4:00AM my alarm beeps. No. I don’t want to get out of bed. Too bad. Life calls. I roll over, my eyes crusted shut, and fumble for the lights. I’m packed, clothes laid out, ready to go. I schlepped down the four flights of stairs and into crisp, damp morning.
Jehanna, Banny and I climb into the back. My Selor Kamis smells clean, like the American laundry soap I used. This van is newish, cleanish and I am by the window. Sleep is calling my name. I have never been able to enjoy quality sleep in any vehicle in Bangladesh…but I was hoping this trip would be different. 10 hours. Some sleep must find me.
We made our way down the familiar road, winding around through the rice fields and putrid ponds. There were 10 of us in this 12-passenger van. Sleep never came. The roads were just as terrible as usual. My legs are curled up, propped against the seat in front of me, my head is bobbling in the neck pillow I have, my hips are knocking against the walls as my teddy is trying to protect them. This trip seemed much longer than 10 hours. We stopped a few times. Once for fuel and propane, (Vans here run on this sometimes, its much cheaper) Once for some food, and once I had to use the bathroom.
Using Squat Pots out in the villages or in the remote areas is terrible. The first one I used I actually gagged. To reach them you have to walk past all the men peeing. I hiked up my pants hoping to avoid dipping them in whatever could be in the floor, held my breath, and used that hole as fast as possible. Let me tell you this was terrible. Anyways. All day we traveled. We visited one school the Waid used to be a part of. This school was run down. So many kids. It did not feel like a happy place. I was so tired. But it was good to see one of the Adventist Schools there. We finally mad it to where we would spend the night. Our beds were hard, pillows SO thick, so hot, mosquitoes, but I didn’t care. I just pulled out my sleep sack and gladly welcomed laying down, starching out, and not bouncing around.