: Insights of a Peace Corps Worker in Guyana
I heard Professor Richard Allsopp say in his presentation
at the Vancouver Public Library a few years ago, ‘If I had to
teach today – I wouldn’t …’ or something to that effect. -clyde
Welcome to the beautiful Essequibo Coast – my new home for the next two
years! I am super excited to be living in Region 2. The area is lush, clean,
and much more rural than where I have been training the past 7 weeks. It’s
so peaceful; the people are so nice and I feel really safe. One of the
setbacks of the trip was that I showed up and learned that the house I am
supposed to live in after training is already being rented out. There was
some miscommunication between the Peace Corps and the landlord/landlord’s
daughter. The Peace Corps talked to the landlord’s daughter instead of the
landlord and she was unaware that 2 men were renting it out for when they
come to stay on the Coast. No worries though. I was able to find a house
just down the road, which is brand new and really cute. I wasn’t able to see
inside because they are still working on it, but I think it’s going to be
just fine. I’m excited to start furnishing it and decorating. I, of course,
am going to paint a mural inside. J
The school that I work at is called Riverstown Primary School and is
pictured above. I’m able to walk to the school each day, which is so nice. I
can save on travel money AND get some exercise. The walk to school is so
beautiful and I feel like it’s something out of a book/movie. I walk down
this country, dirt road lined with palm trees, to an old, wooden school
house in the middle of a rice field. The bottom level of the school houses
grades 1 – 3 and the top 4 – 6. There aren’t any walls separating the
classes, so it’s very loud, unstructured and unproductive. I will definitely
have my work cut out for me. I will be working alongside the Head Mistress
teaching grade 4. The head mistress wants me to focus mainly on literacy,
but is also very excited about my education in music. She gave me permission
to start a choir or any other music program I want. I know I will be able to
use music in a lot of my teaching as well. All of the teachers are extremely
nice and I felt very welcomed.
Some of the challenges of my area include transportation. There’s not much
of it after 6pm. In general, the minibuses and cars are much scarcer in
Region 2 than Region 3 (where we train) and after 6pm they are few and far
between. We have to be careful to plan around this to ensure we don’t get
stranded somewhere alone at night. Some of the current volunteers on the
Coast gave us phone numbers of taxi drivers they trust and use when they are
out later at night.
There are only two more weeks of training until we swear in as official
Peace Corps Volunteers. Woot woot! Our swearing in ceremony is in Georgetown
on April 13th, followed by the 50th Anniversary Party. We are all very
excited and anxious. Some of the women in our group, including myself, had
traditional Hindu Saris made for the ceremony. We went to Georgetown to pick
out our material and found a seamstress to take our measurements and sew the
dresses. We should be getting them shortly.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned!
Creolese word of the day: slippers = flip flops/sandals.
As you see this can be a lot of fun. I encourage Guyanese and especially people from Leguan to return to the Island and help our people develop their fullest potential. Does someone has a business idea to create some oasis for people to go on retreats? I think that would be great. Think about it.