The Journey for the FAM trip began 6 months ago when Experience Bangladesh director in Australia got China Southern Airlines, mg media communications on board to put together the rockstar team of Travel journalists from Sydney Morning Herald, Melbourne Sun, Get Lost Magazine, Mind Food magazine, FairFax, Escape Ltd. and Australian Travel.
Experience Bangladesh in the US, Bangladesh, and Australia with the help of their partons/sponsors like Pan Pacific, Ajiyer, Jatrik etc. made this a “idea” a reality after months of planning and contingency plans rolled out by the Experience Bangladesh teams.
Here are some excerpts of memorable conversations between Experience Bangladesh and the journalists through out the trip:
As she walked through the villages of Tangail and then met the women in Sundarban, she whispered, ” I see what you meant by feeling the generosity of spirit and the innocence of the people” that moves you.
He enjoyed the trip to the fullest, always the first to join a dance mob, the last to leave the table after relishing every bite on his plate, the first to start a conversation with strangers and the one who asked the most difficult questions on the group : )
Gillian Cumming talked about her love of gourmet cooking. She stopped us dead in our tracks when she casually mentioned making “Gulap Jamoon” from scratch 30 years ago. This is just a small example of the calm and elegant feminine power she holds and used to roll out the endless news inserts and magazines in the past 17 years. She quickly took down a recipe of our traditional beef curry that takes 2 hours to cook and smiled, “Now I have something authentic to cook for the gathering as soon as I get back!”
The trip to Sundarban was about a lot more than l”ooking for the tiger and finding the jungle” as my friend Daleep Akoi calls it. Visiting the MRDI project where women that used to rely solely on fishing in the Sundarban, selling “Gol Patha” indigenous palm leaves and honey catching, now sell artistically embroidered goods that is a safer profession, gives them access to additional revenue and helps them preserve their mangrove forest; opened their eyes to what sustainable living practices looked like in the everyday lives of the people of Sundarban.
The Wild Team Project in Chadpai was equally rewarding with a live demonstration at the exact site of where the night patrol guard the village from tigers. We had an enthusiastic volunteer of the First Response team act as an actual tiger!
The trip ended with a farewell dinner at the Australian High Commissioners’ Mr Greg Wilcock and Ms Wilhelmina van Beers, for a night of partying hard, live music and a lot of dancing!