Change is in the water

Today marks four months till I return to England. Four months left in this wonderful country.

Thinking about leaving is honestly one of the most terrifying prospects I could contemplate here (and that’s saying something cause Guyana can be a scary place to be a female…) I know I’ve said it before and its a kinda clique-stereotypical ‘gap yah’ thing to say but even I can recognise how much I’ve changed as a result of being here. I think its all good, Ursula reckons so and shes had to put up with me for 8 months already! I don’t know what I’d be doing right now if I wasn’t sat, on our beach, watching the stars and listening to the waves lapping around me as I write this but to be honest there’s not really anything else I’d rather be doing. Its fair to say that despite everything going against it and all the problems that are running through the very waters that have carved this country into what it is I’ve fallen in love with Guyana and all she has to offer and everything about our little Goshen. Leaving is going to be impossible. Only yesterday were I gaffing with our neighbour who was telling me about the last lot when they left and how they didn’t want to leave. I can see its going to be a case of being pushed off the stelling and onto the Parika boat when the time comes for us to fly out. That or hiding in the bush for a few days.

Thinking about how far I’ve come and how much has happened and changed over the past two years is crazy. I never thought I’d get to where I am now but I love it. Some of you will know I guess how far it is exactly that I’ve come but it’s a much further distance than just England to Guyana… Its fair to say I probably wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for any of all that stuff, being the way I am now an all. I just want to make her proud and hope that what I’m doing is just that.

Coming to Guyana and doing Project Trust I can truthfully say is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love it. I owe it to everyone who helped me fundraising and can’t thank y’all enough.


R x

Second term done…

Not that I’ve got time to write this now but just to remind me to do it…

Be done just now 🙂

R x

There seems to be a general theme here of me starting my blog posts with an incredulous ‘I cant believe………..” but honestly how can I already have done two terms teaching?! It’s crazy man. The last term has gone soo fast as well, 12 weeks and next terms the same (we thought it was only 10 but we cant count :P) Lots has happened but at the same time nothing has happened… Guyana is a wonderful melting pot of hustle and rush and speed and noise and then just liming and quiet and sleep cos ‘I sleepy bad baii!’ The last few weeks of term were hard. The kids were all tired and fed up and we were going the same way too. I is supposed to do a ‘continuous assessment’ throughout the term with my class, so that means two quizzes, a group work, an individual assignment and an open book test to make up 100 marks for each subject. I was supposed to get them done as we go along but….as you may have gathered already not much really goes to plan here! I did as much as I could in between costume making and meetings and everything else that seemed to be going on but still ended up wid nuff work to do in the last few weeks. Anyways I dragged my poor class through it all and in the end all worked out good! I did work them hard hard hard but it seems to be making a difference…well their results were some of the best in the school n kinda especially as it were THAT class. I were well chuffed with their 83% pass rate **cough cough brag cough cough** 😀 They are little monkeys and often impossible to work with but they can work and they can do it.

We had our desk officer, Chris, come visit the other week, was good catching up and chatting about here. Took him down to the river (obviously) and he watched us teach and what not. The kids were really funny around him ‘Miss miss miss is that your brother/husband/dad/son/white man???’ Explaining the concept of having another boss not just the headmistress seemed to confuse them so stuck with ‘person from England’.

In a general end of term blurr a bit now and so all the exciting stuff we’ve done has just melded into a mish mash of general stuff… We have done exciting stuff I promise!! Had some visitors to the village on mission from America and spent a lot of time with them and next door. Hmmm… what else… Fun days and stuff with the cricket team (yes me and the cricket team!) and walking around meeting people and yeah just stuff really.

Epic holidays (well kinda) planned so more on that sometime after we’ve recovered…


Nuff for now I think…


R x

The obligatory halfway blog…

Well this is it… officially 6 months in and 6 months to go. Its insane how quickly half this year has gone and Id be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified about how quickly the rest of its going to go. It really has flown by and already this weekend will mark half way through my second term teaching! After a painfully long 15 week first term , this term is only 12 weeks and next term is even shorter.

