Bangladesh Blog: June 2012

It's not all fun and games...but sometimes it is.

May 28, 2012 - Fortunately, Bangladesh has not been ALL work!  Ryan and I have been unable to go out into the field for the past few days, so we have had the opportunity to get to know some of the locals. The children are so sweet! On Thursday, I taught a group of small boys how to play a handful of American games--such as Down by the Bank, Red Rover, and Red Light Green Light.  Even though we are unable to speak the same language, having fun and playing games is universal! 

Environmental Sustainability: A Public Initiative

Even as a kid I was appalled that someone would throw their trash on the ground! Why would they do that? There was at least one garbage can in every shop and on every street corner, often next to a recycle bin. As long as a person dedicated literally one minute to properly disposing their garbage, the streets stayed clean and the people were happy. The inability to throw trash on the ground has stuck with me to this day.

PEP in Action: Sherpur, Bogra

May 26, 2012 - Ryan and I have been on our first field visit in Sherpur (a region north of Dhaka) for the past five days.  Rural Bangladesh is so much more tolerable than Dhaka!  The people are much friendlier, the area is by far more gorgeous, and the amount of people is considerably less overwhelming.

Preparations

My preparation for Bangladesh, both mental and physical, failed in most accounts.

I have traveled a relatively large amount of time over my College years and I was confident with my abilities to prepare for a trip. While I had never been to a non-Western or underdeveloped nation, I still assumed that my previous experiences would help me.

Welcome to Bangladesh!

From the moment Ryan and I stepped off of the plane in Dhaka, the sharp contrasts between the U.S.

A Brief Introduction

Bangladesh is a small country--comparable in size to the state of Iowa--nestled between the countries of India and Myanmar.  From the time the country gained independence from Pakistan in 1971, Bangladesh has struggled to develop amidst obstacles such as widespread governmental corruption, extremely high levels of poverty, and the highest population density in the world.  Currently, only 46% of the population is literate--a term evaluated by the ability of the individual to write his or her own name.  In addition, water availability is scarce, infrastructure is weak, and job creation is low