It was a hard day for me because I had to face a lot of problems at the Dhaka airport immigration. Along with the kids the immigration officers were asking for the pass from ministry of Education. Almighty Allah helped me to handle the situation strongly. It took 4 hours to reach Dubai. Our flight was full of Bangladeshi passengers, we felt like home.
After arriving at Dubai airport we had to run for our next flight to Düsseldorf which was in 15 minutes time. The airport was 10 times the size of a football field with a huge number of people carrying their luggage, laughing and excited. I had a feeling that we just entered a party. Very unusual for the kids of the slums. We were tired running and asking for gate no. 216.
Fortunately we got into the next flight, full of German passengers, in time. Everybody was just staring at us. I did not know what to do. Suddenly one of the Crew walked toward our seats whispered greetings to the kids to make them feel comfortable. They did their best for us. We landed at Düsseldorf airport at 23:30 (German local time).
Mr. Berthold was waiting outside for us. We had a long ride to Bianca's house. We had snacks; afterwards Mr. Berthold took me with 2 boys to his house for that night leaving the girls at Bianca's place. We loved the dinner and could not keep awake long. Mr. Berthold was eagerly waiting to learn more about the project. I gave him an overview of The Dhaka Project.
Day 2: 25/10/2008
Our first day at Bonn. After having an early breakfast we went for a walk inside a nearby forest. The trees were 150 to 200 years old; we could see the roots coming out of the ground. The kids were very excited to see the beauty of nature, the red and yellow leaves dressed the whole forest with an amazing look. Sujon, one of our kids, said "It seems that a painter just finished his painting". A beautiful countryside, the apple and berry plants with the horses riding over the fields, its pretty hard to explain how we felt.
At 12: 30 PM we went to HELP.de office with Bianca to have a rehearsal and prepare for the event. This is the organization who invited us to Germany to take part in the event. After practicing for an hour we went to Hydrant. The food of Hydrant was very tasty. We stayed at the guest house for the rest of the day.
Day 3: 26/10/2008
It was a holiday. In the morning I went for a walk a little with Sujon and Mosharaf. The architecture of Bonn city was so amazing that our eyes never fell down and the skyscrapers were touching the sky. We all were surprised to see the clean roads, brand cars and disciplined traffic rules. Then Bianca called that she was coming after lunch to take us to a park. Usually the parks in Bangladesh are made for morning walks with green trees giving fresh oxygen all around you. But that was different. With 360 degree Roller Coaster ride we could not believe the amount of fun that we had. The kids went for the ride repeatedly. Not only that, the park had a section of calm animals which are audience friendly like Deers, Pogs (Pigs ?) and atleast 20 different kinds of birds. We usually see these birds in Geographic channels.
Mr. Berthold came to join us then we went to Bonn Theatre, a historical Building, fully packed with tourists. Kept N Book organized a drama as part of the Festival.The school students performed in different roles of the German Fairy Tale.
Before going to an excellent dinner at McDonalds the kids could not wait long to see the circus! High jumping acrobats and puzzle games, just what it needed to end a day full of fun.
Day 4: 27/10/2008
The first day of our mission. From the morning a sense of urgency was going through my mind. The kids were tensed as they were going to give the first presentation at Bonn Art Gallery.
Bianca helped a lot to overcome the pressure by making the kids practiced a bit to get them acquainted with a new kind of crowd.
I was shocked to see Mosharof's confidence; Sujon continued to carry the spirit while Sabina and Annonya got worried on the stage. Fortunately the training from Bangladesh helped them and they calmed down to end their speech in a professional way.
Applauses from the crowd were piercing into our ears; the kids started to believe in themselves and our journey to a series of presentation and interviews got its first victory.
Day 5: 28/10/2008
In the morning we went to Mr.Berthold's office where we met Agata, a colleague of Mr Berthold, who took us to a trip around the Bonn city. Firstly the Botanical Garden of Bonn where we could see the green house, house made of glass with plants nodding inside.
Secondly, Bonn University. It was a huge building with a beautiful design. Then we went to City Center to visit some of the finest shopping malls of the world. The Ice creams were delicious. Though it was very cold but we didn't feel bad to have a fantastic boat ride in the so hard Rhine River. At first we couldn't believe but after so many shocks it became very usual to have a surprise every half an hour. Agata made healthy plan because we didn't know that we were going for Turkish Kabab at Istanbul Grill, a Turkish Food Corner. Such a calm and quite girl, Agata, made us feel like home. The kids will never forget her.