Schools been, what shall we say… bearable! Its definitely a tough job and from what I can tell a lot tougher here! There are days where all carefully thought through, meticulously planned and beautifully prepared lessons just go out the window entirely for one reason or another (occasionally for no reason whatsoever!). Whether its because they’ve decided its a half day, or there aren’t enough teachers and I’m blackboard hopping once again, or my class are misbehaving and fighting so much or even just because the lower school are so noisy you cant even hear yourself think let alone HOLLER above the racket resonating round the hall. So far this term we’ve had an average of 4.3 teachers in the school each day (I couldn’t sleep so woooo mean averages!) for the 6 classes… Our HM has also been off on leave (holiday and sick) and I think its fair to say the school really does need her! She is incredible in the way she can command the school and I am looking forward to having here sat back at her desk (even if it does mean I’m basically being observed the whole time!) Behavior and respect all through the school is a big deal still, possibly more than ever at the moment, and it is exhausting trying to teach and get them to learn when half the class have no respect and will openly tell me to ‘go lon back to England’. The lessons where they are all sat, at their correct benches, with the right book, holding their own pencil, facing the front and actually engaging in the lesson are blissful. Like truly wonderfully blissful. That is until a Grade 6 appears underneath the blackboard pelt one of my class or a Grade 2 sends a paper jet soaring into my class… then it just descends into a cacophony of teachers and students and butterflaps and if your lucky even the generator will join in or the inverter will start squeaking or the kitchen will need to use the only working plug in the school to blend juice…all in my little classroom I’m trying to keep a safe, happy environment for the little darlings… As horrendous as I’ve probably made it all sound there’s still something that keeps me going, makes me want to go back into the mad house and try. I guess it;s just because I want to help them. They do have their moments of adorable childishness, occasionally. One of my favorites was the other Friday, hideous day so far and last lesson science discussing plants and how we use different plants… They were finally listening (me hitting my head on the blackboard and jumping up and down seemed to work to get their attention) and one of the worst boys, a proper little tyke, stuck his hand up and goes ‘me can mi arsk a question?’ Ahhh finally someone who has some curiosity here! ‘miss do trees have hearts?’ The way he ‘arsked’ it was just so innocently cute and after talking, in an almost philosophical manner, about trees having hearts he sticks his hand up again and goes “but miss if they don’t have hearts then why does it look like they’re crying when you cut them down?” …. AWWWWWWW!! Moments like that make it worth it all.


It’s scary how attached I’ve grown to this place too. Not school as such(!) but Goshen, the River’s View Crew, Guyana as a whole. For all her corrupt systems and  messed up policies I still love this country and the thought of only having a mere 6 more months here is not something I want to be contemplating too much! Not having the river will be a major ting. Like seriously probably one of the things I’ll miss the most.

*said with much gravity* Everything starts with the river. 

Bathing, washing, wears, whatever, in the river. When in doubt, go to the river. New people around? Forget meeting them on the road, it’ll be mid bathe you’ll find yourself introducing yourself. Boats turning up, especially the big Parika speedboats, when you’re all shampooed and soap up about to dive back in is when it gets a little awkward…. Hand washing is made much less of an arduous task when you can sit there, scrubbing away, with an unlimited supply of water, gaffin up whoever else is washing or bathing. I do think I need to improve my skills though, especially as whenever it rains and my clothes are out my first thought isn’t ‘ahhh my clothes!!’ but more an ‘oh good, their getting an extra rinse…’ The Mighty Essequibo has been made much mightier with the pair of holey, faded pants I lost the other day drifting down so somewhere in the streams of soap suds…


I know I’ve changed a lot though being here and I’m sure most people would argue that it’s definitely for the better. I can’t imagine what I’d be doing right now if I wasn’t in Guyana, sat at the dodgy internet cafe with my mosquito friends, eating the Percy Pigs from the parcel I just picked up (thanks Dad :D) and debating whether or not I can make it home without getting soaked by the rains coming jus now… It must be about time to go for the boat too cause my friend on the bicycle who plays row row row your boat at top volume whenever he sees me has just ridden past…

So much more to talk about but once again time has caught up with me. In a country where nothing happens when it’s supposed to I still seem to be running out of time!


