Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas From the Blogtistis

We went to the water park for Christmas Eve. It seemed a good enough way to mark the occasion (also, remarkably, Lena's first foray outside the apartment building). It was a beautiful, sunny day, the water was cool and clear, and Hindi Bollywood Music drummed from the speakers. We planned a picnic for lunch but fell victim to the internationally recognized scam of the park not allowing outside food or drink. No problem, we thought, we'll have a picnic in the courtyard outside the park. A memorable picnic that turned out to be just us, a million flies, 3 goats, a rooster, and a crowd of wide-eyed hungry children. The sweet Bangladeshi woman who was with us kept giving Enzo pancakes to eat and he kept dropping them onto the dusty, litter strewn bricks after a bite or two. After a couple pancakes had bit the dust one of the children came close enough to pick one up and stuff it in his pocket. Christmas Even ended in the traditional late night mad organizing fashion. We slept well and the kids woke to what we know is a rather sad looking Christmas tree (houseplant). (Let me just interject that I need some serious blogging help because I can't remember how to re-orient pictures when I post them)It was a memorable holiday. We missed our family and friends far away. We loved spending time with our family nearby (Summer!) and new friends here.And since our Christmas is ending and yours is just beginning... let us just wish you one more time... a very Merry Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Drive By Shooting

I realized the other day that we have a couple of pictures that were taken by Titus and Maggie while driving one day. Not that impressive in the way of photos but they do give some impression of the general environment we live in.

some thatched houses among the trees
(sorry, this shot might make you car sick)

rickshaw riding down
a remarkably clean and empty street

ship in the river
Chittagong is a port city after all

cng in the background
a couple of blokes and a white wall

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Angel in an Orange Sari

There is an Angel in my apartment. I think it's sort of a blessed Christmas treat. Here is how it happened.

We arrived in Chittagong in just enough time to meet everyone and then watch as, one by one, they left on their various Christmas holidays. It's always a bummer being the one left behind but there is a consolation. Dear Angelie (sp?), the housekeeper/cook who works for another family in the building. When they left they asked Angelie to come and help us while they were gone since they were going to pay her for the whole month anyway. In less than 24 hours she has mopped the whole apartment twice, cleaned each bathroom, washed/folded and ironed the laundry, and right now she's cleaning the windows. I love her.

She's delighted by the little ones. Which is alarming because she thinks it's cute when they want to play with her purse and cell phone. I'm worried they'll break her phone and lose her wallet (which is more likely than not). Then she'll hate us and never come back. I had to put Enzo down for a nap today because he was looking a little too interested in her purse. I will not let them sabotage this. It's not everyday we get to have an Angel in the apartment.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Camera Woes

The problem with buying a waterproof/shockproof camera is that the temptation to exploit its kid proof qualities becomes overpowering. That's essentially why our camera now has wavy impressionist lines going across its screen. We're still hoping it might recover. But for now, anyway, that's the end of the underwater horror film the kids were planning on making. Sorry you'll have to miss out on that.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Yay for Tea!

Yesterday I was invited to the 20th Annual Ladies' Christmas Tea. It was my first real tea party! It wasn't actually a problem that I didn't drink the tea. The servers were Bangladeshi and seemed very capable of thinking refusing tea at a tea party was an acceptable foreign quirk.

The party turned out to be similar to a Relief Society activity with a Baptist Twist. It was put on by women from the same organization who run the international school the kids will attend. I felt surprisingly at home and enjoyed the several opportunities to sing carols although I hadn't heard most of them before.

The tea party let me in on a big secret. Christmas is on the way. Yay for Tea!

Apartment Pictures

Here are some pictures of the apartment if you don't mind tilting your head. They should be upright to begin with and now I can't figure out how to rotate them. Here they are anyway so you can get a sense of where we live.

Enzo at the window.
You can see some trees outside.
Unfortunately all the windows have these metal
bars that are perfect for climbing.
Titus and Maggie are both stoked to have
desks in their rooms

A view of the living room/dining room.

My beautiful bedroom, mosquito net and all.
Thanks to Summer for setting it up for us.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Remembering the Trip

So the camera has resurfaced and the photos have been downloaded. I've been remembering the draining 50 hour trip to get here. Sadly, no direct flights. Of course, in retrospect all went well. But, I had a dark moment in Hong Kong (during the surprise 11 hour layover) when Bryce was close to leaving me behind. In the end we all made it and here are some pics that make it look short and easy.
Watching cartoon network in the Hong Kong airport

Lena decided the trip was the time
to get over her stranger anxiety.

She made near constant attempts to wander away.

Enjoying the time to read and the space to lay down.

It's amazing how many times Jack in the box can be a surprise.

The girls making friends with
the required female security guard in Dhaka.

She searches all the women in the booth behind that curtain
(just a little search).

Finally arriving in Chittagong. Blue skies, green trees...
and the sad realization that home is really far away.

Friday, December 11, 2009


I realize I've been remiss in posting any indication of what is going on with us right now. Partly it's because I'm still resisting (I know, give up already!), partly it's because I've had a bummer of a stomach bug, and partly is still the lack of photos. But enough excuses. I've got to write something.

We're on the third story of a brick and cement building. Straight out the window is a vista of verdant foliage. Palm and Maple and all sorts of trees climb up over the hillside. Looking down from the window is our street: Panchlaish. It's moderately busy at the peak of the day with cars, CNG's, rickshaws and pedestrians all weaving among one another. The soundtrack to our life is the now familiar rumble of diesel engines and honking horns.

Bryce has taken the van into town on the weekly trip to Khulshi for our essential western groceries. There is a comforting amount of familiar food available...but at a price. We're still missing a lot of household essentials.

Titus is laying on the couch reading. We're glad we brought as many books as we did. But Titus has also enjoyed playing legos and dodge ball with some other kids in the building.

Maggie is at another apartment in the building making snowflakes with a friend. She came down a second ago to ask for scissors. She has kept pretty busy with games and plays but in her down time has taken to rollerblading around the table while reading.

Lena's sleeping. Enzo's sleeping. Nap time.

Just a typical slow Saturday for us in Chittagong.

Sunday, December 6, 2009


We're here. We've arrived. It's a new chapter... a new beginning. But I'm tired. The camera has gone missing. And I don't feel like I have anything to say (not in the blogging groove yet). So I think I'll go to bed so I can get some sleep before the dogs start howling. To my sleepy ears they sound like Lena and Enzo and I just can't ignore them. Good night. Thank you for being so good to me.
Always, Andra