Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yes, WE women do rock!

I underscore the WE here, because I have been reminded by one of my MOST AMAZING women friends of the ways in which women rock! So, thank you Holly!

My friend, Holly, is self-described as the following: Mother, Wife, PhD Candidate, Consultant, Aspiring Photographer, Mildly Crazy, Mostly Optimistic but Sometimes Apathetic, Tired, Probably Craving Something Sweet, Needing to Drink More Water. So, you can see she is smart and witty!

Holly and I met in graduate school and though she is several years (ahem...nearly a decade?) younger than I am, she was one of the brightest stars in TWO different graduate schools at the University of Michigan! She impressed me from DAY ONE with her depth of knowledge on many topics, her analytic brain, optimistic (yet realistic) outlook and quick wit!

The photo above is for you Holly! Notice the smile on my face as I run through sweltering Dhaka 7 months pregnant...and the faces of the two strapping young guys running BEHIND me! As I said, THIS ONE IS FOR YOU HOLLY! :)

Check out what Holly had to say about me on the June 17, 2008 entry on her blog at:


Note to Holly: See I cannot even figure out how to show your blog in this one as a link instead of typing the darn thing out!

Monday, June 23, 2008

More photos of the new apartment!

Here is the dining room from two different angles and the family room with newly recovered furniture. Looking at the dining room towards the bookshelf you can see the two bedrooms, ours on the right and Catherine's on the left. Catherine's playroom is just past the dining room on the right.

We have moved!

Sorry, but I took the random photos of our new apartment BEFORE i even cleaned up! We are now much more organized and in better shape than before these photos were taken!

We decided to move as our previous apartment building had ISSUES. Although losing power several times daily is just a fact of life here in Dhaka, our previous building had problems with its generator. NO generator no lights, fans, nothing. We were awakened on more than one night sweating because the power had gone out and the generator had not come on. The last straw was returning from my birthday dinner a few weeks back and we all loaded onto the elevator, me, dave and catherine and all of our stuff (leftovers, briefcases, etc.) and as soon as we got onto the elevator, the electricity went out. The elevator works on the generator, but the generator did not come on! We were in pitch blackness and I freaked out way more than Catherine did! It was not the darkness so much as there seemed to be NO air! It was hot and stuffy and i had to pee! They pried open the doors not too long after, but we were fed up with the building manager's apathetic attitude to the whole "no generator" situation. Luckily, that night in the elevator, Catherine had on her new tennis shoes that light up when you jump. She kept jumping up and down so we would have some light. She got a kick out of the whole thing. Also, we had super loud neighbor (beginner saxophone player practicing at 11PM, constant drilling/pounding of unknown origin...and all right above us!)

Lastly, was we found an apartment that was the same price, but MUCH nicer than our previous place. I will attach a few more pics in the next post as well. Also, we now have an oven! Its time to start baking! yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm! :)

Phuket, Thailand-half marathon and vacation!

Here are a few photos from our recent trip to Phuket. We spent a long week-end in this great beach resort town only an hour flight from Bangkok. We enjoyed the beach, pool, traveling by boat between the fresh water lagoons, shopping, dining out and of course, enjoying the race week-end festivities! The entire race report and photos can be found on www.dhakatriathlonclub.blogspot.com
Here are Dave and Catherine enjoying a shared breadstick at a restaurant that was RIGHT on the beach. The plastic flap behind Dave was to keep the strong ocean breeze from blowing everything off our table! We enjoyed fresh seafood and Catherine like it because of the name: The Gekko.

Here is Catherine getting ready to go out to dinner. I don't even own a hair dryer and here is my little fashionista primping!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

We got published!

After a hot and difficult run that Dave and I went on, I wrote and submitted the article above to the region's premier running magazine, Asia Runner and it appears in the magazine's current issue! Sorry, you cannot read the article above, but the full text of the article is pasted below. Asia Runner is this region's version of Runner's World. It is a new magazine, but you wouldn't be able to tell as the quality is superb and the content is right on! It was started by a runner/multi-sport athlete living in Laos with magazine subscribers growing daily! Asia Runner was a media sponsor at the Phuket International marathon where Dave and I were just this past week-end. Don't worry, we only ran the HALF marathon...remember, Im 28 weeks pregnant! :)

Google Asia Runner or check out their website at:


Here's the full article:


Bangladesh is one of the most densely populated countries in the world and its capital, Dhaka, with a population in excess of 15 million people, is considered one of the fastest growing mega-cities, or a city with more than 10 million people, in the world. Since arriving in Dhaka only 8 short months ago, I have gone on weekday runs, weekend runs, holiday runs, pre-dawn runs, noon day runs and evening runs and they all pose various challenges. It is difficult to escape the heat and humidity anytime of the day, except for the pleasant cold season months of December, January and February. The traffic congestion at noon and in the early evening can only be described as “gridlock” and while most people would think this would be a great time to be on foot, I have been literally ‘stuck’ in the traffic - so much so that I cannot even scoot by the cars because the motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians and rickshaws block my way.

To bring running in Dhaka more to life, here is an excerpt from a run I went on just this morning…

The Saturday Long Run, or SLR, as the local runners refer to it is hosted by the Dhaka Triathlon Club. This morning the SLR was a 10-mile run (not pictured here) which started off, as usual, in the early morning hours. The weather, even at that hour, already felt hot and sticky. Traffic was light on the local neighborhood roads in Gulshan, a popular neighborhood in the diplomatic zone in the northern part of Dhaka. The trees on either side of the street provided decent shade, even though everyone was sweating the minute we took that first step. We ran right past the British and Canadian High Commissions and the American Embassy in our attempts to get ‘out of town’. Turning onto the ‘Airport Road’, even at this early hour, forces the runners to pull on their black masks which filter out black smoke and other irritants - the same masks
that you see professional dirt bike racers wear.

No headphones for this crew, not if they want to hear the huge rumbling buses that come so close you can feel the rush of air sweep over your arms and back. No, there is nothing to drown
out the cacophony of sounds from the constant honking of horns from buses, large trucks, CNGs (motorized tuk-tuks), cars and rickshaws. Luckily we find a parallel access road that runs along
the 4 lane divided highway but have to leave this much less congested path when we come upon a large truck overflowing with rotting trash. We jump over the open sewer to run in the bustling
street. Thankfully, less than a mile later, we turn off this busy road and onto a dirt road loaded with traffic and pedestrians that will take us ‘out of town’. After another mile dodging traffic and
snarling dogs, the road finally opens up. We have been running almost 5km when we see rice paddies on either side of the two lane paved road. Traffic lessens and it gets quieter. We hear a cow mooing near the side of the road and a horn far in the distance. We continue to run but unfortunately due to the heat and humidity and the fact we have already run 5 miles out, we realise that if we are to have enough energy to make the return trip back to town,
we must leave this quiet, country road and turn around into the chaos once again.

The last couple of miles we slog along not able to pick up the pace as the sun rises even further in the sky. We walk the last half mile home (after clocking exactly 10 miles on the GPS) which
helps sore muscles. For some reason running in this heat tends to take a greater toll on your body. We know that besides being soaking wet, we must rehydrate and so we all drink Gatorade
and sometimes even eat a few potato chips post-run. Later in the day, at one of the many expat clubs in town, you can spot the runners...they are the ones shaking salt into their freshly squeezed lemonade!

Robin Martz is one of the founders of the
Dhaka Triathlon Club

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Catherine graduates from pre-school!

Catherine 'graduated' from her pre-school here in Dhaka yesterday. All of the children dressed up as their favorite character and she was a little mermaid. There was a fashion show and then each class (1-2 year olds, 2-3 year olds, 3-4 year olds) sang a song and did a dance. She seemed a little nervous during the fashion show, as she had her fingers in her mouth as she crossed the stage, but got into the groove for the song as her little class sang 'the wheels on the bus'....one of her favorites.
Here is the entire class for the GRANDE FINALE! Dave and I were in the backrow of seats singing along and clapping furiously. We often ask ourselves if other parents think Catherine is as special as we do...that she MUST be the smartest, most talented kid EVER!
Here she is accepting her graduation certificate and rose up on the stage. I tried to get out of the photo, but my belly is too big and I made it in the shot anyway! I am the one in the green outfit on the right side of the photo.

Mom and dad took Catherine out to dinner to celebrate afterwards! I guess this is just the first of many graduations to come (at least we hope that's the case!)

Monday, June 2, 2008

June 1 at the Martz household

Here is Catherine sporting her new "I'm the BIG sister" T-shirt! She is seen here modeling it with her daddy watching.
On our way out the door, our housekeeper took this photo of the family. Catherine is dressed in traditional clothes, Robin in a borrowed maternity dress and Dave in normal work wear. We are all headed out the door to school and work. Only difference is today is Robin's birthday!
Catherine poses with mommy in her new T-shirt.