|Can’t believe we’re here!|
We’re here! We finally made it to Guyana early on Friday morning after 8 hours of traveling and 7 months of preparation. Although it was raining when we arrived, we instantly noticed the heat and humidity. We were so happy to see the familiar faces of Beth and Joe waiting for our arrival. After the reunion, we piled into a cab and were instantly awakened by the local style of driving. When reached Georgetown, we were warmly welcomed by the wonderful hosts at Rima’s Guesthouse.
Once settled in, the Georgetown team got straight to work. We met with Ms Fraser from the Red Cross and discussed how QHO could help contribute to the goals of the organization. We also discussed prevalent health issues amongst Guyanese youth, such as the extensive use of energy drinks, which will be useful for us when we create lesson plans. There appeared to be a lot of opportunity for QHO within the Red Cross, and we hope to partake in some new initiatives with this like-minded organization. After that, we met with Ms. Toney, our contact from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. Her enthusiasm was contagious, as she expressed gratitude towards our arrival and the importance of the work that we do. She’s been working incredibly hard, creating teaching schedules for us at 8 local schools and a few Youth Friendly Spaces after school and on weekends. We are excited to continue working with Ms. Toney and cannot wait to meet the students she’s arranged for us to be working with.
The Berbice team has lots to look forward to once we head to our location. We were slightly delayed in our departure from Georgetown, as Kevin’s luggage (or, “Kelvin’s” as it was tagged by the airport) was lost on the flight. Luckily, the luggage was found and retrieved just this morning! We were really lucky. But sadly, goodbyes are soon to be said; Kate, Kevin and Joe are heading to Berbice for the remainder of the 8 weeks and are excited to get acquainted with the communities they’ll be working with.
|Kate, Haily, Allie and Janet enjoying some coconuts at the Bourda market|
Since the Guyanese holiday, Arrival Day, falls on Monday, our first teaching day will be Tuesday. We’ve taken advantage of the downtime to familiarize ourselves with the city. Beth and Joe have introduced us to a number of exciting markets and delicious (and vegetarian!) restaurants. Aside from eating delicious and authentic Guyanese food, we’ve been very busy exploring the streets of Georgetown, going for morning runs along the sea wall, visiting the zoo, petting manatees at a local park and playing soccer. Each day we are amazed by the friendliness of Guyanese people and their interest in where we come from and what we are doing.
|A friendly soccer match at an exercise park|
Though we are getting used to the city, we are still adapting to the 41 degree heat. We’re slowly learning tactics to deal with the heat and humidity, such as putting baby powder in our shoes (which looks and feels like walking on a cloud).
Currently, we are all recovering from our first few busy days and will be busy creating lesson plans for next week. We are all very excited for what is ahead, and will be sure to let you all know what we are up to.
|“The last supper” as a group.|
Adam, Allie, Haily, Janet, Kate & Kevin