Friday, December 7th, 2007

Sidr / Onward (pictures)

Filed under: Notes from Bangladesh — alison @ 12:17

These are the pictures Patrick took on the tour into the countryside he mentioned in the last letter I posted here.

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Dear Family and Friends,

A few pictures from a quick trip through some of the Sidr-affected areas. Not much to say. None of these are untypical. If you see a picture of a damaged school, multiply this by thousands. Houses flattened — multiply by tens of thousands. The boat in the forest was a considerable distance from the sea. There were clothes high in the trees, illustrating why some people survived by hanging on in the tops of trees. Whole business strips destroyed, washed into ponds and canals. I enjoyed seeing the man taking tea and waiting for normalcy to return to the bits of his home he had managed to retrieve to build a perimeter to live in. Beli’s sister and family have been patching their house back together. They will be able to make major repairs using some contributions we brought from family. There is a picture of Beli in the gate of an ancient and beautiful mosque — built in a day, according to legend. A mammoth tree fell across a wall of the mosque, but no damage at all to the mosque itself.

Good and bad developments. The good: The school-based teacher development strategy I have been proposing and promoting has taken hold with the bureaucracy and we are moving ahead with implementation. The bad: They want to do it right away and I more or less have to be involved, meaning that the two-month winter holiday I have been looking forward to has been reduced to one month.

The ‘cold’ season is kicking in with fresh vegetables being hawked on every street and market. It’s a good season for eating. Beli has started two hours a day with a tutor and is reading everything in sight. People are starting to think about their new clothes for the upcoming Eid and life is feeling festive. Even as two former prime ministers are in jail and at least a third of the last parliament is either in jail or facing prosecution.


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