Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Life That is Peace Corps

The four month point is rapidly approaching, and I have read way too many books. I never really considered myself a "reader", but alas, it has become a spectacular way to pass the time here in Barisal, Bangladesh. In fact, I have also started to write down quotes that I enjoy from these books. That is how busy I have been. My FIRST class oficially starts on January 4, 2006....and until then, I am interviewing 18-35 year old males (hopefully some girls too!) for my class and posting the list. Yes, you are correct...this will take about 2 hours max. Looks like some serious journal writing, reading, and of course, cyber cafe action!
I am trying to improve my Bangla language skills, but it is a slow process. I have picked up a few words here and there, but i cannot carry on a convo to save my life. The problem is....most of the kiddos I am dealing with speak English and want to keep speaking English. Eeps.
I love this country like I love Prince William, but the slow-as-snot lifestyle just aint coo with this girl. Oh, and nobody really believes I am an English teacher. They say I look 15.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Barisal and Really Lengthy Weddings

Yes, I have been at "site" for almost two weeks now, and although I do not have much to show for it, I have met some crazy people/seen some crazy sights. Let's just start with my arrival and instantly being thrown into what turned out to be..a 7-day Muslim Wedding Extravaganza. From the delivering of the goat/enormous fish to the Bou(bride) and her family in the village to the spreading of the holud(yellow paste) on the groom's head, this one will definitely go down in the history books. Although I was "dragged" around by a family that did indeed resemble a school of fish(they were SO nice though), I met some incredible neighbors(Nadia and Shorab)and ended up passing the time with a 23 yr old Deshi who is currently studying in Australia and yes, has the accent. Aside from his gentle soul and his ability to spit out phrases like "no worries" and "have another go?", this Hasif has been added to my list of memorable characters. On the job-front: Dana has done nothing. Aside from use the internet facilities and take tea with the co-workers, not much is happening. I have learned to be patient with the extremely slow pace in which things occur here in the Desh, and am KNOWING that everything will fall into place at the right time. But fun times are coming: Kuakata for Thanksgiving(possibly), Chittagong and Cox's with the host fam in December, and The Sundarbans(yes, there are Bengal Tigers) with the co-workers sometime next year. Oh, and the host family is great! Arna and Dip are working their way into my heart, while patience with the parents has led to some awesome chats/moments. Overall, Bangladesh is a dream.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

And....We Are Official

October 30, 2005.
I wake up to the lovely sound of my PeaceCorps cell phone at about 7am and find my dad on the other line. Good start to a pretty great day. After a 10am tour of the PeaceCorps office and getting completely lost in the big city, it was time. Time to attempt to put on a SARI. With the help of some awesome Bangladeshi women, my hotel roomie Rose and I were ready in our beautiful SARIs...and I couldn't walk. But alas, we boarded the bus and headed towards the United States Embassy for the official Swearing-In Ceremony. The ceremony was perfect. Short and to the point. After speeches by the Director of USAID, the United States Ambassador, and our Country Director, we were taking the PC Oath and feeling.....exactly the same. I am sure it will sink in very soon..the whole TWO years thing...and boy, am I ready.