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Bangladesh in the News

You may or may not have seen news headlines lately, pertaining to riots and protests in Bangladesh, and in Dhaka specifically. There have been a few disturbances lately, although I’m not sure how often such things occur. And I have only found out about them through the media, both national and international.

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Posted in Bangladesh | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2008-04-13 12:01

Tour of Dhaka City

Views of street below_2Today I had a tour of the city of Dhaka. It was arranged and given by members of the project team, which was very generous of them! We started at the hotel at 9am, where a driver and two others (Touhed and Nipa) picked me up. First stop was the parliament buildings (Sangshad Bhaban), which were built in the early 1940’s and designed by an American architect. Very interesting design, as you will see by the photos! There are also residences for parliamentary staff nearby. We also went to a memorial for one of Bangladesh’s Prime Ministers.

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Posted in Bangladesh | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Fri, 2008-04-11 11:45

Impressions of Dhaka

I arrived in Dhaka on Monday, about 4 hours later than anticipated due to snow in London. I didn’t know it snowed in London in April very often! But apparently it can happen. And when it does, it seems to mess up Heathrow’s flight schedules, but then what doesn’t!?

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Posted in Bangladesh | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Wed, 2008-04-09 11:22

Counting Down to Dhaka

I am counting down to my departure for Bangladesh. I leave Saturday afternoon from Ottawa, and later that night from Toronto. It's going to be a long journey - 20 hours on 2 flights with a stopover at Heathrow (please cross your fingers that the luggage system will be working!). I will arrive in Dhaka at 6am on Monday morning, Dhaka Time. Dhaka is about 11 hours ahead of us, so I am on two overnight flights to get there, in the space of one day. It's kind of crazy. To get back, I will travel for 20 hours, but get back to Ottawa 12 hours or so later.

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Posted in Bangladesh | travel | work Submitted by Meg on Wed, 2008-04-02 21:36

To Paraguay and Back (Almost!)

IMG_1655I spent last week in the region of El Chaco, which is located in southern Bolivia on a work related trip to investigate the possibility of implementing a project in the region to provide water using solar pumping systems. It was a very interesting trip. I expected the weather to be very hot (up to 40C), but luckily the days were mostly cloudy and the extreme heat doesn’t start for another month or two. We are working with an NGO called Energetica, which specializes in solar panels, and has done several solar pumping projects.

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Posted in travel | work Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2007-04-15 15:41

Cochabamba and more!

IMG_1331I was away from Wed to Sun night last week, for work of course! I flew Wed morning to Cochabamba with two other women from the office. We had a capacity building workshop from Wed to Fri. The workshop was being given by UNICEF to community-based hygiene promoters. It was a very interesting 3 days and I think I probably learned as much as they did! The hygiene promoters are people who travel to communities in their municipality and hold hygiene promotions sessions, follow the construction of water systems and latrines, and do basic repairs to water taps and systems.







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Posted in travel | work Submitted by Meg on Tue, 2007-03-20 21:56

Back in La Paz

IMG_1049 I flew back to La Paz today. Tomorrow it will be back to the office and back to normality. I have mixed feelings about being back. On the one hand it will be good to have a regular schedule again and not be working all the time. I am very much looking forward to the extra sleep. And it will be good to get back into my projects at work. At the same time it was hard to leave because we are starting to see results. Things are improving with the response to the floods. We delivered 400 hygiene kits (kits that contain basic personal hygiene items like toothbrushes and toilet paper) Fri and Sat to families living in camps. Three weeks of work is finally paying off!

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Posted in work Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2007-03-04 21:21

Making Progess!

Things in Santa Cruz are moving forward!! This is a big deal and makes me very happy. I’ve been here for almost two weeks now. Time doesn’t really mean much at the moment – mostly my schedule is work sleep work and all the days seem to turn into one another. At the moment I am taking a brief break to update you all on my time in Santa Cruz, and also for my sanity! It is looking likely that I will be heading back to La Paz on the weekend or early next week.

After two weeks we are finally making progress in the water and sanitation response. The first week was difficult because there was a lack of information available about the conditions in the affected communities. So, I spent a few days with teams of people gathering data and evaluating the situation in some communities. There are, however, still some communities that can’t be reached by road because the floods washed out a lot of roads and they haven’t been fixed.

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Posted in work Submitted by Meg on Thu, 2007-02-22 21:11

Update from Santa Cruz

I’ve been in Santa Cruz for 10 days now. It’s been a very busy 10 days. Emergency response is work that involves long long hours and very little sleep! I’m fairly certain that I haven’t had a night of 8 hours of sleep since I’ve been here. Tonight is the night!! 8 hours, here I come!

I have been working as a member of the water and sanitation commission of the Departmental government. I am not supposed to be coordinating the group, but really I am. I have spent several days out in the field evaluating the water and sanitation situation of people who have been affected by the flooding. I have spent many many many hours in meetings. And other hours working on our strategy and trying to get things done.

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Posted in Events | work Submitted by Meg on Mon, 2007-02-19 21:57

Water Water Everywhere

It is hot in Santa Cruz! I am back down at an elevation of about 450m, and you can certainly tell the difference. First of all, it is hot. Very hot. The past few days have been about 40C. Today wasn’t quite that hot. There are A/Cs almost everywhere, which is nice. I have found out how much someone can sweat without really doing anything though since there are no A/Cs in the field (except in the truck, thank goodness!). Santa Cruz is also flat, which is very different from La Paz, which is built on the side of a mountain. In general, although I haven’t seen much, I like Santa Cruz. There are lots of restaurants with patios and all kinds of shops selling ice cream and goodies!

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Posted in work Submitted by Meg on Sun, 2007-02-11 22:02

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