We traveled back to the HELP office by Tram, Mr Berthold was waiting for us.
Day 6: 29/10/2008
At 6 am we all woke up, quickly had our breakfast then Mr. Berthold came at 7:30 am to take us to our next presentation at Bianca's daughter's school. We gave a successful presentation in front of about 500 children. The school kids were curious to know more about The Dhaka Project so Mosharaf and Sujon individually gave them a brief idea about the things going on at the project. Bianca was very happy to see the kid's performance then she took us to a mountain called Rock of Dragon. Once upon a time there lived a dragon; it died on that mountain, so it was named as Rock of Dragon. We were lost in the beauty of the nature. In Bangladesh we have hilly area but no mountains except the Himalayas which can only be seen from few border areas. After taking photos of the scenario we went back to the guest house. The kids got tired and went to sleep early.
Day 7: 30/10/2008
Early in the morning we got ready for our interview at Deutsche Welle Radio. The interview started at 11 AM and went on till 12:45 PM. Mrs. Bianca introduced us to the audience; the kids sang a typical Bangla song about a Boatman. Then children told a story about the historical river Buriganga; Mrs. Bianca translated it to German language for the audience. I introduced The Dhaka Project showed a few slides. At last Germnan students and other audience asked questions about the kids life in Bangladesh which were smartly answered. The German students were so curious to know about their family, hobby, kid's ambition and story of the slums from where the kids came into a new life through the project. All the audience thanked Maria, teachers and the staffs of the Dhaka Project for this great work. The kids exchanged email address with their new friends there. After that we had our lunch at Deutsche Welle's canteen and we went to meet with HELP Managing Director.
Day 8: 31/10/2008
We had another interview on Deutsche Welle radio because lot of German kids took appointment on phone. We had the interview from 11 AM to 11:45 AM. It seemed we became famous all over Germany. We had to attend a lot of calls. Mrs. Bianca invited us for dinner at her place. We were shocked once again to see her horribly dressed then she explained us the theme of Halloween. The kids went to a neighbour's house to get dressed like them, Halloweens. Then we had dinner with Bengaly food because Bianca and Mr.Berthold realized that we missed our Bengaly food in Germany. The party was fun, very unusual for us and very interesting.
Day 9: 01/11/2008
We went to Fantasy Island. Mr. Berthold, Agata , Bianca with Sabina and Annonya came at 9:00 AM in the morning to pick us up. It took 1 hour to go to that place. It was far from the city. There were a lot of rides. First we had a boat ride in Pacific Ocean. It was very adventurous. Then on Roller Coaster. I never thought of such rides in my dream even. It whirled through the tracks. I don't remember the name of the next ride but it was most dangerous. After taking our sit a guy came to see the seat belts. When the machine was switched it took us to a height of 30 storied building and suddenly the thing came down effortlessly. The speed with which it dropped down was remarkable and at one moment I could feel the fear. On the other hand the kids were shouting and enjoying. We stayed there till evening to finish all the rides.
Day 10: 02/11/2008
We went to another city, Cologne, by train. That was the first train trip for us in Bonn where we visited the largest church in Germany, (Cologne Cathedral) which was built 1500 years ago. We went inside to see the sculptures and statues. Tourists come from around the world to see that monument. After that we went to visit Chocolate Museum. We had no idea about it! We were so curious that when we went inside we saw how they make the delicious and famous chocolates of Germany, their mixing, packing with new technology machines. We finished our sight seeing within 3 PM and then followed the same route to come back from Cologne.
Day 11: 03/11/2008
Last day!! It was a sad day for us every minute was passing and we were closing to say goodbye. The kids were sad as they had to leave. They had so much fun with Mrs. Bianca, Mr. Berthold, and their families. We were in family. We were going to miss happy and smily faces of Help stuff.
Mr. Berthold came to drop us; first he took us to HELP office to see the staffs for the last time to say goodbye. Then Mr. Berthold took us to Düsseldorf airport made sure the necessary documents were with me at the airport. He was with us till our immigration.
At 14: 40 local time we left Düsseldorf airport. For this special trip I would like to Thank Mrs. Bianca Kaltschimtt, Mr. Berthold Engelmann, Agata Wasikowski and other staff of HELP.
From Dhaka side, I would like to Thank Maria Conceicao, Mr. Munawar, Mr. Murad, Mr. Hanif Zakaria, Mr. Korvi, Mr. Munna, Mr. Shimul, Mr. Azad and all the Teachers.
Thank you every one!