Friday, December 21, 2007

Its Christmas in Bangladesh, Charlie Brown!

Yes, I could not pass ONE Christmas without a little holiday cheer which means a Christmas tree, lights and Christmas gifts under the tree! I bought this tree (shrub?!) at a local nursery for 200 taka (less than $3). The first set of lights didn't work, so I had to BUY another set....yes, that's right, no such thing as money back guarantee here! But, we are outfitted for the big day, even if it is still 70 degrees outside! HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO EVERYONE!!!

Bad news for our family

We have some bad news for our family about the wonderful Christmas cards they sent us (sent to DC actually). We came home the other day and Molson had gotten into where our cards were and ATE all of them! We were SO upset as we know how much thought and care went into choosing and sending them to us. We are very sorry for this bad boy move and sincerely hope you will consider sending the messages to us a in a quick email (or let us know what we missed on skype). We were so mad that that evening for dinner, Molson got the leftover card in his dish as his supper. The staff tell me he hasn't gone near where the cards were since that episode. So, we are hoping he learned his lesson. The shot on the right was the only thing salvageable and actually came out of his mouth when we got home. If there was any money, we really hope it was in the check form and NOT cash. If it was a check, please cancel it and accept our apology for this. Thanks again for thinking of us and sending us these wonderful cards that we can only imagine had heartfelt wishes for Christmas and the New Year. Lots of love this Christmas from Robin, Dave, Catherine and Molson, aka the 'shredder'.

Only in Bangladesh???

Here is the light pole by our apartment building with an array of wires leading to and away from it. Our Internet cable is one of those wires! I hope our Internet never goes out and we have to have a technician come and "fix" the wire?! The other photo is of a "pothole" on our street. Careful not to walk/bike/run into to this huge hole!

The lake near our house

You can see this lake on Google Earth. It is at the end of our street and across Road 70. We figure the path around the lake is about 1km and have been known to run 5 quick laps for lack of a better workout. Catherine goes to the park here with the aya and she really loves strolling around the lake. Molson, unfortunately, is not allowed in this park or any other here for that matter. We really miss our Arlington County dog parks! He would probably just want to go swimming anyway...and the water (if you can call it that) is really more sewage (lovely, i know!). Many Bangladeshis exercise in this park by walking around the lake in circles. I run on the left and pass on the right (like the cars here) and not the other way like at home. Mostly men walking, although there are some women that walk in full saris or shalwar kameez and usually don;t have good walking/running shoes on. I have never seen a Bangladeshi woman run in the 4 months I have been here.

Where we live...again

Well, here it is up close...our apartment building! The shot with the laundry on the balcony is the side view and that apt is our downstairs neighbors. The window and balcony above the clothes is Miss Catherine's room. The other shot is a front view of the building. We are on the 3rd floor, but you must push '2' when getting on the elevator because you are entering on the ground floor and not 1st floor! The dark red gates are actually garage doors that slide open for the cars to enter our small carport. We have a guard downstairs that opens and closes the gate for cars and when we are coming/going with Catherine in her stroller or on a walk with Molson.

Where we live Part ?

This is our street. We live at the very end (i.e. dead-end) of Road 68 in Gulshan 2 (our neighborhood). I was out walking Molson about 8AM on a Friday (first day of w/e...aka Saturday). So, there was very little traffic and the street looked quite peaceful. The tree lined shot was taken about 30 feet from our house walking away from the house. The picture with the street sign is where our street intersects Road 70. You can see rickshaws driving by and men standing wondering what in the world I find so fascinating to take pictures of??? More on where we live in next post...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


As I was not able to attach all 4 pictures to the post, I split them up and feel obliged to write something here. Our wonderful dinner of roasted chicken, garlic steamed zucchini and garlic and cheese potatoes was topped off with this little gem of a pie. Our cook's first try at the "chocolate cream pie" was a HUGE bowl of chocolate pudding with some thin cream on top. Yes, SO upsetting to get THAT instead of a pie. Dave and I choked it down (Ha! it was great too!) So, this was pure SUCCESS! The only thing missing from this fabulous supper was DADDY.

Trying out first CHOCOLATE CREAM PIE!

The cook has officially made my (our) day and perfected a chocolate cream pie. Here Catherine & I enjoy if after supper one night! MMMMMMMMMM

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

We received our FIRST care package today!

It It was shipped in early November from New Orleans and it is the only package we have received. Thank you to our friends Holly and Paul in NOLA who so generously sent such a wonderful package. We know the items were chosen with care and those postage fees were very sizable, so THANK YOU! We have included a couple of photos here so you can see the pleasure it brought to Catherine as she pulled each item out! MANY, MANY THANKS!

CAUTIONARY NOTE ABOUT SENDING CARE PACKAGES to Bangladesh: I asked someone who has lived in Dhaka for many years how she receives care packages…i.e. the above care package took SO long and we were required to pay $6 to receive it after our friends had spent nearly $30 to send it!!! She said I don’t get care packages. I asked “what if people want to send you something?” She said “I tell them not to”. She says it’s just not worth it. I do hope we get the packages that have already been sent (for Catherine’s birthday and others), but keep this in mind before you send anything else.


Our shipment arrived yesterday (see last post for details) and we are enjoying having a mini-pre Christmas and opening boxes that have things in them we hardly remember! Catherine had her own potty in the shipment that is more her size and enjoyed getting her antlers and "lifey" on. We also have lots of great books, pictures and CDs to remind us of home!

Our shipment arrived!

Yes, it has only been 3 months and 10 days since we packed our stuff up in Arlington and shipped it to Bangladesh! It is a LONG way around the world and it didn’t help when a cyclone hit the port the day our shipment was due to arrive! It was all there and in okay condition more or less (check out that ‘fragile’ box!) Some families come here with 200-300 boxes and I heard of one family that had 341 boxes. We had a very respectable 40 boxes. Didn’t take long to put that away! Of course, I get to do the unpacking as Dave is out of town for work and left the night before it arrived…convenient! Our shipment was mostly books, a couple of boxes for Catherine (games, life jacket, books, diapers/wipes, etc) and we had some additional clothes, some pictures, 4 bikes plus Catherine’s bike, our computer, Cougar bike trailer, bike trainer and our wonderful, beyond comfortable bed. No other furniture (it all got sold at our garage sale!) So, we were getting along just fine before the shipment arrived and now that its mostly put away, you cannot even really tell we got anything. Although, our 3rd bedroom has become the de facto garage…full of bikes, bike trainer, golf clubs, other sports equipment, extra bed, etc.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Catherine's room-part 2

Catherine finally received her birthday gift from us-new bedroom furniture! It was designed and handmade here in Bangladesh. She LOVES it! The drawers under the bed hold most of her toys and games. The bed is over 6 feet long and nearly as wide. You can't really see her in the photo on the left, but she is laying (stretched out!) ACROSS her bed comfortably! She has all of her goodies in there with her: several balls, pillows, blankets, books, stuffed animals ( 1 doggie, 1 doggie backpack, 1 horsey, etc). Our shipment is supposed to arrive next week, so maybe I can include some photos of the rest of our place later!

Brother and sister pose for the camera

Just a little note to say we're all doing fine. Catherine continues to enjoy spending time with her aya (nanny) Mina and Molson likes his usual favorite activities of napping and mealtime. Dave is busy with work and since I have started consulting, I am busy too. We are looking forward to our vacation coming up to Thailand where we will run the Chiang Mai marathon on Dec. 30th. Still hot here so training is not the best. Missing family and friends during this holiday season. :)