An inspiring lesson that I took from the ABYLEP trip is that I have allies in Bangladesh who are passionate about improving the world, just like I am. Climate change feels heavy and impossibly immense to try to reduce its impacts. My new relationship with Bangladeshi allies brings to life the quote, “Many hands make light work.” Influencing policy makers, improving efficiency in our lives and communities, rethinking how we do things are dense tasks, but together we can tackle the challenges of climate change from many angles. Some of us will educate; some will influence; some will invent; some will collaborate with new communities; some will get elected and make change. We will make progress one step at a time together. Our potential collective action and accomplishments inspire me to work hard and think creatively.
I didn’t go to Bangladesh thinking that I knew all the solutions. I went to learn, to make friends, and to figure out new ways to connect. The framework of global competency helped me consider how we can work in solidarity with one another. Solidarity influences how I interact with my family, my job as a teacher and my life as an activist. This trip has fostered new energy for my efforts to reduce the creation of pollution in my neighborhood. Also, tomorrow I begin to teach a 20th century history unit on South Asia. I am thrilled to be beginning the unit with videos from my new Bangladeshi friends speaking about the challenges facing Bangladesh and the solutions that give them hope. My students will catch a glimpse of the sense of solidarity I feel with these new friends in Bangladesh, which will inspire our investigation of the history and modern challenges of Bangladesh, India and Pakistan. Also, I will present about lessons learned in Bangladesh to the Minnesota Association of IB Schools, my school’s faculty, and community groups. Thank you Bangladesh, World Savvy and the State Department!