So we've arrived back in Dhaka and we've been in the city for a month. Rather than wax poetic about how ashamed I am about not having written a blog post yet in the five weeks we've been here and how I was so busy I didn't get around to it etc., I'm going to dive headlong into the incredibly weird feeling of...being back home in Bangladesh.
Now, I know and feel that Nova Scotia is, and always will be, "home." I firmly identify as a "bluenoser" (a word which is, in fact, enshrined in the Oxford Dictionary despite spell-checker saying it's wrong) and I acknowledge that nothing can beat the kaleidoscope of fall colours as you drive down Highway 104, the biting wind whipping through your hair at Lawrencetown Beach or the fragrant, salty air on foggy mornings in Halifax. Even the title of this blog, "Sea Salt Nomads," was designed to signify that no matter which crazy location in the world we end up, we will always love the Maritimes as our "home." But in spite of our aforementioned passion for Nova Scotia, Danielle and I both breathed a pleasant sigh of relief when we entered our apartment in Dhaka, looked at each other, and succinctly agreed that we were home.
When I first arrived in Bangladesh last year, I thought there would be no chance at ever settling in Dhaka, let alone returning after a single year and feeling at home! I thought for sure that the noise, chaotic traffic, grinding poverty, time-consuming errands, corruption of...well, everything, garbage, grotesque smells, oppressive heat, unwavering stares, unending frustration of bartering, cockroaches, mosquitoes, diarrhea, rude drivers (did I mention the traffic?), allergies, blisters and inefficiency (to name just a few!) would prevent me from ever learning to enjoy or love the country of Bangladesh. This year however, we are hardened to the negative aspects of life here and are beginning to see the diverse frustrations and experiences of living in a city like Dhaka as blessings and privileges rather than trials.
In short, we are settled back into our apartment. We've purchased some comfy, new furniture and with both of our A/C's blasting, it feels super-cozy! I've learned the game of squash, bought a racket and now play several times weekly while Danielle splashes in the pool at the American Club. We have amazing friends from last year who love and support us. We are officially pumped to dive into our work and enjoy life in our new (albeit temporary) home in Dhaka, Bangladesh!