After 16 days of travel, I’m back in Oregon

10/5/07 — After 16 days of travel, I’m back in Oregon. My trip to Bangladesh was amazing– the country, the people, the students and staff of the American International School of Dhaka. I’m still processing the experience, but can say without a shadow of a doubt that this was a trip that will become part of who I am and the way I view the world. Below are a few photos, just to give a sense of that part of the planet.

From Bangladesh I flew straight to Kentucky for the memorial service of a wonderful friend of mine, Rube Kubale. For those of you who have read A TOUGH NUT TO CRACK, Rube was the model for Grandpa Rubin in that story. He gave me my first job baling hay when I was 14, and has been a mentor to me ever since. He will be greatly missed.

I returned home with a monumental case of jet lag, and a souvenir cough that has me barking like a seal. But no regrets. Life is full, just the way I want it.

This coming Sunday, October 7 I will run in the Portland Marathon. Given my gimpy lungs, I’ve taken a hint from the late, great Oregon poet William Stafford. When asked what he did when he gets writer’s block, he replied, “Lower my standards.” If I run into trouble in the marathon and am lagging behind my goal pace, I won’t let it stop me. I’ll just lower my standards, finish the 26.2 miles if I’m able, and call it a good day.

The major mode of city transportation, the rickshaw.

Boats and ferries on the river in Dhaka.

Street orphans in front of their open-air school on the downtown docks.

One fantastic class of many at the American International School of Dhaka.