Bangladesh Adventures

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Update on Kini

Praise the Lord! Below is Kini’s Discharge report. She is doing great. She is so much more alive and active now! The picture of her and her sister is Beautiful! It was taken after she returned home from India. Kini is actually older than her sister is but due to her condition she is smaller. We just praise the Lord what he has done in Kini’s life and her family. Kini’s Dad, who was with her in India, life has changed. Thank you for all your prayers! She may still need another operation in 2 to 3 years for her heart.

Discharge Summary Report and the advise of Dr. Robert Coelho.MS.,MCh., SR. Consultant Surgeon of the Institute of Cardio-vascular Diseases Hospital, Chennai, India.







Ms. Kini Akter, underwent left modified BT shunt on 28/08.2006 and shifted to PICU with no supports. She was extubated and all drains were removed on 1 POD. She was later shifted to wards and sutures removed on VII POD. She was again taken up for another surgery involving unifocalisation and aorto-pulmonary shunt on 04/10/2006 and shifted to PICU with minimal supports. She was extubated on the same day was shifted to wards by II POD. All sutures were removed on VII POD and the entire post – operative course was uneventful.


Conscious, oriented, afebrile. Wound healthy & healing well.
Weight – 19 Kgs. CaO2- 80%

Please pray for Utpal

Utpal admitted to the hospital again on 10 October 2006. Due to 1st V.P. Shunt has been infected, so doctor advised for secondary V.P Shunt. As per the doctor’s advice on 15 November 2006, he had a Revision Operation of Lt. V.P Shunt. Uzzal, our program supervisor visited Utpal at the hospital yesterday. Utpal Sarker, is under treatment at the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, Bed No. 33.

Currently, Utpal cannot move of talk and it does not look good- his mother can only cry. Please pray for him, his family, and God’s healing hand.

Senior Administrator Needed for our Sons' School

If you know of anybody that would be interested in this post please pass this on. It does not matter which country they are from.

Grace International School, Dhaka, Bangladesh (where our sons go) is looking for a Senior Administrator to work with the Principal in managing and developing this flourishing school for the children of expatriates. The job will entail working with a team of local staff to oversee the day to day running of the school to include the management of:
· human resources
· school finances
· school buildings and vehicles

GIS is a Christian School teaching a British-based curriculum to expatriate children aged 3 to 16 years from 30 countries, (NoR:165) with a specific focus on the children of Christians working in the aid and development sector. The school is currently working to establish the secondary school to provide courses to IGCSE. The school employs 16 expatriate teachers and a team of more than 40 local staff to run the school.

The successful candidate will be an experienced administrator with some experience of both financial and human resources management (an educational background is not essential). Applications are invited from those looking for opportunities for Christian service in a challenging yet rewarding environment. It offers:
-Dedicated, talented and enthusiastic staff
-A generous living allowance
-Free furnished accommodation
-Return flights
-Free schooling for dependant children

Further details can be obtained by e-mail from the Principal, Mr. David Snowdon at

Monday, November 20, 2006

Bangladesh Political Crisis

A non-stop countrywide blockade enforced by the Awami League-led 14 party alliance began on 12 November 2006. The opposition parties have demanded the president/chief advisor for implementing the alliance’s 11-point task.

Terming the blockade programme “unlawful and unconstitutional”, the non-party caretaker government directed the law enforcers to go tough during the blockade programme.

All highways, rail and waterways have be blockaded around the cournty; all ports have be shut down.

The main demands are- reconstitute the Election Commission; revise the voter list and withdraw 300 politically appointed local election officers to create a level playing field before the upcoming election; appointment of a new chief adviser and for the Election Commissioner to step down.

The countrywide blockade went from Sunday until Thursday. Then started again, 20 November and will run until demands are met.

The blockade has stop life in mid-track for the citizens and foreigners in Bangladesh.

We (my family, neighbors, friends, office staff) are not sure when the blockade is going to end. It makes it very hard for staff travel. Thanks to the Lord it does not affect our local projects of Compassion Bangladesh. The precious children can walk to the project so there is no problem.

However, the 4-C don't have bus service to and from school. Whenever there are political problems, the school cancels buses but the school is open. This means Nita and I have to take the boys back and forth by rickshaw or motorcycle. This morning I had all four boys on the motorcycle- CJ up front on top of the gas tank, I right up against the gas tank but on the seat- followed by Chad, Chase, and Charles anchor the rear. Actually, this wouldn’t be that hard except we all have backpacks. CJ is like a dog up front with the wind in his hair and his tongue hanging out!