R x

A Very Guyanese Birthday…

What can I say? My birthday was very definitely distinctly Guyanese!

The plans we had tentatively made with some friends fell through (along with the bottom of their boat!) and so we ended up spending the weekend in Goshen juts liming and gaffing and generally not really actually doing very much, whilst of course looking extremely busy 😛 On Sunday, the day before my birthday, was of course Remembrance Sunday and we went over so to Bartica with the school boat at, what at one time would have been an ungodly 6.30AM but which now feels quite civilized. Standing in Cenotaph Square with 12 of of our kids, listening to a very odd service of remembrance, getting more and more sun burnt it did feel very very surreal. I think after the miles (maybe exaggerated) we marched I think its safe to say this is the first year I’ve ever been to a remembrance service and got sun burn not frost bite… Anyway we made it back home in time to go to church, my kids had begged and begged me to come that week ‘for sure Miss’ and turned out its cause they anted to sing happy birthday!  The whole Church sang Happy Birthday to me, whilst pointing and wagging their fingers at me in a way that was very reminiscent of being told off! Then spent the rest of the service having girls in my class plait my ‘soft soft orange hair’. Very lazily got a boat back up so home (we did walk all the way down there :P) and were then delivered a bowl of cook up and pasta and metagee soup from three different neighbours! Well good not having to cook! Spent the day then liming, gaffing, drinking tea and watching the storms blow up river.Felt British.

My actual birthday started with MARMITE. Like actual real MARMITE! My birthday present from Ursual, and I think its safe to say thats the most excited I’ve ever been about marmite. But, well, its MARMITE!! 🙂 I was greeted at school by the kids who all aem up and hugged me and wished me Happy Birthday and presented me with various gifts. These included a model ship, fake rose, rap CD, toy otter (a friend for Monkey!!), various bracelets to add to my collection, a pencil and lots and lots of food! Bags of plantain chips, chicken foot, lollipops, sweets, chico,  golden apples, five finger, all sorts. It was brilliant. They made me a crown of flowers too which I wore almost all day. During assembly the whole school sang happy birthday (with the finger wagging again) and then after some awkward silence, they all ran up and gave me a hug and wished me happy birthday!It was hilarious! They ahd a mini collection too and bought me a phtot album to put all my Guyana pictures in! So so sweet and some photos to come.


Ahh boats leaving…


R x



November already?!?

Well since the last post not much has really happened…it was only a week ago, but seeing as we were in Bartica I thought I’d come and update this. Possibly (well definitely) the last blog post from 18 year old me!

My class discovered when my birthday was a few weeks ago (in a Spanish lesson) and ever since have been half plotting something and keep asking me when it is and if I’ll bring them cake! One of the boys in my class said that he’d teach my class for me on my birthday and I could sit down and do “nuf work like we have too! but I might let us play cricket…” Haha He’s one of the really small ones in my class and every morning comes up and gives me a hug and asks if I’ve brought Monkey with me and when we’re doing needlework. he’s very sweet. Most of them are really sweet, only a couple of them have attitude issues. I got so fed up with one of them sulking and stropping when I gave him work to do (even though he CAN do it) that I gave him this whole speech about how when you frown your brain doesn’t work ’cause it gets all scrunched up but when you smile it can work ’cause your brain smiles too… he looked at me like I’d finally lost that last scrap of sanity I’ve been clinging onto for the past three months and went to sit down. Now though he comes up to my desk and says “Miss my brains smiling but me still no know the answer”! It’s really really sweet. And when I’m angry with them he tells the class to stop vexing me ’cause my brain will get too scrunched up! Which of course always makes me laugh, unless its him who’s vexing me in which case it just makes it really hard to then tell him off whilst keeping a straight face.

