Monday, July 24, 2006

River Dance

They say its not what you know but who you know. This is definitely true of Bangladesh. My flatmates and I just happen to know “Uncle Ritch” who partly owns a few river boats in Dhaka. On the weekend we were fortunate enough to cruise the Balu River which was a great way to escape the hussle and bussle and honks of Dhaka. Along the way we met several boats carrying elated Bangladeshi males who were also enjoying the river with friends and family. They would sing, dance, wave hello and do flips in the water. We even managed to spot some Bangladeshi females!

One of the many boats we passed with dancing and waving men!
Rare sighting on the river: women!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Village Escape and Hindu Wedding Mania

If kindness ever killed I would have died several deaths on my recent weekend away. My colleague Surjoy invited me to a Hindu wedding in his hindu home town outside Dhaka. It was an arranged marriage between a 21 year old female and a 29 year old male. They had only met once. The ceremony lasted 2-3 days. Music filled the air morning and night. Food flowed freely for over 1000 people. Hundreds of marigolds decorated the brides family courtyard. I was able to experience life in a Bangladeshi rural home for 4 days . I was one of the family. I was fed 5 times a day. I was even tucked into bed each night by Surjoy’s aunty. They were all sad to see me go and one of the neighbours even cried when I left. I think Bangladesh wins the most hospitable prize. I was sad to leave too but… Abar Mirzapur asbo!! I will come again Mirzapur !!

The bride being carried to the ceremony.
The wedding spectators.
Wedding 1 day two: The groom leads his bride around the marigolds 7 times and places red on her scalp in the part of her hair.
Standing outside the gate that welcomed the groom into the brides village.
Henna decoration by my bangla sister Nilu
Wedding number 2 while I was in town.
My two Bangladeshi aunties.
Rustic Family home and grandma.
Family water pump and courtyard.

My colleague Surjoy and his mates who showed me around town!
One of the many temples in this hindu village.
Visit to the local school

Sunday, July 09, 2006

This blog entry isn’t about my sex life (or lack of). It’s a book review and no, it’s not a porn. I have just finished reading Emergency Sex by Cain, Postlewait and Thomson. It’s the biography/recount of 3 twenty something’s who sign up to work in war torn areas with the UN. The intertwined diary like entries give a historical yet personal account of working in a war zone mixed with all the much needed drama that makes you eager to turn the next page. Follow the pages and their stories through Cambodia, Haiti, Somalia, Kenya and Bosnia. The book is an insight into the role (or lack of) of the US and the UN in world peacekeeping. It’s also an insight into the hierarchy of lives during war. It made me laugh and cry, so I give it four stars!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

A hard day at work!

It’s tough being a community officer. It requires going to the people. I needed to find Lovely who just so happens to work in a Beauty Parlour. She lives at one of the drop in centres. While we were asking her and her employer some questions I was distracted with getting my toe nails coloured, a facial and despite my reservations a blow dry and hair do. I did manage to educate them on what ‘boofy’ hair looks like after the blow dry. You just can’t tame curly hair in this country.