Michael P

more turkey
November 30, 2008, 10:14 pm
Filed under: food | Tags: , , , , , ,

I was managed to get invited to another thanksgiving dinner that was hosted by some canadians that “just wanted an excuse to eat more turkey.”  The turkey was even better than the kind i had on thursday and the pumpkin pie was really good and made from scratch.

On another note, it was the 17th annual National Polio Vaccination Day.  There were a bunch of speakers that i assume were discussing the reason for getting your child vaccinated and there were tons of mothers and kids waiting in line to get the vaccine.  The WHO and UN pour a lot of money into developing countries like Bangladesh to irradicate diseases like polio, leprosy, and TB.



Thanksgiving Dinner
November 27, 2008, 7:04 pm
Filed under: food | Tags: , , ,

Shortly after I finished making my masterful turkey hand, i finalized (kind of) my plans for thanksgiving dinner.  I ended up at a person’s house from church that i’d never met before.  I was sooooo excited to eat turkey and pumpkin pie and stuff without curry in it. The only thing missing was my family’s sweet potatoes.  I got a bunch of orange stuff that i thought was sweet potatoes, but it was pumpkin instead and i’m not a huge fan of the fried pumpkin that is commonly served in Bangladesh.  But, it was a great meal and it was nice to share the day with a group of mostly americans (there were three canadians and two bangladeshis).



Besides the great food, i also got thinking about the meaning of thanksgiving more than any other year.  Maybe its because i’m away from my family or its because i’m always reminded of how much i have compared to the people in Bangladesh, but i really thought about how thankful i am to be having this experience in Bangladesh and i’m very thankful for the comfortable life that i’ll lead once i get back to america, whenever that may be.

I hope all of you enjoy spending time with friends and family and enjoy eating to your hearts content.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving
November 27, 2008, 8:05 am
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morning run
November 25, 2008, 7:35 am
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i decided that i need to start excercising again.  I’ve been eating way too many parathas.  I’ve been putting off starting running for a while and i finally got up a half hour early today a went for a jog through uttara sectors 7 and 9 (where i live). It felt absolutely terrible.  I haven’t exercised since the beginning of august. the looks i got from people were priceless.  People don’t wear shorts here, so it felt a little weird to be out in running shorts.  I’m not sure if i’ll continue doing this tomorrow.

Medical Trip
November 23, 2008, 1:12 pm
Filed under: travel | Tags: , , ,

For the last week i’ve been in Northern Bangladesh working with a medical misison team.  We set up a clininc at the school that i visited way back in september.  We left on saturday at about 3 and made out way up to the town where we were going to be living for the week, Kurigram.  The accomidations were clean.  Pretty sparse rooms, but what do you expect for about 2 dollars a night!

medtrip7What’s missing from this bathroom?


Downtown Kurigram:


We had breakfast and dinner at the “hotel sheraton.”  It was decent.  One confusing this about it was that it’s not a hotel, it’s just a restaurant.


The first two days i worked in our pharmacy.  I helped organize all the pills, helped the doctors find stuff, and pre-packaged the most used pills into little baggies so they could easily give them to the patients.  I got to use one of those nifty pill counters that you always see on news segments on the pharmaceutical industry.


For the last two days i worked in our makeshift ICU.  There’s never been a medical team of any kind in this area, so hundreds if not thousands of people came to see us.   A lot of them had never seen a doctor before and came to get routine stuff looked at.  But there were also a bunch of really sick people.  We had two guys with typhoid fever that i worked with for the last two days.  I could kind of sympathize with how they were feeling because i had a bad reaction to my typhoid vaccine for the last 4 days i was in America.  I had a fever of 103 and couldnt’ really do anything.  I learned how to get blood pressure and do some simple lab tests.  I did a pregnancy test for a girl that had been trying to get pregnant for 5 years.  I say girl because she’s only 18.  I think it’s probably a good thing that it took her 5 years to get pregnant.  Women get married really young here, and especially in rural bangladesh.  I kind of broke the good news to her by say “bhalo” (good) then we had a 40k dollar GE ultrasound laptop so we could show the newly expecting couple the baby.


