Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday is considered the "day of rest" for the people of Bangladesh. The standard week consists of six (if not seven) work days. The week has been particularly trying given the current political unrest and now the factory tragedy. Protests and riots have become increasingly a problem and more so with the outrage from the textile factory workers. The constant tension and new environment has me on edge more than usual. I find myself forgetting how important rest can be, or at least recognizing the stress I'm coping with.

Everything had me feeling particularly upset last evening. Normally I would go for a run or walk to physically put my mind at ease. Unfortunately the safety risks are too great for those types of outlets. In these situations you realize how important those small routines are to your daily life. But you also are reminded of how amazing your support system is despite being on the other side of the world.

The amount of people who have reached out to me during this journey has meant so much to me. I'm truly thankful for all your support and kindness, it keeps me going during the tougher days :-) I think I spent almost two hours this morning Skyping with a friend and venting about my week. Fortunately, he was very patient as I grumbled about each petty problem. It's funny that no matter how trivial an issue can be, it appears manageable once you say it out loud.

Laura and I spent the afternoon at one of the few first class hotels. It felt odd to visit a place that involved a short car ride by the horrendous realities of a developing country but it was just what we needed regain our focus. I was able to run (yay finally!) at the health club followed by use of their outdoor facilities. The pool was gorgeous surrounded by serene gardens. The majority of the guests were from other countries outside of Asia (mostly European), in the area for business.

We ate the best cheeseburgers, chatted about life, read, listened to music, walked freely around the grounds, showered with hot water and basically felt like we could breathe for the first time in awhile. We felt normal. The day was exactly what I didn't know that I needed.

I started a conversation with a woman in the locker room once I heard her accent. She was from Denmark and I remarked how I had heard that her country was considered to be one of the happiest. She smiled and nodded but said she didn't know the secret for happiness. She added that she was here on business to tour the textile factories but was unable to due to the violent protests increasing around them. Just like that, reality crept back into the day but now I feel ready to face it again. Namaste.

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