As predicted I got sick again so I’m glad to be working for an organisation that has a lot of doctors and a good supply of drugs!
Today I left the village, the frog in the office, the yawning dead-heat dogs, the gecko under the bed, and the sand flies that hate me. I also left the little team who, in just a few days, had got to feel a lot like friends.
I will rather miss them.
I’ll miss the way they ‘eeeeh’ed in sympathy at my grill-eyed wax-white face (it looked as if I was becoming one of those damned dummies) and the way they pretended not to notice when I sat in meetings dripping wet since there was no other way I could bear to wear so many clothes and burn inside.
I’ll miss the kindness of witches’ brew get-well concoctions made with mystery ingredients.
I’ll miss their generosity in sharing their treasures – the crumbly Gouda brought from home we handled like gold dust, the crunch crisp of home baked bread, pasta that tasted almost like it ought to and the street food they knew would be good without knowing what it was.
I’ll miss sharing their stories of the ones they love who are a long way away, even though I have no love to long for and kind of wish I did…
I’ll even miss the screams of mutual terror, flailing arms, fighting, only stopped up by laughter, when we walked into each other in the blacked-out dark and nearly died of the fright.
There has been much to fall in love with so I have plenty to pour out my heart for.
I’ll miss the red orb of the midnight moon, the light flickering on tea shop
faces TV-clustered, and the lonely loveliness of a lost firefly going it alone.
There was so much beauty there, the air seemed heavy with it, the fields growing greener steeped it. By contrast, the road back to Dhaka was a test of dusty bone-jolt endurance but I was determined to be well enough to travel and I just about was.
It was wacky-race style chicken game. Wheezing trucks, sporting paintings of swiss cottages and plumes of black smoke, dodging buses which brayed non-stop on their horns as if the noise could add propulsion. Lorries wore ornamental crowns for no apparent reason and the coaches were garlanded with passengers hanging like colourful ornaments from racks on rooves. The traffic policemen looked a bit depressed.
After a while I forgot to flinch and wince and stare. Nights without sleep and a shot of weakness helped me to the serenity to stay smiling.
I drifted, dozed, wandered back from a dream and opened my eyes to see an elephant strolling smugly down the highway; slowing the traffic and dismissing the angry honks with a waggle of its ears, as if to say, “frankly, I don’t give a damn”.
That’s the spirit. Take it in your stride. Go at your own pace.