Week 1 of Orientation over!

Trip Start Aug 01, 2006
Trip End Jul 14, 2007

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Flag of Guyana  ,
Monday, August 7, 2006

Things are still going very well here in Guyana. As expected though, the challenges and struggles that I'm sure will be prevalent throughout the year are definitely coming to the surface. Right now they're in the form of the lack of water, bucket showers, non-flushing toilets, constantly sweating, beginning to make lesson plans, listening to previous volunteers about how difficult the year will be, gigantic bugs everywhere, mosquitos biting us, stomachaches, etc. YET the good and rewarding things about being here definitely outweigh the difficult parts. A challenge is what I was looking for and a challenge is certainly what I am getting.

I had my first experience handwashing my own clothes--which was not too bad the first time. I also had my first experience going to a Guyanese Baptist Church--which was very cool and very upbeat. Afterwards I met this guy, Lennex, who was from Guyana but is studying to be a forest ranger in Cuba. He was really cool - turns out he's killed and eaten a 14 ft. anaconda! He said it tasted like mountain chicken...whatever that is. He's also seen jaguars and swung from vines and done several jungle tours. He was also very passionate about his faith. And another really great thing about Lennex was that when I asked him what he was doing after he graduated he said he was going to come back to his Guyana to serve his country. This was especially awesome because we've learned that a big problem in the country is that the majority of people who get a University education end up leaving Guyana for the U.S. or someplace else, kind of like a big brain drain. So I was so encouraged to hear this guy be passionate about coming back to serve his country and his people.

Another thing that is really interesting about the town we're in, Bartica, is that there are cows and donkeys just roaming around everywhere. Through the roads, on your front stoop, on the beach, just anywhere and everywhere. Also, the town of Bartica is known as "the gateway to the interior" because from the town you can get to any place within Guyana's inland. There is one road in which you can do this from. I went running down it this morning and it was such an awesome run--the jungle on both sides of us and little jungle houses along the way and lots of rolling hills. 

So far my time in Guyana has been a very humbling and challenging experience, but also a great one.

"Never doubt that a
small group of thoughtful,
committed citizens
can change the world.
Indeed, it's the only
thing that ever has."

~Margaret Mead
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