Saturday, August 15, 2009


We live in a really quiet neighborhood. Street noise is usually constant in Dhaka, but we live about 20 houses down from a main road, and our road is really quiet. The most constant noise is construction: hammers, shoveling building materials, people yelling to each other.

The other constant is, of course, the calls to prayer. I wake up to them at 5:15, see the first light, and go back to sleep. This weekend, however, has been like living in the middle of a revivalist tent city. I'm assuming that the major mosque I see on the map is just a few blocks away. It's not a direct path though, I'd have to walk out of my neighborhood and re-enter a couple of streets down. In fact, all of what I see behind our apartment is inaccessible from our street level (at least as far as I can see). The sounds started Thursday night and went pretty much all day Friday, and to my surprise, got louder today.

I have no way of knowing if the intensity was due to today's national day of mourning on August 15 for a founder who was assassinated along with much of his family, or if it was entirely unrelated. It's very unnerving not to know what the roars were about. If there hadn't been equal parts sermon and music, it might have sounded like a very loud soccer game. Some links here if you're interested: news, editorial, op-ed.

The other part of feeling a bit battered had to do with going over Matan's planner and seeing a list of countries and their capitals and seeing Israel left out and the Palestinian State included. I know that's official Bangladesh policy, but the school is supposed to be an international one, with accredidation from one of the American organizations and with an IB curriculum. Made me really wonder what the content of the teaching will be. Later, I went back to go through the list and found that Lebanon was missing too. No, actually it was in the P's. But wait, there are no R's at all? No Romania or Rwanda. This whole thing looked strange. Went back to the I's. No I's -- goes from El Salvador to Libya, no Germany, France, Italy or even India. No Spain or Saudia Arabia, either. What a weird list. So we're taking it a little less personally.

Still trying to figure out getting a cello. No answer from the stores in Kolkata, so either it's not a business day or I'm doing it wrong. I'll ask tomorrow at school. Found a bus line with a phone number but no address. Some steps forward.

Finally, since I sent an email with our phone numbers, folks have called. It's been wonderful. Feel a little less isolated. That really helps.

1 comment:

  1. Kris, you are brave - I so hope things settle down for you a bit once you start teaching and you can find a solution to the tranportation problems. As for washing Matan's clothes by hand - no matter what it costs, send those duds out :) Hugs, Judith