Check out this blog from WorldTeach Bangladesh volunteer, Katarina O’Regan, as she recounts her experiences celebrating Pohela Boishakh, the Bengali New Year! From working in the Writing Center or the Career Development Center to visiting an orphanage in Chittagong, Katarina’s WorldTeach year was filled with many adventures and experiences! Interested in learning more about our WorldTeach Bangladesh program? Click here for more information:

Happy belated New Year! Were I only referring to the Gregorian calendar, I wouldn’t have missed a beat and feel so remiss in updates. But I’m actually talking about bangla new year (Pohela Boishakh), which we celebrated this past Monday. It’s year 1421 according to that system, but however you measure it, I’ve been pretty busy this season!

So what have I been up to ?

  • Continuing my work in the Writing Center (WC) and the Career Development Center (CDC) as well as TAing for two classes: Multilateral Diplomacy and Islam, Politics and Women’s Rights.
  • Spent a weekend in Cox’s Bazar with the WorldTeach crew for our midservice retreat. It’s the longest natural, unbroken sand beach in the world!
  • Went to Dhaka for a week of networking with the CDC. We met with officials from NGOs and businesses (BRAC, Grameen, World Bank, etc) to spread the word about our students and set up some internships.
  • Stayed in country over spring break: cheered friends on at the Dhaka half marathon, celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at the US Marine House, toured Dhaka and a surrounding village with students and their families, and spent 3 lovely days in the northern town of Srimangal surrounded by tea fields.
  • Went to a couple of ICC World Cup cricket matches. Took me a while, but I think I finally understand the basics.
  • Saw a bit more of Chittagong: visited a Catholic Orphanage, navigated the over-stimulating alleyways of several huge marketplaces/bazars (bought my first sari!), traveled with a student group to a weekend school for children from the slums, finally paid a visit to Barcode (a local Michael Jackson themed restaurant)…

That and the typical bustle of activity at AUW – recently a talent show, senior thesis presentations, a speech by the founder of JAAGO, and New Year celebrations – has made this semester, particularly the last half, fly by! Two more weeks of classes for me before I head off to India, then return for graduation, then off to Singapore and then home! Fortunately I don’t have time to dwell on it all ending, because I’m pretty swamped with work for the next couple of weeks. In the best possible way of course!