Reflections on Bhola

'm bending a self-imposed rule this month and writing more than a couple of paragraphs... stringent self-editing has fallen by the wayside in trying to report everything that happened last month in Bangladesh!We arrived in Bhola early on the morning of the 9th April.  At this stage, it’s a homecoming for me as I’ve been to Bangladesh a dozen times; Simon at 3-and-a half is on his second visit, and for Allan, a fundraiser and supporter, also from Scotland, it was his first time in SE Asia. After the thrill of a ride in our new auto-rickshaw, the children, armed with Bangla flags and bright flowers, were on hand to greet us – a wonderful, warm welcome for all three of us, but clearly Simon was the one they were waiting for… He had a fantastic time playing with the ‘big boys’ and was using sign language in no time; it took...
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Bhola, Bangladesh - April 2014

If a picture speaks a thousand words, then let the pictures speak!The long-awaited trip back to Bangladesh seems to have come and gone in the blink of an eye: Dhaka, Bhola, Srimangal... here are just a handful of the very many highlights...Hot off the plane(s) in Dhaka, and Ali secures us our rickshaw chariot Arriving in Bhola by overnight launch ï»¿The new tractor-trailer - carrying 32 of us altogether 38 degrees but work to build the new road goes onShopping...Cooking - but mainline gas has arrived! Picnic breakfast for Bangla New YearAllan leads the exercises...Sunset on BholaAllan took the photos, Simon fitted in as if he'd never been away, and Bhola's children, staff Ali were as fabulous as only they can be.  More about what we did and how the home and school are progressing next time.Thanks to everyone who's supporting us (and anyone who has any exciting fundraising ideas - please let me know!)Anne x 
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Spooks, Secrets and Suspects: A Play

As tutor of this highly talented, committed and hugely fun group, I can safely recommend that anyone in Edinburgh and free for an hour on Thursday will enjoy this.  Of course, the writing is good, but we're famed for our refreshments too... 
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CurryFest at the Saltyard - All Welcome!

If a blog isn't a perfect place for shameless advertising, then where is?There is a wonderful café on Dalry Road, Edinburgh, called The Saltyard.  The rumours might be true about Simon and I spending quite a lot of time there... but I promise you, so would anyone who lives a hop, skip and jump away.  I've certainly been there enough to get talking about Bangladesh and the lovely staff - without coercion, persuasion or hints, honest - suggested Saltyard host a fundraiser for Bhola's Children.Tickets are now available for this excellent evening, and everyone is welcome!  Details follow... It would be lovely to see anyone who is local enough to drop in on Friday evening.AN EVENING IN AID OF BHOLA'S CHILDREN 'A feast of curry for your senses' Saltyard Café158 Dalry Road Friday 7th March18.00-20.30 Curry SupperTable QuizBangla Music & Photographs Tickets £4.50; £1.50 (children); £10.00 (family)The lucky prize winners will receive a copy of A Blonde Bengali...
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Bangladesh At Home

 NEW YEAR'S DAY 2014  So, 1st January 2014 didn't quite see us winging our way from Glasgow to Dubai to Dhaka but it certainly didn't mean our hearts and thoughts weren't there.  The four of us - Jacqui, Allan, Simon and myself all regrouped in a certain flat in Edinburgh and created our own little world of Bangladesh for the day.  Dressed in our best salwar kameezes and serving (if not cooking, that honour goes to Lazeez, the best take-away in the city!) our version of a Bangladeshi picnic on the sitting room floor, we raised a toast and made our plans for a visit in April.   The travel blockades throughout Bangladesh, the main reason we deferred the trip, ran from December through to the 13th January.  This would have left us two days to get to and from Bhola (down in the Bay of Bengal and an overnight boat trip away) in two...
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