Friday today ~ a day of rest in this predominantly Muslim country. Hindus are in the minority and quite often get discriminated against in terms of work and employment. Hindu women have a double burden in that they are Hindu and a woman, who by default have a lower status than men in this country.
It is not common for women to travel alone or go out alone at night. Come dark the two volunteer girls rush home as their fathers get angry if they stay out. Unless I am with my host, I find myself stuck in my hotel room after dark. Connectivity becomes pretty slow at night, so I spend my evening reading or watching television. There is satellite TV with about 108 channels, 98% of which have Bangla and Indian soaps or Bollywood type entertainment. The remaining 2% is CNN, the Discovery Channel and a movie channel or two. There is never a dull moment during the day though and since I am surrounded by people all day long, I am quite happy with a bit of peace and quiet at night. When we go places, the car is suddenly full of relatives. Nephews, cousins, aunties and the like..
A few days ago, the girls decided I need henna in my hair and promptly arrive with a bag of henna leaves, which is handed to the hotel staff to turn into a paste and once delivered duly patted on my head. My hair now looks distinctly although not offensively orange!
The only outing today will be lunch. I am pleased to report that my hand-eating technique is improving and yesterday I even managed to get my hands (literally ~ although it is a no-no to eat with both hands) on some fish and a brownish type of root vegetable with a vague resemblance to eggplant -- hoorah!
Two more events (pre today) to report on -- it's hard to keep up, especially when technology crashes and one can spend hours uploading a blog ...