Bangladeshis, known for their poetry and romance, are offering marigolds, climbing trees and using village bands to impress U.S. servicewomen involved in the cyclone relief effort.
There was even a nervous marriage inquiry."To impress me, a man climbed up a coconut tree and got me a green coconut," said Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Kimberly Parish from Sacramento, Calif., one of just eight women among the 7,000 U.S. military personnel sent to help.
"He was frustrated that his coconut-plucking feat did not impress me, so he lined up a village band. The band played some tune as I sipped tea," she said.
President Bush dispatched an eight-ship flotilla to the Bay of Bengal to help in the relief operations after the April 30 cyclone hit, killing more than 139,000 people.
For many of the survivors, it was the first time they saw Americans. None had ever seen a woman, let alone an American, in a soldier's uniform.
Six women from the Air Force, one from Navy and one civilian helping with logistics make up the American female presence in Moslem Bangladesh.