The trip to Singapore has been successful with a record of 216 bacterial analysis and 58 DNA samples collected in 12 days. The trip was not also successful due a dedicated field assistant Shammi, who was patient to the long days on the field and in laboratory. The work was intense and we were trying to get as many samples as possible within a short time of period. This stretched planning was also depending to the short time that we were allowed to access the laboratory. We only had four days a week. Weekends and hours beyond 6pm were also not allowed. We were working in the most stressful conditions, but glad we managed it accordingly and turned it into an opportunity of getting much done within a short time.
Taking the DNA samples in the field were the most exhausting
On the other hand, the weekends were appropriately used. We visited different touristic sites and did shopping. Shammi had also the time for Taekwondo, her favorite sport. She is really obsessed by this game. You should spend some time with her to see how she is obsessed. If it happens that you have a chance, you will then realize that within five minutes of period, she will at least do a taekwondo move or tell a story about the game. It was fun to working with her. I tested many delicious, but very hot and spiced Muslim dishes. We always had to find a Halal food place. Shammi won’t eat anything else, except Halal. At the end of the Singapore field work, I was an expert of finding Halal food restaurant. I could see a place before shammi sees one. I really had a wonderful time working with her, but we only had 3 weeks …
Shammi taking a sample in the ditch
At the end of the sampling field work in Singapore, I traveled to Bangladesh and similarly Shammi did. She was visiting her parents. She gave me all the contacts number possible just in case I have troubles in Bangladesh and needed help. She was really very helpful and it happened that my credit card was not working with the ATM machines in Dhaka, and then I used the address she gave to call her family for help. They assisted and provided me with the budget I need to use in Dhaka. I am very grateful to them, what they did mean a lot me. I remember being told that the ATM machine will work and I should not worry about anything, but at that time it did not, I realized that I did a mistake of not taking cash with me.
I was also sad seeing street kids, poor people who are really miserable, others who have houses on the top of the river, small kids swimming in polluted water. It was terrifying. I remember seeing similar situation after the period of war in Rwanda. When I think of 10million people in Dhaka, I immediately see how the demographic problems do affect developing countries. I am glad people are still alive in Bangladesh; even the live conditions for the poor are still very unhealthy. When some African countries are mentioned to be poor, Asia countries like Bangladesh should also not be forgotten. What African countries and African people lack is the willingness to achieve and realize big dreams, develop schools with excellent reputation and at high stands and having the desire of working abroad. The GDP of Bangladesh is nearly the double of Rwanda GDP. As I have seen Bangladesh, the only different between the two countries is based on business mind. The Bangladesh people are business minded, but Rwandan are still behind in understanding the market complexity and business models. Let us hope the best in coming years, as Rwanda economy is progressing growth at a reasonable scale. .