Two focus group kind of day - with a chance of rain. We arrived at one focus group, when it was almost starting to rain. It was a little bit harder for our translators to understand, but i refer to this as the tongue day. I only remember this day because I stuck out my tongue to the kids, and for the next hour, they stuck it out back at me, and were trying to get me to stick out my tongue for them to take a photo on. A lot of these children were sick, with boils all over them, and I felt so bad for them. It was a more conservative and poor area, the woman sat, the men stood, staring, glaring.
The second group that day was a little bit more interesting. Since we had drove so far to get to the first group and was so tired, we decided to power through and not stop for lunch, because then we would push the day back so late. So we arrived earlier than the focus group, and waited for them to eat their lunch. It was a beautiful village, a nice green walk, a tiny pathway into a forest with squash growing and pink colored ducks (to label who’s ducks were who’s) and a huge house up front. The landlords house. But we weren’t able to find out anything from this group. The women, conservative, covered completely, barely spoke, and awaited instructions from the powerful landlord before giving any info at all. It was clear that they were uneducated and didn’t have any words to say. The landlord had been burned, apparently. Some NGOS installed an irrigation pump and it “didn’t look pretty” and he was wary of what we were doing - he wanted the product to be made in Bangladesh and profits go to Bangladesh.
Travel day from Bhola to Patuakhali, or the day I like to call the day of 6 ferries.
Ferries are the best kind of travel - the road is too bumpy and filled with honking and swerving, but ferries are calm. But the 6 ferries were literally if you put two ferries together you could cross them. The distances weren’t far that we had to travel. But there were hundreds of bridges in this area that were not finished because they lost the funding, and we had to take the ferries. But what more was we had to wait hours and hours because the tide was too high, and there was a pool of water we could not overcome.
The sunset over the water was beautiful, however.
Two focus group kind of day - also known as the Two Coconut day.
There was a NGO presence in this area, they had houses and latrines, women had glasses, they were definitely richer. But these are the people who do not want to buy anything because they feel as if there is another disaster, they will get one for free. But they did give us coconuts to drink!
This group was elder, and mostly men. It was hilarious, because this was the first group to pull out a glass and pour our filtered water and compare it. He spat it out, but said it was the best water he’s had haha. But also, this was a weird group. They had a hand dug well, but a solar panel on their roof - because they want things donated and didn’t want to pay for a well if their neighbors got one for free….
But they, also, gave me a coconut, and then this day was known as the two coconut day.
The rainstorm day. I was so scared from the night before, when they stated they prayed for a cyclone so they could get new homes and latrines. It stormed and stormed and I played banana grams all morning until it stopped, and I ran out there, to talk in the mud. Kids were playing soccer in the mud, and I was rushed under a tin roof, but after the rain, the turbidity is worse in the water, because of agricultural runoff. The filters stopped working and they were very harsh towards us, and we left quickly.
The second group we went to was a very religious hindu group - it was nice, a temple, and the people were so polite, and quiet, and wanted to show us their processions, and understood that this was a prototype and wanted to know when it would be available. One woman said “If my husband doesn’t have the money to buy this, I will write poems and sell them to get this filter.”