Sunday, August 1, 2010

My First Day at Grameen Bank

Today was a big day. It was my first trip to Grameen Bank office. As expected, getting there was an adventure. My hotel is on the other side of the city, and as much as my unofficially employed rickshaw driver would like to take me, this trip required a taxi. I asked my hotel to call me a taxi. They asked if I cared if it was yellow or black. I said no – why would I care the color as long as it gets me there on time. So, they called me a black taxi, which is the cheaper of the two. If you ever get asked that question, say you want a yellow taxi. As it turns out, black taxis are these second-hand taxis imported from India – as in when the car becomes too old and battered to carry passengers around India, they send it to Bangladesh to carry passengers for an additional 15 years, or until it is completely dissolved by rust. The car literally rattled so much I thought it was going to fall apart at any second. Moreover, at this point in the car’s life, there was no ignition key; the car was just permanently hot-wired, and its whole electrical system was hanging down from the dash. Nevertheless, I got to the bank, and at least it was really cheap.

The Grameen Bank building is much bigger than I expected. It’s a 21 story modern skyscraper. Needless to say, that was somewhat of a new sight for me in Dhaka. I made my way up to the Int’l Program floor, where I found a room full of fellow confused interns. I was happy to find out that they knew as little about what was going to happen in this program as me. Though, then the schedule was finally explained to us, and I got a little bit of a surprise. While the interns will be taking a 5 day trip to visit a branch office next week, those here for the Basic Training Program (myself and two others) will be leaving this Wednesday for a 10 DAY stay in a village branch office. I was not expecting that news, and was simultaneously nervous and excited. This should be interesting. Though, I’m resolved to think that as long as I don’t get really sick, it will be an amazing experience. Fingers crossed.

1 comment:

  1. They're shipping you off to a village already?! Wow! So you'll miss the "BLING" party? Hehehe. Thats too bad although I suspect you'll have a better cultural experience in the village than seeing a bunch of overprivileged kids partying it up. :-) Have fun. I'll call you soon.