When we heard that the beach was only 8 km away, we decided to go on Wed. morning with Nozrul along. We went by CNG and once on our way I realized that we had forgotten our bag: (diapers, water, and camera!) It was a wet morning, everything was super green and lush, reminding us of Khulna. The road was more pit-hole than road, so the 8 km took ages. The closer we got, the more water there was. Fields gave way to water. Houses were islands. The road was literally two feet above the water. It looked like a hurricane had just struck – that’s how bedraggled everything was. There were only a few two-story concrete buildings, one being the mosque. I saw no wells, no private cars, and very few women. Just tin/bamboo shacks and mud houses sinking into the water. Of course Nozrul didn’t see the situation like I did — “They catch lots of shrimp here” he said. Everywhere there were nets and bamboo contraptions to catch the shrimp as the water gushed from one level to another. The road in one place was a pile of bricks and concrete with a rushing stream gushing over it’s pipe. So we got out and walked, or like hopped.

Then we understood the situation. There was a man-made ridge made of boulders that stood between the beach and the village. The ridge and some trees were the only protection for the village, which was at sea level. The ridge was big enough for a foot path and a few shacks. The men who were fixing fish nets or playing caram stopped to stare at us when we passed. There were no other tourists. A few blackened boats leaned against the boulders. The boats liked like Spanish ships in Jacob’s understanding – probably due to the Portuguese influence in the area. The beach was quiet except for the wind, and the only other people on the beach was a woman with her child, the wind whipping her black burkha around her. The tide was rising and the wind was throwing spray and rain into Maia’s face. We had been warned of a coming storm and realized that if the storm did come, we would be stranded.

“Now I understand why people told us to come early before the storm!” Jacob said.

“The water would only go down six to seven hours after the rain stopped.” Said Nozrul matter of factly. Elias dipped his toes in the water, chased a sea gull, and then we left.

We hadn’t had our CNG wait for us as we had expected a bigger village with more transport options, so we ended up walking a kilometer. Some girls passed us on their way to school holding their wooden umbrellas and books in on hand, and with the other, tugging their dresses and head coverings down as the wind blew. I wondered how those girls managed to look so clean and ironed in such mud and rain. We stopped at an abandoned construction site for me to nurse. Three young teenage boys stopped (very unapologetically) to stare. Three fisherman passed us with their lungis tied tight like shorts, running beside the vangari which was loaded up with nets and baskets of lota fish. In the next village we found a CNG and mango juice for Elias. The store owner begged us to stay and visit and I am sure the gathering crowd wished us to stay too! But enough adventures today!

The pictures below are from Jacob’s students who went to the beach when the weather was better.