Sunday, August 06, 2006

Guyana, Land of Many Waters

There's just so much to say and so little time to say it all in. First of all, Guyana is such a great and wonderful country. Today I went swimming in the Essequibo river with cows. There are cows, goats and roosters at the dorm we're staying at, but I'll get to all that another time. I have so much to catch yall up on, so I've decided to make a list of the good, the bad and the ugly of Guyana. Also I still cannot load pics yet so I will need you to prepare a red, green and black crayon so you can draw in the visuals yourself. Here goes:

The Good
- Meeting all the volunteers and getting to know them. There are rocket scientists, former teachers, engineers, geniuses, 2 Canadians and people who've traveled to the most exotic places in the world. Each person has a different story and background, and everyone is so nice and willing to lend a helping hand. I mean you kind of have to if you're going to do this, right?

- The people in the country are so welcoming and nice. Everywhere you go, you make friends with the locals. We're celebrities... they opened this internet cafe tonight just because we're in town.

There was an opening ceremony held for us, which was broadcasted on their national TV. Afterwards some locals stopped one of the volunteers and told us they saw her on television. It's cool being famous in a third world country.

- I learned the play the steel drums. Ok, just the first 8 notes of the American national anthem, but I felt cool. Just like the celebrity thing.

- My placement. I totally got hooked up with the best living situation in all of Guyana. Watch out Guyana MTV Cribs. Right when I got off the plane, the field director told me I had a fridge, internet access, and a veranda with a hammock. Score! So much for roughing it.

- The country is absolutely beautiful. Please take out your green crayon now. Draw a box on your computer screen here:

Now fill the box in with lots of green circles that may or may not look like palm trees. This is what Guyana looks like.

The Bad
- The heat. The sun is sometimes so unforgiving here, and you're forced to find solace in the shade and wait for a nice cool breeze. Luckily the breeze blows quite frequently, so you find yourself taking lots of shade breaks.

- The mosquitoes. Now please take out your red crayon. Draw two parallel lines here:

Now fill them in with red dots and that is my leg or my arm.

- The water at the first dorm we stayed at in Georgetown smelled like sulfur.

The Ugly
- I was told I'm going to be teaching at a community high school-- which is basically for delinquents, kids that didn't pass the high school entrance exam, or didn't take it. I heard it was challenging.

- The frequency of running water. The water doesn't always work here so oftentimes the toilet doesn't flush (in which case you just go to the well, fill up a bucket and pour it down), or the sink doesn't work (in which case you just take out your antibacterial gel) or the shower doesn't work (in which case you just go to the well, fill up a bucket and take a bucket bath). All things these things aren't so bad to deal with.

While we were staying at the dorm, myself and two other volunteers were taking a shower. Mid shampoo lather, the water stops running and the three of us are left soapy and bewildered. We decide the water isn't going to come back on, wrap ourselves up in towels, grab our brightly colored buckets and march our sudsy selves to fetch some well water.

The well is located right next to where all the 23 other male and female volunteers like to hang out because there is guaranteed a breeze. Now please take out your black crayon and draw three stick figures here:

Now add lots of suds in our hair, a towel around ourselves, water dripping from our stick figure arms and a bucket in tow. Now to the left, add 23 stick figures turning around at the same time to see us in this state. There is a real picture out there of this incident and I will show yall once it's downloaded somewhere.

I have many more stories, which I will have to tell you later. We're off to the local bar now. Don't forget to wipe all the crayon marks off your computer screen.


stinkylin said...

your stories are so cute. and all sounds well. we shouldve sent you more Off spray. to help prevent mosquito bites from itching too much, you can run soap on the bite. same with ant bites. and i think lemon juice, lemon grass, lemon oil can help repel mosquitos. anyhoo, keep up the wonderful postings. take care, be careful and have fun!

yenny said...

Happy Birthday!!!!!

i bought you cupcakes but i didn't want them to go bad so i ate them.

i'm glad that conditions are much better than we discussed at dinner before you left. sounds like you're having a wonerful time and a great experience. i can't wait to see pictures.

Aimee said...

Keep these coming, they are great!! Sorry I didn't get to see you before you left NY :(

Anyhoo, can't wait to continue reading as to how things are going with you over there and will try to send you some OFF and some goodies.

Hope you have an awesome and exotic birthday !!!

Cordelia said...

Hey Babe, Happy Birthday Sweetie! I'm sure all is going well and you're enjoying yourself. Best Wishes and Blessings. To see some clips of some shows go to: