Sunday, August 26, 2007

Experiential Learning

Written: August 26, 2007

So Bangladesh is a wonderful place. But I will admit it has it's challenges. For over two days I had no power in my room because I blew a breaker and could not get an electrician because it was the weekend. The heat without a fan was challenging to bear. I was expected when I arrived to figure out my own breakfasts, and noone told me where to find clean water or where was a good place to buy breakfast or eat something. I asked and found a tube well, and found a good little restaurant near my house with good cha and chapati. At lunch I was in a house, after the first day without anyone who knew English. My bangla for eating, what I enjoy and talking about my family has improved quite rapidly out of necessity. Today, I went to the shopping district alone to buy sandals, cloth for new clothes and an umbrella, and my little Bangla served me quite well. I am now at the point where I feel confident in this country, after only a week. My Bangla learning from Ms. Naht is wonderful and important, as it is more complicated, proper Bangla. But my proficiency with getting around the country, is quite quickly coming from experience. The best way to learn a culture and learn a way of life is to get out and experience it, not to sit and study it. A lesson to all you aspiring cross-cultural adventure seekers.
In peace.

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