Thursday, July 22, 2010
Yes, I am dealing with some degree of adjustment issues; but it's not Bangladesh itself that has me grasping to analyze and define my experience. I felt significantly more culture shock after returning to the United States after living in Spain and Italy and a two month stint in Guatemala. I think this reaction (or lack thereof) has a lot to do with the fact that I did not want to come home from those other places. After a year at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh, however, I was physically, emotionally, and mentally prepared to return home.
No, it's not American excess or the ease of living and getting around that has me feeling unstable. I don't find myself berating myself or others for eating fast food, driving big cars, or being uninformed. Instead, I have turned my energies toward appreciating my freedoms and privileges more than ever. Sure, I don't like giving the government a lot of my money, but I do appreciate having access to water I can drink, roads I can drive on, sewers that are covered, reliable mail service, and a clean, safe health clinic I can go to while I'm waiting to get a job. For the most part, as an American woman, I can go to school where I want, wear what I want, say what I want, work where I want, get married/be single/date if I want. I am privy to possibilities that are very different from what the majority of university students, former colleagues, and friends in Bangladesh--men and women--are allowed. Forgive me if this smacks of being overly optimistic or idealistic--I do realize that America has it's problems and it's not a utopia. But I must say that right now, I feel sincerely blessed to be an American woman in America.
As you can see, I'm still trying to get my bearings and process an intense year at a start-up university in a third world country. This process has given me a better perspective on my life as a young female American worker. I better understand the purpose of hierarchy, governance, management, due process, and checks and balances. I see how creativity and entrepreneurial skills flourish in the right environment. I see clearly how top-down organizational culture can cripple effort, decision making, and responsibility. I feel like my time at AUW was a crash course in management, infrastructure, and capacity building.
From my comfortable home in Kansas, I better appreciate the power of shared experiences, friendship, laughter, patience, and optimism that surrounded me in Bangladesh. I'm truly thankful to those who keep a noble vision and mission close to their hearts. Onek dhonnobad to my dear friends, co-workers, and believers in Bangladesh and beyond.
Feel free to email me if you have questions about living Bangladesh and/or working at the Asian University for Women: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Check out my photo album for photos and details of the journey!
Saturday, May 8, 2010
|Our home in Bangladesh 2C Panchlaish|
|WCA Middle School Talent Show|
This "Celebration of International Dance Day," was hosted by Bangladesh Nrittya Shilpi Shangstha, Chattagram and Alliance Francaise de Chittagong. The Chief Guest was Monsieur Charley Causeret, Ambassador of France to Bangladesh. Laila Hasan, renowned choreographer and dancer and recipient of the Ekushey Padak 2010, was the Special Guest.
After about an hour of introductions, speeches, flower sharing, and photo-ops, the dancers got down to business. You may need sunglasses to comfortably view these videos:
Friday, May 7, 2010
It helps create the illusion for my co-workers that I am a calm, peaceful person.
When I have to deal with asking for the third time to have something done or explained, I shut the door.
You can't hear me yelling over the generator or construction noises literally 3 feet outside of my window.
I like to think of my chairs as therapy couches.
|AUW 20G 607 My Office|
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
It's tough being this far away--but Kat and I are heading home to Kansas in late May. So we'll get to see Marg and baby soon!
Sunday, April 25, 2010
I just consumed 3 tablespoons of the delicious, rich ganache
it's resting now in the freezer
to be made into little chocolate balls of heaven later tonight
oh, the simple blessings!
gave me (as compared to a normal-size Ghirardelli chocolate bar)
Dibs on the pan!
The finished product
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
|Summer Sari Apr 2010|
And then I went to another event a few days later that required a sari. I borrowed this number from Fabiha. It was FAB! Jill took the photos, and Vince helped out:
|Summer Sari Rahimafrooz night|