I’m currently based in Bangladesh as part of a team of community workers. Follow me over on Instagram (@madisonbeachphotos) and this blog to keep updated with the ups and downs of living in such a beautiful yet challenging country..
We have been living in Bangladesh for well over a month now and complacency has begun to creep in. We all feel really safe in the town we are based in and we always see familiar faces on our day trips around the local villages.
Eating with our hands no longer feels odd and I actually look forward to eating rice everyday. Same with wearing a scarf, it’s now second nature to grab a scarf and my water bottle on the way out my room.
But last week we realised we have to stop taking things for granted. One morning, before heading off to lead workshops, my roommate fainted in the bathroom. Luckily she managed to unlock the door as she was fainting. We later found out it was due to a lack of iron in her blood the effects of an infected insect bite. She is now on a cycle of antibiotics and recovering with lots of rest. It was a stark reminder our bodies aren’t used to the carb-heavy diet and insect bites can cause serious complications.
A few times a week we visit our local market to buy fruit, fizzy drinks and snacks that slightly resemble the ones we’re used to back home. Another team member was over the moon to bag herself the last bottle of Sprite being kept in the shops fridge. But her joy was short lived when she opened the bottle back at home and didn’t hear a fizz. She was sold plain, still water that had been poured into the Sprite bottle. And just to rub salt into the wound the local water here makes us sick so she can’t even drink it.
One of our favourite hobbies is shopping around the market for fabric, designing new outfits and then taking them to our onsite tailor. But this week everything got so lost in translation that I have ended up with a brown-leafed patterned top, with a pocket, buttons and a collar that I didn’t ask for. The outcome is so bad that the baggy top I intended to wear around the compound and relax in is now too embarrassing to even wear as a pyjama top.
But as with all things in Bangladesh there is always something positive around the corner; I have now received two really nice dresses from the tailor and my roommate recovered enough to join us at a workshop-the best one we’ve ever done. And this week is due to be a great one including a visit to the Indian border.