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A Vision for the Handicraft Village

Posted by on June 26th, 2012

Villagers displaying their Nakshi Katha embroidery work

There’s a large group of villagers crowding around. It seems like the whole community has come out to witness me take pictures.  I’m assisting Andrew (Andy) Pike, the Social Entrepreneur Intern from Cornell University to document the women with their handicraft. As I’m photographing each person with her handiwork, I hear a cheerful “Khub bhalo!” repeatedly behind me. It’s coming from Andy who’s inspecting the women’s embroidery work.  I can’t help but chuckle because it’s one of the few Bangla phrases that we interns know. “Khub bhalo” means “very good” and it also happens to be one of Andy’s favorite phrases.  In fact, he and the other intern, Shu, love to say it in reply to any statement or question that’s said to them. But this time, the phrase is used in the right context. Read the rest of this entry »

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Visit to the Pottery Village

Posted by on April 5th, 2012

The pottery village is my favorite place in our village (aside from the resort property, of course!) It is really wonderful to see how the potters make the tilas, cow troughs, and other pots that the villagers use on a regular basis. Visiting the pottery village around Pohela Boishakh time is particularly exciting as they make all kinds of little figurines and small pots for the big festival day.

I saw this man making a giant pot, forming it with his hands and a texture tool. Below is a small video (this is my first time uploading a video to the Panigram site, so hopefully it works! If you find any issues, please let me know!

Click here for the movie of the potter.

Just in case the video doesn’t work, here are a couple photos!

Small pottery items the potters will sell at the Pohela Boishakh fair.

Pottery in Bangladesh

A potter makes a large pot for storing rice with his hands and a large texturing tool.

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Panigram Open House Recruitment Day

Posted by on April 3rd, 2012

Panigram Resort is now hiring!

We are having an open house recruitment day:

April 14, 2012
8am to 6pm

Radius Center
Bay’s Galleria
57 Gulshan Avenue (CWS-A 19), 5th Floor
Gulshan-1
Dhaka-1212

No registration is necessary!

Are you looking for a job in the hospitality industry? Are you friendly, fluent in English, and eager to learn? Do your friends say you are the perfect host or hostess? Would you like to escape noisy, crowded Dhaka for the pristine beauty of the Bangladeshi countryside? Are you excited to help create Bangladesh’s first five star spa resort? Are you proud of your heritage and eager toshare it with foreigners? If so, we want you to become a part of the Panigram team!

We are filling all main positions in the resort including jobs in:

  • Accounting and Finance
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Rooms Division
  • Spa and Wellness
  • Food and Beverage
  • Housekeeping
  • Security

Recent university graduates and seasoned hospitality professionals alike are invited to apply. Please bring with you your CV, photocopies of certificates, and a passport-sized photograph.

(All positions are based in a village 30 km from Jessore.)

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Summer Interns Are Here Again!

Posted by on June 13th, 2011

This is the third summer now that I have been fortunate enough to have interns. This year I have two Cornellians and a student from the University of Edinburgh, all architecture students keen to learn about mud buildings.

The interns spent their first night at my house in Dhaka. I immediately put them to work on an arts and crafts project, but jet lag caught up with them and craft time soon turned into nap time.

Jet lag catches up with the interns as craft time turns into nap time...

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Surveying Our Villages

Posted by on July 1st, 2010

The past month of work has been an eye-opening experience for me as I explore Panigram’s surrounding towns with my fellow interns.  My project for this summer is to collect baseline demographic data on these villages in order to better understand the community’s current condition—and its most pressing needs.  Since the Bangladeshi government has no demographic information (and not even any maps of the area), it’s up to us to do what in the United States would include census administration, map-making, and social outreach.  What our team is working on right now is the surveying: we visit villagers’ homes and go through a list of basic questions about household size, income, health, work, and education.  By obtaining a snapshot of the community’s current state, we hope to gauge Panigram’s impact in future years by comparing today’s data to subsequent years’.

Some of the villagers in our host community.

Some of the villagers in our host community.

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Panigram Resort Ground Breaking

Posted by on June 5th, 2010

Because we are building this resort for the future generations, we had the children break the ground for the resort.

Because we are building this resort for the future generations, we had the children break the ground for the resort.

“The Assistant District Commissioner is really angry and has just left.” My intern’s voice rang in my ears. We were almost an hour and a half late to our ground-breaking ceremony. Initially I had invited everyone at 11:00am thinking that most people would arrive around 11:30am because “Bangladesh time” seems to run thirty to sixty minutes behind “actual time”. Of course, yesterday all of our guests arrived at exactly 11:00am.

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Kristin Boekhoff Speaks at Cornell University

Posted by on April 17th, 2010

I was fortunate enough to be invited back by my alma mater, Cornell University, to speak at their annual hospitality conference, Hotel Ezra Cornell. The weekend event was packed full of industry leaders.

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