One week since we arrived!

Hello from Berbice,

             I can’t believe it has been one week already since we arrived last Sunday. It seems like it was just yesterday that we got on the plane in Toronto and yet it feels at the same time like we have been here for ages allready. We are becoming more and more comfortable in our surroundings and I am definitely becoming more accustomed to the local accents. I find myself struggling far less to understand even the stronger accents, which was defintely a struggle when we first arrived. There are some things that we are still adjusting to, like the music that starts every morning at about 8:00 at full volume from the church next door. Today is Mother’s Day so there was an especially large gathering at the church next door. A special greetings and wishes to all of our mothers at home on this day!
             We have been continuing to work very closely with Omeshwar from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. He is particularly interested in working with youth who are not formally in schools, which is great and fits perfectly with QHO’s desire to try to impact those who are most in need. We have made arrangements to teach a number of times this coming week and though things have been off to a somewhat slow start with a lot of meetings to arrange things, I think that this week will be full of teaching. One of the opportunities that we are very excited about is the man Emanuel, who runs the Youth Friendly Space in Letter Kenny is very excited about teaching with us. He is a very charming and friendly man and has a great deal of passion for impacting young Guyanese people. We travelled with Emanuel yesterday to the nearby market in Port Mourant, where we distributed pamphlets on sexual health topics like emergency contraceptives, family planning, involvement in the community to reduce stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS, abuse, TB, and a whole range of topics as well as distributing free condoms. The market happens every saturday in Port Mourant and is a huge bustling market where you can find pretty well everything you need. Emanuel was hugely helpful in helping us find a whole variety of fresh vegetables and fruits. We quickly stopped in at a fast food restaurant called Spready’s to get a cold drink and met three young American women who were stationed nearby in a community called Blackbush, working with the PeaceCorp. They seemed really nice and are here working in Health and Education, so we chatted about the work we were doing and exchanged contact information. We returned home with a huge shopping bag of fresh produce which we were very excited to cook for dinner last night.
        My time is about to run out at this internet cafe so I will rap it up but all is well here and we can’t wait to get into teaching this week! Cheers till next time,

Joe, Alyssa and Jamie.

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