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Published: November 26th 2010
Sorry all for the lack of blogging over the past week or so. I was waiting and waiting until i had anything interesting to say...then i was ill, after that my modem died. If there's one thing i've learnt, its that in Bangladesh, me and technology do not mix!!
So i shall start from the last blog! We arrived back from Srimangal to Chittagong as a ghost town. As it was Eid-ul-Azha on Wednesday 16th, huge numbers of people were travelling out of the big cities and back to their ancestral homes in villages across the country. Those that stayed had in store for us one of the weirdest scenes i have ever seen. This Eid was all about sacrifice and slaughter, families bought cows and goats and marched them along the streets. On the morning of Eid, i awoke to a cacophony of disconcerting noises as animals were slaughtered! Families would then take the meat, and cook a huge meal. I was lucky enough to be invited to the home of a teacher to share in their Eid meal - it was huge and full of such wonderful foods that i couldn't help gorging myself on it all! It
Inside a Bengali Church
Shaky, because i didn't want people to know i was taking a photo...
was fantastic and so wonderful to be welcomed in and share in such an important religious festival.
The next few days were insanely boring. A national holiday was in place, there was no school until the 20th, and almost nowhere was open! It was a few days spent lounging around, watching DVDs, with the only entertainment out of the house being an occasional trip for a coffee. I was willing school to return. Unfortunately, i was struck down once again with a bout of pretty serious stomach problems so the last two days of the holiday were spent running back and forth from the toilet and generally feeling horrible!!
Luckily school started again on the 21st, and i could not have been happier to return! Finally, a chance to get doing something during the day. Its been a really good week, the teaching has gone well - i've had discussions about poverty (not only am i helping the kids with their English conversation, but hopefully instilling a sense of humanity and compassion in them) and a lesson with Class 5 telling me reasons why the do and don't like school!!
This week has really been the week
of ADF. It is all hotting up nicely, and rehearsals (as usual) have consumed my free time! The Upper School performance is on Saturday, so we have been rehearsing every day after school this week trying to bring it up to scratch. Its going OK, the students are very lazy and unwilling to work, but over the week it has improved dramatically and should be a good show. It is four sketches and dances based on festivals in Venice, Mexico, India and China so has some very colourful costumes and dances! This piece also finds my lighting debut, with possibly the oldest lighting desk and rig i have ever seen. It should be fun...The ADF i am directing, for the Middle School, is going from strength to strength. Luckily, my students are much more willing to work hard, and i think they may even be enjoying it. My performance is next Thursday so we have a few more rehearsals ahead of us, polishing the dances and acting. I have such a wonderful time with the children, we all get on so well, and i think i will miss it greatly when it is over.
As mentioned, my modem decided to break on me on Tuesday! I have no idea why, but it simply stopped working. So, after a couple of days, school managed to buy me a fancy new one. I took it home last night to try it, but lo and behold that isn't working properly. The SIM card i have for it simply is not working. So i decided to try for myself to find out the problem. I took it, along with my laptop, to a shop to have it fixed. There i waited 30 minutes to be served, and an hour and half of testing for the man to tell me the SIM card needs replacing - but that he couldn't replace it because it wasn't registered in my name!! Luckily, i am able to use the card from my mobile in the device so, whilst it is relatively expensive, i at least am able to have some internet until Sunday when school will sort it out (i hope)!!
And finally, today, in order to get myself out of the house, i decided to go on an adventure. During my tour of Chittagong i had seen a Church that i really wanted to go into. So, i found myself a willing rickshaw-wallah and was on my way - with only Lonely Planet to direct me! We managed to find the place, and i walked inside. It was an incredible sight, seeing the mixture of Christian and Islamic architecture. Chittagong was colonised by the Portuguese in the 1500s, hence the Catholic church, and the area it was in is an area that is still populated by Christians and people descended from the colonialists. Look closely at the graves and you will see such names as Diez!! I found a very lovely Nun who showed me around the inside and outside of the church, it was lovely to see some culture. I wanted to go and see an apparently impressive Mosque afterwards, but the rickshaw-wallah seemed incapable of finding the place. After a long time, we ended up back at my home, so instead of continuing, i decided to give up my adventures for the day and come inside.
As said, tomorrow is the performance of the Upper School ADF. Julia, one of the American girls, is bringing some of her students that want to set up a drama club along with her. I am confident that it will all come together in the end, and i am really looking forward to seeing some Bengali dance and drama too.
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