I will be very happy, once I am in Nampula on Monday, not to see an airport for a while. I am currently in Johannesburg, South Africa, where I am staying for two nights on my way to Mozambique. I flew via Toronto and Amsterdam yesterday to arrive here around 9pm at night. Unfortunately my checked bag did not make it on the same flight from Amsterdam. Otherwise, the flights were uneventful and I was happy to have a bed last night, even though it wasn’t for very long (6 hours by the time I got to the hotel).
Dave and I just got back from a quick trip to PEI to visit some of his family out there. It was a lovely weekend, all in all. We decided back in the winter that we should go out to visit, since only a few of Dave’s relatives from out East were able to make it to the wedding and to see Dave’s grandparents who are in a nursing home in Charlottetown. We bought the flight on aeroplan points, which is a great way to travel!
We left Fri at around lunch time, and arrived in Charlottetown in the early afternoon. We were met at the airport by Dave’s uncle Doug and went straight from there to the nursing home to see Dave’s grandparents. They both have Alzheimer’s, so the family had been trying to get them used to the idea of Dave and I visiting all week. They remember people they see all the time, but don’t remember others that they don’t see regularly. At times they seemed to know who Dave was, but at other times it was obvious that they didn’t.
Although not a journey overseas, as is usually the case on this blog, Dave and I did a bit of travelling this weekend. And so, I decided to write a little bit about it. We, and a group of friends, went to Niagara on the Lake this weekend to enjoy some wine and quality time together in celebration of our thirtieth birthdays, which many of us are celebrating this year (or already have!).
It’s been a long time since I have been to NOTL. In fact, the last time I don’t think I was old enough to drink (what a waste!). It was fun to rediscover the town now that I am more than old enough to imbibe! Dave, myself and friend Kim drove to Belleville on Thurs night, to shorten the drive to NOTL on Fri. After getting a fairly early start on Fri morning, we stopped in St. Catherine’s for groceries and arrived in Niagara in time for some lunch. We stayed at McPhillips House, a rental property with four bedrooms and beds for 10. Shoshanah and Thomas were already there, so after dropping off all our stuff and calling the property manager to come fix the lock (turns out the batteries of the keypad lock had died), we were off to a small tea shop to sit on the patio in the lovely weather, to enjoy an Irish beer and a bap and decide what to do with the rest of the afternoon.
I decided this trip would be a good time to stopover in the UK and catch up with some good friends who I haven’t seen in quite a while on my way home. I’ve been to Dhaka three times now and have flown BA through Heathrow each time, always with the intention to stay for the weekend on one of these trips. Well, BA is no longer flying to Dhaka after March, so I don’t know what airline or routing I will be taking next. I thought I had better do it now because I don’t know when I will have another such opportunity.
I am writing this on my second last night in Dhaka. It is the weekend here now, and so tomorrow I will work in the hotel, eat an early dinner and head to bed so that I can get up at 2am to go to the airport and catch my flight to the UK at 5:30am. I am definitely looking forward to returning home, and also to my short layover in the UK for the weekend. Dhaka is always interesting, but after a while one gets sick of the traffic, noise, bad air quality, heat and humidity, not to mention the often frustrating working conditions.
Today I, another consultant on the project and some local staff went on a field trip outside the city. It’s always nice to get out of Dhaka, and this trip proved to be quite interesting. I have posted a whole bunch of photos and a couple videos. A lot were shot out the car window though, so aren’t of the highest quality. We went to visit the area where a demonstration project is being conducted under our project. It is about an hour outside of Dhaka, but you never really seem to actually leave civilization to get there.
Bangladesh is a very poor country, as you probably know. There are 154,000,000 people here and a population density of 1045/km2. Almost half the population lives on less than $1 a day. The literacy rate is 43% for the general population, and for women is 32%. What happens here when the world economy goes down the toilet (or the latrine as would be the case here, for those who even have one of those)?
Hello Friends! I arrived to a hot and humid Dhaka late last night (well, very early this morning). I am here again for work, on the same environmental capacity building project that I have been working on each time I am here. I can’t say I was excited to come, although it is nice to be far away from winter. There is never a lot of time while I am here to see and do things outside of work. But we will have to wait and see what this trip has in store.
Well, with Christmas around the corner, things have been a bit busy around here so I am only now sitting down to write this second and final post about our recent trip to Cuba. I made reference in my last post that we were in Cuba for 2 weeks, one of which was spent biking through the countryside West of Havana, and the second, as described below, was spent at a Sandals resort in Varadero. Following the bike tour, we arranged transportation to Varadero, which is about 2 hours East of Havana, on the North coast of the island.
Dave and I recently returned from our honeymoon in Cuba. We had intended to post blog updates along the way, but it turns out that internet is not widely available in Cuba! We had internet in the hotels we stayed at in Havana, and at the resort in Varadero, but I did not see internet anywhere else. We actually only checked our email once the whole trip! Where there was internet available, it was quite expensive and quite slow. So, I am now finally sitting down to write a bit about our trip. We spent two weeks in Cuba, one week on a bike tour and the second week at a Sandals resort in Varadero. Pictures have been posted at my flickr page and Dave’s page.