Saturday, March 17, 2007

Flying High

Blogger’s Note: Nobody celebrates St. Patrick’s Day in Guyana except for silly Americans volunteers with no Irish heritage, but are just looking for an excuse to have fun. I’m one those people. Point being my time at the internet today is very limited so there will only be one post. Sorry!
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There are lots of moments when I say to myself, “Only in Guyana could this happen.” Most of the time it’s something like seeing a family of four ride a bicycle or having someone at the shop sit around and not assist you even when you ask. This past Sunday I had a completely impromptu experience that wouldn’t have happened if I was still back in the States.

I was planning on a fun day of doing laundry and cleaning the house. In the middle of my chores, I was interrupted by a phone call spontaneously inviting me to fly to a tiny resort off of the Essequibo River. I immediately jumped at the opportunity and scrambled as quickly as possible for the last-minute affair. Two other volunteers and I met the pilot and a friend at the tiny airport near town. The five of us boarded a 5 seater plane and flew 20 minutes across part of the country.

Our altitude was low enough so that I could see the colorful rooftops, endless green forests, and speedboats floating along the coast. When we arrived, I felt like I was in a completely different world. The plane landed on a 100 foot-long runway and parked on a tiny concrete square black. We were basically in the middle of the bush. A car was waiting for us and drove about 5 minutes through a tiny dirt road, and we ended up at Lake Mainstay Resort.

The sand was white, the water was red (as are all the creeks in Guyana), and the food and drinks kept coming. As we waded in the warm lake, I looked up at the sky cherishing the moment and relishing in the fact I wasn’t scrubbing my toilet.

On the way back from an amazing afternoon, I was granted the co-pilot seat and sat in cockpit staring down at complicated buttons, levers, and meters. I began asking the pilot a few questions about flying and he ran through a short list of basics. Then, to my surprise, he let go of the controls and told me to fly us home. I tightly gripped the wheel, used the coastline as a guide, and flew a small plane across Guyana. It was one of the most amazing things I had ever done. And for the remainder of the day, I was on cloud nine and a complete high. (pun intended.)

5 comments:

bakannal said...

nice to see u'v had a positive experience while here.

Elaine said...

Oh my god - you top everyone for best St. Patty's day 2007. Mine was spent watching 2 NCAA games back to back (I have two brackets going) and then partying at a beach bar. UT is playing USC today but Gtown will win all.

april said...

OMG - that is so awesome!!!

odette said...

cool!!!

dustbunni said...

Wow.