Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rolling With the Punches

Hey friends!
Hard at work at Dhaka University -
working my way through a 700+ page thesis
I know it's been a little while since the last time I posted...  Not to worry, everything is perfectly fine.  I haven't posted for a couple of reasons.  One was that my camera is broken, so I didn't have any pictures to put up.  The other is that I had a few rough days, emotionally-speaking, and decided that rather than subject you all to my negative thoughts and feelings, it would be best to just keep quiet for a little while.  I know I mentioned this in my last post, but it is really true that every day, we are faced with frustrations and stressors.  Some of these are fairly small and inconsequential, while others are bigger and can make me want to run to my room and bury my face in my pillow and pretend the outside world doesn't exist.  I'm doing better now, though, AND I bought a new camera yesterday!  So, prepare to be visually assaulted with a plethora of pictures between now and November.

Tomorrow, Roslyn and I are supposed to be leaving our apartment in Dhaka at an absurdly early hour to head to ICDDR,B headquarters where we'll meet our two research assistants and make the 5 hour trip to Matlab.  However, our trip to Matlab looks a little iffy at the moment.  We were told earlier this week that a hartal is possible for Wednesday and maybe Thursday.  A hartal is essentially a labor strike, called by the political party not currently in power, which stops a lot of people in the city from working.  This especially includes transportation workers of all kinds, which means that if there is a hartal tomorrow, we will have no way to get to Matlab until the hartal is over.  During a hartal, some people go to the government offices or Dhaka University to protest and many stay home or walk to work.  We had a 24 hour hartal last week - Roslyn and I stayed in all morning then took a very short rickshaw ride over to the American Club where we swam and ate club sandwiches.  Very protest-y, don't you think?  Keep your fingers crossed for us that we'll be able to make it out of town tomorrow morning.  We're going to pack our bags tonight and hope that everything goes as planned.  In the mean time, I plan to roll with the punches.

Tomorrow is also my 30th birthday!  I've already celebrated in style twice - my roommates and friends here threw me a birthday party last weekend and last night I ate carrot cake at the American Club.  I have also received packages and letters from family and friends. 

My roommates in Dhaka threw me a bday party!
(Dave, me, Roslyn, Poonum the party planner)
I'm not totally sure how I feel about 30 yet, though...  I'll be entering a whole new decade, which feels really crazy, because my 20th birthday doesn't seem like it happened all that long ago.  But, I'm also amazed at the ways my life has changed in the last 10 years and all of the lessons I've learned.  If someone would have told me 10 years ago that I would be celebrating my 30th birthday in Bangladesh, I think I would have been shocked and excited.  I have been a very lucky person in these 30 years, always having been surrounded by a family and friends who love me and who have supported me.  So, here's to a great year ahead, full of as much awesomeness as my last 30 years were!

See you from Matlab!

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday Katie! Hope you have a great time there! How Crazy that you are in Bangladesh! Safe travels!
    Lisa Johnson (Hassebroek)