Tuesday, September 11, 2007

September 7, 2007

A couple of weeks ago my friend Farah said that she wanted to go see a school in Dinajpur. Farah is studying at the AA School of Architecture in London. She is back in Bangladesh for a few weeks to see her husband and to collect data for her thesis project on sustainable architecture for garment factories. Coincidentally, the school in Dinajpur that she wanted to see was designed by my friend Anna Heringer, an architect based in Austria. Since I was also interested in seeing Anna's school, Farah invited me along. Her husband, Borhan, and his friend, Saif, also joined us.

I had an excellent time even though Farah kept teasing me about how many men were staring at me (because I am a foreigner.) Apparently I even caused a rickshaw accident one morning when two rickshawalas were staring at me instead of watching the road! It is funny, I have gotten so used to people staring at me that I don't notice it as much anymore...

Below are some snapshots of Dinajpur.

Dhankket (Rice Fields)
The view on the way to the school was gorgeous! The rice fields were like plush green carpets that you want to roll around on. (Though I don't recommend it as you would get very wet!) We took a tempo (pickup truck-like-thing with the back covered -- similar to a Thai songthaew.) I think it would have been much better if we had rented bicycles, however, because the tempos are not very comfortable and we were breathing in the gas fumes all the way there. Unfortunately, Farah doesn't know how to ride a bicycle!

Anna's School
Here is a exterior shot of Anna's schools with some of the students. Isn't it gorgeous?! It is all made from local materials - mud and bamboo - using local labor. I love the blue doors...

Interior of the School
Here are a couple of pictures of the interior of the school on the top floor. The bamboo creates beautiful light and allows the air to flow through the room. The school does not use any fans or air conditioners. Farah measured the temperature both outside and inside the school and it was ten degrees Celsius (18 degrees Farenheit) cooler inside.

Another Interior Shot
I particularly loved the kids' drawings. They were so colorful and tropical!

Kantanagar Temple
The first day we went to the Kantanagar Temple. This is a Hindu temple building in the 1700s that is elaborately decorated with sculpted terracotta plaques.

Mom and Baby
At the Krishna temple next to the amazing, but extremely dilapidated Rajbari (literally "king's house"), I saw this mother with her baby. The red in her hair and the white shell bracelets indicate that she is a Hindu and is married.

Bangladesh Starbucks
This guy was selling tea in front of our hotel. (The Starbucks cups belong to Farah and Borhan.)

Two Men Relaxing
We saw these guys next to a tea stand outside of the Krishna Temple.


At Wednesday, September 12, 2007 10:05:00 PM, Blogger nazim said...

hello :)
very nice blog. i really liked the pictures... its wonderful. i never went to dinajpur though i am a bangladeshi. i saw my country through your pictures and i feel really proud. how wonderful my country is?

thank you very much.


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