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Bhat and mass (rice and fish) – Bengali food

Posted by: | 4 april 2012 | 4 Comments |

My first month living in Bangladesh has passed. I could say that I’m used and adapted to this beautiful country by now, but that’s far from true. I’m still adapting ;) New experiences surprise me everyday (bananas with seeds, monstrous spiders and bugs, crazy bus drivers, new vegetables, strange sightseeing etc). Temperature is still rising. When there was a little wind and rain, someone called it a storm. Ghe, not. I have bought an umbrella though, one can better be prepared ;)

The last two weeks I’ve been busy for GBK, working at the office and visiting communities. Riding on the motorcycle to these quite remote locations in de morning sun is a great experience :D At the communities we sit outside under a roof or tree and talk about their sufferings because of water scarcity. Chatting with these people is fascinating and motivating, but also makes me feel almost ashamed of my own lifestyle. They have such a tough life, especially the women…

Also I visited a poor primary school where (again) I was the main attraction: being white, female, very tall and offering balloons! It’s like the images you see on TV of a poor village in rural Africa with loads of poor children wearing ripped school uniforms, a lot of mud and dust, few teachers and hardly any education materials. But then in Bangladesh of course.

After work I do my household chores and get invited to other peoples houses. It´s nice to get to know one and another and experience Bangladesh family life and culture! Even if this means eating Bangla food 2 times a day ;) (which is still hot and spicy but luckily I can avoid most chilli peppers now). Most of the time the food is quite nice and they also have some tasty sweets. Having said that, I do have to make myself some fried potatoes for dinner now and then (reminds me so much of home…).

Besides GBK, I got some VSO activities like the Program Area Review Workshop. At this workshop VSO, all partner organisations in North West Bangladesh and community members (youth clubs and community clubs) gather together to look back on last years achievements, lessons learned and challenges that they face. It was nice to mingle with the locals like this and to talk to other volunteers (met up with a friend). Also I could share some information on water scarcity as I presented a case study on this subject :)

At times all the new things mesmerize me, and I can’t even think about words to describe it truly and precisely to someone who has never seen it/been here. And at other moments I think about home, missing it so much. Luckily these are just brief moments.  After the first month I can only hope the following months will be like this one :)

Mijn locatie Parbatipur, Rangpur Division, Bangladesh.

under: werken in het buitenland


  1. By: Floor on 11 april 2012 at 21:50      

    meer gave outfits! :P
    klinkt interessant daar, maakt Canada toch een beetje saai (jij was ook hier aan de oostkust geweest toch? nog tips, behalve walvissen spotten?). Leuk om te lezen iig!

  2. By: Marije on 11 april 2012 at 17:00      

    Ha Janneke,

    Erg leuk om jouw verhalen te lezen. Zoveel hetzelfde, maar toch ook zo anders als bij ons!



  3. By: Aimee on 9 april 2012 at 16:03      

    Supergaaf!!! Doet mij een beetje aan Korea denken. Zo lang je niet analyseert wat je aan het eten bent, kan het soms heel lekker zijn, hahaha.
    Mooie kleding ook by THE way…;)

    Groetjes Aimee

  4. By: arend on 4 april 2012 at 12:28      

    Zo te lezen heb je al heel wat kunnen doen en zien in een maand. Leuk! Ik ben beneiuwd waar je inhoudelijk mee bezig bent/kunt zijn. Ik begrijp dat je vooral kwalitatieve info aan het verzamelen bent. Bananen met zaad; tuurlijk horen ze die te hebben. Lekker grote zwarte zeker. Oude ananasrassen hebben ook zaden. Ik ben benieuwd naar de mangos daar; waarschijnlijk veel vormen, heel zoet, klein en vezelig?
    Veel plezier nog daar,