Bangladesh Day 5 :: Walking in water

So I’ve not managed to keep up with my wonderful plan of posting every day on a trip.  The actual work has overtaken my best intentions, and any down time has been with people, which is always more important than putting something here.

However, there’s a lot of stories about this trip – it’s ended up being really positive – lots of great images and experiences, some fantastic people doing very creative and powerful things.

Here’s a  little taster – I started writing this earlier in the week, but it’s our last night in Dhaka, and I fly home tomorrow, so I really should be packing, but I’ll just finish this then get done before an early start tomorrow.

At the beginning of the week we flew all the way down to the south of the country (about 50 minutes flying time, or 16 hours by road or ferry), visiting HEED (a large national NGO) projects that have benefited from MAF’s flying support, particularly after the November 2007 SIDR cyclone.

We visited a couple of cyclone shelters in the South which is something I’ve wanted to do since I first heard about them at Tearfund years ago, and the one we saw today was a combined school/cyclone shelter. Basically a big concrete block of a building with really firm foundations, which is used as a school 99% of the time, then holds hundreds of people in safety during the cyclones that sweep through Southern Bangladesh most years.

Everything seemed pretty quiet, so we merrily arrived and were shown into the classrooms where the pupils were in the middle of their year end exams… They hardly even looked up. We very quietly took some pictures and left…

The town Kuakata where we were staying is famous in Bangladesh because from virtually the same spot you can see sun rise and the sun set, due to its position on a point of land. We’d already had a great day of weather coming out of Dhaka – our pilot Chad said it never gets any clearer – and then had the most amazing sunset too – again regularly lost in cloud.

We’d come all that way, so I had to walk into the Bay of Bengal…

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A little damp

It was a great sunset – I hardly ever do ‘straight’ sunset shots, as it can be rather cheesy, but this was great fun – there were a lot of other people around on the beach, but no other overseas visitors we could see – very special.

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Can he sign for the Toon?

And maybe when I get home, I’ll tell the story of how a Nikon Speedlight saved a boatload of lost souls from a night on the river…

Normal service may be resumed next week. Or maybe not. Hopefully.