Bangladesh Blog: all

"Ladies First" is not a universal rule...but it should be

June 8, 2012 - Forgive me, but I’m going to get on my soapbox for a moment.  The issue I am going to discuss within this blog post is one I hold very close to my heart:  Female inequalities.  Throughout the developing world, women are disproportionately affected by the hardships of poverty.  In general, women tend to suffer from higher rates of malnutrition and illness, have less access to education and employment, and are essentially viewed as being less valuable than their male counterparts.  In addition, women are often prohibited or discouraged from becoming involved in decision-making

Buses, Motorcycles, and Automobiles

On our way to Netrokona, we rode in a bus for nine hours. The bus, which was the size of a greyhound bus and had a 1970s cosmic flannel ceiling and maroon curtains over the windows, was relatively comfortable. After taking two pills of Dramamine, Kendra and I were sedated enough to carelessly look out the window or sleep as our bus passed similarly large buses at around 60 miles per hour, on a two lane road with oncoming traffic.

PEP in Action: Netrakona, Netrakona

June 6, 2012 - After spending a fairly uneventful five days in Dhaka, Ryan and I are finally back out in the field!  This time, our destination lies to the northwest of the capital city.  In fact, this particular upazilla borders the region in India that receives the most rainfall in the world!  As a result, although Netrakona is only about 100 miles away from Sherpur, the area itself tends to have a cooler climate and the vegetation is noticeably more lush and different from anything I have ever seen in Idaho.  However, Sherpur and Netrakona are also quite different from one another in way

A Local's Perspective

May 31, 2012 - (Please note that the following blog directly reflects the personal opinion and knowledge of one man.  Information presented is subject to error, although many of the arguments are extremely valid). 

Today, I cried for the first time since arriving in Bangladesh.

Less than Representative Democracy

Before we left the United States, I had done very little research about the political situation or governmental institutions in Bangladesh. After briefly examining Bangladesh, I understood the poverty situation to be, for the most part, an economic issue involving a lack of resources, low levels of job creation, insufficient credit systems for the poor and improper living conditions. While this was all true, I had completely ignored the political and social factors that contributed to this poverty and underdevelopment.

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.

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