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.

Thursday, June 22, 2006


Finally, after much procrastination, I am posting a few pictures. Looking through the pictures I've already taken, I realized many of my pics were of friends at night. These, obviously, don't show the beauty of Guyana. So I tried to include a few good ones here, but the better solution is for me to take more pics. Nonetheless, here are few to whet your appetite. It'll probably be a few more months before I get around to posting pictures again, so don't hold your breath.

This first picture is of me in the Bourda Market in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. This picture was at the end of training. The market is beautiful with its rows of food stalls under the tarp and tin roof. The fruits are gorgeous. Always a fun time to walk through there, trying not to get pick-pocketed.

This is a picture of my home, of sorts. Yes, it looks mighty large, huh? Actually, you can't see my home here. I live in a much smaller part of the family compound behind the house. My family owns a smallish general store (appropriately known as the White Shop). The store is in the front, and they live above it. I have a room in the back in a seperate building. We share the same kitchen, and I go into their space to watch tv or whatever. Like now, when I watch three football matches a day. Does America even know that World Cup is on? I'm breathing World Cup football! Go West Indies (even though you are already out of it).

So these are some of my Peace Corps friends. Dave, on the left, is a physiotherapist at the local hospital. He's been here for a year. Jacq, in the middle, is a teacher at a local secondary school. She's been here for a about 10 months. And Dave, on the right, is just ending his two years, having taught computers at a local computer institute thingy. We're hanging out at Lake Mainstay for a community fundraiser. It was pretty beautiful. You can't tell, but the lake is black water. Which means it looks black - kinda creepy. Anyways, three of my PCV friends who live near me.

Finally, here is a picture of me. Again at Lake Mainstay for the fundraiser, I'm doing a very common Guyanese practice - lying in a hammock. I like this picture for a number of reasons. First, notice the sweet Teva tan on my feet. That's what happens when you never wear sandals your whole life, then exclusively one pair for three months straight on the equator. Nice, huh? Second, the cool hammock with American flags and motorcycles. Very weird hammock my buddy Dave bought. I totally covet it and wish he would leave it with me. Alas, he also recognizes the genius of it and is taking it home. Damnit. Anyways, lying in hammock is a very common thing for us over here. I'm still figuring out where to put mine at home, so for now I spend my hours that would be in a hammock instead on my bed. But believe me, I utilize everyone else's hammocks. They are so awesome.

Well, there are some pictures. I'll try to take more of the amazing coastline and beautiful environment. The rice fields are gorgeous, especially with the sun setting behind them.

Oh yeah, real quick. We've lost two more people from my group in the past few weeks. So now we are down from 20 to 17. Very sad. It hurts to see people go, and of course it makes you question what exactly you are doing here. We were a close group during training, so it's a friend leaving, someone you may never see again. Very sad.

Well, life is good enough down here, especially with World Cup football on. I'm spending 4th of July (well, actually Saturday the 1st) at the Ambassador's house, swimming in his pool and eating BBQ. Did I say eating? I meant buying. How crazy is that? They're making us buy our food at the pool party. I guess the capitalist message of America extends to the ex-pats and Peace Corps volunteers. Well, at least we are consistent with our capitalism, right?

Okay, I hope everyone is doing well. Cheers!