Georgetown – First teaching day!

Our new friend who told us to bring back his
picture to Canada to show our friends! 

Hey everyone, 

This is the Georgetown team! It’s the second day and we already feel like we have done tons. We started off today by walking around town and visiting a few marketplaces. It would be an understatement if I said that we were not overwhelmed by the large number of people and vendors that were crowding the streets. 

Although our pre-departure training warned us of looking both ways before crossing the street since in Guyana cars drive on the opposite side of the road, we were surprised to see how important that rule really is! The first place we visited today were the Guyana stores, which in some ways is equivalent to the Walmart of North America. We then made our way to Starbroek Marketplace, which was in a beautiful building with any kind of merchandise you could possibly think of. The Georgetown team then had to split up from Jamie, Joe, and Alyssa as we had to head back home to prepare for our first teaching session. On the way, we visited the City Mall which houses the only escalator in Guyana. We also got some traditional food on the way, consisting of Roti, pumpkin, chicken, and potato curry, and Dahl. I should say that the food here is truly delicious and we cannot get enough of it. Beth’s favourite food was the pumpkin curry with Roti and she says that she will eat it everyday! We will see by the end of eight weeks…

Us on the only escalator in Guyana (more exciting than you would think) 

The Georgetown family outside Rima right before our first
lesson. 
After lunch, we met up with Ms. Toney at the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sport. Ms. Toney is a social worker and the acting director of the Ministry. She is in charge of all the youth in Guyana. She has been working hard to create a teaching schedule for us which she will drop off tonight! After having a meeting with her, we were off to our first teaching session at Community College where we taught a lesson on goal setting and leadership to a class of students ranging from age 12 to 14. Community college was a one room school house which was divided into 4 classrooms by chalkboards. This was a challenge seeing as  it was hard to block out the noises from the other kids…not the perfect teaching situation for our first lesson. Also, since this was our first lesson, we were super nervous. However, once we stepped into the room and started teaching, all of our anxiety went away and teaching became a natural thing as we had been preparing and practicing for so many months. It was also interesting to see how teaching styles differ in Guyana from that in Canada. For example, as we entered the class, all the students stood up to greet us and wouldn’t sit back down until we told them to. As well, they would stand up every time they responded to our questions. However, these students were highly disciplined, polite, and respectful, which is something we could definitely use more of back home at Queen’s. 
The ride to Community College…EXCITED!
After we finished teaching, we made our way back to the Rima Guesthouse and started to reflect on our experiences in Guyana thus far. We have thoroughly enjoyed the traditional foods that are offered here in Guyana and have started to get used to the intense heat and humidity which makes things extra sticky! Leslie and Sydney learned an important lesson last night about the rain in Guyana: move all important items away from the windows when it’s raining and the window is wide open! When the rain comes on it is sudden and very heavy, but it is so welcomed because it really cools everything down.
All in all, we still cannot believe that after 8 months of preparations we are finally here in Guyana and cannot wait to share more experiences with each other and with you!

We be limin’ til next time!

Arash, Beth, Sydney and Leslie

Posted in Georgetown, Guyana, QHO.

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