Wednesday, December 31, 2008


Here is our 1st baby, Molson enjoying the near North in Ontario, Canada. No, this picture was not taken in Bangladesh! I am sitting in Dhaka writing this blog in a T-shirt, flip-flops with the fan purring above my head. Grandpa Coach sent this awesome photo and we are sharing it with you now.

Here's to a great 2009! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas party at the Ambassador's residence

Caroline and I attended a Christmas party at the United States Ambassador to Bangladesh's residence. The Ambassador's wife (also a former Ambassador) is addressing the crowd in the red shawl. There was a huge feast, wonderfully decorated home for the holidays and someone playing Christmas carols on the Grand piano. Here Caroline and I are posing with our former neighbors, Dick and Caroline Moss and Madame Ambassador.

The two Caroline's seeing eye to eye!

More on Christmas in Dhaka

A photo of the post gift opening carnage... Dave bought Catherine a Dora the Explorer sweatsuit, which she quickly gives two thumbs up!

Catherine modeled all of her outfits she received and decided to keep Dora on the rest of the day! (oh, and adds her Dora the explorer tennis shoes!)

Christmas in Bangladesh

Here is Catherine opening a gift and her stocking on Christmas morning. Dave and I each had one gift to open and Catherine had 4 or 5 gifts to open. She was excited about ALL those gifts (even though by our standards it was very few!) so we will try and have just a few gifts in the coming years too. We'll see!

The mask she is wearing if my gift from Dave. There are a set of four masks all hand painted that he bought in Bhutan.

We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! More photos of Christmas coming....

Thursday, December 25, 2008


We wish our family and friends a verry happy holiday season!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I no like Pogos!

The famous words of Miss Catherine Martz this summer while at the local chip stand in Temagami. After her first bite, though, she decided she LOVED Pogos! This posting is for her! I thought of writing this up after talking with Catherine this morning over breakfast and asking her what foods she likes. She said, and I quote, "I like pizza." " I like mac and cheese." "I like pogos." "I like pink ice cream." "I like cherry ice cream." "I like cereal." "I like Pogos."

Well, there you have it ladies and gentleman. The pogos not only make the list but show up two times! For those who are unfamaliar with the Pogo. Please see below. Corn dog
From Wikipedia
The corn dog or corny dog is a hot dog coated in cornbread batter and deep fried in hot oil, although some are baked. Almost all corn dogs are served on wooden sticks, though some early versions were stickless. In Canada, corn dogs are also known as "Pogo Sticks".

It's beginning to look a LITTLE like Christmas...

We do what we can here in Bangladesh...and that means no big, beautifully fresh cut evergreen in our living room. This is our 2nd year in a row of a Charlie Brown Christmas tree (its better than nothing!). We have the lights on but no ornaments yet. Catherine thought it would be a good idea to put all of the stockings on her limbs. We will try and get one made for Caroline before the big day.

Catherine's hair is getting long!

Now, she won't let us cut it and likes any and all hair 'accessories'....even if that means wearing them all at once! This is her this morning (Sunday, Dec 14th) on her way to playgroup.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Some random photos of the martz family

I had a former colleague from the World Bank visiting Dhaka and over for dinner the other night. So, I got out the camera to take a couple of photos...i took these photos before she arrived and then because we were so busy chatting and catching up, i completley forgot to take ANY photos when she was here!

Here is baby Caroline at 3 months and Dave and Catherine snacking on some raw veggies waiting for our guest.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Old Dhaka historic buildings

Here are some shots of the actual homes we saw. In many of them, the occupants invited the group in and we toured the houses while they went about their daily routines. The top shot is of a courtyard in the interior of a building. I walked from the street down a long, dark skinny hallway to get to this courtyard. The hand pump was in this courtyard. The exterior shot was a house from the Mongol (sp?) period which was even BEFORE the colonial period. So between 200-400 years ago. I asked our guide what was different about the living conditions from 200 years ago and now and she said "200 years ago they had an open well and now they have a hand pump". All i could think about was New York, London and Boston 200 years ago and those cities TODAY. crazy.

Historic walk in Old Dhaka

This was the main street we walked to see many of the historic buildings. Just wide enough for a few people on either side of a rickshaw. You can see the back of me in the red and white striped sweater. The shop to my right sold flags (see them above my head on the right?) and we bought a couple for Catherine. They were 4 taka each (70 taka=$1). This neighborhood is mostly Hindu and so many of the shops sold Hindu related items (like the crowns hanging up next to the kites).