It’s very strange being in November and starting to think about Christmas whilst we’re sat in the Guyanese sunshine trying not to sweat too much. It really doesn’t feel like November. But I need to get my head round it sharpish ’cause I’ve volunteered myself to help co-ordinate the Christmas concert! Including… the schools nativity debut!!! I got hold of the script for Jesus’ Christmas Party from Dad and we have our first rehearsal after school on Monday! Some of you might know that’s the nativity play with the very grumpy innkeeper (played by me when I was about 4) so I’m really excited about doing it here, I just hope it works! Also my class have asked if I can teach them a song/dance and Ursula and I are singing a song I think… Talking to the HM the other day I may also have said I’d run Saturday classes for the grade 6…I don’t know how I seem to end up doing so much (I think it must come from my mum :P) but hopefully it might help improve the assessment results and a couple of them were actually asking if I would do extra lessons for them! Grade 6 are just of the otherside of the blackboard to my grade 5 class and they sometimes infiltrate my grade 5 classroom and join my lessons! They don’t seem to do as much work as they should be doing and the past few days (their teacher is often busy with other stuff) I’ve found myself darting between classes teaching grade 6 Grammar and grade 5 Mechanicals…at the same time! Makes for a stressful day but good fun (I guess).


We are now getting into the rainy season and apparently that means jaguars and what not come out of the bush and gobble up small children on their way home from school (whether this has actually happened it’s hard to tell) but it means everyone’s much more careful about being out in the dark and rain. I’m getting used to the symphony of singing frogs that we have every night (and throughout the night) but the other day I heard a very scary sounding, low, droning noise coming from back dam at about 3am… I mentioned this to Auntie Pinkie and she said that she heard it too and it was probably the Baboon that comes down to the river for water… just ya’know, the Baboon…! Next time I hear it I’m going to see if I can see anything (or I’ll hide under my covers again…, could go either way). I have visions of us opening the front door in the morning and finding the Baboon sat on the porch steps and inviting itself in for a cup of tea and bite of brekkie. The baboon who came for breakfast. Somehow here it feels like that kind  of thing could actually happen!


That’s pretty much all I’ve got time for now, I don’t even know if this has made much sense but you have probably got the idea by now (if you’ve bothered reading the other long long long ones) that most of my post are fairly rambling. Catching the boat (obviously) back home soon and we’ve got much better at it now. At first I’d stand on the stelly and wave to try and flag the passenger boat down and I’d just be waved back at… not helpful when we need food from Bartica but they actually stop for us now 🙂 I’ve only had one scary boat ride over and that was a few weeks ago when I came in to Skype Mum for her birthday. Normally I love the 15 minute boat journey. I clamber in, a picture of elegance and grace, which if you know me is the only way I get in and out or up or down anything (…ha! I wish) and then it’s just the right length of time for me to spend the first 5 minutes cringing about how I embarrassed myself getting in, the next 5 minutes enjoying the cool breeze whipping through my hair, and then the last 5 minutes panicking about how I’m going to get out of this floating, wobbling thing without dropping what I’m carrying/falling in/injuring myself/injuring some innocent passerby/capsizing the boat/maintaining some dignity. This is now the standard routine. This time was different however… It started the same as ever, I hopped in, jumped over the seat to the middle of the boat and sat down. Merrily bouncing along until the engine cut out. We were out of gas. Not to worry though, a next boat was coming to rescue us! It arrived a few minutes later and we all switched boats (just as elegantly…!) This next boat was slightly smaller and a little cramped but not to worry, I was up by the bow and we were soon off again… if only. I soon realised my feet were much much wetter than they should have been and looked down to see a huge gaping hole in the bottom of the boat and ‘nuf water gushing in! Great. We were sinking in the middle of the Mighty Essequibo river. The girl up by the bow (who was now having a major panic attack as she can’t swim) and I jumped back two rows (me completely losing any hope of  a dignified journey…) and bundled up by the back with the other 20 people to keep the bow out of the water. We set off again, tentatively acting as ballast and just about made it to the stelling before the engine burnt out, well we had to paddle the last 100 meters or so but it was close enough. Almost capsized the boat as everyone jumped out at the same time too. The driver took one look at me and the girl next to me, who was still clinging on, shaking, and waved us off. After all that at least I didn’t have to pay for the passage over 🙂 It was worse admittedly than the time we got covered by pig food as the bag had a hole in it and it all blew back in our faces but it wouldn’t be Guyana if I didn’t have the odd dodgy boat ride 😛


More soon 🙂


18 year old R x

A bit of a Blog

I feel I should apologise for not updating my blog sooner, especially as I have been on the internet (but forgotten how to use it), I just haven’t had the time to think about what I wanted to write.  Ursula and I have come over to Bartica after school today to pick up an internet connection and some food so we don’t need to do it at the weekend.  After an hour the other week of wandering around Bartica (its not a big place … we got very lost) we finally found the internet cafe, along with what feels like half the mosquitoes in Guyana, so that’s where I am now.

