The Fun That Was Peace Corps Guyana - Mark's Blog

Postings from just north of the equator. Let's see if training in CPR and First Aid prepares me to teach Health Education in a small, remote village in Guyana. I'm thinking... no. Read all about this ill advised decision! In addition, here is the required Peace Corps disclaimer: "The contents of this website are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the US government or the Peace Corps." So, please, don't confuse me with the White House Press Secretary.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Little Story

Here's a little bedtime story for everyone. This actually happened almost three weeks ago - it was my third night with my host family. Like most Guyanese families, my host family has a dog (in fact, three of them). Now, dogs in Guyana are not like dogs in America. They are treated in way to make them hateful of all humans outside of their family. I would argue that they also hate their family but are just biding their time to strike. Anyways, the point is, dogs are not nice here in Guyana.

So my family has three dogs - a female adult and two puppies. The adult is Doberman-Rottweiler mix. What a combo. Basically, the dogs are kept in a little box that can't be more than a cubic yard. They just lounge around there, stewing in their rage against all things human. And then my family lets them roam under the house at night, barking at everyone person that comes within 100 feet of the front gate.

So needless to say, these dogs didn't like me at first. The puppies are easy to deal with, but the female adult dog is a tad on the ferocious side. So I was telling my host mom how I need to be friends with the dog, or else she might eat me if she gets the chance. And she's telling my how the last Peace Corps volunteer became friends with her. So on the third night, I come back kinda late (like 9PM). Of course, the dogs are out, barking their heads off at me. So I ring the doorbell to get them to let me in. Joel, my ten year old host brother, comes down and grabs the dog before opening the gate. At this point, I make my mistake. Joel says that I should try to meet the dog. So, stupidly, I think that sounds like a good idea. It's not like this dog has barking like crazy for the past 10 minutes at me. I'm sure now she will like me. ANYWAYS, I agree and bend down with my hand out in a non-threatening way. Joel is holding the dog and pulling her closer to me, despite her obvious attempts to get away from and/or eat me. Suddenly, she barks and lunges at me. I jump back, pulling away as fast as I can. Though she misses my hand, she does bite my left knee. I may or may not have yelled out a few swear words as she then runs away, barking. Joel grabs me and kicks at the dog as we go into the house.

So, my gosh-darn (these were not the words I originally used) guard dog bit me. It wasn't too deep, but I'm still having to change the bandages on it twice a day now, which is almost three weeks after the bite. It's going to be a sweet scar. I had to take a weeks worth of antibiotics and get some more rabies shots. But I survived it.

So that's my more impressive medical story so far. I have a few pictures, so I'll throw one up of my bite when I can figure that out. I also have pictures of my index finger after the first night here. I slept under a mosquito net, but apparently my finger was pressed against the net. So I woke up to about 22 bites on my finger. It looked awesome. I'll try to post a picture of that as well. But mostly, I've been doing fine medically. Not even an upset stomach or anything! That's a little better than some people in the group. So I feel lucky. My one friend, who shall go nameless (cough, Nick, cough), has had an ear infection, horrible sunburns on his legs, diarrhea, PMS, gout, malaria, dengue fever, and a worm. Maybe not the last five, but definitely the first three. So I could be doing a lot worse. And I will probably start doing worse in about a week. That's how Peace Corps karma works. So wish me good health.


At 2:57 AM, Blogger Nine48 said...

This Joel character sounds quite clever - I mean, despite your best efforts, he still managed to find a way to make you utter some profanities. I like that.

Have a great time in Guyana and keep blogging.


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