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.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A Money Lesson and More!!!

Okay, because the most common response to my postings is "$200 an hour for internet?!", I am going to give you guys a little money lesson. Mostly to confuse Americans, Guyana uses the same money symbol ($) as the US. But the conversion is basically Guyanese $200 is equal to US $1. So if I say something costs $200, you can imagine that it is costing only $1 in America (if the price were the same). Then, of course, you say "buck up Mark and spend more money on the internet!" Ah, but it's not like I was making that amazing $12 an hour while I was in DC. Oh no. Right now, Peace Corps gives me $500 a day to pay for transportation, any snacks I want, any beer or rum I might ingest, and any other incidentals. That's only US$2.50. So not that much. And when I get to my site, they only give the Guyanese equivalent of about US$200 a month to pay for all my bills, food, transportation, etc (except rent, which they pay separately). So as you can imagine, I cannot quite live the high life here.

Anyways, enough with the monetary lesson. More importantly, I find out my site tomorrow!!! I'm very excited. I realized that this is kinda like when I applied to college. You put yourself out there, show some sort of preference for one thing over another, and then sit back and let someone else make a decision that will directly impact the next few years of your life and change you forever. So I'm just sitting here, waiting for my thick envelope. I'm pretty anxious, though I could be worse. I guess my whole go-with-the-flow attitude kicks in during these times. That's always good.

Anyways, thanks Peter for telling me the Felix Hernandez will be starting every game for the Mariniers. That's a key piece of information I didn't see on Sorry Greg that UCLA lost. Except not really, because I don't care.

Speaking of Greg, let me give him a shout out. He's doing "design your own Peace Corps" in Brazil. Basically, he is helping a poor community outside Rio build and maintain a much-needed community center. It will have English classes, computer classes, dance classes, capoeira, and other after-school classes for the children of the community. He is doing the fundraising all by himself. He already has gotten money from some community organizations in the states (Rotary Foundation, etc) but could use more. Everyone should go to his website, which is It explains it much better, with pictures and everything. It is a great cause, and I personally vouch that he will not take the money and spend it on prostitutes in Brazil. I watched him slave over his grant proposals while we were in Washington DC. So if nothing else, check out his site and pass it on to a friend (or rich, money-giving friend, ideally). As his website says, he only needs $33,712 for the next two years!!! That's nothing. Don't buy that car and help a whole community.


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