Friday, September 7, 2007

of kittens, day job, and flood distractions

Around the time that I began this blog, I started teaching again my graduate level qualitative methods-- and the very capable bloggers at the Nari Jibon english blog wrote on several of my topics: floods, flower girls from Gulshan circle (who adopted me) and the blogging staff introduced themselves.

That same week, I adopted two new blue point Balinese kittens--Durga--a 10 week old female and Madhu Malak--a 9 week old male. They share a father, but have different mothers. They are my first new kittens since the mid 1980s and previously I brought one kitten into a household with older cats. I have not had cats since around 2001.

At first they hid in the back washroom (Madhu on left; Durga on the right).

Two kittens at the same time have provided considerable distractions now that they have taken over the house. They have grown into their names somewhat...Madhu is sweet but dushto (naughty) and Durga has asserted herself in food, couch, play, and petting time.

They also like to race around the house, furniture, my feet, papers, computers, and lap with their assorted play activities. Durga on top; Madhu going up.

They have even learned to help with computer work as well. They like to play on the Nakshi Katha. They haven't learned how to blog yet. Nor have I told them how Bangladeshi berali have to go find their food.

Some times if I am lucky, they sleep for a while!

So for those who have wondered where my blog posts have gone--distracted by kittens, teaching, and working on some data on women workers that I collected after the 2004 floods, which have ominous parallels to 2007 floods and lack of relief.

During this same time, Bangladesh experienced three days of riots-curfews, suspension of mobile networks (!) and cut internet submarine cable lines that kept Nari Jibon students and staff away for several days, but they soon came back through heavy rains for their studies albeit with slower computer connections. Despite these obstacles they maintained their connections with the rest of the world.

Most media and the world have forgotten the survivors of the July-August floods that covered 40% of Bangladesh. A second set of floods are coming from melting glaciers in Himalayas and heavy monsoon rains. In upcoming posts, I will discuss the disparate effects of floods and disasters on Bangladeshi women in rural and urban areas but especially, women garment workers in Dhaka whose employers expect them to come to work by any means, even expensive boat conveyance. Given recent press on the paucity of October orders for garment factories, women and their families who depend on garment work may be in for some tough times in the near future.

I've just been reminded by the kittens who are climbing on the computer and me that they need their evening food. Pore kotha bolbo! (will talk later!)

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