Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh


Had to drag myself away from Gulshan today to get across town to the VSO office, and then travel on from there to Sarijgonj (a few hours outside of Dhaka). There is a rather large VSO Strategic Focus Group (SFG) for the next two days in Sarijgonj. With over 40 people attending, thrown together from many different partner organisations (there has recently been a rather controversial and haphazard merging of two programme areas), I don’t imagine anything very Strategic or Focus(ed) will be happening. But yes, it is a Group. I’ll give them that. One out of three. And for VSO (Bangladesh), it’s practically a stellar performance. Naughty, shouldn’t be moaning about VSO in a public forum. But my feelings on some issues re VSO aren’t a secret. Hardly. I’ve recently engaged in a very public email bombardment to VSO on just how bad the last SFG was. Apparently I’m not known for my subtlety. In fact, an English volunteer told me on Thursday night that I was the most untactful person he’s ever met. Nice one. Cheeky forking Manc. He’s lucky I even understood what he was saying…

Yesterday I spent the day following Julie’s instructions and maps for cool shopping places in Dhaka. I’ve even got quotes for shipping 2 cubic meters worth of Bangladeshi goodies back to Cape Town. Everything is sooo expensive in CT, I mean I’ll practically be saving money by spending so much here. It all makes sense in my head.

I met some of Julie’s friends on Friday night. It was so nice to meet other people unconnected to VSO. Who seem pretty cool too. And yes, I’ve already had the piss taken out of me about what I wrote on here previously, about wanting to spend time away from the VSO circle-moan. I can’t really tell if I’ve actually offended people or not. But then, I’m the most untactful person in the world, so they should be used to me by now. And FYI – I don’t respond well to/pick up on subtlety. So if I’m offending people, I must be told. I’m unlikely to work it out on my own.

I’m thinking of coming back to Dhaka for Julie’s leaving do in a couple of weeks. It’s a real pity (for me) she’s leaving so soon, as we’ve only just met. Why didn’t I meet the cool Kiwi chick who let’s me stay in her amazing flat in Gulshan sooner? Bad, bad timing. But the leaving party sounds fun. Who knows, maybe I’ve even meet other crazy people who’ll let me live vicariously through them on my trips to Dhaka. I do feel a bit Single White Female, as I’ve practically moved into Julie’s over the last few days (will even stay there alone when she’s away in India later this week), and I plan to buy all of her cool dinner sets, sari bedcovers, rugs, etc. It’s like I’m stealing her life, shopping trip by glorious shopping trip.



  Lorna wrote @

Poor Stella, are those naughty northerners picking on you? Tell them your (plastic) scouser friend will come and sort them out!! And that they have crap football teams!!!


  estellevisagie wrote @

Yes, I’ll set my pet scouser on them! That’ll learn them…

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