Arash here! Today marks the 14th day since our arrival to Georgetown and also the second day we are completely on our own. Kelly left Georgetown for Toronto yesterday morning as her trip was cut short due to the recent flooding in Lethem. So, it is now completely up to us to explore the town, make new contacts, and represent QHO to the best of our abilities. I should mention however that Jamie is still in Berbice and will be coming to visit us here in Georgetown next week before she heads home.
Wednesday was a relatively busy day for the Georgetown PEs. Sydney and Leslie started off the day by teaching a lesson on nutrition, fitness, and disease in the morning, while Sydney and myself taught the same lesson to another class in the afternoon. Then, later that day, we all traveled to East Ruimveldt (one of the low-income communities surrounding Georgetown) to hold a homework help session at the East Ruimveldt Community Centre. We were greeted by Ms. Donna, the social worker in charge of the East Ruimveldt area, and lots of kids who were beyond excited to see us return. We definitely recognized many familiar faces from our session the previous week, which is always a good sign! We helped the kids with anything from math and spelling to social studies and art. During this time, Sydney and I decided to give the older kids who didn’t have any homework, an introduction to our upcoming lesson on Sexual Health. This was very welcomed by the students and other community members who joined in to listen, and also solidified the need for our curriculum. Once everyone had finished their homework, we decided to go outside and play, which included giving a lot of piggy-back rides to the kids.
On Thursday, since a lot of our classes were canceled due to the CXC testing (a test which must be completed by students in order to get a job in Guyana) going on in schools, we all headed to a local GRPA (Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association) to get some information on resources we could provide to our students when we teach them about sexual health, contraceptives, and STI’s. Leslie and Beth even put on a brave face and signed up and got tested for HIV so that they could get a sense of how HIV testing works in Guyana and to be able to provide the students with the details. Overall, visiting the GRPA was very successful and provided us with a lot of insight about the process of getting tested for STI’s and HIV, as well as the stigma associated with it. Later that day, Leslie and I taught our regular class at community college, after which we all went out for dinner with Kelly on her last night in Guyana.
Friday brought about a relatively hectic day for us in Georgetown. We started the day by teaching at a new school Ms. Toney had arranged for us, the Sophia Primary School. Getting to this new school however was a mission and a half! The Sophia Primary School is located in the Sophia community, which is around 20 minutes outside of Georgetown. However, due to the heavy rain we had experienced the past two days, many of the roads were washed away and were left with huge ditches and potholes. Against all odds, we made it to the school and taught our lesson. After, we met up with Ms. Toney so that she could provide us with the times and locations of some new schools that we will be teaching at. The addition of these new schools to our schedule has made us quite busy, but we are excited and very eager to reach out to as many people as possible during our stay in Guyana. After our meeting with Ms. Toney, we made our way to the Royal Academy school, taught our students there, then headed to the Ruimveldt Children’s Home. The Ruimveldt Children’s Home is a place where children can hang out after school, get help with their homework, and eat some food. There we met Ms. December who was in charge of the kids for the day and was beyond happy to have us. During our hour stay, we hung out with the kids, I re-tried to learn “how to dougie” (watch the video), and helped Ms. December and the staff with serving the kids’ food, and the clean up that followed. We all loved our experience at the Ruimveldt Children’s Home and will be going back every Thursday and Friday.
Until next time,
The Georgetown Crew!