Spinning Globe (2512 bytes)Virtually Yours From Bangladesh...

       Donna Spisso's classes from the American International School in Dhaka, Bangladesh, want to take you on a virtual tour of their home towns...ALL of them!  These students have lived in many countries and will tell us about life in Bangladesh and other interesting locations, as well.



Cox’s bazaar, Bangladesh, by Abrar A.

As a Bengali native, I have lived in the city of Dhaka all my life, 14 years. My views about a certain holiday spot in Dhaka would be somewhat different from that of a native Bengali, because I have been going to the American School all my school life. Cox’s bazaar is the only beach holiday spot in Bangladesh for people who can afford it. It is important for native Bengalis to have a vacation spot like Cox’s Bazaar; otherwise, there is nowhere for them to go during holidays, since there aren’t many places like this.

Cox’s bazaar is the world’s longest beach, running over 100 miles. The water there is very dirty and the sand is too. Many cyclones occur there, because of its relative proximity to the Bay of Bengal. One side of it is very crowded while the other side has few people. Very few foreign tourists visit Cox’s Bazaar, but if it raises its standards, more foreign tourists would come. 

I didn’t find very many people on the beach in my visit to Cox’s Bazaar. However, I only went there once for a few days so I can’t really comment on that. Compared to other beaches of the world that I have been to, I found Cox’s Bazaar very polluted. 

Once, during the late afternoon, I decided to explore the shoreline. I asked my parents if I could go to the beach and they agreed. However, I did not hear them when they told me to go with my cousins just to be safe, since Cox’s Bazaar is a crime zone. I did hear them say that I should be back by 6:00 p.m. So I slipped on a pair of shorts and my flip flops and made my way towards the beach, about a three minute walk from the hotel.

As I reached the beach, I glanced at my watch. I had about half an hour before I had to return. I started jogging because I became bored just walking. I heard the waves crashing against my ears. I was surprised because it should have been low tide around now. The colors in the sky were unreal: blue, violet and pink. It was so quiet, I could hear myself panting away and my heart beating, thud, thud, thud. My feet were beating on the wet sand. The gentle wind blew against my face. 

I noticed a big jellyfish in front of me that had washed up onto the shore. I knew that even if jellyfish were dead, they could still sting. To avoid it, I moved to my right, into the water. As I strolled on, I saw broken shells. I caught another glimpse of the ocean. The water was sparkling against the setting sun. Now, even the polluted water looked beautiful. 

Far to my left I saw a group of people. Who were they? Did they mean any harm? I was curious to find out, but something told me not to approach them. I had heard stories about the thugs in Cox’s Bazaar. I did not know if they saw me, but I did not care because I had to go back to the hotel. On my back I passed the jellyfish once again. This time I had no trouble dodging it. At one point I almost tripped so I decided to slow down a little. It was getting darker. I checked my watch; I was already 15 minutes late. My parents and cousins must have been worried. I know it was very irresponsible of me to do what I did. 

I became worried because I thought I was lost, but I was not. A few minutes later, I noticed the path that led back to my hotel. I was relieved to get back, but I knew that everyone would be angry with me, understandably. I arrived 30 minutes late, but nobody had even noticed that I was gone—they all thought I was playing table tennis downstairs. 

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Bangladesh's Weather, by Ahad B.

Black rain clouds fill the sky. The wind howls, smashing windows on their frames. After a few minutes, the sun comes out, scorching the earth, with not a cloud in sight. 

This is an example of the unpredictable weather of Bangladesh. The weather of Dhaka greatly affects me, as I have lived in the city for 14 years and will continue to live here for a long time. I enjoy living in Dhaka. A lot of my family live here.

Dhaka has had one of the hottest days recorded, and one of the hottest days in this decade. On May 21, 1998, the hottest day in 28 years was recorded at 37.5 degrees Celsius (99.5 F) and 77% humidity. On the other hand, in winter 1997-98, over 200 people died in Sylhet and every heater in town was sold out because the temperature was so cold.

According to my Social Studies teacher, during the monsoon season, it rains so heavily that there are floods which cover 60% of Bangladesh's land. Many people are killed in floods as they cannot swim. 

There was an enormous tree in Dhaka called Gulshan Park. After a lot of heavy rain, the tree was knocked over and the roots of the tree were pulled out of the ground. 

On the way back from school one day, I saw a motorbike parked on the side of the road. The wind knocked over an electricity pole and sparks came out of it. The bike was knocked over as well.

