Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Enter at your own risk

Obviously, we frequent the medical unit at the embassy GSO complex on a regular basis now. Luckily, they are just routine obstetric visits. The visit before last was interesting. We had to approach with trepidation, as the entrance looked more like a scene from Indiana Jones. It looked more like a place to have an accident than repair from one.

In Bangladesh, construction projects rely VERY heavily on bamboo. It's amazing sometimes how much trust is put in the bamboo braces they use, but honestly I've been pretty amazed myself at how strong it is.

This was our view two weeks ago (left). And we were happy to enter the new entrance with awning this week (right).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

North End Coffee Roasters, Dhaka

About 2 weeks ago, a nice, young American couple opened a new coffee cafe uptown near the Embassy. Today, a friend and I stopped for a cup of Joe and cinnamon roll (plus a few to take home). It was refreshing to walk into a clean, air conditioned coffee shop, a bit of a glimpse back home in this crazy not-at-all-like-back-home city.

There are few coffee shops in Dhaka, and honestly, I haven't walked into any with a desire for a drink. We don't fancy ourselves coffee drinkers (iced tea drinkers!), but did used to enjoy the occasional walk to Starbucks for an iced coffee or snack. Here, we went more out of curiosity and having previously met the owners at a local luncheon.  Actually, we didn't even enjoy any caffeine between my pregnant decaf and L's hot chocolate, but it was definitely an enjoyable experience! I also purchased a small bag of coffee for the occasional weekend treat or to have on hand for company. Of course, I went for the Guatemalan, a reminder of the beautiful coffee we brought back with our first bambina.
They are still working up to a full menu, for example, they don't offer cold drinks yet. When you think of the logistics not only to get items, liquids, coffee into the country as imports, but also just the complexity to have dependable electricity and drinkable water, one has to give the proprietors a huge Kudos just for the energy get a business off the ground here. They also opened their doors for a pre-opening reception for the US Embassy staff. So far, they are doing a great job and are a very welcomed addition to the community! 
 above (l to r): my friend L enjoying a hot chocolate, coffee gadget, kid play corner (great idea!)
 below: their contact info

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Local Rides

These look safe enough... right? A squeaky, man-powered ferris wheel?
Eeek. She loved them though!
The Embassy had a Bangla New Year picnic last week and brought in some activities for the kiddos. 
It was WAY hot, but everyone had a fun day :) 
Had to completely pity Mickey & Minnie in their furry costumes though! 
Throw in a pony ride and cotton candy and PRESTO-  
The perfect afternoon in the mind of a 3 year old!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Spring Fling

Last weekend, the Embassy put on our Spring Fling, complete with egg hunt, games and a wonderful dinner. The event was hosted by the DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission), at his beautiful home, with the help of our CLO (Community Liason Office). 

Though it was a usual hot Dhaka day, the kids all had a great time in the bouncy house, decorating cupcakes, hunting eggs, eating candy from the eggs, running an egg race, having a water balloon toss and having a sack race. Flush cheeks were all around!!
It was a great day with good company! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Splish Splash

Been doing a LOT of this lately. What better activity is there to do when it's 95-100 daily?
 We stumbled across a snorkel set we had purchased in DC for Ceiba. She's been trying out the fins and when her mouth is big enough (many days we'd think it is!), she'll try the snorkel. Already mastering the fins, she dives underwater now with ease, snaking beneath and through legs at every opportunity. She's already very excited to teach baby to swim.
Us too!

Saturday, April 9, 2011


When we were anxiously awaiting Ceiba to come home as a baby, we painted her room in rainforest plants and animals. All of the flora and fauna were native to Guatemala: heliconia flowers, banana trees, a Ceiba tree, jaguar, tapirs, insects, howler monkey, toucan, tree frog, mangroves, mudskippers, fish, and on an on. It was painted and waiting seven months before she was even born. You could say we were a little excited for her to arrive.

So in preparation for our newest bambina, we have started decorating her room. We don't have quite the freedom to design for the long term like we did before, but we are still livening it up a little. I keep contemplating painting the white walls, but haven't gotten off the fence about it yet. In the meantime, I ordered some mermaid prints off . We always planned on our second baby having an ocean room, be they boy or girl. So we are continuing with that inspiration.
We picked up the finished matted and framed art this morning from a great shop uptown. Framing is SO affordable here. All 5 pieces were custom matted/framed for under $30. That's a deal in my book!!!
Can't wait to hang them this week! 
Of course, have to call GSO maintenance to bring the hammer drill to bore through our brick walls :)


You have to love "Norm!" from Cheers being yelled each time he walked in the door of the bar.
Lately, I've been the Norm of the Dhaka pearl circuit. In gearing up for our impending trip to the
US for baby delivery, I've been stocking up on some goodies to take back to family and friends.

Here's a pic of my neighborhood pearl vendor, much more lucrative since we've arrived. He treats
us very well, and in turn we are happy to frequent his shop and send friends his way.
New Pearls Fair II, Gulshan II, Dhaka, Bangladesh

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rain, rain... don't go away

About a week ago the rains started, as expected for a monsoon country. Everyone is very happy to see the weather change, and it is starting out to be a much better year than last year for the area farmers. They can always use all the help they can get.

Generally, it storms at night, with gusty winds, lightning, crashing thunder and torrential (but short) rain. Chris and I love it, but Ceiba is still getting used to the really loud thunder. We go from her crying when getting startled, especially when she may be in another room, to the next moment a cool and calm "it's not scary" with convincing eyes to go along with her soothing words.

The once dusty leaves are finally washed clean, and the vibrant greens around the city really are beautiful. All the jackfruit trees (below) are loaded with new fruit, as are the mango trees and several local fruit trees that I haven't learned.
We know the rain may get old... and deep, but for now, it's a very welcome relief to the dusty and dry spell which has been Dhaka since we arrived last fall.

Growing Up

In case anyone wondered if Ceiba's getting big... YES... VERY.
Here are a couple recent pics waiting for and on the school bus with her "bus mom".
Can't believe how quickly she's growing up. I feel very fortunate to be here in
Dhaka, where I am able to be a stay-at-home-mom for a while.

And because I can stay home (thanks honey!), I am able to volunteer to help at school for swimming days, which started today. Getting a bunch of wet little kids in and out of clothes and the pool takes many hands.

Monday, April 4, 2011

30 Weeks Down, 10 to Go!

 We're gettin' there!
A new haircut (after almost 8 mos) made Mama feel better.
We are ALL anxious for our new bambina to make her debut... in about 10ish weeks.
Here are a couple pics to keep everyone back home updated.