Back and Beginnings

And I’m back in Bangladesh!

It wasn’t easy getting here, either. I’m typically pretty sassy about the America-Bangladesh trip. “Ah, yes, it is a very long flight indeed, ahaha, but I’ve done it so many times at this point you know, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore, ahahaha.” But this time the whole thing hurt in my throat, and some of the goodbyes I had to do are still itching.

But I’m back. My nephew is crawling all over the floor. I’m perpetually sweaty and thirsty. Yes, I most definitely would like some ranna cha (literally, “cooked tea,” that is, tea that’s particularly strong because the leaves are boiled with the water, standard procedure over here) and thank you, Sylhet, for knowing how to make a proper storm.  I’m covered in mosquito bites and am eating an amra (a cross between an olive and a lemon, maybe?) while I’m writing this.

And, finally, for those of you who are reading because you want to know how the hotline’s coming along and have been continuously disappointed because I keep talking about myself, I will finally have updates, because I’m finally back. I met everyone I’ll be working with today, and actually being here, and talking to them, makes everything tangible in a way it hasn’t been yet. We’re doing this. It’s actually going to happen. They’re great. Enthusiastic, excited, ready to go. It’s actually really wonderful, because I’m the piece that knows how to be on the phone, but they’re the pieces that know everything else. Publicity, techy stuff, logistics, how things work. It is sweet to have a team.

I only just met them for a little while today. Handshakes, faces on the names, phone numbers, bouncing around initial thoughts and tentative timelines. But in a few days I’ll be back in Dhaka and we’ll really get into it. I’m thrilled, and terrified. Bangla sits just a little funny on my tongue since it’s been awhile. I’ve spent the last several months only with people who I’m very close to, but there’s no space for introversion anymore. I can’t avoid talking anymore, just because I want to. But it’s all a good kind of uneasy. A necessary kind, probably.

AND. I think. I think we might have a name. (Thank you, Himika Apu!) Not bad for our very first meeting, huh. I’ll wait for us to finalize the name before I throw it on here, but it’s good, it’s feeling real good.

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