Thursday, September 28, 2006

Another cute Indian town, although rather touristy. Famous for its sandalwood and handmade incense and its beautiful palaces. I could have spent hours in the market smelling oils, flowers, fruits etc. Handy hint: Don't carry a pen next to your passport. You never know when the pen will decide to leak. Luckily I was able to get back to Bangladesh.

No leftovers in Bangalore.......
No time for writing but the food was fantastic. My friends Shalini and Nikolai were wonderful as was their resturant/bar. I even ran into one of our old volunteers rajeev from UNSW, again such a small world. More to write later.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Oh Calcutta!
My flatmate Elise and I endured a 14 hour bus ride to move 360km from Dhaka to Calcutta, India.
The border crossing was an experience to remember especially at 6am with no sleep. But when we finally reached Calcutta we were enchanted by the city and it's old fashioned taxis, it's beer on tap, excellent restaurants, fantanstic fresh fruit juices and of course the shopping!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Acid Survivors Ball

The Acid Survivors Foundation held their annual fundraiser ball this weekend. Above is a picture of my flat-mates and I at the ball. Bangladesh has the highest world-wide incidence of acid violence. Acid throwing is an extreme form of violence where the majority of throwers are men and the majority of victim-survivors women. Women are attacked for a number of reasons: refusal of marriage, refusal to develop a relationship or rejection of sexual advances, dowry-related issues and intra-family disputes over land. The women, children and men who are attacked need help with costly operations and rehabilitation.

Majeda was 20 yrs old when she was attacked with acid. Her neighbour Hanif proposed to marry her, but Majeda and her family refused his proposal. She was later married to another man. She returned to visit her parents while she was pregnant. Hanif threw acid on her. Her face was badly affected. Her eyes were almost destroyed. After the event her husband left her and remarried. Through private donors ASF arranged for her to go to London for treatment and paid for her rehabilitation costs.

If you would like to read more about this issue you can go to the Acid Survivors Foundation website: http://www.acidsurvivors.org/ . The website contains some graphic photos of the victims burns, so beware.