Week Five and Still Alive

Hello once again everybody! It is your favourite Berbice Peer Educators writing to you from Rima’s Guest House in Georgetown.

What a week it has been and things are starting to move much quicker. There are only two weeks left for us in Guyana, which is a sad realization. However, we are continuing to learn every day and every day presents new opportunities for us to grow the Berbice initiative.

A beautiful morning from our balcony in Letter Kenny.

Erin with the female students at #59 Primary after a successful lesson. 

On Monday, Jamie and Ben were in Comprehensive Corentyne for their regular lesson. They have been fluctuating between two Form 3 classes there, changing which one they teach each week. However, for the past two weeks, they have spent the entire lunch hour with the kids answering all the questions they have about health, science, and life as a teenager. It is incredible how eager they are to learn. By Wednesday, things really started to pick up with five lessons being taught between all of us. We have nicknamed our midweek day as Whirlwind Wednesday for the busy excitment that comes with it. Erin and Ben headed to Skeldon for lessons on puberty with Grade 6’s at Massiah and #59 Primary as well as a lesson on healthy relationships and abuse at Tagore Secondary. The students are getting very comfortable with us teaching and are including us in lunch/snack plans as well as inviting us to play games with them after school. Jamie and Vinyas were at Lower Corentyne and Rose Hall Primary for lessons on puberty. These topics were covered on request from the students who were all eager and enthusiastic to  know more about developmental changes.

Jamie and Vinyas teaching Grade 6’s at Rose Hall Primary about puberty.

Ben and Erin showing their enthusiasm for teaching. 
Let’s talk about sex! A lesson on puberty and sexual anatomy with Ben and Erin. 

On Thursday we were once again busy teaching with lessons at Berbice Islamic School, Central Corentyne Secondary, Lesbeholden Primary and J.C. Chandisingh. Most of these were regular lessons with the exception of Lesbeholden Primary. Located in Blackbush, this is QHO’s first time teaching at Lesbeholden. It was awesome to get into a new school and while the students were timid, they were extremely attentive and asked lots of great questions.
Later that evening, we had a campfire with the youth in the surrounding area. We have developed incredible relationships with the Letter Kenny kids over the five weeks we have been here. There have been lots of learning and fun happening at the Letter Kenny Youth Space after school hours. On Thursday we took the time to build a bonfire (which had the added bonus of keeping away mosquitoes) and bring the kids a little taste of Canadian culture in the form of S’mores! Everybody had a great time and it was great to see how creative the kids got in putting Guyanese twists on their s’mores.

Ben and Jamie with their Grade 5 and 6’s from Lesbeholden Primary class after an engaging lesson on Peer Pressure. In the back right of the picture is Kenneth Pearson who has been instrumental in helping us with talking to schools int he Blackbush area. 

Our weekend was spent in Georgetown with the entire crew. We were invited to a ceremony at the Anna Catharina Islamic Complex by the main Georgetown contact Reyaz. The complex was receiving the Golden Arrow award, which is a national recognized award. Reyaz is very involved in the complex and the QHO team was therefore able to attend the incredible ceremony to experience some Islamic culture and witness them receiving their award. Since the award is a national award the newly elected President and Prime Minister of Guyana were in attendance! The entire QHO team were actually able to meet and exchange words with His Excellency Mr. President David Granger and the Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Moses Nagomootoo. This was an incredible experience that we won’t soon forget. The entire QHO team is hoping to work more closely with the new government to increase the sustainability and effectiveness of our initiatives. Picture evidence will be forthcoming!

The beautiful Anna Catharina Islamic Complex

That’s all for now. Soon we are heading back to Berbice for another exciting week of instruction. Stay well everyone!

The Berbice Crew,

Ben, Erin, Jamie, and Vinyas

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