22.09.2008 – 19.30 GMT (21.30 local time)
Often I miss the moment. this time I won’t. Elspeth and I are about to take off from Kuwait airport on the last leg of our trip to Dhaka. It is warm and stuffy with soft dance music playing. The whole plane is slightly agitated with the talking shifting, breathing coughing, adjusting of many many men, migrant workers on their way home after how many months (or even years) in one of the Middle Eastern states. And they come now with money for marriages, houses, school fees, medical bills and who knows what else?
They are unpreposing, short, dark, stocky with coloured shirts and shiny dark trousers and so kind and considerate. My allocated seat was in the middle of a row of four friends, but they all changed around to give me the isle seat and later gave us chocolate.
So here we are. Dhaka! It is early morning and hot but not too hot. We are met by Ahad who will prove to be a very significant and helpful person in the success of anything we do here. Customs, porters, money exchange, navigated to bring us to the CRP vehicle.
The road along the way showes signs of development – a few tall buildings, the huge chimneys of brick kilns. But most of it was as ever, people, traffic, roadside stalls, teashops goats children, ponds and acres of watersince the monsoon is not quite over. Now we have arrived. I have a beautiful light room in Valerie’s flat. I can’t keep my eyes open and sleep on and off all morning. Later we wandered around the campus and watched the short films which Minu and the film group have made.
They are colourful and interesting especially one about the treatment of children with hair lip and cleft palate. They are very proud and delighted with what they have done but technically, Elspeth says, they have a little way to go. Well, that’s why we are here.
Vegetable chops for supper over in the guest house with Sandra and Ester (OT’s).
24.09.2008 Day 2 Evening
It is 7.30 and feels like midnight – inky dark outside with tiny spots of light from candles and torches. Afew people still walk around the Centre arm in arm and a couples sit on the benches looking over the pond. The generator roars out it terrible din. The teashop is a little pool of light where a few people sit and drink coffee.
The library is still open and is extraordinarily and comfortingly ‘British’. They have the Evening Star so I can look up TV programmes which will enable us to watch in order to understand better what Bangladesh’s T.V. watching audience want. We hope that this film will be used by Bangladesh TV to pread the idea of handicapped people being a valuable part of the work force if access to work sites are improved and attitudes to disability change The T.V. is very disappointing generally but a power cut saved us.
And now I am taking my sore throat,cough and sore neck and head to bed. An early start tomorrow