|Kim and I minutes after e met up in the Abu Dhabi airport - do we look a little relieved?|
Not to worry, though, I'm thrilled to be here after all those months of planning and waiting. Incredibly my friend Kim and I met up in Abu Dhabi (in the Middle East) just as planned - she was flying in from Toronto and I was flying in from Europe. It was the middle of the night and a beautiful round moon shone over the tip of the wing the whole way to Bangladesh. We had a wild noisy ride to the Centre for Rehabilitation of the Paralysed once we landed. I was in the front seat of the van and believe me there were many moments that made me twitchy with people crossing the roads between cars and buses competing to get ahead of each other and rickshaws along the side of the road. Not to mention the noise - whistles and horns and motors. Oh my!
Both Kim and I have completed our first lectures and feel exhausted, but satisfied that we are accomplishing something. I am teaching a course on Autism and Developmental Delays to a third year class and an Introduction to Speech-Language Therapy to the first years. The students are keen to learn and ask us to slow down if we speak too quickly or to explain it again if they don't understand what we are saying.
The heat is very intense - think bathroom-after-a-long-hot-shower hot! And surprisingly it hasn't rained yet, although it is the monsoon season. We have huge overhead fans that are going continually to keep us somewhat cool and we wet our shawls to cool us down. Kim and I went out on the first day and bought material and had a tailor make us some salwar kameezes to wear. The cotton is a lovely soft thin cotton and they are loose so really are the coolest things to wear while maintaining the appropriate level of modesty.
They are very used to foreigners here at CRP so the food is safe and just the right amount of spices. So far I've loved everything that was served and could really get used to having someone cook lunch and dinner for me. We get our own breakfast - usually tea, toast, and oranges.
I just thought you might want to see a few glimpses of how life is unfolding in Bangladesh. The lectures are taking a lot of time to prepare so we have long, tiring, but satisfying days.