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  • Writer's picturekwankew

Winding Through the camps

Another bright and sunny day and it was actually starting to be a scorcher. Patches of blue sky certainly were not harbinger of rain. So far the rains have not been heavy at all just spurts since I came here but the monsoon is not over yet.

Another busy clinic day, we worked steadily, my translator and I. He is an electrical engineer graduate and as there is no job in his area, he is working as a translator, not sure what the future holds for him. He has been at the job for two months and has learned the ropes. At times he seems to be exasperated with the problems the Rohingya complain about and I understand since their problems are not easily solved. Listening to the same litany of problems could certainly wear someone down. While most volunteers stay for a week, he has to get used to each volunteer weekly and just when he has a good working relationship with each one, it is time for him to go.

We saw many diabetic patients today, most of them under reasonable control and I had been able to supply them with a whole month of medications.

An official came in, looking well-fed claiming he had to check our documents. We all had our passes and he also asked for our passports which I did not carry with me. We obtained our passes after all our documents had been checked including our passport and visa at the refugee commission. His real reason for checking was elusive. He then asked if anyone of us was paid, the only paid persons, our coordinator and the local Bangladesh doctor happened to be away and we were all volunteers paying our own expenses, and taking our own time to come here to volunteer. He also asked if there were any Rohingya working there and we have none. Clinic was interrupted by this man and he then asked the Rohingya a few questions which we did not understand, seemingly flexing his muscles.

At the end of the day, we were able to convince the driver to drive us through part of the army road, passing Kutuplong camp where I volunteered for a few days at the Obat Clinic. The road was not muddy and the camp was bustling. Many commercial enterprises had cropped up along it.

There were still signs of potential areas of flooding and erosions and also work was being done to control them. There were refuges bringing home small fruit trees and many areas where new tree seedlings were planted on bare slopes.

This community is not going away any time soon.

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