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Hospitality 101

Posted by on August 8th, 2012

Students practicing their English

It’s my last opportunity to visit the English classes before I have to leave Bangladesh. I feel both sad and excited when Angela, Yohana, and I arrive at the Union Council building where the classes are held.  It will be the last time that I will see these students, and I’m disappointed that I won’t be around to see them finish their training. But today is also exciting because I know there is something special in store for the students.

Today’s lesson will be taught by Yohana Tsegai, the hotel intern. Angela, the instructor from the U.S., usually teaches the class but will have an assisting role this time. It’s the first time where the roles are reversed for Yohana and Angela.  I’m just as curious and interested as the students to see what the lesson will be like.

When Yohana is not assisting Angela in the classroom, you will find her typing away on her computer at the office working on an extensive hotel employee manual. It’s a huge project to organize a manual for all the different hospitality positions on what to do and what not to do. She has also been assisting the new Human Resources Manager, Raiyan Mortuza, with presentations for the resort staff.

Yohana Tsegai teaching a lesson

Being out of the office and in the classroom allows for some fun and games, literally. It’s a nice change of pace from sitting all day at the office. The students’ lesson is on personal hygiene which may seem basic but is extremely important for all hospitality staff to know. Having employees looking presentable and clean is necessary for a luxury resort. After Yohana’s presentation and some drilling and practicing, it’s time for a game of Charades!

In this game, a student has to silently act out the word or phrase while his or her team guesses the right answer. Some students get really into acting things out. It’s extremely funny, especially for the spectators. Laughing is always a great way to end the lesson in my book.

It’s also Yohana’s last day seeing the students. She too is leaving Bangladesh. I can tell she’s unhappy not to stick around. She’s gotten attached to the students and wants to see them succeed. There are a lot of good-byes and picture taking. We’ve made a lot of great Bangladeshi friends and wish them well. We look forward to seeing them as Panigram employees when the resort is finished next year!

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