Elastic Basket for my Peaches

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bangladesh is Pretty Nuts

I have arrived safely in Bangladesh. Matt told me the country was random and crazy and he was right.

It became real to me that we were actually going when they started serving the meal on the plane from Thailand to Bangladesh. It was a choice of chicken or lamb with curry and unidentifiable vegetables. We were also separated on the plane so I was only sitting with one of my students instead of the whole group as we had been.

We got to Dhaka and it was quite different than Thailand. Thailand is much more like America than Bangladesh is. I have been presently surprised by the amount of English writing on signs around town. It makes things easier. All the educated high society people seem to speak English, which is nice.

The place we are staying is very nice- a lot nicer than where I lived in Maui. We even have a tv. We had been quoting lines from Kindergarten Cop for the last two weeks and I was aching to see it. Today it came on tv. So sweet! I think it was no coincidence. The Lord knew I needed to hear the lines, "I don't want to be a policeman, I want to be a princess!" Priceless.

We have been here only a day and a half so we are just getting acclimated to our surroundings. We had to get clothes right away. We wear these things called- Sala Kameez. It is a long shirt/dress thing with matching pants. The most important part is a scarf that covers your boobs, called an ulna. Despite being fully covered, without an ulna, you are pretty much topless. It takes so getting used to for sure.

The culture here is very different and all of us are suffering from varying degrees of homesickness and culture shock. I am doing okay right now but I can forsee getting sad sometimes during the two and a half months. I did get to see Lindsay Lieser, one of my favorite students from the last team Matt took to Bangladesh. She is pretty much my hero as she has committed to being here in Bangladesh for a year.

It is so nice that Matt has already been here. It makes stuff so much easier. He makes sure the drivers of the mini-taxis and rickshaws don't rip us off. It is pretty obvious that they, along with the beggars, see dollar signs when they look at our white skin. People stare at us quite a bit. It really doesn't bother me too much but it is really getting to some of the students.

The traffic here is the craziest I have ever seen. We thought Thailand was bad but it was nothing. THe sides of all the buses are all banged up from being hit so much. There are lanes but no one seems to care. I pray a lot as we travel.

Overall, Bangladesh is weird but good. We meet with our contact tomorrow to discuss the overall outreach more. That should be good for all of us.

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