It seems so strange to think that we’ve just finished week 9 of school, it’s gone unbelieveably fast and we only have 6 weeks left of our first term!  Although we don’t get half term (grrr) it hasn’t exactly been a full 9 weeks of teaching. Ursy and I were out for 3 days a few weeks ago, officiating at the Regional Athletics Championships, in our Guyana’s Teachers Union official’s t-shirts! I’m now (apparently) a shot putt expert…!  The first day was swimming, early in the morning whilst the river was high, and our kids did really really well. Holy Name came first in the swimming! I like to believe it was due to the hours we spent training them.  Two girls are also going to the nationals to swim. Overall in the Athletics I still have no idea how we got on, none of the teachers seem to know, but 6 pupils in total are going to compete at nationals (so more training for us to do with them!). Those of you who know me will no doubt find it absolutely hilarious that I’m training athletes and swimmers for a national competition… RUDE 😛 Although it was a really good few days, it was surprisingly difficult to leave my class. I popped in to see how they were on the second morning (the boat was late) and I had my class clinging onto me begging me to teach them! “Just one lesson Miss” “Please don’t leave us Miss” “Miiiiiissssssssssss” I don’t think they had a very good day…With only 8 teachers in the school, including the HM, it can be a bit of a nightmare when one of us is out, let alone 4.

There have been various other days off, or non-teaching days, for meetings, national holidys, general Guyanese malaise… and it’s starting to worry me how much of the scheme of work I still have to get through! I’m sure it’ll still be ok but given how badly my class have been behaving lately it’s a definite concern! They seem to be getting wilder and wilder by the day, which is really annoying because it means we can’t do the cool teachery things (never thought those three words would go together!) I want to do. Discipline throughout the school is a bit of a contentious issue, but over the past few days it feel like I’ve had a bit of a breakthrough with a couple of the wilder ones. One of them is exactly like Mowgli from the Jungle Book and as wild as you would expect but he’s stopped waving dead frogs around the classroom so that’s a plus! We’re still expecting a visit at some point soon from the ministry but I’ll write a more specific teaching post sometime soon.

Besides school we’ve just been settling into the community and getting to know poeple. Our immediate neighbours either side of us are both really lovely. The Touichou and her family are so helpful with just about anything we need (at the moment they’re trying to get the water running at home again!) and they also give us food 🙂 On the other side is Auntie Pinkie, who lives in a gloriously yellow wooden house on stilts and she can often be found sitting on the steps watching the world go by. Many hours already have been spent sitting with her gaffing away about anything and everything. She and her husband (who shall from here on be referred to as Mr Pinkie) have an amazing farm out back that goes into the bush and we get regular deliveries of freshly picked bananas, oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, coconuts, papayas and any other food she’s cooked up! I’ve been trying to perfect roti (much to the amusement of those around us) and each time I make some I take one round for her judgement and advice on how to make it less rock-like! Very excitingly we’ve now been paid and I decided I would get the ingredients to make some of my Dad’s fudge to share with the neighbours. Suffice to say it went down very well, and very very quickly! We still need to be braver getting to know people but we’re getting there, it’s so quiet here. For a supposedly mostly female community, the majority of those we’ve got to know and we’ve found ourselves talking to have been male…

It really is crazy to think I’ve been living here for over two months now but wonderful how much it feels like home. We had a visit from our Rep, Kala, and the British High Commissioner’s wife and son last week just to see the project and find out how we were getting on.  It was good to see Kala again and to feel like we could talk honestly about everything going on but it did leave us slightly culture shocked… All of a sudden we had two white people sat in our house, at our breakfast bar eating the admittedly wonderful food they brought with them (in a Sainsburys bag!) It was a very bizarre feeling and a little uncomfortable, seeing a mini bit of England turn up on our doorstep and bubble around our village. I definitely wasn’t expecting it all to feel so foreign.

