Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hello. Goodbye.

Guyana, a place where formalities are expected but casual is the culture, where racism is prolific yet religious tolerance is standard, where the people move unhurriedly yet in a bus, market or crowd they aggressively hustle each other along. In the land of many waters, where rainy season is inevitable, but the country comes to a standstill at first sight of a drizzle, where some of the poorest people live yet exude such generosity often teaching me a thing or two about southern hospitality, where I’ve met some incredibly ungrateful greedy people, and some of the most altruistic, genuine caring ones, a place where I exchanged loud city sirens for wild dogs barking and frogs croaking, where the brilliant twinkling starlight replace the neon lights of the city, where the oranges and lemons are green and the flesh limes are sometimes yellow, this is the place I called home for a year. While oftentimes I felt like I was living in a dysfunctional home, it’s still where the heart is. And now after a year of injecting DEET into my bloodstream, it’s finally time to say good bye to warm Guyana and hello again to America.

Goodbye sights of beautifully thick trees lining the highway, goodbye orange, pink, purple shades of the sun setting, goodbye line of sea-foam green uniformed students spilling out of school and walking semi- single file along the highway, goodbye Music Man wheeling a cart of burned cds for sale down the street. Goodbye endless dancing on the streets (sometimes my life seems like a musical.) Goodbye full moon brightly lighting up the dirt path. Goodbye children clothed in merely underwear fishing in the sewer trenches, goodbye boys playing cricket barefoot, goodbye horse drawn carts, goodbye clean laundry drying underneath the harsh sunrays.

Goodbye smells of sweet honey roasted nuts simmering at the bus park, goodbye putrid urine on the streets and in the sewers intensified by the sun, goodbye sour rum distillery, goodbye delicious scent of garlic, onions and curry cooking from houses at 5pm stirring up my appetite.

Goodbye sounds of reggae music pumping everywhere, goodbye rumbling of children chatting, screaming, laughing in class, goodbye wild dogs barking, roosters crowing, frogs croaking, mosquitoes buzzing in my ear, goodbye “miss”, obnoxious sucking noises, obscene comments, and cheerful greetings. Goodbye little Michelle that lives downstairs crying, laughing, screaming, singing, and constantly knocking on my door asking for candy, goodbye pitter patter of rain in the distance hearing it about 3 seconds before it hits.

Goodbye sweet mangoes, pineapple, and passion fruit, goodbye amusing conversations with the school children, goodbye hammocks, goodbye market, goodbye mini-busses. It’s been a polarizing year with extreme highs and lows. It’s been quite an adventure. Goodbye Guyana (banana).

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Goodbye Yvonne. Hope you enjoyed your stay. I always looked forward to your blog and it was really quite interesting to read about life in Guyana from your perspective. I see it wasn't all fun and games or "smooth sailing", but I hope you leave Guyana with some lasting memories, albeit not all good. Good luck with your future endeavours. If you'll still be online, maybe you can keep us posted with your newest blog or what you'll be up to after leaving Guyana. Take care. Safe trip back "home" and all the best! :-)

april said...

wow - i can't believe you've been there a year. i've been living vicariously through your blog posts and i know you'll keep all of these memories that you've made forever. let's hang out when you get back to sugar land :)

Mom said...

We are proud of you! can't wait to see you home!

Mom said...

We are proud of you! can't wait to see you home!

Elaine said...

Yvonne! This blog rocked. Please continue writing - and texting doesn't count :)

missjenny said...

YVONNE-

How time flies. Glad you are going to make a stop by NY and I can't wait to catch up. I hope you move back. NY misses you!

also, please keep up your blogs...i love reading it. see and talk to you very soon.

yay!!!

brian said...

come back to NYC! and keep an active blog please, this was really a fantastic read....

Nina said...

yvonne...your posts are so funny! you are certainly a gifted writer and your ability to really capture the essence of the situation makes for good reading. and you do it in such a way that isn't too verbose. welcome back to the states honey!

Anonymous said...

Ciao Yvonne - your blogging was addictive and will be missed by me. Being a transplanted GT'er and schooled in a much different time and place than your just concluded teaching experience, you still provided me a wonderful rollercaster ride of life in GT today -through the eyes of a foreigner. Though the education related entries are not completely indicative of the country's average pupil, officals should use your record as a document to show how bad it has gotten. But, your cultural and day-to-day entries of life in GT were so hilariously spot on, my ex-pat group used it as morning coffee or a means to reminisce the fun times while growing up there. Thank you thank you thank you, and good luck in your future travels.

Stephen said...

Hi Yvonne,

Just discovered your blog because I was looking up Kayleigh. I met her last night and she asked me to make bread on the show. I'm here as a VSO with my wife working in georgetown. I presume you were world teach. Your writing is a great insight into life in Guyana. Well done. I have a blog if you want to look at it. www.stephenharding.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I've browsed through a few of your posts. You did good for those children. I hope you sleep with a photo of them under your pillow.

We'd like an update from you, every once in a while.

bob wong said...

Yvonne,

Great writing, great adventuring, but don't just leave us hanging. Give out a link to your next writing destination.

My Little Eye said...

Hey Yvonne. I know its been 3 years since you were in Guyana, but my family is from Guyana and I'd LUV to talk to you more about your time there. Not sure if you'll get this, but if you do email me! natasha.saran@gmail.com