In Bangladesh, it’s common to see people riding on the roofs of trains. No, it’s not some crazy stunt done for an adrenaline rush; due to the huge population in the country, an inadequate number of seats on the local trains, and extreme poverty, some people are forced to climb up top and risk it all now and then just to get where they need to go.
Fortunately, I did not have to risk life and limb barreling down the tracks on top of the train. I, along with four companions, had a very comfortable compartment as we recently travelled from Chittagong to Dhaka aboard the Bangladesh Railway. The seven hour trip was rather uneventful but fully enjoyable. The train wound its way through the countryside, past tiny villages and huge rice patties. It cost less that $8 and saved us having to pay for plane fare to the capital city of Dhaka where we were to catch our flight back to Kathmandu.
We were in Chittagong visiting the Child Haven children’s home there. It is always wonderful to visit this home, and the children are elated with each and every visitor. They are smart and beautiful and very funny. They are uninhibited with their affection and in need of all the TLC they can get.
It is simple living at its finest and the children cherish every little gift and treat. A returning volunteer brought a small gift bag for each child. In it there was a tooth brush, some stickers, a handful of beads, some embroidery thread, and a few peices of candy. The children absolutely loved it. Throughout the week I would see various children playing with different things from their bag. The cutest instance was when a few of the smallest children sang Happy Birthday to their tiny animal shaped bead. The imaginations of children continually astound me.