Thursday, November 29, 2007

On my first day with the children I tried to visit Razu at his old centre, only to find he was not there. Luckily the staff were able to direct me to his new centre. There at another NGO for street children, Inceden, I found many of my old favourite kids, including Razu.

Later that day Razu told me that he had TB. He is getting treatment (He is 3 months into his 6 month DOTs program). It was such a shock, I was hoping that I had misunderstood our conversation, my Bengali being rusty and all. On my next visit I asked the staff who said his health was fine, but yesterday his TB status was confirmed by a friend of Razu's. I think Razu is anxious as Polly (one of the other 6 kids in the visible project) died from TB just over a year ago. Hopefully this is making him compliant with taking his tablets. As if he misses a single day he must start the treatment from scratch, and is more likely to build resistance.

Loevly is still working at the same beauty parlour as when I left and is doing well. She works everyday - only gets one day off a month. She receives free accomodation and meals and gets paid about $30 per month. This is pretty good by Bangladesh standards. It would be even better if her estranged mother didn't turn up at the parlour every month and demand that she hand over 2/3 of her salary. Poor Lovely is left with less than $10 a month for spending money.

Yesterday Razu, Lovely and I had a lovely outing to Dhanmondi, went to a cafe, saw some photo exhibitions, met up with their old photography teacher from the visible project and went to a night festival to raise money for the recent cyclone.

Visible Eyes
Through the kind donations of friends, I am arranging for 150 of the street children at my old NGO to get their eyes tested. If a child has poor vision they are less likely to participate in education and especially for the working children of the NGO are then more likely to be susceptible to injury. We will be testing the children's eyes and treating any eye diseases and providing glasses for all children that need them.
Back In Bangers
I have been back for a week. I have managed to break all sorts of records from losing my new sim card the day I arrived to getting gastro on my 4th day here- no more lassi's for me.

The kids have all been amazing. They were all so excited to see me. It has been hard trying to see them all as they are more dispersed than ever around different centres. I am meeting new kids all the time who want the same attention as the ones I have known for so long. There has n't been as much time to play games and do all the fun stuff I was hoping.

I saw my little kids from the head office the other day and that was very special. They are all growing up so fast.