Sixth diary entry for the Disability Awareness Documentary Project in Bangladesh

History is made every day. I am writing Saturday’s diary on Saturday. I might even write Sunday’s today too!

I think we (well Elspeth and Minu to be more accurate) have cracked the next great problem, which is to ‘capture’ the interview with Munni on the computer. They spent a fair bit of the morning on it and seem to have succeeded, including sound. It’s a miracle to me. It will take a while for Minu to capture it all but once she has, it’s up to Joyti and me to transcribe it.

While Elspeth was working with Minu I was working with Riaz, Sabiha and Ruma. They were still using the big camera but were effectively using it to create ‘stills’ (which happen to move slightly). The task was to select one place for the tripod and from that one spot find six good, interesting, even beautiful shots. I gave them each a cardboard viewfinder through which they were encouraged to look afresh at the world. It was even possible to find quite abstract pictures in this way. I got quite excited about it and did a bit of jumping up and down and from the way they eventually started using their cardboard viewfinders I think they ‘got it’. And the proof of the pudding being in the eating – the work they produced by late morning was lovely. I shall miss the four of them when I go. They are a merry crew. They never grumble and their lives are far from easy.

Lunch time. Lunch is an oasis in the day. We go ever to the guest house where most of the other volunteers live – physios, O.T.s, nurses office support staff – and take off our ‘ornas’ and relax over the rice and curry that Mary cooks. The conversation can go anywhere, but its always easy and pleasant and they are such a very nice crowd. They have invited us for supper tomorrow evening – a sort of farewell- ‘Posh frocks and black ties’!! Elspeth is very tired. I hope she will feel up to it. It won’t be late. My transport to the airport is coming at 4.30a.m. the next morning.

How excited Alex and Susannah must be feeling. I’m sorry we don’t overlap at all.

After lunch Joyti and I started transcribing the Munni interview. Once we got into the swing of it, it went quite well until, sadly, we realised we had done as much as Minu had managed to capture. That will be the hold-up tomorrow, but at least I am now convinced it can be done……or rather that Joyti and I, or Joyti and Susannah will be able to do it. I do hope we can do a bit more tomorrow. There will still be plenty left for Susannah to ‘cut her teeth on’.

I have counted my presents to take home – twenty-nine, but all very little so I shall be travelling underweight, since I bought out a laptop and various other things for the project. But that’s fine. It will make travelling easier.

It’s a very early start tomorrow. I hope no-one is up. I am reminded of the lines from a poem- “then steal away. Give little warning. Say not goodnight but in some brighter clime bid me good morning”. ( It doesn’t quite fit since I am not dying.)

Goodbye Ahad, goodbye Minu and Muni, Riaz and Sabiha, goodbye Rafad and Jafor. Thank you all for your patience and good humour at all times and for your kindness. Goodbye.

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