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Blind to Bangladesh

Adam Kruse | PostedJune 1st, 2012 | Asia

When I think about the blind I immediately think of a good friend of mine. She is suffering from Macular Degeneration and in the past months while I’ve had free time I’ve been reading to her. I confess, she is not completely blind but has what the doctor calls “Partial Vision”. This means that she aligns her hood ornament to the white line of the road while driving because she can no longer see straight ahead. She has no idea what is coming towards her; she just knows that she’s on the right side of the road going the right direction. That is what I feel like when I think about going to Bangladesh and helping the blind. I am on the right path going the right direction, but I have no idea what’s coming towards me. It’s scary, and exciting all at the same time.

I applied to The Advocacy Project Fellowship with BERDO because of BERDO’S mission statement. While I was in college I studied social and cultural change amongst marginalized communities and while researching I came across a book called “The Ancient Future” by Helena Norbert Hodge. The book has changed my worldview and has strengthened and focused my understanding of the problems and solutions for marginalized individuals. BERDO’s mission to empower people with disabilities through income generation, leadership development, education, training and treatment facilities to become full members of their community with access to the social mainstream is exactly what I was looking for when I started my search. I have been discussing the logistics of my fellowship as well as writing goals and objectives related to my time in Dhaka with BERDO’s administration. Their mission aligns with my personal and professional dreams and I feel confident in our ability to accomplish our objectives.

Map of Bangladesh
Map of Bangladesh

BERDO and its mission was not the only reason for my wanting to go to Bangladesh. I have often found myself heading in one direction and then suddenly following something that intrigues me and takes me to a place I never would have thought to go. I once went to Panama, planning on staying there for a month, and found myself in northern Nicaragua two days later. I cherish where my hardworking Midwest work ethic and a willingness to tolerate adversity has taken me. So, the door has opened to Bangladesh and I am going. I am fascinated by the idea of living in a city of nineteen million people. My town claims to have ten thousand when all of the college students are in town. I cannot wait to have a fuller understanding of the current population issues. Another attraction to Bangladesh is its richness in culture. When a country fights a war over preserving its official language, you know there is some serious culture… I am attracted to the language, food, music, and religion of Bangladesh and plan to learn about all of them equally.

My professional goals while acting as the 2012 Advocacy Project Fellow, as I have stated, are directly aligned to the mission of BERDO and the goals of the fellowship. My personal goals are simple and sincere. I hope to learn a new way of being, make life long friends, and invest myself in my work. Thank you for your support and I look forward to hearing from you!



5 Responses to “Blind to Bangladesh”

  1. Andrew says:

    Great blog! Advocating for a cause is always more meaningful when you’re personally invested, and it sounds like you are, so I’m sure your work with BERDO will be an amazing experience. I’m eager to hear more about living in Dhaka, as well as the work that BERDO is doing there.

  2. iain says:

    Sensitive first blog, as one might expect from you, Adam. Let me ask you – when does a condition rise to the level of a disability? We all have conditions, some of which bar us from being part of the mainstream…. Also, I’ll be interested to see how you define “empowerment.” I’m sure that your time at BERDO will provide plenty of food for thought.

  3. Karin Orr says:

    I look forward to reading on as you work with BERDOs incredible visionaries.

  4. Karen Kovarik says:

    Hi Adam – I received you blog update from Marcia – I hope you don’t mind. I’ve been thinking about you allot lately and your commitment to working for others – I’m very inspired by your ability to just go for it!! I hope this trip is wonderful in all avenues. I will keep you in my prayers and continually ask Grandpa Kruse to watch out for you – so anytime you see something that reminds you of Grandpa you take note and know he’s got your back :)

    Love you so – Karen

    ps I know who your friend is…. hehehehehe

  5. Kristin says:

    Adam, I am really looking forward to reading your posts and learning about the richness of the Bangladesh culture through your eyes. Enjoy your time and savor it all.

    With love from,
    Cuz Kristin

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Fellow: Adam Kruse

Blind Education and Rehabilitation Development Organization





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