Please Pray for Utpal

Here is a reply from my the Compassion Bangladesh SDM Supervisor to a Sponsor about Utpal- a sponsored child in one of our projects. Please pray for him.

Will Utpal have to remain in hospital?

Yes! Utpal have to remain in hospital because he is feeding by pipe and even he can not move his body even can not talk. He is under doctors observation and getting medicine in the hospital.

How does this disease affect him?

He is suffering for HYDROCEPHALUS disease and for this reason the brain has damaged. He needs to always laying on bed, could not walk, can not move his arm, even can not talk. Every moment he is fighting with his life.

What is his life expectancy?

We do not like to loose any of our precious children but according to his physical movement we can say he is fighting a lot. Please pray for him, our Lord can do anything if you ask.

Any other information that would help us explain the situation to the sponsor would be greatly appreciated.

As we know that, Utpal is suffering from HYDROCEPHALUS; he was treated in a hospital in their district town and the respective doctor has refereed him to the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital (the biggest hospital in BD) in Dhaka. He is under treatment from March 2006 it is continuing up to today. Utpals parents are in mental pressure and in frustration.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Rumsfeld may face abuse charges

Rumsfeld quit as US defense secretary! Many of you know that I'm a pacifist and a dove. Rumsfeld is neither of those. I believe this is good news for USA. I personally asked for his resignation 5 years ago. However, he would not respond to my letter.

I think President Bush would have been better served keeping Colin Powell and getting rid of Rumsfeld years ago. If your going to be a hawk you had better be from the military so at least you know what the cost is! Rumsfeld never understood the cost of human life- first the USA military which he has never respected, then the civilian cost of war and what it means to the lives of children in Iraq. He never once considered any cost of life only the costs on financial terms. Now Iraq has continue to pay for one mans obsession with killing and death. And he can quietly quit and go on the lecture tour and make plently of money from his stocks in the defense industry.

Donald Rumsfeld, who quit as USdefensee secretary this week, may face criminal charges in Germany for alleged abuses in Guantanamo Bay and Iraq. No joke, of course!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Pictures of Darjeeling Trip

For some reason I couldn’t get the pictures to load into my post below so here they are in this post. Chad and CJ with their new Darjeeling Hats with snow capped mts in the background. Included in these pictures- Himalayan Mountaineering Institutes with family, the Classic Guesthouse we stayed in; monkeys on Observation Hill; Buddhist Monastery; Teesta River Bridge; and view of the mts at 6:00 a.m. from Tiger Hill.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Stout Family Trip to Darjeeling, India

Monday, 23 Oct 06: We left Lamonirhat at 8:30 a.m. It took 2 hours to get to the Indian border in Northwest Bangladesh. This is a very remote border so not many people but lots of paper work. BD side: stopped at Bank to pay the border tax of 300 taka each (Bank Staff had to fill out a form in quadruplicate for each person- 7 of us. Next stop Police station to fill out immigration forms which after I fill out they write out into a record book that nobody will ever see. From there 10 mins to stop at the border security (military) for them to fill out another record book with all of our information i.e., Name, Nationality, DOB Passbook information, and Visa information both BD and India. That was only the BD side after 100 yard walk we had to go through it all again on the Indian Side. The whole process took 2 hours!!

We arrived in Siliguri about 3 p.m. We stayed at the Church of God Guesthouse. The friends we stayed at in Lalmonirhat have relatives at this church. They took us for a 30 km ride up into the Mts beside the beautiful Teesta river gorge. CJ and Chase couldn’t believe the crisp cool fresh air. It is definitely cooler and the deep green forest provides lots of fresh oxygen- something we don’t have in Dhaka. The gorge was at least 100 yards deep from the bridge we walked across. The boys and I walked 155 steps to the bottom by the cold Teesta River. The bridge is an old concrete arch. The arch was at least 80 yards high cover 80 yards with a 20 foot width. The concrete arch and the water were wonderful for echos. The boys, of course, yelled and whistled to echo the dead back to life. Charles said the gorge, bridge, and echo was worth the trip and we are not even tour destination in Darjeeling.

