Bangladesh is distinctly poorer than the potions of India I visited, but it was also had simultaneous pockets of wealth and poverty side by side. Grameen Phone had quite a presence: apparently they had just introduced a new logo and 40% of all billboards I saw were for Grameen Phone. Grameen Phone is of course a dramatically successful social enterprise started by Muhammad Yunus, this year's Nobel Peace Prize winner.
I walked around when I arrived and got a feeling for Gulshan, the wealthier part of Dhaka city. There were nice shops along with gigantic shanty towns. I particularly loved seeing half a dozen kids sitting on the street outside the window of a TV shop, all riveted by a Tom and Jerry cartoon on a half a dozen screens!
The TV shop was around the corner from the BRAC building, which was my main destination for my visit. Between these two was a bridge over a lake, and the lake was also a transportation hub. Boatmen would ferry people across this garbage filled lake to reach the giant shantytown.
I only spent 48 hours in Bangladesh, but they were jam packed hours. More in my next blogs on what we're doing and what I learned in Bangladesh.