Travel anyone??

I’ve been thinking a lot during the past few days about how blessed I have been to be able to go to Bangladesh on the Destination Life Change Seeder 2.0 trip. And it all started because of one email sent to me from World Vision asking if I would like to take part in this adventure.

The adventuresome part of me immediately said “yes” to the whole idea – but the practical and ever so budget minded part of my husband told me to check out the prices of the airfare etc. first.

Sitting down in the chair across from the travel agent I asked the important question – just an estimate – don’t get into any details – just give me a ballpark figure. But when I told my husband the cost – just over $2,000.00 – he responded with a logical and sound argument: No. We couldn’t afford it. $2,000 plus the cost of hotel and meals and passport renewal and the visa application form and the immunizations would mean the trip would easily cost over $3,000. Plus during the past year we hadn’t been able to put anything into our RRSP’s and there was the fact that Gary’s work was pushing a 10% to 16% pay deduction. I hate it when my husband is so practical – and right

I gave up on the idea and left it thinking that it just was not meant to be. God had different plans for me.

But I was wrong.

Marlin Travel, the travel agency that I had visited, called me about a month later.

“Hello, Aina,” I said. “I suppose you’re wondering why I didn’t get back to you about the Bangladesh trip. Well my husband and I talked about it and we decided that we just can’t afford for me to go.”

Pause on the end of the line…

“Oh, no,” Aina returned in her ever so cheerful voice. “I was just calling to tell you that we want to send you to Bangladesh.”

Silence. Did I hear her correctly?

“Donna?”

“Yes. I’m just wondering if I heard what I think I just heard.”

I had heard what I thought I heard. And so I started crying. God wanted me to go after all.

When I returned from my trip, many people asked me how it all went. And I would struggle to find an answer. How do you put into words the smells you smelt, the people you met, the everythings you saw, all into words that can not, no matter how hard you try, convey what is in your heart? Telling people about the children you played soccer with, the children you hugged and held, the children that eagerly looked into your faces as you read them the letters from their sponsors, the children that you saw pushing the heavy laden carts down the road, the children you saw sorting through the garbage bins or breaking rocks on the side of the road. How do you tell someone about it and get it across so that their heart can feel the same as yours? You can’t.

And so I would like to give you a suggestion. Check out the Destination Life Change trips on the World Vision website and go on one. It’s not a picnic. But it isn’t meant to be one either. You are confronted with scenes that are real, people that are beautiful, poverty that is horrible, but hope that is awesome. You will be taken out of your comfort zone and challenged, and when you come home, the stark contrast from what surrounds you and what is in your memories of your trip will shake your foundation until you search to find something more firm to cling to. It will challenge your faith, but it will renew it and make it stronger than it ever has before.

It did for me.

When I look back at the pictures of my trip I can’t help but smile. We had a fantastic, full of wonders, challenging, inspiring, heart breaking, faith building, friendship building, and “let’s do it again sometime soon” time. I hope you can go and do the same.

And on a lighter note – just to show you some of the humourous things that can happen in Bangladesh on a DLC trip, I have posted some pictures below. Smile lots. Laugh lots.

Caught! Plucking up the flower and the leaf!

The sign above loosely translates: Do not stand here and make idle gossip.

Those thinking that a little kissing and smooching along the pathway are reminded that "no intimate encounters are allowed"

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