Tuesday, 24 Oct 06: Cutback roads, fresh air, deep forest, and many Mts on the 3 hour drive from Siliguri to Darjeeling. We stayed at the Classic Guest House. The guesthouse was nice and only had five rooms; and we had two of them. Charles, Chase, and Aunt Prova in one; and Nita, Chad, CJ and I in the other. We had a nice view of the Mts, balcony, and hot water. We took afternoon stroll around the town to get our bearings. We visited Observatory Hill, saw the Monkeys, stopped by a Buddhist monastery, and watched the sunset over the Himalayan Mts- BEAUTIFUL! It is cold- we have all are clothing on, plus bought felt hats for the boys.

Darjeeling: In 1828, two British officers came to the area and appreciated Darjeeling’s value as a site for a relaxing, cool hill station and as the key to a pass into Nepal and Tibet. Darjeeling straddles a ridge at 2,134m and surrounded by tea plantations. Indians and foreigners come her ein droves to excape the heat, humidity and hassle of the lower part of India. Darjeeling sprawls over a wet-facing ridge, spillin down the hillside in a complicated series of interconnecting roads and flights of steps.

Observatory Hill: Is sacred to Hindus, who revere Mahakala Mandir temple locate din a small cave down stairs- the boys and I enter the cave very small with Hindu idols inside; and Buddhists because the hill was once the site of the Dorje Ling Monastery. There are hundreds of multicoloured prayer flags that double as trapezes for monkeys which where aggressive towards Nita. They wouldn’t let go to the end of her shawl until I scared them away. It takes a bigger monkey to take care of littler monkeys!

Wednesday, 25 Oct 06: Breakfast of bread and biscuits, with Peanut Butter and Chocolate spread at a park bench looking at the Himalayan range filled with snowy peaks- Again Beautiful!! Best view for breakfast I ever had. We spent the day at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, and Himalayan Mountaineering Institute (HMI). This was a lot of walking up and down steep paths and roads by the end of the day everybody was sore except CJ who rode on my shoulders.

ZOO: This zoo was established in 1958 to study, conserve an d preserve Himalayan fauna. It houses India’s only collection of massive Siberian tiger- wonderful; the rare species of Himalayan black bears; red pandas- Charles favorite; and Tibetan wolves. In addition, in the zoo is the successful snow Leopard breeding centre.

HMI: Is India’s most prestigious mountaineering institute founded in 1954. We really liked the Everest Museum that traces the history of attempts on the higest peak. Tenzing Norgay, who conquered Everest with Edmund Hillary in 1953, lived in Darjeeling and was the director of the HMI.

For supper we found a small Tibetan restaurant they served spicy fried chicken with rice for the boys, good chowmien for the girls, and spicy fried pork with rice for I. Since the boys liked it we ended up eating here three times.

Thursday, 26 Oct 06: Up very early to see the sunrise over the Himalayan Mts. We were up by 3:30 a.m. to catch a jeep to Tiger Hill (highest point in Darjeeling). After Tiger Hill we visited Bastasia Loop, another Buddhist Monastery, two wonderful mountain stream natural parks- that the boys played and played in the freezing cold water, Nita even put her feet in; and ended the day at the Tibetan RefugeeSelf-Help Centre.

Tiger Hill: Tiger Hill is 11km from Darjeeling. It has a magnificent dawn views over eastern Himalayan peaks- it was a very clear morning when we where there. From the Hill top you can see 3 of the 4 highest Mts in the world- Everest 8848m; Kanchenjunga 8598m; and Lhotse 8501m. The only one that is out of sight is K-2 in Pakistan. In addition, you can see 7 more peaks all over 7000m- it is very impressive- everybody was glad they got up early to see the mts. Kanchenjunga is the world’s third-highest mountain, and the biggest in India and it towers over Darjeeling.

Tebetan Refugee Self-Help Centre:
Established in 1959, this centre now comprises a home for the aged, orphanage, school, clinic, gompa and craft workshops. It was started when China invaded Tibet by refuges to Darjeeling. I met one old Tibetan woman that made the walk for Tibet in 1959 when she was a teenager.

Friday, 27 Oct 06: We left Darjeeling at 9 a.m. and arrived back in Dhaka at 3 a.m. Saturday morning. We drove straight thru because of political unrest in Bangladesh and we felt we should get home before it became worst, which it did on Sat and Sun. If you counting that’s 20 hours in a vehicle of some sorts with four boys- never a dull minute!