Wonderful, fun, vibrant, sweltering, rich day in Dhaka City. I met two more interns today, Homero from Mexico and Samuel from Spain, and together with Lynette (Singapore), Owen (China), Shafaet (Bangladesh), and Jolie (Bangladesh), the group of us headed out to enjoy our Saturday. I was glad for Shafaet, who acted as our informal ‘tour guide’—taking us places, speaking Bangla to hire the CNGs, negotiating local prices. It made for a stress-free day so I could just relax and enjoy seeing new things and getting to know interesting people from around the world (this was especially nice after my previous days of traveling and having to figure everything out myself).
We made a day of it, going to the zoo, the botanical gardens, Dhaka University. We drank sweet tea made in front of us by a barefoot young man in a tin hut next to a palm-surrounded lake, the typical tropical Asian setting. (Milk tea is an afternoon tradition in Bangladesh, and there are always groups of men hanging out at these little outdoor huts drinking tea and talking.) Then we walked through a street bazaar and saw intricately painted vases and beautiful booths of flowers. We met a well-traveled law professor at the University for fried chicken and leche, a local yogurt drink, while conversing about the pitfalls of microcredit in this country. We took rickshaws and CNGs all day. And we are such a sight. We garner more attention than the zoo animals: people stare, talk, ask to take pictures with us or just take them of us, someone even Skyped his friend and then turned the video on me so his friend could see! It is quite humorous;) (Side note: we were at the hippo exhibit at the zoo and some boys came up to us and instead of looking at the hippos, asked to take pictures with us. We outrank even the animals;).
In the late afternoon, we walked past a typical Dhaka traffic jam—tens to hundreds of rickshaws packed on the street and completely stopped. Since we were walking the oncoming direction, we were the perfect entertainment and there were hundreds of eyes on us, as every rickshaw passenger stared. I had a blast taking photos today, and I am just in awe of how beautiful this country is. So colorful, so lush, so vibrant, so alive.
(It is also TERRIBLY humid and I have some quite unattractive photos that I won’t post. Literally dripping sweat at all times. It is so muggy that if the AC goes off in my room, the mirror fogs up with condensation, and when I step out of my room in the morning for breakfast, my glasses fog up—even just in the hotel hall! For an Oregon girl, it’s pretty crazy. Also, don’t think the word hotel really means hotel… though the staff are awesome and helpful, there are definitely cockroaches in the rooms sometimes and last week I saw a mouse in the hall. It’s an adventure. As always. But I don’t even freak out about this stuff anymore. I am really growing up, apparently.)
I'm a twenty-something from the Pacific NW making home in new places as I follow where God leads.
My intent is to show Christ's love to the world and use business to solve some of the social problems we face: hunger, illiteracy, healthcare, economic hardship. For now, I'm in a stage of learning. A little adventuring, a few books, some good friends, and a whole lot of prayer and life runs on.