Here we don’t have Dengue or Malaria, but these pesky creatures still give us trouble. Elias has three bites on his head right now. And my feet are spotted with red bites! We have screens on our windows but they find their way in somehow.
My Aunt Mary has produced her third CD, and this one is a beauty! It is a gospel CD with old hymns and spirituals. Mary recorded this CD in the spring, and we got the chance to do some background vocals. Singing with my family is one of my favorite things to do in life, and singing about Jesus is even better! We didn’t need to be convinced to help! Jacob also was able to be a part in the project as the graphic designer. On top of the sheer joy of being able to sing with Mary, she also gave us appreciation gifts and brought yummy food to the studio.
Mary’s website is: http://maryrocap.com/
The roof is like the Westerner’s garden — it’s the place to be! People hang their laundry on the roof. They keep potted plants and wood piles on the roof. They come to sit on the roof to clean and grind their lentils and chat with each other. When the weather is hot during the summer, people retreat to the roof when the power goes off. The night breeze cools us all off! During the winter, people come up to get some sun. In a place where women have to be mostly covered when they go out of their homes, the roof is one place where we can bare our heads and let our arms get some sun.
This is the view from our three-story apartment building. The road is usually busy with bicycles and motorcycles during the day. The buildings are a laundry shop, a music shop and a metal working shop. Behind the stores, you can see an old Hindu temple.
My tutor, Monira, and I were reading a story yesterday about
I asked my tutor if she knew that historians think that for women,
Monira’s mother was in tenth grade when the war started. Her uncle could speak Urdu, the Pakistani language, so he pretended to be on the Pakistani’s side in order that his family would be protected. For a while, even though Morina’s mother’s village was right near to a military camp, they were safe. They listened at night to other girls in the village being dragged away to the camp, screaming. They found the corpses afterwards. Soon the Pakistanis found out that the uncle was being a traitor. They killed him, and the family had to flee. The newly widowed aunt was getting elderly and had trouble walking. When the army started approaching, she told her two young boys to hide in some holes dug into the dirt. She said that her life was not worth much, and she didn’t care about what the army would do to her. So her two sons jumped in the hole and they quickly covered the top of the hole with wood and dirt and branches. When the army had passed, they uncovered the hole to find both boys dead, from snakebite. Now the aunt had lost both her sons and husband, even though she herself survived the war.
Monira’s family fled through the jungle, crossing rivers and living off of a few bites of food per day. Being in the jungle was hard with the snakes and mosquitoes and with the uncertainty of not knowing who was friend or foe. After the war, Morina’s mother and her family returned to their village. In the house that they had rented, they found a skeleton, in the kneeling position of prayer. It was the landlord. The Pakistanis had tied him up and shot him in that position. Monira’s mother got upset at seeing all the corpses and refused to look. But one of the older family members admonished her, “Look! Remember!” Then you can tell your children all that happened.”
So now I know the story too. 3 million Bengalis were killed in that war. And it is estimated that 200,000-400,000 women were raped during that 9 month period. War is never pretty, and unless we face the gory details, we will forget that fact.
We took a walk along the
The call to prayer sounded, and the firecrackers soon joined in. Someone had seen the moon! The month of Ramadan ends when the moon is seen. This year the calendars had predicted the 12th, and everyone had been out looking for the moon that evening, but no luck. The neighborhood had been all silent as people got ready for another day of fasting. But tonight we passed a group of men, peering and pointing up into the sky. “I can see it! Look at that small sliver, right above the tree! Do you see it?” We saw it too, a tiny white sliver in the pink sky.
On the rickshaw ride back, little crowds were out peering into the twilight sky. The men were buying meat from roadside butchers and little boys were shooting off firecrackers. Several people passed us on bikes, pots of sweet curd hanging from their handlebars. When the electricity went off, the sky’s last light peaked round the trees, and the little lanterns hanging under the rickshaws twinkled and swung as they rounded the corners.