Dispatches From Dhaka

Hi, all. On this page, I will be posting photos, videos, and observations about Bangladesh that I haven’t posted on my Facebook newsfeed.

I hope to begin cleaning this up, updating it, and adding commentary as time and circumstances permit.

For all my friends who aren’t on Facebook.

Posted 7 July 2017

Monday we left for Naria in Shariatpur District to visit our hospital there.

It’s roughly a 54 mile trip from City Complex to Naria via Uber, Ferry, and tulk-tuk.

I needed to see what our the status of our facility—Duwell Medical Center— was. It’s an empty four-story building that will soon be a full-fledged medical facility.

A row of ferries waiting to be boarded

Having made this trip previously, I decided that the best way (forme, at least) way to get to  to get to Naria in Shariatpur District was by ferry. For one thing, it’s quite comfortable and relaxing, for another it’s inexpensive. Get this: a two-bed stateroom with fan(!) for the 5 hour ride cost 900 taka, or the equivalent $11.09. Add 100 tk ($1.23) baksheesh (similar to what you’d slip the maitre’d in a Vegas showroom) for a preferred cabin, and the cost is ridiculously low for a stress-free riverboat ride.

Folks here use ferries like we in the US would use Greyhound Busses.

On the dock, waiting to cast off.
A row of ferries waiting to be boarded

The smaller boats are for basic commuting, from one side of the river to the other for work or visiting family.

Some of the shore we passed

Although not as overgrown and exotic as other parts of Bangladesh (I’m told) at times I felt a little like Humphrey Bogart in The African Queen.

An uninvited guest (or maybe we were the guests)

The Khan family owns an honest-to-goodness compound in Naria, where Kowsar’s father is the local Elder. The main building is four stories and there are shrines, worship areas, a mosque, gathering places, and a pond, stocked with fish of some sort. I call this photo, Watch Mister Lizard, a name that some of you of a certain age might recognize.

This is the medical center. It needs a tremendous amount of work before it is fully functional, so don’t be surprised if I hit you up for a donation before too long.

More to come . . .

Posted June, 2017

Dhaka traffic fascinates me no end. It’s crazy.

Traffic is crazy in Dhaka, with cars, rickshaws, motorcycles, busses, pedestrians, and CNGs (compressed natural gas vehicles) all competing for the right-of-way. Stop signs and stoplights are non-existent and I’ve elsewhere compared it to a combination of “Mad Max” and “The Hunger Games”.

I’ll have to see about rotating this one so that you don’ have to turn your computer monitor sideways!

Food and open-air cooking is everywhere . . . I mean everywhere in New Market. These are quite tasty, but I prefer shingara, which are like little, round balls (about the size of golf balls) of dough stuffed with seasoned and spiced potato.

This is a pharmacy, a drugstore, in New Market. If I were to describe it, I’d say it’s exactly like a storage unit with shelves and prescription drugs—for which you needn’t have a prescription.

This is traffic viewed from the second story of somewhere or other.

This video is actually being shot from the seat of a rickshaw. This is New Market Street. hundreds, thousands of shops of every kind and description line each side of the street three stories high.

And the people—it’s as if the entire population of the most populous city in the world is simultaneously buying or selling something.

This pond is on the Dhaka University campus. I can look down on it from my bedroom window.