Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Postponed

I was up until 1am this morning finishing my workshop sheets and getting everything ready for the activities etc. Sheez, wasn’t expecting to pull late nighers here in Bangers, but that’s what intermittent electricity will do to your well laid plans.

My bedroom looks like a Standard 3 (Grade 5?) project has exploded in here. Except maybe Standard 3’s now do projects on their laptops and email their work to their teachers? Who knows, I’m so out of touch. I have visions that the whole world out there is making extreme and supreme  use of technology and it’s just me using paper, scissors, masking tape and rulers. Obviously I know that isn’t the case, but it makes me feel like I’m being a real soldier out here. But hey, I’m lucky at least I have paper, scissors etc. Many don’t.

Anyway, turnout for the session was poor to dismal. I kinda expected this. I had arranged and reminded my ED about this session for weeks, but he took yesterday afternoon to invite people/request their attendance on their 1 day off in a week. Also, this weekend is Moanoghar’s temple’s festival (don’t really understand what festival is about, but there is much cleaning, painting and preparation for tomorrow’s activities). So planning a session the day before a yearly Buddhist festival is ill advised. The kind of information that would have been useful BEFORE I scheduled the session. But all is not lost, between the attendees that did turn up, we decided on the final attendees for the session that has now been arranged for 6 November. I’m happy to postpone, as doing it with too few, and not the right mix, of attendees is an exercise in futility. Also, through this little planning disaster, my ED has learnt the importance of planning, and how things can go oh-so-horribly-wrong when things aren’t planned correctly/in advance. And I should spend more time being more specific about the aims and objectives of a given workshop so that there is a common understanding of what/who is required. So some lessons in there for all of us.

So instead of said session, this afternoon I’ll be walking up the highest hill/peak here in Rangamati. I’ve been told the name, but there is something about Chakma words that makes them start escaping out of my brain the minute I hear them. The usual discussion was had on whether or not I’d be ‘allowed’ to do this walk without the usually required police guards, but since it’s a festival day (for the temple on the top of this hill) there will be loads of people doing this same walk. And I’m going with a monk, which, in past experience at least, as resulted in me getting away with some things that I usually wouldn’t on my own. Buddha Datta just waves away talk of permission and police, and nothing appears to stop this monk.

Given my current fitness level/spate of ill health, the walk/climb could be embarrassing. No idea how high it is, or how long the walk itself is (current estimates range from one to 3 hours). It hasn’t rained for a while, so expecting less Estelle Slippage than previous walks. Well, of course now that I’ve just said that….

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