While the flight was noteworthy for the panic stricken moments of doubt, I have to note that it was also an incredible opportunity to see Bangladesh by air. After reading about its geography and weather, I could have told you that it was a riverine country essentially situated on one gigantic delta that is prone to seasonal flooding. However, I couldn’t have given you much more insight into what that means.
As the plane drew closer to Dhaka, we descended and I was surprised to find that what I assumed were rocky outcroppings along the rivers’ edges were actually villages perched along their curves. The suspected rocks turned into tiny organic clumps of dwellings as the ground came more clearly into view.
In some areas the communities seemed to succumb to the river itself, nearly falling into the water. In other ways, the evidence of the river’s power was somewhat more subtle. An outcropping of houses would be set back a considerable way from the river itself while an eerily flat stretch of land was placed in between. For yet other areas, rivers seemed to have abandoned their courses altogether- forming oxbows that are now a considerable distance from running water. Moments later a broad, mud brown river filled almost the entire width of the airplane window as I peered below.
In the night, the skies opened up and the downpour has continued to form a regular pattern, along with related power outages and lack of running water. I can’t help but wonder what challenges await me as I try fall into the rhythm of life in Bangladesh for the monsoon season.
Posted By Caitlin Burnett
Posted Jun 5th, 2007