The orange drink the women have in the picture is our rehidration drink that we made for the typhoid guys.  Its lots of gatorade powder with a bunch of whey protein.  It smelled like a creamsicle.

One of the typhoid guys arrived by boat on a pallate, carried by his family and another was taken here on a rickshaw.  They had been sick for like 3 weeks.

medtrip17 Beside the good news of the typhoid guys getting better and girl getting pregnant, there were also a lot of hard things to watch.  A boy came to us during the 3rd day that had huge growths on both sides of his neck.  After doing some blood work we figured out that he had really advanced lymphoma and that there was nothing we could do.  I watched the father’s eyes as he was told that his son was going to die and there wasn’t anything we could do about it.  Being in Bangladesh can be pretty difficult in terms of the beggars and poverty, but i think this will stick with me more than that.  The look of fear and sadness on his face was unbearable.  His son will die a painful slow death because he will slowly suffocate from his airway closing.  He pleaded with is to take his some back to America, but his son wouldn’t have even survived if he had treatment in America.

Overall it was a good trip.  I like Dhaka, but i like rural Bangladesh even more.  It’s so beautiful and doesn’t have any nearly as much smog, trash, and honking.  And it was nice to do something besides teaching english and sitting around.

bangladesh is pretty
November 17, 2008, 10:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

old dhaka wandering
November 15, 2008, 11:14 am
Filed under: touristy stuff, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

My friend Lauren that i met at church back in September, had never been to Old Dhaka.  Yesterday we made the trek down there.  Almost all of my wanderings around Dhaka have been on my own, so it was nice to have a companion for once.  It was also interesting to see how a western woman gets treated by the locals.  I was astounded at the amount of whistling, cat calling, and people yelling “sexy” as she walked by.  I thought the people staring at me was annoying, but i can’t imagine what it must be like to get that treatment everyday.
We started off on Bangsal Road.  This is the bicycle road that i went to a couple of week ago.  Unfortunately most of the bike shops and rickshaw artists were closed.  Luckily, just as we were walking away a kid chased us down and showed us some rickshaw art he had.  He knew what we were looking for.  We ended up following him back to his families shop and i purchased a ridiculous bollywood movie scene on a vinyl sheet.  usually this would be put on a rickshaw, but it will sit on my wall for years to come.  It was a little bit more expensive than i was hoping (about $7.50), but overall i’m happy with it.
rickshaw art
After rickshaw art we walked to Banga Bazar.  It’s a big market that many foreigners come to to buy cheap clothes.  It’s where i found those emirates flight attendants a couple of weeks ago.  All the stuff was really ugly so we didn’t buy anything.
On the way to lunch we found some really disturbing posters.  I don’t understand why you would want this.
After lunch we went back to the dock i went to the first time i came to old Dhaka.  I ran into the tour guide that ripped me offer a while back and declined his services this time.  I really wasn’t happy to see the guy and i think he could tell that he’s not my favorite person in the world.
After much wandering we found the Armenian church.  It was built in 1781.  Its off on a really quiet little street in Old Dhaka.  The gate was locked, but a driver waiting outside rang the bell for us and a guy came out to let us in.  It was pretty cool to be in a church in the middle of dhaka.  when you’re in the chapel you don’t feel like you’re in Bangladesh anymore.  There are lots graves, i’m not sure of who though.  The church isn’t used anymore.  There is a caretaker named Father Martin but he was in Kolkota, so we didn’t get to meet him.


on another note, there is a large group of doctors coming today to setup a temporary clinic in the north west corner of the country.  I inquired about a week ago if i could go along and kind of forgot about the whole thing.  Today Pastor Ayub informed me that we were leaving tomorrow (today) at 3pm for the trip.  I’ll be gone for a week.