Dhaka and Pirganj
Arrival into Dhaka I could not see very much as it was already dark.
I stayed at a lovely hotel call 'Eastern Residence' which was a few blocks from the World Vision National Office.
I was picked up by a World Vision car in the morning and taken to the National office where I had the chance to meet alot of the key staff members and had some induction into safety and child protection. At the office there was an Australian girl (Carla) and an American girl (Alyssa) who invited me to lunch with them. They said they usually go out for lunch as even though lunch is provided at the office, it is the same rice, vegetables and dahl every day. It was amazing to have this time with Carla and Alyssa as I asked them soooo many questions as to what it is like living in Bangladesh.
They live in (modern) apartments with other international volunteers or interns. They go to the gym, buy their food from supermarkets and even have party's. They also told me about 'country clubs' which is an organization you can pay to be a member of and use the facilities. Usually a bar where they can buy imported drinks, a pool, spa and even grass to sit on! Sounds like a Oasis in the concrete jungle of Dhaka. Carla said if I go back to Dhaka for a weekend I am welcome to stay with her, so I may take her up on that offer some time.
After lunch Carla took me to a clothing shop to buy my first Salwar Kameez! And as they described it, it is actually like wearing pj's all day long!
Dhaka is really not the nicest city in the world. It is dusty, noisy, smelly, entirely made of concrete, and insanely busy! Chris said is it busy like Bangkok busy, and I said, no like 10x as busy. The traffic is also insane! I remember when I first arrived in Vietnam I was terrified of crossing the street, however by the time I left Vietnam, it was as easy as just sticking your hand out and walking with the motorbikes dodging you. However in Dhaka, it is the same amount of traffic (if not more) but it is no longer motorbikes, it is cars, trucks and buses, so if you get hit by that, you are pretty much done for. 95% of the people in the streets are men and they really do just stare, will take some getting used to.
The next morning I was picked up at 6.45 by Stephen who is the assistant to the Dinajpur Director (Pirganj = is a district in Dinajpur). We set off and reached Pirganj by 1pm which was good timing (can take up to 10hrs depending on traffic)
Everyone at the Pirganj WV office is very friendly and I have a little room at the office. I did see a gecko in my room last night but no cockroaches so far so its all looking good!