Purpose of Narijibon Blog

Nari Jibon Project seeks to increase our students’ and staffs’ abilities through different ways: classes, practice, computers, internet, and now the Narijibon Blog. Readers and writers (our students & staff) of the Blog will both learn about our lives, culture, Nature, activities of people in Bangladesh and the Nari Jibon Project.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Resilient staff and students of Nari Jibon come to office-classes

Some good news from Bangladesh via Kathryn Ward USA:

The resilient staff and students of Nari Jibon project have come to the office today, Saturday, for work and classes despite no electricity or internet. The sun is out today and the weather is warmer.

I just finished nearly hour long phone call to the Nari Jibon Project office and talked with office staff, Coordinator Rafiq, Accounts Officer Lubana, and Teachers-Bloggers, Taslima and Bipa. Yesterday or Friday the day after Cyclone Sidr, no one had any electricity at their houses, except for maybe 30 minutes. No water-showers until today and they still do not have consistent water, but must go and purchase some.

Today, the office has had very little electricity (they cheered during the conversation when the electricity briefly came on) and they are doing some computer work via two big backup batteries. No internet connections. Some English II students had come for their Saturday class. English teacher and blogger Bipa assigned them to write their own golpo (story) about Cyclone Sidr for later posting on the English and Bangla blogs. All staff will write their own golpo.

Computer teacher Taslima and field officer Sujan (both bloggers) will go outside and talk with people and take pictures. Coordinator Rafiq was hopeful that they would have more electricity over the weekend and maybe even some internet by Monday. I told them that I had not forgotten about Bangladesh and Nari Jibon and had been posting on this and the Bideshi Blue blogs. I'm sending blog posts from the last few days to Bipa's mobile phone, which receives internet.

All staff told me that they had been very scared on Thursday night-Friday am as the cyclone roared-stormed through the city. Everything was very dark and the storm was very loud. Taslima and her family had been returning to Dhaka from the Sylhet mazar on Thursday night and could not get any transportation to their house. They had to walk in the rain-wind-storm. She and her family became sick from that cold wet walk. Project Coordinator Rafiq is from Barisal area, and in his village, he heard that several large trees fell near his house. Another large tree severely damaged the local mosque.

All staff told me that they had received little information before the cyclone except to know that evacuation was needed in the south. Their only information had come from one newspaper and my email post right before the cyclone with weather information links that I had sent to Nari Jibon office and to tell them to go to their homes. Even now they do not have much information about what is going on on the coast except some news programs on BTV. Many have had problems recharging their mobile batteries especially on Friday and with intermittent electricity.

If internet connections are not restored by Monday, (Sunday night USA time), I will take their stories over the phone and post them on the blog.

All asked that we pray for them (and Bangladesh).

Suvo ratri (good night!)

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