Tag Archives: Georgetown

Wam deh?

7 Feb

Translation: What happened there?

Yea, so I’ve been absent from this blog…whoops. I have a valid reason…a really gross valid reason.
I got a bite/sting, which led to a bacterial infection which led to cellulitis in my right foot.

Consequently, I had to be flown out of Lethem, where I was celebrating Heritage Month in St. Ignatius, and went to Georgetown for medical treatment.
5 days in a hospital decreased the swelling, but then I had to go through debridement (minor topical surgery where they remove the top layer of skin and dig out the infection).

All in all – about 5-6 weeks off my feet in October/November. And then the doctor said that I shouldn’t go back into the interior. Well, I didn’t listen. I went back in January. So there are more stories to tell.

But you’ll have to wait. Now, I’d like to show you my disgusting foot pictures:

Photo Faves

5 Sep

I don’t have stories to go with all my pictures, but some photos just don’t need stories. Enjoy!

Two photos of Shulinab courtesy of Elizabeth Gottesman.

Goodbye Georgetown, Hello Rupununi

12 Mar

Okay, so I didn’t post as much as I thought I would upon my arrival into Guyana. Whoops.
I’m going to summarize some points to get you all caught up on my life. Fair warning, this is going to be a long post with no pictures because my internet is slow slow slow.

Georgetown

  1. I got distracted by orientation, prepping for the move, and meeting loads of people hence why there was no post before I moved to my village of Shulinab.
  2. Mash happened. Mashramani (a national celebration not unlike Caribana for us Torontonians) was on Feb 23, 2012 and a bunch of us partied as is, naturally, required. This means I was in no condition to blog during the days leading up to Mash and the ones following it.

Georgetown to Wowetta

  1. Three of us got shipped off…by shipped off I mean we got packed into a pickup truck for a very bumpy ride (the roads are terribly pot-holed) into the Interior of Guyana. All our belongings and two scooters were jammed tight on the truck bed. We left Georgetown at night and made it into Wowetta in the morning where we spent a day and a night.
  2. I got to visit the Aranaputta Peanut Factory which is an enterprise led by some brilliant women. They provide peanut butter and cassava bread as part of a school snack program to the surrounding villages. The peanut butter is delicious and au naturel. The purpose of my visit was to gain a bit of knowledge on how the business was run and what successes and challenges occurred. I got a chance to take a look at their books (sales, expenses, etc) to better understand how accounting for businesses operates in the Interior.
  3. Kids have never made me laugh harder. Miss Zita from the Wowetta Nursery School asked if Samson (another volunteer placed in Aishalton) and I would like to interact with the kids for the day while we waited to go to Lethem. We obliged and were rewarded with songs (the kids love to sing!) and very entertaining games of football, cat & rat (cat & mouse to us), and a walking race. Yes, a walking race – watching kids hold themselves back from running is pretty hilarious. We also had them spell words for us.

    Me: Do you know how to spell ‘tree’?
    Kids: YES! T-H-R-E-E. “TREE!”
    Miss Zita laughs. I am a bit stunned.
    Miss Zita then tells me that I have to point to a tree if I want them to actually spell the kind of tree that grows from the ground.
    So you see, the kids weren’t wrong; I just wasn’t specific enough. One, two, tree.

Wowetta to Lethem

  1. Lethem – It’s a small town. Nothing really special about it, except that it’s the only place where I can probably do internet research, answer emails, and blog to you all. It’s also where you’d go through to go to Brazil – you can cross without a visa/passport to Bonfim which is a short walk’s distance from Lethem.
  2. The drive into the Rupununi is amazingly gorgeous. That description doesn’t even do it justice. Imagine rolling savannahs with a perfect view of mountains all around. A lot of people told me how the Rupununi is a beautiful place, but I never imagined it like this. And I get to see this stuff every day!

Here is where I cut this post short – I don’t want to kill you with too much info. The next post will be about my new home.

Wha ya learn, chinee gyal?

12 Feb

On Friday I experienced information overload during in-country orientation, but I did learn a lot about my placement in the Interior (I’ll save the details for another blog post). I also got the chance to meet those I’d be in contact with while in Region 9. Lucky for me the organization I am working for (South Central People Development Organization aka SCPDA) was in GT during the week and I had the pleasure of meeting Miss Faye Fredericks, who I will be working directly with. She is a sweetheart who has graciously offered to teach me to cook (a great feat!) and is super excited to have me in Shulinab. I’m not sure how she’ll feel once she realizes I suck at cooking…let’s worry about that in March when I actually go into the region.

Other things I (and the other volunteers) learned:

Cabs

  • Use them at night instead of walking. There are some parts you shouldn’t walk through at night; there are also parts you shouldn’t walk through at all (e.g. South of Hadfield).
  • You feel incredibly stupid cabbing the distance of a 5 minute walk – but better safe than sorry I guess (right, ma?)
  • Everywhere you go you’ll be offered a taxi ride. Just say no.
  • Call a cab vs flagging one down for security reasons. We use Cyril’s.
  • A cab ride is about $1.50 CDN (G$300) within the city – flat rate.

Minibuses

Typical minibus in GeorgetownInside a cramped minibus

  • They are abundant at Stabroek Market which is like a main terminal.
  • They are cramped little things.
  • You can ask to be dropped off anywhere en route. (what bus stops?)
  • The cost is $0.30 CDN (G$60) within the city. Don’t pay more.

Tidbits
St. George's Anglican Cathedral

  • St. George’s Anglican Cathedral is one of the tallest wooden churches in the world
  • Stabroek Market Clock Tower

  • People are super helpful in the markets. In Stabroek, we wanted limes and didn’t know that there were so many different types of limes (duh). The vendor helped us out by indicating which ones were best for rum punch ;)
  • People love to suck their teeth (flashback of a school principal telling a kid off: “Don’t suck your teeth – brush them!”)
  • Georgetown is small, so it’s very walkable though you might not want to do it that blistering heat.

There are a lot more observations, but I don’t wanna bore you. Maybe you should come visit and observe/experience first-hand instead :)

Hot n Cool in Georgetown

10 Feb

It’s hot. Humid hot. You-wanna-take-a-cold-shower-5-times-a-day hot.
For the most part, I’m permanently sticky. I’ve already got 5 mosquito bites – this isn’t too bad considering I was expecting 20 on my first day. Let’s call that a win, shall we?

4 volunteers, including myself, arrived in Georgetown yesterday (Thursday). 1 volunteer arrived on Wednesday. 1 is to arrive tomorrow on Saturday. Everyone so far is great – they got to enjoy drinks at The Hibiscus yesterday (located across the street from Rima Guest House, where we’re staying) while I tried to troubleshoot my damn Goal Zero Sherpa 50 Adventure Kit <-- I'd normally link that to the product, but I'm not happy with Goal Zero right now so let's save the link and the whys for another day and blog post.

Anyway, most of us spent all day unpacking and resting since we got little to no sleep on our flight into GT, but we did manage to make it to the Seawall. The Seawall is where people go to lime (hang out), swim (in brown water…ew) and some even run along it, if not on it. I’m not a runner, so you know I opted to walk on it :)
The Seawall is where it’s cool in Georgetown…I don’t mean hip-cool, I mean breezy-cool, refreshing-cool; that walk was the best part of yesterday.
One thing you gotta watch for is people walking in the opposite direction you’re going…as in you gotta try to avoid bumping into them without losing your balance off the wall. It’s not a big drop to the ground, but it will probably be painful no matter which side of the Seawall you fall off (rocks vs pavement).

And now…off to our first day of In-Country training and back to hating my solar technology purchase (shut up, Chet!)