Map of Bangladesh

Map of Bangladesh
for more detailed map, scroll to bottom of page

Friday, July 8, 2011

Birthday Blog

We’ve celebrated a couple birthdays here this week- the 235th (hopefully my Math is correct) birthday of the United States of America (with all four of us American boxers on Monday) and the birth of the Sylhet diocese (the entire Northeast section of Bangladesh).  The Srimangal parish (where Kevin and I are) is part of this brand new diocese.  Sylhet was just given its own bishop and diocesan autonomy yesterday.  

We were told that this would happen before we left the country, but it was still exciting when it came (July 8, which also happens to be the birthday of my brother and sister- Happy Birthday Monica and Matthew!).  Previously our region belonged to Dhaka (the capital) diocese, even though, of the parishes within the newly formed diocese, our parish is the nearest to the capital and even we are about 120 kilometers away.

Happy birthday also to Annie Demott, Matt Hawk, Stephen Tofani, Steve Schmidt, Jon Langton, and Sean Spear, who also have birthdays around this time.

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KEVIN"S BROTHER, BRYAN (July 4) AND THE BRAND NEW SOUTH SUDAN, WHICH WAS JUST FORMED YESTERDAY, July 9th, 2011
(these are in caps and bold because I neglected to include them in the original blog post)

Also, an important thing that has occurred to me a lot lately is that we all can fill a role better once we have experienced the opposite.

First, this is based off of the Golden Rule- "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." We can only know what we would have them do unto us if we have been in their position.

Second, by experiencing both sides of the coin, we gain an appreciation for the difficulties of each side. For example, a good writer must be a good reader because he will be able to anticipate what other good readers will be thinking when they read his writing.

for this reason, the following should be given the opportunity to play the opposite at times:

  • foreigner vs insider
  • poor vs rich
  • advisor vs advisee
  • coach vs player
  • cool vs loser
  • leader vs follower
  • servant vs master
  • boss vs employee
  • giver vs recipient
  • guest vs host
I am thankful for my time here because, among other roles, I get to be a guest, a foreigner, and a teacher, whereas at home I am usually the opposite.

just another interesting bug

Kevin and I in one of my favorite spots here- a small creek that runs through a local village. 
The village also has a "garden" which is basically a jungle that extends for acres

\
Cool plant huh? and this butterfly was in action...

...until this bee said "bug off!"


Kev playing with a kid in the village

At the parish compound, there was a change in parish priests right about the time that we got here.  Father Dominic is making great changes so far.  
  • We're getting new screens to keep out mosquitoes
  • the workers are receiving some improved facilities
  • We converted one room into a lounge and TV room
  • This beautiful brick driveway (pictured above) is being put in for a cost of a little over $1000. They're almost finished.  
  • Also, we may get to play basketball soon because they just finished building a concrete court and putting in baskets.  Unfortunately the baskets are only about 7.5 feet tall, but it's better than nothing


much love,
Jeff


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