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

One Comment

  1. Carole

    Love the brain scrunching. Gad to hear you’re keeping up the family traditional of putting on the nativity….so many happy memories of Alphabets and St Mary’s:-) Hope you’ve recovered your watery composure and don’t have any more leaky boats. Not sure which is worse – pig food or the thought of sinking! Looking forward to your next blog….as a 19 year old:-) x

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