Sunday, October 14, 2007

So Why Bangladesh?

A number of people, including co-workers, friends and family, both here and at home have asked, “So why Bangladesh?” This is a great question that doesn’t have a simple answer other than maybe “why not!” I suppose leaving it at just that would be plain rude so I’ll do my best to give some background and begin to provide an answer. As many of you know Robin and I met in the Peace Corps in the early nineties, and had the intention even then of living overseas and working in international development. After three masters degrees and numerous years of work experience in A2 and DC, we felt that it was the right time, both in terms of family and our careers, to move overseas. Fortunately, in early summer ‘07, a field assignment opportunity opened up with my company’s Bangladesh office that focuses on small and medium enterprise development in Bangladesh and other South Asia countries. Even though my primary focus is to help streamline and strengthen internal operations (i.e., project management practices), I hope to get involved in some of our enterprise development work. In addition to this field assignment opening up, which is what technically brought us here, Robin felt – even before our moving – that Bangladesh had good opportunities for her in public health. I suppose this still doesn’t quite answer the question since we could’ve found something back in Sub-Saharan Africa where we’ve both worked before. For me, I first became interested in Bangladesh after making a couple of work-related trips here in 2005. It was during these trips that I learned about the unique work that the team here has been doing in developing markets in key industrial sectors. My initial interest turned more to a desire to live and work in Bangladesh after reading Muhammad Yunis’s amazing story about Grameen Bank and the development and expansion of microcredit in Bangladesh. As we meet more people and get settled into our lives here, I’m sure our answer to this question will likely evolve further. We’ll keep you posted.


Aunt Jeanie said...


I have been following your adventures way back when you and Robin were with Peace Corp. and I
find it all most interesting. I
see a lot of similarities between
where you have been and are at the
present time and where we lived in
Saudi. I wish we had more time while you were stateside to visit and compare notes. I found it most
interesting how you chose Bangladesh - but not surprised. A lot of small things come into play in making such a decision. And unless you have lived in these
situations, it would be difficult to relate them to someone else.

Stay healthy, happy and by all means, stay in touch!!

Aunt Jeanie

Aunt Jeanie said...

This is for Robin and the rest of
your clan.

I love hearing the things that is
available to you as far as entertainment for Catherine. I work for a doctor who is a sports doctor and he is most interested in your comments about running plus he has a son just about the same age as Catherine. So we all
follow your adventures closely.

And one of my bosses is also a dog
lover and I have her looking for
good recipes for Molson.

So you may be a long way from home
BUT you are certainly not forgotten!

Hugs & Kisses to all!

Aunt Jeanie

Joe said...

Thanks, David -- and Robin. I appreciate it.

Take care.