Remembered Well in Bangladesh 6

Caroline Bauer(Hilary’s mom) in the school she built in Bhatiary, Bangladesh

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.

 

The Play Park in Bhatiary that the Bauer's built

The Play Park in Batiary that the Bauer’s built

 

Two of the teachers at the school

Two of the teachers at the school

The Kids!

The Kids!

Hilary and Aboul playing golf

Hilary and Aboul playing golf

With friends of Hilary's parents at their home

With friends of Hilary’s parents at their home

At the Ship Breaking Yard owned by friends of Hilary's parents

At the Ship Breaking Yard owned by friends of Hilary’s parents

Salt Market in Chittagong

Salt Market in Chittagong

A girls night out Pot Luck

Pot Luck Girls Night Out

Paan - the leaf chewed by many men in Chittagong

Paan – the leaf chewed by many men in Chittagong

On the streets of Batiary

On the streets of Bhatiary

 

Fruit seller in Chittagong

Fruit seller in Chittagong

Our group on our way to dinner in the traditional dress: shalwar kameeses

Our group on our way to dinner in the traditional dress – shalwar kameeses

Brick breaking industry in Chittagong is huge

Brick breaking industry in Chittagong is huge

we always drew a crowd wherever we went

We always drew a crowd wherever we went

At the courthouse in Chittagong where the illiterate go to have important documents written for them

At the courthouse in Chittagong where the illiterate go to have important documents written for them

The children in Bangladesh are beautiful!

The children in Bangladesh are beautiful!

Shopping and bargaining were always an adventure

Shopping and bargaining were always an adventure

At a mosque wedding

At a mosque wedding

It was pretty hot most days.

It was pretty hot most days

6 comments

  1. What a read, I am so excited and would like to share this with my friends. It was a wonderful time spent in Bangladesh, with Hilary and her three amazing friends were a life time experience for me.

  2. What an extraordinary adventure Lisa – such a unique experience – and, as always, I felt like I was there with you. Thank you xxx

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