Balukhali Refugee Camp.
The sun was at its highest point and the humidity were relentless on our sweat glands. Little dark patches began to form along my khaki pants like an invisible map slowly revealing itself to the harsh camp conditions. Finally, the last of many interviews was concluded. An army of droplets have already formed on both of my arms, ready to roll out. Or down to earth.
Will I miss this place when I leave today? The answer is not with me at the moment. Perhaps, there were things that deserved better preparation on my part. Like the fact that I should have serviced my camera before coming here so it wouldn’t die on me tragically in the field. Little bumps like this make me want to redo the entire time again to get things right on the second try.
But there were also other moments that were pure magical and could only be lived through once on the first time. Moments when young women break the veiled prejudices of the burqa or open their guarded doors to let me earn their trust; just enough to share their deeply broken stories. So it is safe to say in the end that once is enough, and twice will take away the shine.
Last but not least, I also owe a debt of gratitude to the staff of Action Contre Faim International. Your kindness, warmth, and ever so willingness to feed me, reminded me that there is another battle to fight back at home; a battle to break down the coloured connotations of our Bangladeshi brothers resting under HDB blocks at midday.
So here is a heartfelt thank you, for everything, from me to all my ACF Bhais.
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