Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

I’ve arrived

After a long day’s traveling from Dhaka yesterday, I arrived here in Rangamati at around 5pm. VSO drive us down to our placements when we officially move from Dhaka, as most of us have to provide all the ‘soft furnishings’ for our accommodation. Some volunteers are lucky that they move into accommodation that a previous volunteer lived in, so they have a lot of stuff already and don’t need to lug it all down from Dhaka. I’m not that lucky so I had a serious amount of stuff to bring down with me. The VSO driver took some convincing that it was just me traveling, and that yes, all the stuff was indeed mine.

So today I officially moved into my new little house (I spent last night in the guest accommodation here for reasons still unclear. Nothing has actually been changed between last night and today to make it any more suitable, but there you go). It’s very basic but it already looks much better with my stuff in it, and there are still more things I need to buy/do to make it feel like home (e.g. curtains, maybe paint the walls etc). Anyway, the bedroom is looking good so far (N.B. please add ‘…for VSO accommodation in Bangladesh’ to the end of all such sentences).

My bedroom, a work in progess

My bedroom, a work in progress

And yes, I know there is a hole in my mosquito net. It’s only a temporary one until I buy my own. Of all the things I remembered to buy, I forgot the mosquito net. Hope my anti-malarials have kicked in already…

I still don’t have a kitchen per say. I have a little room that is intended as a kitchen but there is not yet anything in it. I.e. no running water (or tap or sink) nothing to cook on, no fridge etc. It’s just a room. With nothing in it. Even though they knew when I was arriving. It looks like it might take a bit of prodding from my side to actually get my kitchen kitted out with the bare essentials. It’s not really a big deal (yet) and besides how does one get angry at a monk? So for the mean time they have to provide me with 3 meals a day, which isn’t such a bad deal. So far I like most of what they cook for me (the Chakma diet is pretty different from the Bengali diet, not so meat-centric or deep fried).

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My ‘kitchen’

I’m going to be introduced to all the schoolgirls today after their dinner. For now I’m being stared at here like I’m an alien who has just landed. Which in their eyes, I suppose I am.

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