Move-in, Meetings and Mosquitos

Exciting week for us as we finally arrived in Berbice and settled into our new home in the lovely village of Letter Kenny. It was an adjustment at first but the village was welcoming and we are taking everything in stride. The first afternoon in Letter Kenny (Tuesday!) we finally got to meet the youth that we will be spending most afternoons with. The youth space where we typically hang out with them, and occasionally teach in, was a little worse for wear, however after an afternoon of teamwork it was back in good shape. We quickly learned that the kids had much more efficient ways of cleaning up and we were definitely taught a lesson or two. 
Wednesday was spent making initial visits to some of the schools we’d been approved to teach at. The meetings went great and we were even able to schedule our first lesson for two days later, on Friday night (this story to come shortly). Wednesday night was our first of many epic bug battles, thankfully Patrick prevailed against the palm-sized moth. 
Thursday was an observed holiday, Indian Arrival Day, so the town was quieter and the schools were closed. We were thankful for this in the end, as we had lots of lesson planning and logistical matters to get through. Friday was a whirlwind of a day, from 8 am till 3 pm we darted around the region, meeting first with the ministry and then 9 different schools. The meetings were quite successful and our teaching schedules are coming together! We are hoping to be teaching between two and four classes a day, with the total number of schools still undetermined. 
Nerves and excitement were very high Friday afternoon as we made final preparations for our first lesson, which took place at Guysuco training center. This is a post-secondary (after high school) institution that offers live-in, military style learning and extracurriculars that train the students to enter a variety of trade workforces. We divided into teams (Shannen and Lexi, Patrick and Cora) and each tackled a class of 50-60 boys aged 15-20. It was intimidating for our first lesson, but both pairs agree it could not have gone better. Both classes were super receptive and interactive, good times were had by all. We hope to return to Guysuco about 3 more times in the following weeks. 
The next morning was a bit lazier, but we still got our daily workout in, and then ventured to the Saturday market to stock up on groceries. We all have a little ways to go in our fruit picking and bartering skills, but can tell that market will come to be another highlight in our weeks. 
We keep saying to each other, “It feels like we have been here for a year, but also 5 minutes”, which may sound silly but couldn’t be more true. Even through the crazy week, we all comfortably settled into our new home, started to get into a routine, and adjusted to our new normal. We seriously can’t wait to start the next full week of teaching, wish us luck!
Thanks for reading,
The Berbesties 

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