Mudhi or muri is delicious street food made of puffed rice and many different flavors, from sweet to savory.
And sweet Tel Pitha - for us, Christmas pancakes - similar to a deep fried donut.
After a few days of being here, I still didn’t know what I was going to be doing such as working in the clinic, teaching, helping with the babies, etc. The principal and Robyn got us together and discussed what they would like us to do. I was hoping that I could just help out in the clinic and then teach piano, but they wanted me to teach science and health to the 4th graders (they call it class 4), IT/computers to class 7, and piano. I was about ready to throw up, but I said 'Yes' anyway. Right after we talked I went to the 4th grade teacher and tried to get better understanding of what I would be doing because that next day would be my first day on the job. I had no clue what I was doing! It has definitely been a rollercoaster for these past few months. The school system here isn’t the best and it’s hard when I’m trying to teach but the teacher has to translate it anyway. I know for sure that I will NOT be a teacher as my ultimate career goal. Some days it is fun and other days is total chaos.
This is one of the simpler things we take care of in the clinic.
School is OUT! The kids are enjoying their break from studies.
Preparing for Christmas!
Merry Christmas from Bangladesh!!
The first Sunday here, it was time to go into Hili, the town where we get most of our supplies and food, to get our kemeses (traditional dress) picked out and made. It was a rainy day, when I say rainy, I mean like a shower. It took about a 30 min drive to Hili and then we all piled out with our umbrellas walking the streets first to get our pictures taken for our India visa and then to the clothing store. The shops here are made out of cement, bamboo, and lots of tin. When the rain hits it sounds as though the drops would break the roofs. As I walked in the first shop, my eyes will never be the same. There were so many patterns and styles all stacked up to the ceiling! The shop workers started to pick out designs and colors that we might like, take them out of the packaging, place them on the counter, and then looked to see the expressions on our faces, whether we liked them or not. Bangladesh people really like their bright, fluorescent, multi patterns. I got three kemeses there and then headed to a different shop. I ended up getting two more kemeses and one sahri for special occasions. After that we walked to the tailor and took a couple measurements and said they would be ready to be picked up the next Sunday. It was great getting out of our campus to see a little bit more of Bangladesh.
The rainy season is over before it turns into winter here, where it’s cooler and a little bit more dry. The rain is probably one of my favorite things about living here as it cools the temperature and I love the fresh smell and new land. Most of the kids here don’t like it because they are afraid of getting sick and they think it's really cold. I was in my apartment when the best rainfall happened. I dashed outside to run around and soak up the fresh air. It felt so good some of the girls saw me and wanted me to go upstairs to their rooms. I went up there and they thought I was Pāgala, meaning crazy, for running around in the rain, but it was too good to pass up. Then we went up on the roof, played around in the large courtyard “pond,” and then we were soaked and filled with laughter. It was a good day not only because of the rain but because I was able to connect with some of the kids that I hadn’t been able to before.
There has been lots of injuries and sickness here in the short time I’ve been here. It has been extremely fun helping out in the clinic. One of the SM’s just graduated with her RN license and has taken the clinic over since she has been here. One of the smaller boys named Abraham had mumps. The poor boy had a swollen neck for a few days, but then was better within a week. Praise God no one else got it. There is always someone who is sick or hurt, mostly minor things. However, not too long ago, one of the men working on building the girls dorm was carrying a large rock on his shoulder and somehow it fell right on his head then rolled off. He came to the clinic with blood all over his head. We cut chunks of hair off to see what the damage was, then cleaned it. That took a long time because there were bits of rock and dandruff from not washing his hair. We put some ointment on all the cuts and scrapes. One of the cuts was really deep, but we decided that it wasn’t bad enough to do stitches on him.
Another time the older boys were playing Kabaddi a fun tackle tag kind of game, and three of them collided with each other. Mikey somehow landed wrong and totally broke his clavicle. The bone was concave causing excruciating pain. I could see it poking out of his back under the skin! We got him to the clinic in town, but they sent him back to the orphanage for a couple of days until the surgeon could fix it. He’s healed up nicely now.
One of the older girls has been sick off and on with difficulty breathing, racing heartbeat and blood pressure. She’s been in and out of the hospital. We are still trying to help her.
Many of the women staff here are always asking about getting their blood pressure checked. Many of them have all the symptoms of diabetes. Unfortunately one of the staff went to the hospital one night recently and died the next morning from kidney failure due to uncontrolled diabetes. Lots of people were devastated. It makes me mad that their diabetes could have been controlled and taken care of, but people here are so poor and don’t understand or know how to keep their bodies healthy. We are hoping to get a health screening going soon to help with this problem
Of course we’ve had lots of minor cuts and injuries too.