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 08, 2006

Welcome to Guyana

Wow, Guyana is cool. Well, it's actually really hot and humid. But oh man, what an interesting place. But I guess I can talk about what I've been up to for the past week. Last Tuesday I flew out to Miami, where Staging was. I'll spare you the details, but basically we spent the whole two days in a conference room learning about stuff that I've already forgotten. But I do remember liking it at the time. It was more about meeting the other volunteers (or Trainees - we're not official Volunteers until we get sworn in in eight weeks). At night we would take taxis to cool parts of Miami. Peace Corps gave us $173 for two and a half days! Crazy! I didn't know it was hard to spend money. Needless to say, I pocketed a few twenties of that before we left. ANYWAYS, we got a mid afternoon flight on Friday and got into Guyana around 8PM (for anyone wondering, Guyana is one hour ahead of East Coast time).

Our first two night were in a hotel we were not allowed to leave just outside of Georgetown. But we were okay with our sequestered state because the past three days had been used to convince us that Georgetown is the most dangerous place on earth this side of Abu Ghraib. They really tried to scare the shit out of us. And it worked. But we still had fun in the hotel. Peace Corps volunteers who have been here for a year or two kept coming by to check out the fresh meat. They were really nice and would tell us all the secrets the staff weren't allowed to say. It was cool. It was also a relief to see that the Volunteers had survived and loved it. There were jealous of us that we were just starting.

So after two days of that, we met our host families on Sunday. I'm not really sure how much I can say on my blog about my family yet for security reasons (like, where we live, etc). I say this because I'm pretty sure a PC Guyana volunteer got kicked out a year ago for posting sensitive info on his blog. Anyways, I don't want to get kicked out yet. So when I figure this out, I'll let people know. But nonetheless, I can say a few things. My mom is really nice. She has three of the cutest little kids I've ever seen (my nieces and nephews excluded). Joel is 10 and is a great little brother. When we're alone, he asks me about girls and stuff. And he keeps trying to trick me into saying a swear word - sorry Joel, not going to happen. Zoe is my little sister. She turns 5 on Saturday. By the second night she was already telling me that she loves me. Very cute. She likes to just hold my hand against her face. Almost makes me want to have kids.... nah, not yet. Anyways, and then there is little one year old Mariah. She had latched onto me like a little parasite. I think that she calls me Daddy sometimes. Basically, she runs up to me all the time and just puts herself between my legs, with her face between my knees. And then she just stands like this. For long periods of time. Like, until I push her away. So cute, my heart hearts. I haven't met my host dad yet because he works in the interior. But I talked to him on the phone, and he seemed very nice. So I'm happy with my family.

I'm sure you guys are wondering about my living conditions. Well, the houses are actually pretty nice. I'm not living in a mud hut or anything. It's a wooden house on stilts. We have electricity all the time (US voltage, plugs, and everything!), TV, a bath with a sorta shower, and a normal kitchen. It's a pretty normal house. It rivals what I lived in in Washington DC. We even have a normal flushing toilet! This Peace Corps thing is getting too easy.

There is a lot more I could write, but I've probably already spent $200, so I should stop. I still need to talk about everyone else here (my group is AWESOME!), the country itself, how nice the people are, how good the food is, what training is like, and how the mosquitos love me. It's great. Anyways, enough for now.


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