Bengali Word of the Day January 15th

হাসপাতাল (Haasapaataata) Hospital

Probably one of the main things to expect when travelling is that you will get sick.  At times it is inevitable. To begin with with jet lag you are already susceptible to illness add different food and new experiences and it is a recipe for getting sick.  Just be sure you know the closest hospital. In Bangladesh, the team felt that this new hospital shows how the country is growing.  With new medical facilities one can see the demand for medical care and the need for better infrastructure with growing GDP.


Finding a Hospital in Bangladesh

So do you know how the slogan for our blog is “Finding a new home in Bangladesh,” well late last night we were on a mission to find a hospital. Unfortunately, Hill and myself ate something that did not agree with us and ended up getting really sick.  Hill, unfortunately, was much worse off then I was and we had to take him to the hospital to make sure he was okay.

Luckily for us there is a brad new hospital right next door to our hotel.  The staff there seem very friendly and all the doctors spoke English and were very concerned about Hill’s general welfare. However, they want to keep Hill for a few more days until they can ensure that he is better. This means that he will end up missing his flight tomorrow morning and will be flying back to Ithaca with Shamir later.

The team today was amazing with this abrupt change to our plans and having two sick team members on their hands. Shamir stayed overnight at the hospital with Hill and was there throughout the day to speak to nurses and the doctors. Chandra and Calvin left the hotel early in the morning to check on Hill and cheer him up and Joy was busy contacting the school and making new arrangements.  Calvin, Joy, and Shamir also checked on me at the hotel throughout the day to make sure I was doing alright as well. I am very lucky to be on such a supportive and caring team.

Needless to say our trip has been extremely eventful trip and one we will have lots of stories from!!!

Bengali Word of the Day January 13th

নিচু (Nicu) Humble

Today we found out that our team member Shamir Shebab is being awarded the Queen’s Young Leader Award for his work in establishing the Bangladesh Youth Environment Initiative. There is no one more deserving of this award than Shamir.  He is very dedicated to the environment of Bangladesh and is one of the hardest workers I have ever met.  One of the most surprising things about Shamir is how humble he is.  He has accomplished amazing things and yet never brags or shows off about all his work. Most of the students we have encountered here in Bangladesh are like that.  They work tirelessly for their causes and yet never once feel like they should be honored for their work. They help because they want to help. I find that truly incredible!!!! Congrats to Shamir and his organization for all the hard work they have accomplished.

To read more about the award check out this news article:

Bengali Word of the Day January 12th

আতিথেয়তা (Aatheeyataa) Hospitality

Wherever we are in Bangladesh we are always shocked at how friendly everyone is.  Each person we meets takes the time to talk with us and provide us with food and drinks.  Everything tends to be so rushed at home in the United States, it is nice to sit and chat with people without feeling the pressure to constantly be moving onto the next activity. Hopefully we will be able to take his sense of peace and calm as we return to Ithaca.

Rickshaw Rides

One of the most prevalent modes of transportation here in Bangladesh is the Rickshaw. They are three wheel bicycles with a little buggy on the back. They are a lot of fun to ride in and you get to experience a new side of Dhaka.  To begin with, traffic becomes a lot closer as you weave among the cars and there are times when you get really close to a car and just shut your eyes with a whispered pray you can squeeze past.  However, you can also explore some of the alleys and smaller streets more efficiently and begin to truly understand the concept of place in a crowded city.

With today being the start of the weekend here and offices closed, the group decided to do some exploring around Dhaka. For this post I have decided to mainly post pictures from our explorations today. At times it is difficult to explain some of our experiences, and as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Also having to get up at 4am tomorrow to head out to BAU is a strong incentive to keep this short and simple.

SMART team group shot!
Gulshan Baridhara Lake
rickshaw rides
Riding rickshaws!
Riding rickshaws!
Picture with the US Embassy in the background
Calvin, Hill, and Amanda with the US Embassy in the background
Calvin, Hill, and Amanda with the US Embassy in the background
View of the US Embassy in Dhaka
View of the US Embassy in Dhaka

Bengali Word of the Day January 8th

রঙ (Rana) Color

I love travelling because in each new place all your senses are assaulted by the different foods, smells, sights, sounds, and textures. However, I think my favorite is the color.

In Bangladesh color is everywhere.  Buses with brightly painted sides, rickshaws with gold awnings and painted seats, a swirl of fabrics as motorcycles race by, shifting colors of balloons and flowers as street sellers move among the stalled traffic.  No one is afraid of color unlike the stark outfits and coats one finds in America and Europe, in Africa and here in Bangladesh the colors pop, people stand out as they walk down crowded streets; and everything merges to become a rainbow. A rainbow of people, places, tastes, smells, and of course the ever present vibrant color that can only come with exploring new places.