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.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Kaieteur Falls Trip

Last month my mom and aunt came to visit me for a week. It was a great trip – they really got a sense of this place and my experience (at least, as much as one can in a week). They spent the first few days at my site, meeting my family and seeing my work, before we then went into Georgetown for the last few days. They got to meet some of my Peace Corps friends and take us out to the fine dining of Georgetown. But the highlight in many ways was the day trip to Kaieteur Falls.

Kaieteur Falls is THE tourist destination of Guyana. If there is anything to see in this country, it is this waterfall. It is one of the highest single-drop waterfalls in the world, coming in at 741 feet. That makes it five times higher than Niagara Falls. Guyana often promotes it as the highest in the world, but sadly, that’s not true. I believe the highest is actually Angel Falls, which is next door in Venezuela. But that doesn’t take away from its beauty. It’s beautiful! We flew about an hour into the interior to get there in a small nine seat plane. The falls are extremely remote and only get a few thousand visitors a year. So the place is untouched. And you really get to experience the place. Wanna dip your toes in the water? No problem. Wanna hang off the sheer cliffs? Go ahead. There are no walls, fences, guiding rails, or anything to keep you from getting up close… and maybe plunging to your death. It’s actually quite nice – they trust us here not to pitch forward to our deaths while we sightsee.

So anyways, it was a great experience. I was very excited to finally see this place. And I got to take my host mother Deo. She has been absolutely amazing to me down here. I’ve don’t think I can quite express how welcome and loved I have felt in this family. So it was a nice little thing to be able to bring her along. Very few Guyanese have gotten a chance to see Kaieteur Falls because it is relatively expensive to fly there and back.

Here are a bunch of pictures of the trip:

This is Kaieteur Falls. Pretty awesome.

Getting a bit closer to the edge of the falls. Those are my Peace Corps friends Adannaa and Malane. They're pretty cool girls (but what else would we expect?).

So this is Deo and me. She was so nervous to go. She had only been on a plane a few times before in her life. And she rarely leaves her family, so this was a HUGE deal. But she had a great time, so I was glad it all worked out.

Getting right up the Kaieteur edge. It's kinda crazy to hang off a 741 foot drop straight down. The next pic is us on the same ledge. Notice what is (or is not) under us...

Notice that there is nothing below us. Pretty crazy...