It’s half way around the world from Bangladesh, but it’s the ‘American Dream’ that was calling me
I was selected along with eight other media professionals (two ladies from the group are professors) on the State Department trip to US, coordinated and facilitated by University of Oklahoma. I applied for the fellowship back in November, 2012 after my Director of News nominated.
Glad that I got selected or else lot of fun would have been missed. Finally the day of departure came on the 4th of October, 2013. The flight time was weird. Let me introduce you with the Bangladeshi Media Professionals for the exchange programme. Mahin (Channel i), Julhaj (71 TV), Mashiur and Asma (Independent TV), Habiba (Dhaka University), Shabnam (BRAC University) and Jamsed from Jugantor (Reputed daily in Bangladesh). So, I was going to travel with these media professionals.
2:30 AM we reached the airport and checked in by 3:30. And, finally the plane left for Abu Dhabi at 05:30 AM. We reached Abu Dhabi and it was a very short transit there and we had to board on the plane for Chicago. It was really boring on the second flight because it was so long- 14 hrs 50 mins. Nothing to do, except watching films, listening to music- the same old thing on a long flight.
Reached Chicago at 06:20 PM. After the immigration we had little time again to get on the plane. Due to the flight delay we three (Julhaj, Mashiur and I) went out again after check-in for a smoke. And, it was good. Finally after a two-hour delay, we got on the plane and headed towards Oklahoma. I should say, Habiba had some difficulties passing the immigration at Chicago, but things were worked out at the end.
Boy, the flight was full of turbulence. Everybody was so tired and slept but I kept on praying so the flying thing doesn’t crash. I was seriously thinking about God and my dear wife.
After we reached Oklahoma, the wonderful host Elanie Steyn, reputed professor at the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication, Oklahoma University, greeted us. Her husband, a wonderful gentleman, Mr. Derik and their daughter Elanderi were there too. I will tell you in detail in the upcoming blogs how beautiful these people really are.
So, after the baggage check we were heading out for dinner. The dinner was really cool. Finally, at around 12:30 AM (6th of October) we reached our hotel, Embassy Suites in Norman, Oklahoma.
The first night in USA started. I will follow up on the upcoming events and experiences I had in USA.