Friday, June 8, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend 2012

This was the first Memorial Day I have been able to spend with my family since 2007. I have been loving the time at home since returning home from Bangladesh in September and being within weekend-visiting driving distance! Here's how the weekend shaped up:
  • saved a kitten that managed to 'doggie paddle' ('kitty paddle'?) all night long in the swimming pool
    • searched for said kitty after he escaped from his box in the house....15 minutes later found him hiding in a corner 

  • killed a Virginia Black snake ...which was mistaken for a copperhead snake at first which was in the house!! (ok, Dad killed it! but still!)
  • family reunion complete with pool time, grilling out, and chicken egg hunts!
  • pitiful yard sale x2 mornings
  • two extra paid days off from my company! = 5 day weekend!
Hope everyone had a fantastic Memorial Day weekend! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Leaving Bangladesh

I know I haven't blogged in quite a while. A handful of you know where I am and what I have been through the past few months but to bring everybody up to speed, here is a super abbreviated, unemotional update....After returning to Bangladesh in August, I quickly (considering I was hoping to live in Bangladesh for several more years) turned around and returned to the US after quitting my job. The decision process seemed incredibly long and drawn out (it took me almost three weeks to decide to leave!) but considering the implications, it seemed to be an insufficient amount time to respond. To ridiculously under play what happened, there were major unethical leadership decisions made that I could not ignore. Unfortunately for the students, the decisions of one person led to a huge turnover before school even started... Leaving Bangladesh, AUW, my students, friends, memories, and future hopes and travel plans was, without a doubt, the most difficult decision I have ever made.

Top 10 things I miss:

  1. The students!!!!
  2. My co-volunteers, office mates, and roommates (shout out to the penthouse!) who became my travel partners, sounding boards, and best friends
  3. The Food - Doi Puchka, Kalo Jam, Kacha Gola, Tandoori Paneer to name a few
  4. Aarong! amazing fair-trade store with gorgeous Shalwar Kameez outfits, saris, household items, etc.
  5. The Clothes - picking out fabrics in the market and sewing designs at the tailor. and of course, Sari Sundays at school!!
  6. Traveling - Asia is simply amazing!
  7. Work Dynamics - having a challenging, rewarding job with a fun office environment, ample time off, and in general feeling like you're making a difference every day
  8. AUW - the sense of community, diversity, and constant learning experiences
  9. Humility - I miss being humbled on a daily basis. Living in Bangladesh reminded me how sheltered and easy my life has been and to be more grateful for the experiences and opportunities I have had.
  10. Bangladesh - overnight buses (the real-life equivalent of playing chicken on the road!), rickshaws, CNGs, miscommunications, villages, holiday celebrations, and the list could go on!
Thanks to my great new friends, daily van rides, lunch gatherings in the cafeteria, travel fiascos, twice daily tea breaks, etc. I have come to associate numerous songs with my memories of Bangladesh....If my time in Bangladesh had a soundtrack, it would sound something like this:

  1. 'Sheila Ki Jawani' by Tees Maar Khan (hottest Bollywood song of the year)
  2. 'Pee Loon' from Once Upon A Time in Mumbai (favorite song to listen to in the van in the am!)
  3. 'Tum Jo Aaye' from Once Upon A Time in Mumbai (another fave van song)
  4. 'Home' by Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  5. 'Somebody to Love' by Justin Bieber (let's be honest, all things Bieber)
  6. 'Enchanted' by Taylor Swift (again, let's be honest, all things TSwift were jamming in our office!)
  7. 'Wavin Flag' by K'Naan (South Africa WorldCup theme song)
  8. 'On The Floor' by Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
  9. 'Waka Waka' by Shakira
  10. 'California Girls' by Katy Perry