Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh


Here I am at 34. It’s not so bad. A lot like 33, except with no water.

The main water pump here at Moanoghar is broken. Sob. So I have to collect both my drinking water (which I have to do anyway, pump or no pump) and my cleaning/washing/bathroom/shower water from various taps around the campus. Sob x 1000. I arrived back to this after a revoltingly hot 24 hours (my last night in Dhaka and 9 hour non AC bus trip) on Thursday. I’m just about holding it together, but I’m not sure how much longer I can last. It’s fucking hot, and until you don’t have water coming out of your taps you don’t really realise how IMPORTANT it is to almost everything you do. My respect and admiration for the local women I see carrying metal jugs of water around has exponentially increased. It is hard, hard work. But what can I do, complain to the other people here that also don’t have water coming out of their taps? Like everything, it comes down to cash. Cold hard cash. Which is something this organisation doesn’t have a lot of.

And I know I really shouldn’t complain. There are people out there for whom this would be a life of positive luxury. So I vacillate¬†between feeling sorry for myself and feeling even worse for people who have less. A lot less. Walk a mile in another man’s shoes and all that.

Anyway, so yesterday was a good day, looong but good. We had the Bangladeshi feminist author Selina Hossain here at Moanoghar, along with some other authors (whose names I can’t remember now, must deal with my ‘remembering of people’s names’ issue soon). There were discussions with the children here at Moanoghar, lunch, a boat trip on the Kapai Lake, a visit to a local indigenous politician, visit to a cultural society and dinner with rice wine. All with NO shower in between. Shew. I wasn’t a pretty sight by the time I got home last night.

Schoolgirls in Chakma dress ready to welcome the guests

Schoolgirls in Chakma dress ready to welcome the guests

Group photo with guests (they're in there somewhere)

Group photo with guests(they’re in there somewhere)

P.S. I expect the water (or lack there of) situation to not last toooo much longer.



  Amanda wrote @

Perhaps there is a karmic learning in this somewhere. ? “When you are patient enough and wait until the problem makes some sense to you, you can appreciate your being here and your position, whatever it is”. Reading some Zen stuff for my course. Can you tell ?

I guess on the upside, you have food. No water and no food usually go hand in hand ….

  estellevisagie wrote @

Yes, I like that. Some sort of karmic view of things is potentially the best way forward. I’ll give that a go tomorrow. Tonight I’m eating coconut biscuits and condensed milk to alleviate the pain.

  Amanda wrote @

I like it. Other than Budhism, a pig out seems a most sensible way to gain perspective.

  It’s not as bad as it looks « Tales from Bangladesh wrote @

[…] Photo taken post shower, hence the water pretty much everywhere (still loving not having to be water-wise, so splash around like a baby elephant). Just noticed empty loo roll on floor. The light is […]

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