The unpredictable weather can get very annoying. Just as you are getting all hyped up about playing a cricket match on a nice, sunny day, it starts to rain. You never know what is going to happen. One night the weather was peaceful, and then suddenly it started to hail heavily and it broke my parents' bedroom window.

Overall, in Dhaka, I hate the monsoon weather, I don't mind the winter weather, and I like the weather in the spring when it is hot and it hardly rains. 

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  Atlantic City, New Jersey, by Bobby M.

I was walking down the beach barefoot, enjoying the crunch of wet sand underneath my feet. My restless eyes wandered to the lone cruise ship anchored off shore, its lights shimmering across the waves' frothy peaks. 

Walking back across the scorching, parched sand I put my flip-flops back on and mounted the stairs of the board walk. I unlocked my bike, got on and re-entered the normal hustle and bustle of everyday life in a major American city. 

Babies were crying, teenage rollerbladers were laughing, and people talking as I raced my bike towards the tourist shops. Screeching seagulls accompanying me the whole time. I kept on biking as a collection of voices surrounded me: people speaking Dutch, German, French, English, Italian, Hindi, and Spanish. 

This is my home, my favorite city of all, this huge melting pot of people of all different religions, backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs: Atlantic City, New Jersey.

I kept on biking past the vendors, putt-putt places, fast food restaurants, and the tall, air conditioned rooms of the casinos filled with slot machines. I kept on moving, enjoying the salty spray of the surf as it rustled through my hair. 

I looked ahead of me and then realized that there were only about half of the people that had been here before. I wondered why, but then realized it was almost 7 p.m., the latest bikers and bladers are allowed to be on the boardwalk. I hoped I would be able to reach my destination before that time, or I was caught. 

Then I saw what I was afraid was coming: a cop. He told me to stop, asked me my name and since it was my first time breaking the law, and I was only ten, he let me go but told me not to do it again. I wondered how I would get home since my parents wouldn't allow me to ride on the roads, and I felt like crying as I rode off the boardwalk and down to the road, pulling over in front of the first house on the left. I rang the doorbell and, explaining my predicament, asked the lady that answered if I could use her phone. 

It must have been providence that she lived there, because she was as sweet as could be about letting me call my parents to get me and even offered me a drink, which I politely refused. 

My parents came, picked me up and took me home. I sighed as another exciting day at the boardwalk came to an end in my home town, Atlantic City, NJ.

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Kenya, by Carmen Y.

 One after another, they all go sit in the roundabouts, carrying pots of glue with them. They are happily sniffing the glue they have just bought with the money they beg from people. This is a scene you see often in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya. There are very many roundabouts in the city. Wherever you go, you have to use roundabouts to get from one highway to another.

The government tries to stop the glue sniffers but it is no use. They try to help them by asking people not to give money to the beggars, only food. But somehow they always manage to get money for the glue they have been addicted to for years. The beggars would rather sniff than eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

Even though the government tells the kiosks not to sell any glue to the beggars, they do so because they need the money to support their families.

Matatus are the main type of transportation for the locals. Matatus are vans with wild and flashy paintings on them. Some even look like the rickshaws and the baby taxis in Dhaka. Their horns are loud and often attract all kinds of attention. Once the Matatu drivers honk their horn, loud music fills the air, since the horn is made to play a short melody.

The Matatu drivers often drive too fast. People traveling in the Matatu have their arms out of the windows, ready to shake hands with passengers on another Matatu. Even the drivers shake hands.

Traveling to the countryside on a bus is the type of transportation the locals in Kenya use. Matatus only drive around the city. Once you leave the city, everything a very peaceful and quiet, the roads are very smooth, and there are hardly any potholes.

Kenya has always been famous for its wildlife. Most of the land in Kenya is covered by National Parks and Game Reserves. One of the tribes which live in the Maasai Mara Game Reserve are the Maasais.

The Maasais herd cattle and always carry spears with them. The reason is in case their cattle roam inside the game reserve and they have to get them out. The spear is to protect them if any dangerous animal approaches them while they search for their lost cattle.

They have really good aim for they have been trained ever since they were young how to use a spear and to aim directly on the spot they wanted to hit, which at most times is the heart. 

I have lived in three different places in my life, although I consider Kenya more of my home than Hong Kong, where I come from. I lived in Kenya for 8 years and I practically grew up there. 

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