Holidays, Sundarbans and catch ups

Well, I’m posting this a little early this week and missing out my usual minipost for midweek because tonight my family and I head off to the Sundarbans for a conference/Holiday. So, I thought I would just give a little post here about what we will be up to and what I will be posting onto the blog over the next few weeks.

There are many different people working at LAMB, Bangladesh. I think the figure goes up to about 600 but I may be wrong. Most are national staff from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds. Equality and equal respect are key terms here and the attempts to make sure this takes place in the workplace at LAMB is what helps (I believe) to make LAMB such a family.

However, those of us who are foreign (Bideshis) are sent by other agencies to work here without drawing a wage from LAMB. We’re able to give our specialist knowledge and help keep costs down by raising our own support. Many of you who read this blog already support my family and I financially for this reason. Twice a year, those who are sent by my agency go on a conference together. The Autumn conference is held at LAMB itself but the spring one is held elsewhere as not all of us work at LAMB but may work for other organisations around the country.

This year, we’re going to the Sundarbans – one of the great natural wonders of the world. The world’s largest remaining Mangrove forest and the sanctuary for the beautiful Royal Bengal Tiger. I will write next week if we actually get to see any of these shy creatures. We’re staying on a boat for the next three days and may even get to swim in the sea waters on the coast. I’m looking forward to visiting this part of Bangladesh having never been before. I’ll let you know how we get on.

At the conference I will be giving a paper I wrote recently as part of my Masters. Thankfully I received the mark for it from my tutor a couple of days ago which was a good one and, he said, the material “contributed to current understanding”. This pleases me because it means I’m not about to talk utter rubbish to my friends and colleagues who are all considerably better qualified and educated than I! I was nervous that I would actually fail the essay and would have to withdraw the paper from the conference!

For the rest of the time, when not in seminars learning things, or meetings discussing business, I will enjoy the opportunity to rest with my family and enjoy this amazing area. There is no internet signal and limited electricity on the boat so we are all going ‘low-tech’. I’ll say sorry now if you send a comment and it gets held in ‘moderation’ for a few days until I return, or if I fail to reply to your comment swiftly. Forgive me.

So, you will have to wait until next week to read my concluding part on women’s fashion in Bangladesh. These miniposts have been as controversial as they have been fascinating as I have read the many comments you have all given and learned from the experience and knowledge of others. Thank you for contributing. I also have several main posts ready to write up – on top of the one I am bound to write when I return from the Sundarbans. Some will, no doubt, be heavy or about serious issues. There are so many of those in Bangladesh and I make no apologies for trying to let the world know about them. Yes, I am trying to convert the world to believe that Bangladesh is a country worth loving and caring about and I see no shame in that!

I will also be writing some lighter posts. Some of you have requested getting more information about me and my Top 10 lists always seem to provoke great reaction (usually in the form of “I can’t believe you like…!”) and there will be more to come. I also promised to write a follow up to my controversial poll about Islam. That will come soon. My biggest challenge though, was a promise to one young friend and ex-student to write a post on Bamboo and its usage in Bangladesh! I must write this at some point – you would not believe how it gets used here unless you live here!

Well if all that doesn’t excite you all, nothing will! I’ll see you after the weekend. Until then, keep reading, keep commenting and liking, keep sharing and re-blogging but most of all – keep enjoying my company. I certainly enjoy yours. 🙂

Alas, I won't be relaxing with Misti who will be busy being with her mum!

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