Time for a proper update (read: long!) after my first week in the beautiful Caribbean gem that is Guyana…
Starting from the beginning, the journey from home to Gatwick was largely uneventful, apart from my tour of the Gatwick area after being directed to the wrong hotel shuttle bus. The first flight the next day, from Gatwick to Barbados, was on time and an enjoyable flight. Then the fun started…
Our stop over in Barbados was supposed to be a little over 4 hours. We actually spent over 10 hours in the airport after hearing that the plane we were meant to be getting was “still on the ground in Antigua and not leaving any time soon”. When the plane finally did leave Barbados with us on board, we were rewarded with a night time view from above of Guyana’s illuminated cities and towns – it was simply beautiful.
We were all relieved to finally be on the ground in Guyana in the very early hours of Sunday morning (local time) and to have made it through immigration, until we got to baggage claim and less than a dozen cases appeared from our flight, only one of which belonged to a PT volunteer. Our country rep Kala got on the case straight away – by Sunday afternoon a further 17 had arrived (mine being one of them), and by Monday the rest were all here – relieved volunteers all round!
In line with Project Trust tradition, Sunday was spent relaxing at Marudi black water creek absorbing some of the natural beauty of Guyana.
Monday was dedicated mostly to paperwork (the Guyanese love this stuff!) and shopping for a few essentials and things people forgot to bring. To do so I had to change my money into Guyanese Dollars… I like having wads of cash!
Monday evening saw us complete a second PT tradition with a meal at a very nice Chinese restaurant. I know I need to stop thinking in UK Pounds, but the meal below (and drink) cost about £3.70!
Tuesday saw us visiting the British High Commissioner’s house for a ‘snack and swim’. This was a brilliant experience – he’s a very friendly guy and surprisingly easy to talk to, considering his high status. He and his wife seemed very pleased to meet us and commended us on the work we were here to do.
Most of Wednesday was spent at the Education Commission for an introduction and a run down of the education system in which we’ll be working – there was some useful information here, but cutting out the sections that were a repeat of training could have made it significantly shorter! One good thing was that we found out our wages… $46,125 a month!
Today, Thursday, was spent packing and getting ready to fly to our projects tomorrow – the flight to Region 9 leaves very early tomorrow morning! Once we’ve arrived we’ll have a few days to settle before we start teaching on Monday.
This evening saw a third and final PT tradition with a meal at a brilliant all-you-can-eat Brazilian restaurant – the place was fantastic! Unfortunately this was the only photo I took…
That’s about it so far… the only other news is that I’m adjusting to the heat quicker than I thought, but I’m still being somewhat eaten alive by bugs in the night!
On the topic of adjusting, Tuesday was something of a turning point in dealing with missing the people I love back home/volunteering in China – Ross and Rachael had to sit me through a reasonable few miserable moments in the first couple of days, but I feel those moments will be a lot less frequent now.
Oh, and being woken up every morning by a parrot chattering away is so, so much better than an alarm clock!
I’ll update whenever I next have Internet access, but I don’t know exactly when that’ll be… a few days, weeks, months maybe? Watch this space!