Postcards from the Edge

of Bangladesh

Running out of time

That’s how I feel right now. Like I’m running out of time here in Bangladesh. After months of frustration, heat and (let’s admit it) bouts of mild depression about being here, I feel like it’s all about to end too soon.

Some of my ‘running out time’ angst is work related. I NEED to start getting stuff completed here. While stuff has been started and is in progress, I don’t feel that I can put a nice big tick against anything. It’s all kind of half way done. It’s not how I like to leave things, so now I’m getting pretty pushy at work. Completion is binary, as my old Accenture boss used to say…

And the rest of my ‘running out of time’ angst is photography related. During the cry-myself-to-sleep-at-night heat of summer, I made many little promises to myself about how many photos I would be taking when (if) the weather ever cooled down. Now that it’s winter and loooovely and cool, I need to get out there. While I have taken loads of photos in and around Moanoghar lately, I need to get out into the markets as there are some awesome sights that definitely deserve to be captured. I’ll be so disappointed with myself if I don’t capture everything I want to capture. I do get the feeling that this disappointment is inevitable though, as I’m never entirely satisfied with my photos, and always feel I could have done better, and taken more. But you know, one must try.

So this is why I am writing this at 6am (bear in mind I usually roll out of bed at 8am, I’ve allowed myself to become that forking lazy these cold winter mornings) while waiting for water to boil for my morning bucket shower. I’m heading into the early morning Saturday market to take some photos. People come into Rangamati from remote areas to sell their produce on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and I really want to take some pics of it in winter with everyone all wrapped up, snug and warm. In an effort to get more serious about this photo taking stuff, I want to start another photoblog, as putting pictures on this here blog always looks shite because of the layout. Thinking of doing a 365 project – you know posting a photo a day. Something that’ll stop me from saying ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’. And, arse of all arses, I’m fast running out of space on my laptop. So I need to go through the arduous and highly boring task of editing my photos down to ones I actually want to keep (what I really need is an external hard drive, in keeping with my laziness. All financial contributions to enable purchase welcome…). There is a lot of crap on here that needs to be deleted.

See what I mean, so much to do!

Updated to add: I did it! Yayness. Except in my ‘running out of time’ morning angst I poured boiling water on my right foot. But  the market was great (how do they all get there so early?). The light was a little flat, and I caused a bit too much of a spectacle and attracted too much of a following for my liking, but if I do this often enough I’ll quickly become old news. Yesterday’s bread.



  clive wrote @

I know EXACTLY how you feel! My time is coming to a close here and there’s still much to finish and much I didn’t start. I have no idea who my successor will be and whether it will all go to waste. I suspect many vols feel the same – but knowing THAT doesn’t really help!
Now I’ve got to turn the pump on to fill the tank so that I’ve got water to boil. I’ve been waiting so that the pump’s noise doesn’t wake the neighbours’ kids!

  estellevisagie wrote @

Ja, it’s something weighing my mind big time at the moment. But we have to accept that work-wise we can only do so much. Not easy though. I’m very lucky to have lined up an already in-country volunteer to replace me. Which is great news, because like you say the big work-worry is that everything silently dies when we leave, making all our efforts for nought in the long run. Another perk of having a replacement is that it is forcing me to really try get stuff done. I can imagine many ‘but just what did Estelle do for a year’ type questions during his future placement. Eeek.

Now tell me Clive, who are you and where are you? Are you also a VSO volunteer, and maybe based in India if my Feedjit feed is right? One thing neither of us will miss is water related issues…

  clive wrote @

Yep, I’m in India, teaching Computing at a school for the poorest for the last 15 months. I’m independent, originally from UK. I plan to continue in Sri Lanka in April, so the water and electricity issues will remain!

I’ve enjoyed reading your postings, Estelle, but I guess they’ll stop when you return to SA. Pity!

BTW, you might like consider adding to your blogroll.

Looking forward to the next instalment and the photos! C

  estellevisagie wrote @

Good shout re VSO journals, have added it to blog roll. Well, postings might continue… maybe as PostCards from the Edge of ‘somewhere else’. We’ll see. Wow, independent. Very adventurous!

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