And then there was political turmoil...

Trip Start Feb 10, 2012
Trip End May 11, 2012

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Flag of Bangladesh  , Dhaka,
Monday, April 23, 2012

...or "Hartalidays" depending on how affected by it you are

The strikes (hartals) have been happening all week.  This means we are not allowed to go into work which is slightly unfortunate as I was planning to organize things, spend the next week or so traveling, and then have a few days to check things before flying back.  Now we might not work at all or even go on the trip!  But maybe we will.  Just have to wait and see!  
Slightly less successful week after the weekend! 

Still my problems are minuscule in compared to the unrest in the city.  One of the main opposition leaders has "disappeared" and his party is protesting in response.  The normal, everyday people and country in general are only hurt by the protests, so it seems to me the political parties should find some other way to solve their problems.  

Innocent (probably) people have been killed and the economy and businesses are definitely suffering after only three days.  Strikes are pretty common as are (apparently) "disappearances", but rarely do the strikes last this long or get this serious.  Looks like I am getting a taste of Bangladesh's stormy political history.

Fortunately, today, after three days of hartal, the parties have given in to the general unhappiness of the public and given up their promise to strike until the leader is returned. Apparently, more strikes may be held next week, though.

Don't worry!  The center keeps us plenty safe and we are forbidden from coming in to work on days when there is a risk of violence.  Schools are also canceled.  This means that I stay in the apartment and lounge about.  Our housekeeper, Rita, still comes, and this week she is cooking for us, so we don't even have to go out for groceries!  We did venture over to the American Club for a swim break yesterday, though, which was lovely!  It is very close to our house and our neighborhood has not seen any upset at all besides the usual power outages and a few mosquitoes :)

Bangladesh definitely keeps things interesting.  It will be so much less exciting in the US.  No longer will I see random elephants in the city, random goats perched on tiny ledges in brick walls (what are you doing?), or rickshaws piled with a seemingly impossible piles of furniture.  Of course I will be able to touch things without being covered in dust, leave food out for longer than 5 minutes and not have it covered in bugs, eat whatever I want and not expect to get sick, and be able to wear shorts!  So I guess it evens out :)  

 I will miss everyone very much, though!  I was very sad to not be coming in to work!
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