Thursday 24th March – Day 9
We told our Bangladeshi team that we would have the day off today to rest. They were relieved too. It’s been stressful on them also, looking after us and communicating difficult messages to parents who fervently look to us for hope in curing their disabled child.
We sleep in till lunchtime, the our host family come in, and stay all day. We go with Linda and Preeanca to a tailor who will make up shulwar and kamiz for us to wear in Bangladesh. We have been given these as gifts. Colleen and I are so grateful.
On our walk back to the house, we pass the local hospital. It is old and dilapidated. Yasin tells us it’s dirty and dusty inside and not to get sick, as we would get sicker if we stayed there. Upon arrival at the house, there is a line-up of patients waiting for us to treat them. We are hurried inside and the security gate locked for our safety. The patients are told to come to the clinic tomorrow. It’s scary that they have found out where we’re staying and sought is out. There is no escape from them.
We have an easy night with our host family feeding us lots and talking, talking, talking. Tomorrow is our last work day and we mentally prepare ourselves for it.
Friday, 25th March – Day 10
Our last working day starts with a dull pollution-filled sky, as usual. We have breakfast with our host family. They make us roti and haluwar (sweet semolina pudding) and dhal. We forego our second breakfast at the clinic in order to start work straight away.
We have a big team today. Friends we have made since we’ve come ask to join us and be our translators for the day. Papon, a young cricketer, keen on becoming an international player, and his friend, Rajon, quickly slide onto the translating role after a quick tutorial and write-up from Colleen about what to say to the parents. Micheal, Colleen and I all have patients come to us. Yasin, Eb’Ha and her friend, Bringa help with translation too. We work very quickly through them.
After a relaxed lunch, Zuna, Tuhin and Sakib come to help translate. Rajon, Eb’Ha and Bringa all leave as they have other commitments. The amount of clients slows down too.
The children coming through today all have similar ailments to those of the previous days. We offer supplements and protein powder to those children who can swallow and their bodies need nourishment.
Colleen holds little Jalal, a 2 year old boy, tenderly in her arms and spoon feeds him water as he was severely dehydrated, but could offer no other long-term treatment for him.
Abubukar, is a 21 year old disabled man that is married with a child. This is actually quite rare as the wife looks after him and the child. If it had been a disabled woman marrying a man, she would not be cared for by the husband. We offered him the same treatment as everyone else, including massage, which his wife was happy to perform on him to help her husband, as she obviously has great love for him. Her mother and sister wanted photos with us.
Sunar, a 12 month old girl, had an operation to close the gap left by the fontanelle which had not closed soon after birth. She wore brass bracelets to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Our host family and clinic team, and friends we’ve made along the way are all amazing people, who have offered to help us with the children because they care so passionately for their people. And some of them are very poor themselves. We are so grateful to have them as part of the Oasis Foundation team. Runa, Zuna and Lena come from an influential family. Many of them work in local and state government positions. We have been extremely blessed to have their hospitality and assured safety while here in Bangladesh.
Linda and Preeanca have cared for our everyday needs at the house, cooking us meals at odd hours, cleaning and giving us loads of love and hugs. And Tuhin popping in for chats and helping us to understand the Bangladeshi culture.
Yasin and his sister, Eb’Ha have worked with us everyday with the clients, translating and giving comforting messages to desperate parents about their children. Their mother has done most of the cooking for all of the clinic team during the day, making sure that Micheal and Colleen were well looked after with vegan meals, and Eleni received her moorghi (fried chicken) everyday. Much love to her.
We will miss them all. We will continue to have talks with them about continuing the patients care over the next 12 months. As well as supplying Yasin with much needed supplements and medicines for the patients. We are grateful for any donations we receive.