Unfortunately the countrywide hartals (road strikes) have been a steady fixture here in Bangladesh over the past month. This makes travel and transport very difficult, which provides many challenges for maintaining a working construction site with all the required materials. Overall we have been pressing forward, with progress only being slightly hampered.
(Boat ride to Cox's on a hartal day)
With the strikes it means we have to occasionally go down to Cox's bazar by boat to pick up people who have flown in. This past week I went down with one of our doctors as a navigator/spotter to pick up his friend who came for a visit. It would be quite a shock for any newcomer as we docked the boat at the fish market, which is just across the street from the airport. The smells and sights there can be very "interesting" on the best of days, but especially on hartals days very few customers, the fish just sit there quickly getting warm, smelly, slimy, attracting flies, etc....
(Docked at the fish market - boat next to us unloading some very large and bloated fish. I did bring my cooler to try to find some good fish, but nothing to tempt me on this day)
(Always a beautiful ride in the evening on the river)
On the construction site we have completed 62 of 109 pile caps along with an additional 30 of 60 basement short columns. Backfill and compaction work is ongoing in the basement area. The contractor is making consistent progress.
(Ongoing site work - East Wing)
(Ongoing site work - West Wing/Basement)