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Independence day

Written by Antje on March 30th 2014 21:23

This week we celebrated the 43rd anniversary of the independence of Bangladesh. Actually we celebrate independence twice every year. The 26th of March is the day when Bangladesh itself became independent of Pakistan. After that there was a bloody war which ended on 16th December, on that day we celebrate victory day. The day begins with children’s games. This year at 11 am everyone in the whole country sang at the same time the national anthem. This was an attempt at breaking the record for the Guinness Book of Records. I must confess I don’t really know if the record was actually broken or not.

In the afternoon there was a cultural program arranged for the children, with singing and dancing. It’s quite noticeable how much people are very taken up with the bloody side of the independence war. Even in the dances this violent side is portrayed again and again. On the other hand it’s nice to see how much energy people put into the cultural education of their children. 

Dancers with flag-costume
Dancers. The costumes have the national flag design round their middle.
 
Dancing
 
Waiting dancers
Waiting for their turn.
 
Last week we have been trying to cope with the change from nice warm weather to very hot weather. It’s up to 30 degrees in my living room. The humidity is not too high, and so as long as I don’t move about too fast, I can cope fine. In the evening and at night it cools off a bit, which is pleasant. On the other hand it’s only going to get warmer in the next two months, and in particular, more humid. As a kind of comfort we can already see little mangos in the trees. The reward for getting down to work here in the hottest season of the year. 

As far as my work goes, things are pretty much back to normal. In total my predecessor operated on 27 children with cleft lip and/or cleft palate and so far the results are good. The last two weeks it got suddenly more busy and my operating list was full but not too full. Last week I saw two patients who I’d operated on last year for different types of cancer, which in both patients has recurred. Not completely unexpected since we can’t offer the normal follow-up treatment of chemo- or radiotherapy, but nevertheless very disappointing. Another situation which made me ask myself whether what I’d done had been good enough. In both cases I finally came to the conclusion that my surgery was good, and that there are just limits to what care I can really provide. 

Last week was the annual general meeting of our church. A gathering about what went well, about what was not so good, and what can be improved. Lunch was included. One of the good things about eating with your hand is that you don’t need any cutlery so it’s so much easier to eat with your plate on your lap… 

Eating women
 
Serving food
 
Eating children
 
Eating men