Tuesday, August 25, 2009

living in a bollywood movie (shd be dallywood more like it!)

Hello from Dhaka. I m pleased to report I am enjoyig myself more this time round. Taking it as it comes... Some observations

- Work is drama. a secret service activity that turns into something ultra complicted. This will culminate with me invigilating a written test and interviewing 25 big burly men.

- In official places, there tend to be more men than women. Yesterday, I went shoppin in an air conditioned place, I finally found more women than men. yay...

- Old muslim cleric have orange beards, no, it is not dahl stuck there, it is them trying to dye it with Hanna when what is left is orange.. very funny!

- Poverty breaks my heart. I wonder what Jesus would do if he is in Dhaka. Would he give to all the beggers that come to you knocking the window of your cars. I don't know what to do. :(

more to come... tk care meantime!

Monday, August 24, 2009

what i wanna do now...

Sit down with my girlies (including the one taking the foto of course) and daydream together.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Princess of God

"All our falls are useful if they strip us of a disatrous confidence in
ourselves, while they do not take away a humble and saving trust in God." - Francois Fenelon

"He started speaking to me, as a servant I was dispensable- servants come
and go, and God can choose any of us to do any job in His kingdom..... But as a
Child of God, I was indispensable. There could never be another me - a child
irreplacable" Matt Redman

Teach me to know that regardless of what people say, of institutions and cultures, I am a princess of God, deeply loved (as says Yurong's phone) and precious in His sight.

Thank you Jesus.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

brought up believing in equality.. sort of at least.

When I was young, I remember being totally upset that mommy would say I have to wash the dishes because I was a girl. Or that i had to do something more here and there,or the sublime favortism that relatives would pay the boy in the family when we go on our Chinese New Year rounds...

But I think that was it... I never once felt slighted for an opportunity because I was a girl. I get the equal treatment of study your eyes out because this is the thing to do, or practice your piano because you go for classes... I went to girls' schools for a good part of my education and was taught that wat was ultimately important, what determines the value of one's worth is based on one's results, credentials etc. Not saying that this is the best approach, but this is something that one has control over, not like the gender that you are born with.

Imagine my shock in the South Asia Continent. I don't think going to little india in Singapore will adequately prepare one of the feeling of this part of the world... neither will mixing with all my Indian/Bangladeshi/Pakistani friends.. Haha. Well, its not that bad really, but I do think there was an intense culture shock. For once, I did feel bad being a woman. haha, I think this is more intense than in China. Or maybe i am just more used to the Chinese. But it was all very strange... from men looking at you intensely with no discretion to not being spoken to because you are a woman.. hmm. Difficult.

Its great I suppose to work in the regional office, I do not need to play the game of rank and file, but rather just go and get the work done. Some days, I work with the big boss in the office, other days, with the smallest person. Its great to hear and learn from all levels. I know one day why I have the honor of this experience but for now, it has been great. However, I can't help but put myself in the shoes of what a typical female my age/credentials will be doing if I were in country. Hmmm.

I guess I am just reeling from Culture Shock. I don't know how to process. Women rights movements feel very distant from these realities. These women belive this is their lot and accepted that. Added to that is the consideration of the Muslim context. hmmm. I don't know..

Well, I guess what I am trying to say is that I am happy to be home today and able to go out with whoever I wish to and not worry about what I wear. Simple things that are very quickly taken for granted.:)

Monday, August 03, 2009

Welcome to Dhaka

Hello from Dhaka, Bangladesh. I have not stepped out of the hotel since arriving here 2 days ago. I had the impression that my flight to Dhaka was at about 11 something in the night but my boss, who was on the same flight as me called me at 715 and asked if I was at the airport... I then realised that my flight is at 840 and yes, I had not packed at that time so between 715 and 840, life was a blur. I probably stressed my poor dad driving me to the airport but we made it! and he probably had a lot of practice being my mommy's husband!! hehe.

So, yes in Dhaka. When I first arrived. I think i was tired and grumpy, this possibly made me more annoyed with my little room, grimey carpet and erm. overall demeanor of the hotel. This was of course after waiting half an hour for my transprot to the hotel from the airport and men helping my boss (male) and other men but totally ignoring me. Grrr. I am not used to be slighted to this degree.....
So yes, back to my room. At 130am, when i am all settled (read changed and not presentable) the door rang and I sprung out of my bed and put on something decent and screamed wait, worried that somebody would just open the door (yes there is no internal lock)... So I opened the door and guess what? A basket of fruits !!!! haha, yes while I appreciate the gesture,it is a little late at 130 am... hmmm, Anyway, I asked about internet and the guy mumbled something so I said ok, maybe tomorrow since it is late and I want to sleep.. .. Anyway, the door closed on me and I started getting ready for bed sort of... at about 2am, the bell rang again !!! Grrr, this time i was in the toilet and was totally scared they will just open the room door since the toilet door was not closed at the room door. I screamed WAIT and then rushed to look presentable again. This time, the guy came with a intenet cable... haha, I said thanks and after fixing that, I pointed him to the clock that doesnt work and after 5 minutes, he understood that the clock doesnt work and I would like it fixed. I closed the door at him and waiting 30 minutes for another disturbance, I finally started settling myself to bed.... At this time, I was done talking to my frog and tried at length to count my blessings and feel better about the situation...

At 555am, I was awoken by a knock on the door. Initially, I thought that it was just my imagination and tried to go back to sleep. After a while, I realised that it was not going away and that it was not my dream. There was a man at my door!!! I wondered what I should do and was going to start dressing up to open the door again when I decided to just ask what he wanted. He said it was my wake up call!! and I said ok thanks... !!!! Retrospectively, I think that he had understood our looking at the clock as me wanting a wake up call. Haha. Lost in translation.

Yes, this is a strange land, even if my experiences are confined in the hotel.I am pleased to report that I am over the initial frustration and now quite enjoying myself. I don't think I would want to settle down in the south asia sub continent but it has been okie. Here, only men work in the hotel (which includes housekeeping!!) and yea, I am in the company of men this whole week....

Hehe, currently processing thoughts on culture and how this affects work ethics... How development work and poverty together can inevitably affect how one expects hand outs instead of fighting for things. And how these thoughts are so deeply rooted I am not sure a seminar here and there will change things.

Must believe that Jesus is the answer and that he loves all the people of the world....

Back to work!