Yes, it’s a different city: back to Cox’s Bazar for this one :-).
And so we come to the final entry with photos I took on the beaches of Cox’s Bazar town while I was living and working there between October and early February. In this entry are other photos I’d taken on my frequent walks during the weeks of my “Longest Beach” commitment. There’s natural beauty, there’s human trash, there are the enormous early-morning crowds on Friday, and there are many fond memories. Now that we’ve celebrated my mother’s amazing life at an event yesterday, I’m coming back to wrap up my own memories of Bangaldesh and remind myself that while I and my family and friends have been grieving, the rest of the world has gone on with its business, including shells washing up on the shores of the Bay of Bengal, and crowds laughing and joking and playing soccer on Friday mornings. Though now it’s no longer peak season, the crowds won’t be as large. Enjoy. Thanks.
So between late October and early February I lived in the city of Cox’s Bazar, and posted mostly lots of photos from my lovely walks along the beach, which is the most distinguishing feature of Cox’s Bazar district. Which is probably the tourism capital of Bangladesh, although the Sundarbans may give it a run for its money. In this post, one of the last to feature photos from BD (at least for the moment), I’m posting photos mostly taken in and around the town of Cox’s, plus a few from Ukhiya and even a couple from the mega-camp. In general I took very few photos while in the camp b/c I figure enough people have already wandered through with cameras rolling, and I was mostly focusing on interactions with my colleagues and the community we were working with. Hope you enjoy these!
So back on January 26 as part of my daily ode to the lovely beach at Cox’s Bazar, I posted some photos of this dead sand crab and this dead jellyfish. Bandwidth then and there was insufficient to give you these videos, which make the jellyfish look almost alive and show the flies already at work on the sand crab. Ah, the circle of life… 🙂
Look closely in the photo with boats in the background: see all those red dots? People used to deciduous trees whose leaves turn red and fall to the ground each autumn many instinctively think: fallen leaves! But no: these are sand crabs, bright red and with protruberant eyes which I’ve never yet succeeded in photographing. I’d need a far better telescopic lens than comes with the pocket digi-cam I carry with me on these beach walks. They evade large moving objects rapidly, by disappearing down holes which dot the beach, like the one you see above to, right. Top left, and below: we think this guy was sick and lost: he was still able to scuttle, but slower than usual, and seemed to have become separated from his burrow. I suspect he ended up like one of these other ex-crabs I’m showing you above. As the Lion King’s song says: Circle of Life, eh?
After a 46-hour saga involving five different airports in three different countries, plus an airport shuttle bus at this end and a very welcome pickup by a dear friend at the park-and-ride on this end, I did manage to spend the night in my own bed last night, and awoke to a 36-degree (fahrenheit; about 2-degrees celsius) cloudy morning here. I’ve ascertain that the second, auxiliary, stage of my apartment heating seems to have either gone on the blink or decided go on strike for under-use these past months (or perhaps someone visiting tweaked the wrong button and set it to cool instead of heat, which my manual tells me would do bad things to that unit if the temperature is below 60…)…so that thus far I’ve been able to get the apartment warmer than 60. Ah the joys of homecoming in winter after many months away :-). Be that as it may: one can dream lof long sandy beaches and warmer sun, but still be glad to have access to one’s own teapot, eh? I’ll post another one or two of these from the photos already prepped, tomorrow and this week, the at some point do a bigger post with all the photos remaining unsorted from my three months in Bangladesh, from which chapter I’ve now moved on. Peace.
So I had a few more photos ready, and as I sit waiting for the fourth and last flight in this 44-hour travel sequence from the longest beach to…well, home…I’m pulling them together to help me stay awake until I’m on board.
So I guess I missed a day again yesterday. Sorry. I’m having to depart a bit more rapidly than planned, due to some family health situations back home. Yesterday I was trying to tidy things up and I think I didn’t manage to post anything. I’ve taken a bunch more photos as one part of my sad farewell to this lovely beach and busy part of the world where I’ve worked with so many remarkable colleagues, partners and interlocutors…and I’m sure I’ll be popping them up on here either from airports on my long trip home, or from there once I arrive. Thanks for reading and keeping up with me. Peace 🙂
I do not know what makes the small clusters of sand-balls that you see here. They are tiny and they must get swept away with each tide…and then rebuilt quickly by some kind of mini-crab and burrowing sand-pooping tiny animal that works very hard. The foam-scum is fairly self-evident, to those who know tidal zones and beaches. The thing that cuts diagonally across the top part of the photo, below the tree line, is the channel of a sort of tidal river that cuts along the beach in this area, usually with a little water trickling toward the ocean at low tide, and a great deal more water in it at high tide. Interesting things appear along the shores of this tidal inlet, sometimes more interesting than along the main shoreline…
I can’t say that I *know* this, but my instinct strongly tells me that the pine trees planted along much of the coastline in Cox’s Bazar district are the result of a program to resist coastal erosion. They do not seem at all haphazard, but instead regularly spaced in the manner of trees I’ve seen on tree farms around the world. On a recent beach walk I chatted with a colleague, who at first said he didn’t much like the trees – after all they’re not the most beautiful of trees and they do shield the beach view from a distance. I pointed out what I thought it meant about mature, evidence-based government policy to use what is likely a well-chosen type of tree (I’m betting these trees tolerate sandy, salty and windy growing conditions quite well) used as a bulwark against rising seas in a nation that’s really quite at risk. One could compare that favorably to the mature, evidence-based policy-development skills of certain other nations or national leaders, could one not? 🙂
My daily posts of photos were interrupted by internet connectivity problems. Since I have a firm ambition to post once per day, I may make up the three lost days by posting a few extras over the coming few days, if I can manage. Thanks SO much to my loyal readers and commentators – special recognition to Steve & Diane in particular :-).