Blogs from Dhaka, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Asia

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Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka February 24th 2014

Let me start off with a quick lesson on Bangladesh. There are six seasons in Bangladesh (summer, monsoon, autumn, late autumn, winter and spring), and the best times of the year are winter and spring. When we came in January, it was winter and the temperature was about 20-25 degrees during the day and 15-20 degrees at night – though the nights for some reason felt much colder. The winter season is when Bangladesh is most nice. It’s when people can enjoy the sun without dying of a heatstroke and wear clothes that don’t become drenched in sweat within minutes. Winter is therefore also the season when most Bangladeshis get married, hence the nickname the wedding season. I must admit, I found the mornings and evenings to be a little too chilly compared to my expectations ... read more
Colorful shelves
Showing off a sari
Tailor giving orders

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka February 23rd 2014

I guess there are going to be a few updates on the blog the next couple of days since I’m home sick today after an allergic reaction to some kind of insect. My legs and thighs are very itchy, very irritated, and I have a hard time concentrating on anything but “don’t scratch!” But I’ll see if I can manage to compose some kind of text on the past week’s activities, not an easy task considering the amount of things we’ve experienced! A quick note to add in this post is the picture at the bottom, which shows how Denmark has managed to sneak into my daily life even if I’m halfway across the world. There is also a picture of my legs from yesterday when I thought they were really bad, which was nothing, it ... read more
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Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka February 14th 2014

So much is going on down here; it is hard to find the time to write it all down. But this time, I wanted to give you all an idea of what “our” area looks like. Keep in mind, Gulshan is a fancy area, host to expats and rich Bangladeshis that want to mingle with the upper crust. Knowing that, Gulshan doesn’t strike me as a place of abundance (beggars roam the bigger streets and many of the houses look shabby), but I guess it will once I’ve been to Old Dhaka where the slums are. Last weekend when the boys were on their bike ride and Rikke was occupied with work, I went on a walk. It was really nice to just go for a walk with no specific destination or goal in mind – ... read more
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Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka February 7th 2014

Our first "real" weekend after a "real" week of work, and a really long one at that – I think we were all in the need of a few days outside of the office. The thing is, the sun goes down about an hour after we get off work, which means Rikke and I have to race against time to make it to the rooftop to soak up some sun before it sets. And even half an hour of overtime at the office is enough to steal away the only sunshine of the day. We were therefore excited to have two full days of sun and relaxation. On Friday (which is the equivalent of Saturday), the boys went on a bike ride with a local guy from the office. I say ‘guy’ but it turns out ... read more
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Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka February 3rd 2014

It’s been a busy first week in Dhaka! It’s dark outside and I’m half sitting, half lying on the couch with a blanket around my lower body and the laptop in my lap to keep warm. It might be 27 degrees outside but the apartment is as cold as a fall night in Denmark. Unfortunately, there were only three duvets in the apartment when we moved in (and a fridge that was fully stocked with expired food), so I have slept with two blankets and still felt like a Popsicle all night. The apartment could get a chapter on its own; the Internet malfunctioned on the day we moved in, the maid doesn’t seem to have cleaned in the last six months, and small cockroaches make an appearance from time to time in the kitchen. But ... read more
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Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka July 8th 2013

Another adventure in Bangladesh. On Saturday the four students and I went sightseeing. We hired a van for the day and took in the old Hindu Village about two and half hours out of Dhaka. Travel in Dhaka is always longer than you would expect and this day was no different than any other. We were stopped for one hour while construction was being done to a fly over, essentially the same as a clover leaf in Canada. Apparently, the left hand turns has been causing massive traffic delays and the solution is a fly over that allows the vehicles to go around and over the road below and then proceed the way they would have if they could make the left turn. The construction of this major highway is much different than in Canada, there ... read more
All the red brick is hand broken
Alternate modesof transportation
Mosaic tile inlay

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka June 29th 2013

Hello, the monsoon has begun and the rain is amazing. An umbrella makes you feel like you are at least protecting yourself a bit, but the rain comes from every direction and I am wet in no time. Add to this that the most frequent mode of transportation is cycle rickshaw. The rickshaw drives give you a piece of plastic to cover yourself with, however when they hit a pot hole or the car next to them hits a pot hole it is really a waste of time. I went into Old Dhaka with the VCC students, a student from Simon Fraser University and the VSO volunteer. We hired a van and driver from the university to carry the 7 of us around and it was a good thing. The drive from Uttara where we live ... read more
Love nests
Entering Old Dhaka
Balconies

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka June 22nd 2013

I have been on two field trips with the students. Our first trip was to a brac office an area about 2 hours outside the city of Dhaka. The trip took us through many areas were clothing factories are located. Savar is on one of the areas. brac is a very large organization and not only has micro-financing for women, but also banks, schools and is essentially the shadow government for Bangladesh. They have been in Bangladesh since 1972, following Independence from Pakistan. The tour was designed to show us the effect of brac's involvement in the village. The philosophy is simple - train key people in the community to teach about safe water, hygiene and sanitation and they will build up a core group of women who will teach another core group until the entire ... read more
Microfinance allowed these women to buy a cow
creating the stamps for clothing decoration
brac embroidery room

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka June 19th 2013

Hello, I hope that today finds you well. On Saturday all VCC students and me went on a walking tour of the village that is directly beside and behind our apartment. The tour was conducted by a student from Nursing at IUBAT and it took us approximately 2 hours to complete the walk. According to our guide the area is for lower to middle income people. As with everywhere in Dhaka the area is under construction. When asked what would happen if developers came and built in the area and took away their places to live, our guide replied that most families would have to find another place to live - unless they owned the property. The village is home to approximately 25,000 people, but no one is positive how many actually live there. The community ... read more
Betel nut seller
Betel nut
Chilies and tamarind

Asia » Bangladesh » Dhaka » Dhaka June 17th 2013

It takes time to adjust to heat, humidity and smells of Dhaka. The City slows down between 2 AM and 4:30 AM then it is call to prayer. The sounds from my bedroom window begin most mornings at 0700 and are those of industry - primarily construction. The sound of hammer hitting brick and sand being scooped into a bag. There are very conversations heard on the work site outside my window. My "apartment" is a room with two twin beds, one with mosquito netting and a bathroom. There is a common sitting area and a common kitchen. Breakfast is one I prepare, usually a cup of STARBUCKS coffee (yes I brought two pounds with me)and eggs. The mango fruit is wonderful and fresh and there are varieties I have never heard of before. The road ... read more
My Bedroom
The modern bath
Construction that is going on outside my window




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