This week I had the sudden realization that I only have four weeks left in Bangladesh! My summer flew by!
I woke up Sunday morning feeling a little off, but I thought perhaps I needed to sleep. However, by Sunday night, I knew: I was sick. Thankfully it wasn’t anything too debilitating, only a bad cold, but it meant working from home a few days this week.
During the days I needed to be in the office for meetings and such, my coworkers were very kind and helpful. Joseph, noticing I wasn’t feeling well made me a lemon and ginger tea (with fresh ginger!). One day last month I worked from home because I had a migraine. Joseph called me to make sure I was okay and told me to tell him if I needed anything, and he would get it for me. While I’m looking forward to being back home with my husband and my dogs, I will truly miss my friends and coworkers here.
Later in the week, as I was beginning to feel a little better, I secured an appointment with another Winrock (or USAID?) partner, Democracy International. Democracy International partners with the National Legal Aid Services Organization here helping with the Legal processes. If someone was going to shed more light on my questions about the justice system, it would be them.
The meeting was very productive, and I went home with more information than I even knew I needed. Based on the information discussed in the meeting, I jumped into hours of researching rules and structures regarding Bangladesh’s legal system, along with a few other countries for comparison.
Talking to some of my coworkers about the struggles of Bangladesh’s legal system, I can see the frustrations they have. However, I try to encourage them to not become frustrated with it, and I remind them no system is perfect. Having gained independence barely 50 years ago their country is still very young. In the USA we have had well over 200 years to get ours straightened out, and we still have work to do.
At the end of the week, I decided I needed to do some shopping since I haven’t done any yet. I asked my Airbnb host if she wanted to go with me and off we went. We completed the bulk of our shopping at Aarong. A fair trade brand, Aarong is a retail store in Bangladesh that collaborates with artisans all over the country to create beautiful handmade items.
One of the main items I was looking for was a hand-embroidered blanket since embroidery is a specialty here in Bangladesh, and Aarong did not disappoint! Walking around the store, I was impressed by the skillful and detailed handiwork of each item. Incorporating multiple colors into most pieces, the store is vibrant with so many different shades; I could have walked around looking at things all day.
We went to a couple more stores, and I found a few other things. I was able to find two beautiful blankets and a bunch of other gift items to bring home with me.
Time is winding down, but next weekend I am heading to Thailand. Stay tuned! As always, to see more pictures click here.