Arrival in Bangladesh

After 28 hours of traveling with layovers in Germany and Bahrain I arrived in Dhaka in the early morning. On the last leg of the flight from Bahrain there were over 90 percent men who had been working in the middle east and were returning home. At Zia airport in Dhaka there were only a few planes parked on the runway. Quite a contrast from the previous stops. Finally after all of these years my fantasy came true. There was an expediter from the American Center waiting for me (a lovely woman in a sari holding a sign with my name  no less) to assist getting me through customs and providing a driver to take me to my guesthouse. After a short nap I walked over to the Independent University and met with some of the department heads that I’ve been emailing fore the past several months.

The neighborhood where I’m living is called Baridhara. It’s a tree-lined gated neighborhood where most of the foreign embassies are located including the one from the USA. Literally 50 feet from my guesthouse is  the “real world”. The streets ( ? ) are packed with rickshaws and people  and they seem to be moving just a few miles an hour. Mind you this is about 15 miles from the center of old Dhaka so I can hardly imagine what that will be like.

After lunch and a faculty meeting I took another brief nap and hit the streets. This is what I saw.

The people are very friendly and when you stop for more then a minute crowds tend to gather and are very curious. I’ve already made a few friends. I promise not to rant about this anymore but i can feel that people absolutely welcome being photographed. They act as if I’m doing them the honor and in fact that is a pretty accurate reading of the situation. It’s been a while since I have felt so comfortably just being out on the streets and freely photographing.

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