Life in Coimbra and around

It’s been five months of my joining to University of Coimbra as a QUICS Early Stage Researcher. I am passing a nice time here. In Coimbra I joined a group of three researchers. Two¬†of them are doing their PhD’s and the other is doing his Post-Doc. They are very welcoming. We four have made a good team; not only at the office but also outside while playing foosball during the lunch break ūüėÄ

Here we have just finished the summer vacation. It passed quiet fast for me. At the middle of the year, I was planning to visit my home country, Bangladesh. But at the end I did not go back as my wife along with my six months old daughter managed to arrive in Coimbra after a long and hectic visa processing formalities. I enjoyed the summer time with our little angel. We travelled around the city and enjoyed her company.

Me with my daughter in Coimbra
Me with my daughter in Coimbra

Just after the summer, I along with the other QUICS researchers have become busy with our upcoming outreach event. We already have some experience of arranging an outreach event as we did our first outreach event in Luxembourg during June 2015. In that event, we spent a whole day with around 50 students of local high school. At the beginning we were not sure if we will have some problem with the audience since most of us cannot speak French, which is the common tongue over there. But at the end we were surprised to find that most of the students can speak English, French, Deutsche and Luxembourgish at the same time.

We introduced them different aspects of Water, Environment, Hydrology and Modelling; using power point presentations, hands on experiments and some interactive dice games. The students were very enthusiastic and excited throughout the day, which made the outreach event workshop a complete success. The event ended with group photo sessions with the students.

We, with all the students at the end of the Outreach Event in Luxembourg
All the students at the end of the Outreach Event in Luxembourg, posing in a group photo with us. Photo Credit: Kasia Sawicka

But this time, the outreach event we are working on; will be a little bit different from the previous. We are going to meet some kids of just 10 years old. Most of us do not have any previous experience to deal with a child of that age. This will also be challenging as we need to deliver our works in such a way so that it becomes easy for them. So we are making a booklet for the kids which will be delivered to them on the event day. The booklet explains different activities we are going to do with them. They will use this book during different hands on experiments about water quality testing. They can also learn something new from it. I am just capturing a part of the booklet over here.

Part of the booklet we are working on!
Part of the booklet we are working on!

We are very excited about the coming event. I am sure the kids will love all the activities we are planning. They are going to learn some new thing too.

Before I sign off from my first ever blog post, I would like to add some lines about a very recent flood event at my home city, Dhaka. It shows how a short but heavy rainfall event can flood a big city if proper preparation and planning are lacking. On September 1, 2015 the city experienced a heavy rainfall. The Met Office in Bangladesh recorded 46mm of rain in just one and a half hour. This made the whole city flooded. Because of inadequate drainage system, almost all major roads and streets went under water. Below you can see two of the main streets of the city flooded completely.

Inundated Dhanmondi 27 road on September 1, 2015 afternoon after rainfall in capital city of Dhaka in Bangladesh. Photo Credit: The Daily Star on September 2, 2015.

Dhaka Water logging
Inundated Dhanmondi 27 (upper panel) and Bijoy Sarani (lower panel), two of the busiest roads; on afternoon of September 1, 2015. Photo Credit: The Daily Star on September 2, 2015.

Two main reasons of this flood was deficient drainage management and unplanned urbanization. This type of pictures of my beloved city makes me sad. It also motivates me to be a better water resources engineer and urban flood modeller so that someday we can overcome these issues!

Waiting for that day! Ciao!

15 September, 2015
Coimbra, Portugal

Life in Coimbra and around