Michael P


PCB land
October 13, 2008, 10:44 pm
Filed under: culture, food, teaching | Tags: , , , ,

On Saturday I decided that I wasn’t going to teach for the international school.  I came to Bangladesh to teach English for pastor ayub and I was told that I’d get to travel around the country a fair bit also.  If I was to teach for the international school I wouldn’t have any opportunity to travel.

Today proved that I made the right decision.  I went with pastor ayub to the “PCB land.”  It’s a plot of land that’s about a half hour north of uttara where he is planning on building a large vocational school, conference center, and bible college.  Right now it’s just a bunch of land that’s been filled in with dirt and has a bunch of different fruit trees and vegetables.  It was out in the country and it was so nice to get out of Dhaka.  Dhaka can be so noisy and dirty, but in the country all I could hear was kids laughing and livestock making noises.  Even though we were only 3km off the hustle and bustle of the main road, it felt like we were miles and miles away from the traffic of congested Bangladesh.

As usual, we were given snacks.  We were given this grapefruit like fruit that is slightly less tart.  I don’t like grapefruit because it’s too tart, so I enjoyed it.

Pastor ayub is planting as many plants on the land before they get all the money and permits together to build.  This way, he can sell the produce at markets and make some money to support having someone watching over the land.  Also this is kind of a way of committing himself to the land, and saying that he is going t be there for a while.  There was guava, papaya, apples, mangoes, bananas, squash, lemons, and tons of other fruits and vegetables.  In a year the land will look more like a jungle because of all the new plants.
After spending time at the land we made out way back to Uttara.  When I first got to Bangladesh I saw some guys playing a game on a square board with some sand on it.  I didn’t know what it was, but never figured it out.  When we were driving back to main road I saw some guys playing the game again, so I asked what they were doing.  Ayub had us get out so I could try the game.  I don’t remember what it’s called, but it’s like a B’deshi form of billiards with little checkers like pieces and larger checker that you use to flick the other pieces.  They use very small grains of sand to lubricate the board.

It was at a cha stand and there were at least 15 men sitting around smoking, chatting, and drinking cha.  I love cha stands.  I really can’t equate the social significance to anything in the states.  They are kind of like the social meeting place for all the men in the neighborhood and they are everywhere.

There are at least 4 within a 5 minute walk of my house.  We sat down and some random guys brought us water and little wafer crackers.  B’deshi hospitality is something that also makes the cha stand so great.  This isn’t the first time that I’ve been treated to crackers and tea by random strangers.  But this time I was given a super creamy milk drink.  It was really fresh, milked earlier in the day.  They heated it up and put a spoonful of sugar on top.  It was really good.  After finishing our cha and milk stuff we headed back to Uttara.

Before all of this I taught my center students. The first class went absolutely terribly.  I couldn’t figure out what I should teach, so when I started teaching, the lesson was too short and no one really knew what was going on.  After I taught my extremely short lesson a student of mine that doesn’t speak very good English came up and started teaching stuff.  Then I noticed how he was teaching and how everyone understood what he was doing.  When I learned Spanish i learned how to conjugate verbs and vocab and stuff, but the sentence structure wasn’t that different.  The sentence structure with spanish and english is close enough.  Bangla is way different than English, so teaching English like I was taught Spanish doesn’t work.  Bangladeshis learn English like it was a math problem.  Subject+auxiliary verb+verb+object.  So, during my second class of the day I taught like that and everyone understood what was going on and if they didn’t understand they could at least ask a question because they had a slight idea of what I was trying to say.

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