My view from the veranda at breakfast
I’m not that great at the whole “updating the blog” thing (and to be fair, not that much has happened here as of yet), but I figured I should mark being in country for over a month with a new post.
I’ve been living for the past month here at Lake Mainstay in Guyana’s Region 2, about half an hour from the city of Anna Regina, and somewhat of a getaway vacation spot for urbanite Guyanese, with a host family that’s dope to say the least. Minerva, my host mom, is a nursery teacher and also runs the local bar/pool hall/general nighttime gathering area next door to the house. I told her my first week here that I would try anything she puts on my plate at least once. She took it very much to heart. Speaking of heart, I handled the chicken heart she gave me just fine. And the beef liver and tripe. The three solid “no”s I’ve had so far are chicken foot (which Minnie continues to tease me with whenever she eats), corilla (a vegetable which tastes like a pickle and the devil had a bitter baby), and beef face (the taste of beef with the texture of phlegmy glue).
Minerva, Mary, and an Amerindian chief
She lives here with my host sister, Mary, and my host dad, Lennox, who, like many men around here, split their time between home and mining in the interior of the country. When he’s here, he drives a minibus (one of the major modes of transportation along the coast), and takes me to the local barber to get haircuts (I got a fade and look like a wanna-be cool youth pastor).
15 seats, 2 seatbelts
Most of the time here is spent in training- the first few weeks were mostly basic things (how not to die and that sort of thing), and then we moved into more sector-specific technical training. This week is the beginning of our 2-week model school- we get the chance to hone our skills teaching science for the first time to 3rd-6th grade students (which is the majority of what we’ll initially doing at site). I got to teach the birds and the bees to a classroom of sixth graders this morning, which is something I never thought I would willingly do in this lifetime. What an experience.
Mr. Zack in teacher mode
One of the greatest and weirdest experiences I’ve had so far was meeting the REO (basically the governor) here in Region 2. He showed up randomly at my host grandfather’s house late one evening. I was wearing an Auburn t-shirt (because how often do governors show up randomly at 8 pm?) and as soon as he saw me he asked “Where’d you get that jersey?” Turns out he graduated from Aubs in 1988. It was the coolest thing and also a sign that I will never escape Auburn no matter where I go.
All in all, Guyana is a wonderful place. The people are great, the food is great, the culture is great, the weather is tolerable. How many people get to do something they love and have palm trees swaying in the yard? Not saying I’m winning at life, but definitely winning at life. Excited for 26 more months here.