So much has happened but I don’t have the time to write much more, this has turned into a bit of an epic ramble anyway! I’ll try to update my blog some time before my birthday (ahhhh!) but I just wanted to write one last thing…

But, no, I’ve run out of time……



The President and Two Weeks Teaching…

We've left basil the Bat in our ceiling for now!

We’ve left basil the Bat in our ceiling for now!

Black Beetle

Brave enough to pick up this black beetle

My Classroom

My Class(room) – the blackboards divide me from the other classes

Dressed to Teach

A teacher at last.

House Front

The front of our house.

Living Room

Inside our house.

Our Stelling

Our stelling the jetty onto the river.


There will be lots of photos of sunsets!

Terry Tarantula

Terry the tarantula guarding our ceiling when we arrived.



The President and Two Weeks Teaching…

I am currently at the Ministry of Education offices using their computers to sort out University things so I thought I’d take this opportunity to update my blog. So much has happened I’m afraid it might be rather long…

We left Georgetown on the 26th August and after a minibus ride to Parika, a boat to Bartica and then another final boat to Goshen we arrived at our project. It’s such a beautiful area but very very quiet. When we arrived there wasn’t another person in sight or earshot. We were helped off the boat with all our bags, boxes, buckets and toilet roll, pointed in the direction of a house and left to it! The house is nice, better equipped than we expected and we’ve each got our own bedroom. However… we quickly discovered it was infested with cockroaches! They were enormous and everywhere. After the initial girlish screams and failure to whack them with a rogue shoe, we decided to empty almost a whole can of insecticide in the house and then just sweep them out… had this worked it would have been a good plan. Picture the scene…we arrive at our house tired and ready to unpack and settle in only to find that first we have to evict the resident roaches. Leaving all the windows and doors open, we inefficiently spray FISH spray all around the house. Only then does it occur to us that that might make them all come running (and flying!) out of their hiding places and towards us. At this point we dropped everything and followed them running/screaming out the door. Not quite the demure, sophisticated arrival we hoped for but there was no one around to see it! We went to find help. With the help of our neighbour, the Touchau (the village captain) and her children we returned to the house and managed to get rid of them (we got braver with the shoe). The first few days were therefore spent cleaning and bleaching everything we could reach whilst getting to know the people who came along to help us.

On our first weekend we were invited by the village captain to go over to Bartica for Pork Knocker day, a celebration of the mining industry here. It was a really good afternoon, dampened slightly by the rains but fascinating none the less. Through a slightly bizarre turn of events we ended up with the Touchau at the top of a very new, fancy building talking to a very important looking man. Turned out he was VERY important as it was His Excellency The President! I spoke to him about what we were doing in Guyana and how long for and so on but it wasn’t until we headed back down out onto the road we asked who it was. It was all so casual, like everything here; it didn’t seem like a strange thing to do which made it even more surreal!

Now two weeks into the 15 week term its going so quickly. I’m teaching grade 5, 9-10 year olds, and have them for all subjects. It’s mainly Maths, English, Science but also Social Studies, PE, Spanish, music, dance, drama, poetry and handwriting! It’s a really nice class; teaching is difficult because they are so mixed in ability, but a nice class anyway. Some of them can’t read and can barely write their names but with the “remediation classes” I have to run after school each day, I think I can get somewhere with them. It’s definitely an exhausting job and I’m starting to lose my voice a little but I have so much respect for what teachers do now! There are 19 in my class, 6 girls and 13 boys, and my classroom is just a part of the room with 100+ other pupils in it and a few blackboards. It gets very loud!

Ursula and I have also been asked to run swimming lessons after school and had our first one yesterday. It went really well, we had 9 or so of them in the river (with the rest of the school watching) practising for their inter-house competition and regionals in Bartica. I’m also judging an essay competition, running a poster competition, organising a traditional Amerindian dance for heritage, starting an art and craft club and have been given keys to open school in the mornings! Very busy but loving it so far.

