A few months ago, Chris’ mom brought us 3 huge, faded photo albums full of pictures from when Chris was a toddler growing up in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She asked us to scan them all for her and now, with only about a week and a half left with our scanner, I’ve finally stopped procrastinating and spent nearly every spare minute of the last week scanning all of the pictures in the albums-over 500 photographs in total.
It’s been slow-going at times, but it’s been so, so worth. It’s so much fun to get a glimpse of what the foreign service life was like in the 1970’s, what Dhaka was like in the 1970’s and of course how stinking cute my husband was as a toddler.
I always assume that Will basically looks nothing like Chris or I, but that’s not really true. Looking at all of Chris’ baby pictures I’ve realized that, while they may not have all of the same features, Will and Chris share so many of the same postures and smiles and facial expressions. It’s so sweet to see the resemblance.
It’s also fun to see the photos of birthday parties and Fourth of July picnics and make-shift Thanksgiving celebrations with friends instead of family-typical foreign service stuff, but in a time before the conveniences of Amazon and Skype and the internet. I’ve been told stories of getting ten minutes per week to call home on a long-distance line at the commissary, telegrams delivered to let one know all of their belongings were accidentally sold off with a storage warehouse, and a time when it took 3 full days to reach Bangladesh because none of the jets of the time could carry enough fuel to make that long of a trip from Europe. Chris’ mother had to boil his toys every morning in order to keep them clean. Water purifiers and distillers were still unheard-of luxuries, there were no “import stores” to be found anywhere. Being the “duty officer” entailed not simply carrying a cell phone and a binder for a few days, it meant sleeping every night of your duty on a tiny cot next to a telephone in a closet at the Embassy. Life for us in the foreign service these days seems so easy in comparison!
Chris’ parents loved their time in Bangladesh and met life-long friends there. It’s fun to look at the photos and realize that I know some of these people in real life now, 30-some years later!
I don’t really have any other posts lined up right now, what with all of the scanning and the impending-move-nonsense going on, so I thought instead I’d share a few of the photos I’ve come across: