Thursday, June 27, 2013

Super Awesome Bangladeshi Adventure Part 1-Syhlet and Sreemongol

The end has come! I love school, I always have (just ask my mother), but I also love a good break. I wear many hats at school and that is exhausting. Plus, I have some amazing things happening this summer...

Last week, my friend Meggan came to Dhaka to visit. It was amazing to see someone with a familiar face, there was much rejoicing.

The same day Meggan came we had the school closing assembly and "graduation" for the 8th graders.

Friday, we (myself, Meggan, and 4 other teachers from my school) left for a super awesome Bangladeshi adventure. We started in Srimangal (also spelled Sreemongol, Sreemangal, and Srimongol, I've never seen it spelled the same way twice on any map). Sreemongol is often called "Little Darjeeling" because of it's massive tea gardens. For the first time in Bangladesh, I saw an actual hill (that wasn't man-made). Covered with small, dark-green tea bushes, it was an amazing sight.

We went and got some infamous 7-layer-tea (which was very, very sweet).

We had delicious naan at an Indian restaurant.

We stayed at a true Bangladeshi guest house (which had no internet and generally no electricity).

my bed did have a flowery mosquito net

The next morning we trekked through the Jungle. Now, I've worked at a girls camp 5 summers, I don't mind getting dirty generally, but I'm a little too much of a girl to be fully comfortable with spiders the size of my hand  and leeches that leave blood blisters.

It was a great experience, and now I can say I've trekked through the jungles in Bangladesh. Our guide was very knowledgable, and we were glad we didn't do it on our own (like the guide book suggested), because the trail was hard to follow.

We trespassed into a tea/pineapple plantation.

Meggan took this picture

Meggan also took this picture. I forgot my camera.

We then drove to Syhlet, the largest city in Northeastern Bangladesh. It lies on the border of India (I could, arguably, see India from the hotel we stayed at) and is generally more well-off because of the giant natural gas fields that have been discovered nearby.

We stayed at an eco-resort, which had a rickety old train to bring your bags to the top of the hill.

It had beautiful views of the sunset from our private verandas.

I fell down. Twice. Scraped both knees. It hurt.

The next morning we went on a 2 hour boat ride on the Lalakal river. Come to find out we were in India for a good chunk of the ride. It was beautiful and peaceful. My legs (which are bleach white most of the time) actually soaked up some sun!

That afternoon, we ate and headed home on the Dhaka Syhlet highway, which is regarded as the most dangerous road in the world (which is why I didn't mention this to my mother until after we were safely home). It was scary and dangerous, we survived.

I truly feel like I've seen a side of Bangladesh that I conceptually understood, but it was so nice to actually see it. Beautiful, clean, and friendly (non-staring) people.

A great start to our adventure.

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