The river is probably one of the best bits. It’s just in front of our house and jumping off the stelling (jetty) for a swim is the best way to cool off after school. It’s more like the sea than a river because it’s so big and quite tidal but a very muddy brown colour. Everyone we’ve met has been so friendly and helpful I can’t wait to get to know them more. Money is quite tight at the moment because we haven’t been paid yet but people are so generous it’s not really an issue at the moment. The only thing is that I can’t really afford stamps so although I’ve got lots of letters to send I can’t until I can get the stamps.

Well this has turned out quite long so I’ll stop for now. There’s so much more to write about but I’ll save it for next time 🙂

Off to find a boat home…


(Posted by Mike after the blog site had been unavailable for a while)

First post from Guyana!

I’ve finally arrived in Guyana! After two delayed flights and over 24 hours of travelling we finally arrived in Georgetown at about 3 am on the 16th. We had a few days relaxing and acclimatising to the heat and then two days at the Ministry of Education in ‘workshops’ getting to know the education structure of Guyana (its very similar to the UK) and the targets that we have to meet as teachers. It was really weird writing ‘Teacher’ as our occupation on our visa forms going through immigration… Other than the workshops we have just been getting to know Georgetown. Visited the sea wall and beach area (looked more like mudflats but nice sunsets), went to the zoo (really depressing because the animals were so cramped together), bought fruit at the market (such good fruit, guineps are the best!) and bought all the food and cleaning stuff we need to take to our projects (a lot).

We also went to the British High Commissioner’s house last week for a pool party. It was brilliant and I don’t think I’ll ever forget it but there was something slightly surreal about swimming in the high commissioners pool and drinking his 15 year old El Dorado. The following day we visited a black water creek just outside Georgetown which was amazing but again was strange because the water was the colour of cola! I think I was the only one out of all 26 of us not to get sun burnt or a tan so I’m still as pale as ever! (Factor 50 baby suncream really does work…) We have a tour of Banks DIH brewery on Monday and then heading out to our project on Tuesday morning. Me, my partner and the Bartica boys are being picked up and taken to our projects by the Ministry of Education so we don’t need to worry about carrying all of our boxes and bags!

I really like Georgetown but I cant wait to get to my project in Goshen and stop living out of a rucksack! All 26 of us are staying in the PT flat (and some in the flat next door) so its very cramped and only one bathroom(ish) between us all. Georgetown is amazing really, we’re staying in Campbellville, its an incredible mix of people and cultures and music everywhere. I hadn’t really thought about what Georgetown would be like but its not what I expected. The poverty and standard of living is pretty bad and its very obvious as you walk and drive around town but all the people we’ve met so far have been really nice.

I already love this country.

R x

Adventure is out there…

Exactly a week today and I’ll be on my way to Guyana for a year. It still feels like I’ve got loads to get done but I can’t wait to get there. We fly via Trinidad and arrive in Georgetown, the capital of Guyana, on Friday evening (Guyanese time). When we arrive, we’ll all spend some time in Georgetown waiting for our luggage, meeting Kala (our rep) and doing various official things before we start teaching! We then head to our projects (more about mine coming on the ‘My Project’ page) and term starts on the 1st September!

Guyana 14/15 vols!

Guyana 14/15 vols!


The past week has been a week of leaving do’s, goodbyes and BBQ’s. Thank you so much to everyone who’s been around and contributed, and I’m going to miss you all!

I’m almost sorted with everything I need to take with me (only a 20kg weight allowance!), had all my injections (about 12 in all) and picked up 400 anti malarial tablets so should be ok!

Adventure is out there!

R x

Everything’s suddenly got very very real…

Yesterday I received the email that we’ve all been waiting for, confirming the date we’re all leaving.

15th August

24 days from now.

Its slightly earlier than hoped for but I’m really glad we’ve got a fixed date. Even after training it still didn’t feel completely real because it was just ‘mid-august’ but now it does! Time for the real preparing-packing-panicking to begin, not to mention meeting up with people and saying goodbye.

Still got lots left to do but it’s actually really definitely happening now!


R x