The latest news with Bangladesh is as baffling as it is worrying.
Is it a first in political history for a party leader to be forced by the Government to take part in elections? Well, Bangladesh’s lovable ex-dictator, Ershad, has had just this happen to him. His Jatiyo party were to pull out of the forthcoming elections under protest that the Government refuse to allow an impartial caretaker government take over to ensure fair elections. He was arrested and held in hospital until it was too late to pull out and is now to be shipped off to Malaysia to keep him quiet until the elections are over. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Read about it all here.
More worryingly is how the Shahbhag movement which has been so praiseworthy in many ways over this last year, has now attempted to attack the Pakistan High Commission resulting in clashes with the police. I don’t agree with all that Shahbhag is about but I have been impressed that this was a youth movement which made demands peaceably without resorting to the lies and corruption that seem to be the norm at the moment. The Pakistan Government may have made statements concerning Molla’s execution which are inflammatory and foolish, perhaps, but to march upon and attempt (according to some) to enter the High Commission demeans the group in my opinion.
So, the same old same old as the Opposition party continues calling 72-hour hartals and oborods, blockading roads and making life a misery and, it seems, every organisation wanting to have its own piece of the action.
But for us, we’re too busy at LAMB to worry about such things! Yesterday was filled, from morning til night, with goodbyes and parties. I can’t help but feel the holiday spirit is affecting normally very serious professional folk!
The morning began with nasta, snacks, at the Rehab as Wifey, Thing I and Thing II gave out gifts to all the staff and speeches were given by several about the encouragement Wifey has given over the years. They carried on into lunch though I had to duck out to go to my own final leaving do.
Leaving the camera with Wifey, I went for lunch with the LAMB school staff and then we headed to the school itself to say goodbye to me and two other teachers leaving this year. With no kids around, the teachers are able to ‘let their hair down’ and – to be honest – behave a little like children! It was good to see.
We played a game where the Head was made ‘captain of the ship’ and all the rest of us were given ranks. Our aim was to move up the ranks and oust the captain, taking his place if possible. In the end the Head ousted himself by accident and our Head of Upper school became the boss. Was our Head upset by this mutiny? No, he seemed positively happy for someone else to take over the responsibility! Alas, only for the duration of the game.
Soon after this party ended, the LAMB Staff Christmas Service began back at the marquee which used for the last few days for numerous things.
It was, quite honestly, hilarious! Normally sane and serious staff danced, sang and acted to the delight and amusement of all. Towards the end, there was literally dancing in the aisles as everyone joined in. Someone made a grab for me and chased me around Wifey (I jest not) until they caught me and dragged me up to dance too. I made sure my good wife came too (and no – I’m not putting pictures up of me dancing).
After all that nonsense, it was nice to end the day with another lovely meal at yet another Santal friend’s home. Another friend of Wifey’s whose son is also a friend of mine. Great food but Wifey had to promise both Things that the next day there would be no more rice for a day!
My friend used to be a student at LAMB school many years ago and is now their latest teacher. For me it is the beginning of a vision realised: to see LAMB students gradually come back and become the teachers themselves. I don’t know if it will fully come to pass but it’s a great dream to aim for and one that looks achievable, inshallah.