On November 15, these children and their families lived through Cyclone Sidr. Winds of up to 250 kilometres and a wall of water about thirty feet high wiped out their homes, their livestock, their food, their fishing boats, and in some cases, their family members.
The cyclone hit at 9:30 at night. After dark. Those who could stay afloat searched frantically in the murky water for their loved ones. Some of the bodies were later found hanging from the treetops.
As we walked down the road, more than one person stopped to motion to me. They wanted me to understand the water washed right over the road. Right up to the treetops. Some pointed to corrugated metal from their houses still hanging in the trees.
Their stories will stick with me for a long time. So will the smiles of these resilient children.
Tomorrow we go to India and leave the beautiful people of Bangladesh behind.