Friday, January 28, 2005

Epiphany no. 257

I am still recovering from a very intense trip to the village. Masud, Isaac and I, as well as Iqram-bhai and Rina-bhabi, Kauser-bhai, and Boro-bhabi, Jitu and Urmi all squeezed into a little van and then onto a rickety boat and made the trip. The place we went, called "Baji Bishara", was about 3 hours from Comilla by car/boat. It's extremely remote, and there is no electricity yet. The hard part of the trip did not involve lack of phsyical comforts, however. It was very emotionally distressing for both me and Masud to see the situation in which his relatives are living. His first cousins live there, as well as some other distantly related people. Sometimes I just wonder how it worked out that Masud was born to the man who "made it", while his brother's children are still stuck in poverty. Then I wonder how it happened that I was born in America, and I have never had to experience hunger. How is that fair? We actually ended up cutting our trip one day short, because none of us could handle the emotional stress. There is such a feeling of oppression there, even though the people who live there seem to be very optimistic and happy with what they have. The school where all the children study is an absolute dump, and I wonder how anything ever gets learned there. I'm told it's one of the better village schools. I hope that someday I can do something to help here. For now, I'm just learning as much as I can.

Anyways, I did manage to get quite a bit of data collected. People were very willing to talk to me, and I became sortof a novelty. Everyone came to see the "bideshi" and hear her funny Bangla. I also forced myself to watch the "korbani" - the ritual slaughtering of the cows. I am now stating in no uncertain terms before the cyber-world that I will never intentionally eat meat again. Not even a little meatball. It was so awful, that poor cow. I've found my ethics. It's no longer about being grossed out by meat.

Time to take another anti-puking pill. I've caught a bug. Lucky me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Katie, you probably paid your dues in a past life and now you are here to correct as much as you can. Maddie's Nana