Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Did the principal call my mom? (Because I definitely got in trouble at school.)

So it’s 10:30 at night, and I totally want to be sleeping, but am trying to beat the jet lag, so I’m going to write instead to keep myself up a bit longer.

We learned all sorts of random stuff in class today – I’m a bit skeptical as to the lesson planning that is (or is not) going on behind the scenes. We learned body parts and classroom objects (which apparently include things like road, tree, and water bottle). Then we learned a bunch of words that don’t really belong together… morning, can you make change?, I want to drink tea., how are you doing?, and so forth. Regardless, I was paying attention and taking notes like a good little student, and apparently, because I was writing, my teacher thought I wasn’t paying attention, and she called me out in front of the whole class and asked me a bunch of questions. I answered one of them incorrectly – the wrong vowel sound – and she says (in front of the entire class), “Noreen, tomorrow you sit in the front row.” I was so angry! I felt like I was being treated like a naughty little kid… just because I was not doing it “her way.” This whole situation put me in an incredibly bad mood.

We had to go to lunch with the teachers today as a huge group, and we went to this ridiculous “world cuisine” buffet… which had everything from dal (lentils) to deviled eggs and flan to kebabs. I completely avoided talking to the teachers the entire time because I was still (in fact, I am STILL) hung up on the whole treating me like a child/chastise me in front of my peers thing. I really hope tomorrow I am able to let it go (though I’m sure my classmates from GMU know how much I DETEST sitting anywhere other than the back row!).

In the afternoon I went to a tailor to have some traditional clothing made. The women’s outfits are called shalwar kameez, and consist of baggy pants, a long tunic top, and the “backward scarf” called an orna. To have them custom made cost $20 each (1000 taka), so I ordered two, and they should be ready by Monday, June 18.

The best part of my trip so far came this afternoon, when I bought a package of crackers and handed them out among the children who were begging in the street. I didn’t even have the package open yet and there was a swarm of about 20 kids around me – it was completely heartbreaking. I handed most of the crackers out to them, then crossed the street and gave the rest to some women with toddlers and babies. I definitely think I will make this a regular activity… when I get a little more familiar with numbers and currency I am going to buy a bunch of bananas and nuts (and things with generally more nutritional value than crackers) to hand out.

After that, of course, everything else I have to say seems rather unimportant, but alas, the details of my evening go on…

I washed my pants in the afternoon and hung them out to dry, figuring that I could sneak the three blocks to dinner in the dark wearing Capri pants without anyone noticing. For the record, I was completely wrong… everyone noticed, even in the dark. Oh well… those pants were getting pretty gross – it had to be done!

Dessert tonight was hilarious… They gave us some “strawberry” ice cream. It tasted EXACTLY like the liquid penicillin that kids get… and if you don’t remember what that tastes like, think about the taste of a “strawberry” Tums. Yup, it was really exactly like that. Milan (the cook) was laughing at all of our faces as we tried it – which we all did just for the sensation – and afterward said, “No strawberry? Next time I buy chocolate.” Very funny.

Oh, I’m pretty sure I didn’t mention this before, but the chocolate thing reminded me… The chocolate in Bangladesh has a really high paraffin content – to keep it from melting. So basically, it tastes like you are eating a candle. Yum!

Well, that’s all for today folks… I’ve got to go through my flash cards a couple more times before bed!


Jo Ann said...

Hi Cutie,
I love the way you write. I can really visualize that world through your eyes. Thanks for sharing your adventures. The photo was great too. I really miss you on that back row and hope you are on my team for the Tojo project. I put your name on my "fav eight" close to the top!!!
Take care of yourself, can't wait to see you and your new clothes. That must be so exciting too!!

Terri said...

chocolate wax? as a chocolate conniseur, I'm offended that they would pass that off as a treat, but that's life in the humidity! sorry to hear about the bad teacher, but you'll be blowing them away soon, then we'll see who's wagging their finger. you touched my heart with the cracker story, you know I'm a sucker for children, especially the oppresed and forgotten ones. keep the bloggin' and emails coming! WE ALL LOVE THEM!

Sara said...
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Sara said...

Yeah the ice cream is not the best. I forgot to warn you about that. (I've tried some with Vick and it def is an aquired taste).
Yellow Dahl is really good! (Well at least the stuff that Vick's mom makes is awesome.)

Tell that teacher to stick it. Last I knew, taking notes was a good thing!

Keep up the bloggs! They are so entertaining and I check back several times a day to see if you wrote something!

Miss you Reenie!

Robin said...

Hey Chica,

Finally got a chance to read your blog. How did you manage to get your own room lol! Anyway keep the blogs coming.
Luv ya,