Lora in Bangladesh

Lora has been teaching English in Bangladesh, it shounds like she's learning a lot too!

Lora"After my three flights to get to my final destination Chittagong, I finally arrived at the place I would call home for the next six weeks.

Meagan who is the teacher for 1st and 2nd grade who I would be replacing, collected me from the airport and showed me the ropes for a day before she flew back to the States. I had a lot to take in for the lessons I would be teaching just in a few hours but I would share lessons with two other teachers, Jharna and Shubhra so was reassured I could ask for advice.

I was blessed to have an additional day off to catch up on my sleep and to get used to my new surroundings and to experience some of Bangladesh's culture. My first day here was a first flavour of a third world country.

Bangladesh sure is a culture shock! You're dealing with all kinds of different pollution, air pollution, noise pollution, mobs of people, endless traffic. It really is a sensory overload in every direction. It will be a test for me for the next six weeks.

The three weeks at school have been mixed emotions, but for the most part it is great being back in the classroom. I am teaching Phonics, Spelling and Reading to class one and English to class two. I have been welcomed and accepted by both the students and teachers, but having someone from England is very new to them and my accent is a little different to what they are used to.

Each school day begins with a devotions for the Christian teachers at 7:40, and my class begins at 9:00 so I have an hour to mark, plan and put grades into the school system.

As it's summer season here in Bangladesh, the weather is extremely hot and humid. With only fans to cool us down and almost 30 students, the classrooms I teach in can get very uncomfortable. I finish teaching around 2pm, and at 2:30pm I head home and finish my work in my room with the air conditioner at full blast!

With the school year fast approaching an end, there are numerous events taking place - school play, junior and senior banquet, closing program, elementary awards and graduation.

There is a lot about Bangladesh that can be extremely overwhelming, perhaps the most overwhelming is just trying to walk round the streets during the day time. Everyone's out trying to sell you something, or tell you something or show you something.

There is a lot to see here and a lot to get used to. It's a big culture shock. If you're patient and you're open minded it pays off. Being patent, being understanding, being respectful are all the kind of things I have to keep in mind being here. It's really easy to come here and see this, coming from where I come from and cast judgement and say "Well these are the things that are not done back home, and that's shocking, and that's wrong" but it's even easier to say, "Now I understand this and this is how things have been done for many, many years and this isn't my home. I come here and see it and I'm a visitor."

A lot of people here are very dedicated to their religion. The calling of prayer from the mosques is heard every day, and holy day takes place on a Friday. The streets are a lot quieter before 1pm. You have to sit back, take it all in and appreciate that every culture does something different.

The Bangladeshis are very family orientated and hospitable people. I have had the great privilege of being invited to two families for lunch. It was an experience that brought the whole family together. It was really something special being in their home and seeing how they live.

From day one, Bangladesh has been an eye opening experience. I have seen at first hand that Bangladesh has a really diverse cultural and religious side, but it also has a diverse geographic side."


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