and tubs in geometrically pleasing designs in front of walls. The green effect is pleasing to eye and helps take you away from the garbage. Interesting to know that Bangladesh was one of the first countries to ban plastic bags. When you shop everything is wrapped in paper and tucked into a muslin bag.

Despite the narrow streets, there are cars and rickshaws buzzing along the congested roads. The animals seem to have learned to look both ways then trot across the street. The dogs are a mess here, they mainly laze about in sand piles or along side the road. Very seldom do you see them on the go. In the night I can hear them barking and in the early AM they are trotting along the street looking for food perhaps.

The children continue to impress me with their ability to play, care for their siblings and just have fun

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