Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Bangladesh Trip 20th Feb 2015, My Dhaka "Born to Bird" Talk – Day 7




Let me know if you are in any photograph and I haven't remembered to name you.





Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Sonadia Island, Bangladesh
Photograph taken by and copyright Baz Scampion







Friday 20th February 2015 was going to be an exciting day. I was giving my "Born to Bird" talk adapted for a Bangladeshi audience and adding more about the Sundarbans oil spill, Spoon-billed Sandpiper projects and getting children interested in nature and wildlife. It was taking place at the up-market Long Beach Suites Hotel, Gulshan, Dhaka in a lovely fully equipped room. There was a trendy cafe in the room next door for the gathering, refreshments and snacks afterwards.




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



First we were up early to visit family and Mum's good friend Lisa, who worked with Mum at her law firm for years. It was great to catch up with them.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's photo exhibition
Photography taken by and copyright Helena Craig


The framed photographs of me around the world were displayed around the room with a programme explaining where each was taken. There was a large banner up behind me with a projector and sound system. 


Farhana Meghami and Nurun Akhtar Simran at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Sanjiv Paul, Douglas Green, Nurur Khan, Faraz Khan and M R Khan at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Paul Thompson and Quazi Ahmed Hussain at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Paul Thompson at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


With people outside the room handing out my cards and programmes, taking details of guests, giving Spoon-billed Sandpiper badges to the children and selling raffle tickets. The main prize was a pair of new binoculars with an Oriental Bird Club cap from the OBC and lots of Spoon-billed Sandpiper cuddly toys and pin badges from WWT. Thank you to both of them for the donations.


Naimul Islam of Cygnus Aerial Photography at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Naimul Islam of Cygnus Aerial Photography at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Douglas Greenm Nurur Khan, Faraz Khan, M R Khan and Faysal Ahmed Peash at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

There was attention to detail for every part of the event, which now looked seamless but had caused Mum a lot of stress.

Quite a few people came from the Bangladesh Bird Club which was brilliant, with so many birders away doing survey work. I showed people my photographs as well before the talk started. There was the camera crew as well as lighting crew, journalists and TV media. In all there were about 50 people there which is great during these times of hortals.


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Bangladesh Bird Club, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Paul Thompson from the Bangladesh Bird Club did a welcome address in English, explaining about the club and welcoming me followed by Quazi Ahmed Hussain from the club speaking in Bangla. They then presented me with the club's Chair's, Enam Ul Haque's new book Feathered Splendored, which is a really beautiful book full of photographs, which I would recommend.


Paul Thompson, Bangladesh Bird Club
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Paul Thompson, Bangladesh Bird Club
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Quazi Ahmed Hussain, Bangladesh Bird Club
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Quazi Ahmed Hussain, Bangladesh Bird Club
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Quazi Ahmed Hussain, Bangladesh Bird Club
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


I then did my talk, which went really well but I had to get used to the cultural differences. First of all, I had to get used to people not laughing out loud throughout. A few people laughed but the rest, I thought they either didn't understand the jokes or didn't think they were funny. Apparently though, most didn't laugh out loud because they think it's rude and distracting for the speaker. I can do my talks without really looking at my flash cards now, so I don’t really find it stressful. Also, the hotel staff chatted during the talk and had to be asked to stop talking, which apparently is quite typical in Bangladesh!


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Naimul Islam of Cygnus Aerial Photography at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talking about her 3000th bird, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talking about seeing half of all hummingbirds, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig




Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig talking about Spoon-billed Sandpiper, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


After my talk, there was time for some photographs with everyone from the Bangladesh Bird Club, journalists and media and those attending and for people to look at the photograph exhibition, if they didn't get a chance to look earlier.



Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Ashish Saikat, Managing Editor The Daily Ittefaq 
and Josim Ahmed film-make and businessman
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Rifat Sultana, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Afterwards, we moved into the cafe for tea and coffee and lots of snacks. I'm so fussy though, I had 4 chocolate cakes! We got to talk to people and it was especially good to chat to people we had been in contact with on the internet following the Sundarbans oil spill. 


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Ashraful and Sahela Hossain, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Ashraful and Sahela Hossain at Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with attendees, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Faysal Ahmad Peash, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Refreshments after Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig's talk, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


We then picked the raffle and it was great that the girl who won was a birder but didn't have her own binoculars so that felt really great.  People seemed pleased with their prizes, so that was really worth doing.  We didn't raise that much from the raffle, but we still handed it over to the Bangladesh Bird Club.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Humayra Mahmud, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig hand out an OBC cap, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Josim Ahmed and Saniar Rahman Rahul, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig with Josim Ahmed, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


There was concern raised about large numbers of Bangladeshi bird photographers trying to see the Spoon-billed Sandpiper and disturbing them. Mum talked about other projects around the world where birders visit rare birds and keep them safe. She suggested the islands were made reserves and only people who had paid a fee could visit and only then with a local guide, who would stop any disturbance. Boatmen who took people without permission could be heavily spot fined as a deterrent to taking unauthorised people. 


Helena Craig with Quazi Ahmed Hussain with other Bangladesh Bird Club Members
Photograph taken by and copyright Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig

We also talked about the idea of bringing a bird tour to Bangladesh and the benefit for birds and conservation at Sonadia Island as well as The Sundarbans, Sylhet and Tanguar Haor.

It was a really interesting discussion and I really hope that Bangladesh can take the next steps in bird conservation using Eco-tourism to help fund it.


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig


Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig, Gulshan, Dhaka
Photograph taken by and copyright Helena Craig

We then went to the cameraman's office to see how the filming had turned out watch some of the editing. There was concern about the small amount of footage from Sonadia Island, but agreed that we just had to work with what we had. The first stage of the editing would be done in time for us to take it home with us.

After dinner at the best burger joint in Dhaka, AW Burger, where you can actually get veggie burgers we got back to our hotel for another late night but an amazing day.


About the writer



Young Birder Birdgirl Mya-Rose Craig on Scilly
Photograph taken by and copyright Chris Craig



Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, conservationist, writer and speaker. She is based near Bristol and writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. She was the youngest person to see 3,000 birds in 2013 and she hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, in 2015. Please like her Birdgirl Facebook Page and follow her on Birdgirl Twitter


















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