Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hamida Learns to Boil Water
January 20, 2007

I am in the process of separating out all of my blogs to put onto my personal website. As a part of this process, the old travel blogs will be put into a different location and this blog will be used for my current Bangladesh entries. Consequently, instead of using "Fulbright Blog" as the heading for all of my blogs, I have decided to spice things up a bit and give them each unique titles!

Today's title is derived from Hamida's Food Handling class at the American Club. I was actually really glad the club offered this class, because most of the bouas here come from small villages and have never been taught the "western" standards of hygiene that we all grew up with. In fact, most bouas cook on the floor of the kitchen instead of using the counters. They use a boti (traditional Bengali knife which sits on the floor) to cut things; since they are down there anyway, that is where they prepare all of the food.

Because we Americans are very sensitive to the microbes in this part of the world, I thought that it would be a good idea for her to go to this class. They covered everything from washing your hands after you use the toilet (again, not common knowledge over here) to what temperature to cook the food at. Hamida is a pretty good cook so far, so hopefully her food will now be both yummy and sanitary!

On a different subject, I am finding that one of the hazards of having a large apartment is that when I lose something, I now must look in many different places for it. This becomes particularly troublesome when you throw Hamida into the mix, because (happily!) she is a very neat person so she is always picking up after me. (Which I appreciate!) Unfortunately, her tidy habits take memory out of the equation when I begin to look for things. For example, this afternoon I decided to finish the first coat of paint on my yoga and meditation room, so I took off my jeans and changed into my painting clothes. When I finished painting, I wanted to put my jeans back on, but they were nowhere to be found! I searched everywhere and finally found them in the oddest of places - the laundry basket!

Thankfully Hamida has wisely not tried to straighten my desk yet...

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