Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Winding Down

Well, not surprisingly we were having some serious internet problems over the past couple of weeks. It seems the internet wires in my building were cut. Who would do this you ask? The competitors, of course. And to think of the millions of dollars Verizon and Comcast waste on advertising and promotions, when in fact all you need is a pair of wire cutters!

It has been another full week of learning, both inside and outside the classroom. This past weekend we visited a large well-established NGO called Proshika (Bangla for training). The complex had a sustainable farm with bee keeping, a full dairy, chickens and a fish hatchery. They also had a small fabrics processing center with all facets from spinning and dying thread to the machine and/or hand weaving. Finished fabrics are then block printed or painted in the traditional fashion. The premise of this organization is to bring village people (no, not of “YMCA” fame) from across Bangladesh to be trained in sustainable and economically feasible cottage industries. The highlight for me was the two village schools run by Proshika that we visited.

Today the American Ambassador visited our school, along with two embassy point people, which assist in arranging Fulbright positions. I’ll tell you, 5 weeks ago I would not have thought I would consider returning to this crazy place, but it is the kind of crazy that once you become accustomed, you grow to love. Mastering the language is a large part of that comfort. Speaking of which I got my best grade so far on this week’s test!!! It was only an 85%, but that is gold to me considering the arduous road of speaking Bangla.

One of our students, a recent graduate of Bryn Mawr College, has contracted Dengue Fever. She has been in the hospital for the past 4 days. With that said, this is the nicest hospital I have ever been in and she is in excellent care. She just needs monitoring and lots of rest. Dengue Fever is contracted by an infected, AKA “rabid” mosquito. She has the first case of Dengue in Dhaka this season. That gives her some serious bragging rights!

My language partner has invited me to her home in Mirapur on Thursday. This is a lovely honor to meet her family and get to know more about her life. I will post pictures on the weekend.

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