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!