International Development Week is now finished for 2016, but you can still check out the blog/website we created for the event. We asked you to tell us all your burning questions about life in Nepal and Bangladesh, and we answered! Thank you for all your interesting and thought-provoking questions.
Cheers to all of you for your great questions!
In case you missed it, here are some of the highlights (click the links to read the full response):
We discussed different aspects of Working with FTG (Fair Trade Group Nepal),
Most of our work in Nepal involves the idea of “capacity building”. Rebecca is working directly at the FTG (and with members through a workshop) to improve financial skills, while I’m working directly with the members (and more specifically their design teams), to create new product ideas, work on design processes, and facilitate communication with external stakeholders.
If you’ve read my blog, you’ll know that we were asked to leave Bangladesh by our organization because of security threats, which included targeted attacks of foreigners, atheist bloggers, and religious minorities (some of them were claimed by ISIS). Before we were asked to leave, we were basically placed on house arrest by our organizations, with extremely lacking freedom of movement. We both found this isolation the most challenging part of the experience.
We talked about what you should bring if you’re Packing for Nepal,
Since we came directly from Dhaka, we didn’t really have the time to consider packing before we came to Nepal. If you’re ever coming to Kathmandu in winter, remember that power shortages and cold weather are expected, and you should bring lots of batteries and warm clothes!
we did an overview of the unfortunate effects of Prejudice & Discrimination,
Like most countries, there is not complete equality between different people in either Bangladesh or Nepal. In Bangladesh there is specifically a lot of discrimination against women and certain religious groups. In Nepal, discrimination is a lot less religious, and tends to focus more on castes (ethnic groups). However, they are currently working to reduce these traditional types of discrimination. Both countries also highly value (mostly) white, western people as being superior to themselves (it is quite common for people to take pictures of expats or want to add them on Facebook for social status).
and finished by thinking about What’s Next?
We’re both really interested in continuing to work in the international development sector, and are currently looking for positions. However, we do want to spend some time with our loved ones back in North America before heading back overseas (if possible).
Rebecca and I were really excited to see you engaged in the conversation and asking us about all different aspects of our lives. I hope that you learned something!
Remember: I’m always looking for new blog topics. So, if you have a question for me – don’t be afraid to ask! (Feel free to comment on blog posts, shoot me a message on Facebook, or send me an email.)