In the first two weeks of February, an eleven-member group of students and teachers from the Heckental School Association and the Werkgymnasium visited Bangladesh. On our travel program was on the one hand the visit of our partner school St. Teresa's high school in Bhalukapara, but of course also getting to know the country, the culture and the nature. First of all, we went shopping in Mymensingh, a town halay between Dhaka and Bhalukapara. Not because we didn't have enough clothes in our luggage, but because we wanted to dress in a way that was typical for the country. On our first morning in Bhalukapara the students had. Teachers prepared a big reception for us. The bicycles that were bought from the proceeds of the last orange campaign were also handed over there. Right from the beginning it was clear that our visit to Bhalukapara was an absolute speciality, which had to be captured by selfie cameras always and everywhere. We received an incredibly warm and friendly welcome and were followed every step of the way.
In the next days we spent a lot of time in the school and in the lessons. Everyday school life in Bangladesh is characterized by a discipline that we cannot imagine in a German school. Every morning, all students gather in the courtyard for morning roll call – a very military-looking ritual that includes singing the national anthem.
There are about 80 children in each class, strictly separated into boys and girls. In a school bench, in which here perhaps two children would sit, there usually five squeeze next to each other.
We helped to design lessons, interviewed former students, spent the breaks together and played sports together several times. Although we were only there for a few days, by the end of the week we almost felt like a part of the school community.
Journey through another world
After this impressive week we found it more than difficult to say goodbye to Bhalukapara, but we were also eager to see other sides of Bangladesh. We traveled by minibus to the northeast of the country, to the region around Sylhet and Srimangal, which is known for tea cultivation and is also visited by tourists because of its beautiful nature. Especially impressive was the Madhabkunda waterfall, which is the highest waterfall of Bangladesh with a height of 60 m and is surrounded by forests and hills.
The last stop of our journey was again Dhaka. We visited several sights, for example the Parliament building and the National Monument. The traffic in Dhaka can hardly be described in words. Everyone drives as they please and honks their horns at every opportunity, and they do so late into the night. This leads to a wild confusion. As a result to constant traffic jams. For example, it takes half an hour by car to cover one kilometer of distance.
Although we saw so many beautiful places, the warm, kind and happy people we met were the real highlight of our trip to Bangladesh! Take the opportunity. Come to our Bangladesh evening (4.