I was talking with one of our guides when Dave snapped this photo. It should be titled "A river runs through it". We had to watch our steps as the open sewers separated the street from the shops. Fabulous day for me to wear white pants...NOT.

The people were very friendly and wanted to get a closer look at both Catherine and Caroline. We have gotten pretty good at the defensive maneuvers to avoid people touching their face, hands, etc. People also wanted to take their picture. A Bangladeshi custom is to put up a photo of a beautiful baby/child while a woman is pregnant. So, the cameras were coming after both girls.

Pogose school interior

Dave and one of our guides chat inside the school's 'library'. I took a photo of one of the cases up close so you can see how accessible these books are to the kids. Yes, that IS a padlock on the door! The front of the case was filthy and the books inside looked like they came with the school when it was built....200 years ago!

How about a fireplace in one of the classrooms?

Pogose school in Old Dhaka

Dave, Catherine, Caroline and I took a historic walking tour in the oldest part of Dhaka, aptly named "Old Dhaka". The buildings are 200 years old and some are older than that! This was the school where the walk began. We were briefed by our Bangladeshi guides on what we would see and why they are even doing the walks-to raise awareness about many of the historic buildings in Old Dhaka that are threatened with demolition by both the government and the current landlords. The group is doing advocacy work at the national level as well as organizing these walks (mostly ex-pats attend) to raise awareness about the buildings.

The inside of the school was really run down and the outside courtyard was used as a cricket field as it is the only place for local kids to play.

You thought your office was a mess? How'd you like to find a slip of paper in the piles on this shelf? The shelf was about 8 feet in the air!

I believe that the school was build nearly 200 years ago during the colonial period. Our guides were very knowledgable about the area, so any mistakes I make here are mine alone.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Funny kid

When we arrived back in Dhaka with a new baby sister in tow, Catherine started coming into our room several times at night. Who could blame her...we were all in there! Mom, dad and baby Caroline! She has now started to come into our room less and less at night, which is great!

I have to tell the story about last night when she came to the foot of our bed (she normally just peels the mosquito net back and climbs right in!) and said "mama, i need my blanket". i quickly got out of bed and walked her back to her room. She climbed back into her bed without even a request and looked up and said "my blanket came off my feet, i need my blanket".

LOL! She had pulled her mosquito net back, climbed out of bed, walked to her door in the dark, opened the door, walked across the apartment (also in the dark), and into our room JUST to get tucked back in again!
That funny kid!

Henry's boat launch

Our friend Henry BUILT A BOAT! Yes, he is a sailor and built his own sailboat! He came up with the idea back in 2005, developed some plans and began actual work on it in 2006, after arriving in Bangladesh. (did i mention that we ALL live in apartments here in Dhaka?!) Yes, his boat has been in dry dock in a variety of places around Dhaka and most recently in the coastal town of Savar.

Henry and his family hosted a boat launching party this past Saturday night. We drove about an hour out of the city to reach the dock. Overlooking the dock was a lovely grassy area where they had tables set up complete with white tablecloths, fabric draped chairs and flower centerpieces! I felt like i was arriving to a fancy wedding reception in Nantucket rather than being in Dhaka (a good feeling, BTW!). There was an open bar and lots of BBQ burgers and hot dogs. We enjoyed a great dinner of BBQ burgers and hot dogs, the kids ran around in the grass and there was a beautiful sunset. All in all, a lovely party!

We all walked down to the dock for Henry's speech about this dream of his and how excited (and/or exhausted?) he is now that he has reached his goal! He poured the champagne on the boat and took a much deserved chug afterwards.

Dave commented on the way home, that he was glad we could attend the boat launching and that it was similiar to showing up and cheering someone on when they run a marathon. It is really hard to understand the countless hours of work someone puts into something until you see them on THE DAY and realize how downright giddy and exhausted they are! So, congratualtions on completing your boat building marathon, Henry!

You can spot Catherine in the black and white lifey on the dock. We borrowed this from the little H. Our friend Kathy enjoyed holding Caroline at dinner.

Goofing off

Here is a big bowl of chicken Biryani (sp?) that our cook made. He made such a lovely presentation, I decided to take a photo before we dug in. We ask that he make traditional dishes for us at least a few times a week. Otherwise, its mostly western fare for us (pizza, cannelloni, enchiladas, quiche, spaghetti and meatballs, etc) Here is Catherine getting ready to eat dinner and deciding to goof off instead of smile for the camera!