Sadly, due to recent violence against foreigners and security alerts throughout the country, our Bangladeshi hosts have urged us not to come at this time. And after consulting with several expats (whom my Miracle of Materials partner Annika knows) as well as the US Embassy, we feel this is the best decision for now.
To say that Annika and are disappointed doesn't even begin to paint the picture. I was in full-steam-ahead mode when I got the call on Tuesday about the situation and it was another 24-hours before I could fully wrap my brain around what had just happened. But as my friend, Liz, likes to point out, the game isn't over...it's just time to pivot! Annika and I (and the rest of the group) are working hard to reschedule the trip before the end of the year and will keep you updated as things unfold.
If anything, this situation just underscores the purpose of our trip and our mission. A group of self-reliant, empowered people is the best foundation upon which a community can be built. A solid community foundation fuels a stronger, brighter future ~ and one that is equally accessible to all.
If you would like to read more about the recent happenings in Bangladesh here are a few links:
BBC Sept 28, 2015
Italian aid worker killed in Bangladesh 'by IS'
The Guardian Oct 1, 2015
Second foreigner killed in Bangladesh as ISIS claims responsibility
NY Times Oct 4, 2015
Bangladesh skeptical that ISIS was behind shootings of foreigners
US Embassy, Dhaka