Growing up, my family wasn’t religious and there wasn’t much talk about heaven or hell but I do remember being told to worry about living a good life so that I would be remembered well. I’m not sure who exactly gave me those words of advice but they stuck with me and from time to time I think about them. That concept was never more illuminated then during a trip I took in May to Bangladesh with my friend Hilary. Hilary’s parents lived in Chittagong for fifteen years at the end of her father’s career. In their 60’s they were brave enough to leave a very comfortable life in America for a new adventure on the other side of the world. Hilary’s father was sent to Chittagong to work for one of the largest manufacturing companies in Bangladesh. What happened to them while they lived there is something quite magical. Hilary’s mom, with time on her hands, took up golf where she met a young Bangladeshi caddy named Aboul. She and her husband Peter started most of their days playing golf with Aboul and they grew to love him as the son they never had. He took them to his small rural village and introduced them to his family and over time they developed a very special bond. After spending time in the village, Hilary’s mom decided the village children needed a place to play and she engaged members of the community and built a park. But that wasn’t enough; she wanted a school. With help from Hilary and her friends she built the school where its stood for the past seven years and continues to serve over 100 children a day. Aboul is now the director of the school and his wife, the librarian. It’s been several years since Hilary’s parents have passed away and yet their legacy is as strong as it was the day they left Bangladesh. While in Chittagong, we were invited to many of their old friend’s homes and offices where I found plenty of framed photos of Hilary’s parents. There wasn’t a person we met in our travels who didn’t have a Caroline and Peter story. All these years later, on the other side of the world, people were still talking about the contributions and camaraderie of this amazing couple who came to Bangladesh for one last adventure and left behind a legacy.
Remembered well? Check.
I took hundreds of beautiful photos in Bangladesh and I think in some ways they speak louder than the words I would use to describe them.