Friday, April 16, 2004

April 16,2004


On to Linden...
So I finally finished up with training in the Georgetown
area after 8 somewhat long weeks and am now in my site in
Linden for good. We finished up the training with our
official swearing in ceremony on the 2nd of April. I was
talked into giving one of the speeches and thought it would
be a great idea to make up a funny little song with another
gal. Needless to say, when I was up in front of all the
people, the idea seemed a little less creative. But, it
went over well and coincided with the fun poems two other
guys gave from my group.
I have now been in Linden for a little less than two weeks
and already I am getting a really good feel for the place.
It is funny that I can already go through the market and
know some people by name and face. The hard part is that
everyone remembers the 'white girl'...One of the guys in my
group really said it best when he said that if you ever
wanted to know what it is like to be a celebrity, just
become a PC volunteer. Meaning, everywhere you go and
everything you do, people know! You can't walk down the
street without all eyes on what you are doing, who you are
talking to, what you're wearing, what you're buying.
Everyone is certainly in your business. But, I guess it all
comes with the territory.
The Easter holiday is really big here in
Guyana. Actually,
Easter sunday is really the least celebrated of holy week.
Most go to church every day of the week and then
Good
Friday
everything is shut down and people go to church for
much of the afternoon. Many eat only fish and crossbuns.
Sunday is also a service and then
Easter Monday is another
big day where everything is again shut down and people go
out to fly kites to emmulate rising to heaven. I was
fortunate to be out on the sand bluffs out of town hiking
over that day and saw many beautiful kites flying above the
city. The big kite flying and competitions go on in
Georgetown on the seawall and is supposed to be a colorful
sight to see.
Yesterday was yet another exciting day for me in going down
the river into the interior. This time we headed straight
from the docks by the market and were off to Muritaro. It
is another rivering community down the Demarara river.
Myself and 3 other people from my health center went down
to have clinic for the day. It is crazy some the things you
see. I have to admit that I did get nauseous (from the
smell) once with an diabetic ulcer so infected that the
wound was exposing down to the bone. Also, we saw 2 twin 7
year old girls who were both born with their feet going
backwards. They were actually in for chicken pox, but I was
suprised that they could pretty much walk just fine in
their own way. As we were down the river we also ended up
attending a funeral. As we headed down river further from
the health center, you see a clearing with an old church
way up a hill. People were coming from all over in boats
from up and down the river very dressed up to attend. You
almost wonder where everyone came from as all you see along
the river are homes spaced apart amongst the rainforest. It
was a long service of singing, clapping and the pastor
giving one of the "loudest" sermons and congregational
responses I've ever been a part of. It was quite the
experience. Oh, yes and as I got out of the boat and
climbed the hill I saw my first tarantula spider and even
saw a snake down near where the hold was dug for the
casket. Needless to say, they didn't find the later a very
good omen for the dead. Again, came back up the river as it
was completely calm, quiet and sun going down. It always
brings a huge smile to my face seeing all the waves and
smiles of women washing clothes by their sunken docks, kids
swimming and bathing, men fishing and others working the
small gardens by their wooden homes on stilts. Those are
the times I can hardly believe I am here. Any visitors I
have will certainly get an eyefull. It is certainly a much
different lifestyle here for me that I only wish I could
better explain.
with love,
kristen