Peace Corps has been keeping me busy, this four day Easter weekend was a welcome break. Prior to this I had 11 days straight of Peace Corps, most of the trainees here were on edge and ready for a little down time. Everything still remains the same, I am still in training although I only have two weeks left and both are short weeks. Although you can never really know down here, I should be hearing where my post is this coming Friday. Unlike my prior blogs, and I guess this is a excellent example of my indecisiveness, I opted to take a more urban post. If I get my first choice, I will be working at an “NGO” (I’m not entirely sure what the exact status is) working with children. It was actually set up by a prior volunteer and is just a general youth development organization. I pretty much told Peace Corps in my interviews that I wanted to play with children and would rather not end up in a health clinic or hospital (where most of the health posts are). Still, this is all guesswork, I won’t know for sure until this coming Friday, but from the people I’ve talked to it sounds like I’ll get the post. Bartica is one of the larger cities (I think it’s the third or the fourth), however large down here is around 20,000. I’ll give more information once I know if I’m there.
Yesterday, a decent number of the trainees went to a nice little lake in the area. The highlight of my day however, was not the lake but rather when the local chinee man showed up and brought chow fun. I had told him a few weeks ago at the restaurant that I wanted some and he said he’d brought it for me. There’s a lot of chinee restaurants down here, actually they are probably the most popular type of restaurant down here. The only downside is that they only sell fried rice and chow mein. I still have yet to try the “fried wantons”, which I assume are some sort of dumpling. Continuing with food, I learned how to make a curry today, it’s really not that hard but involves a lot of spices. My host father was on a delivery, so with the Muslim away we ate pork. They pressure cook almost everything down here so the meat is usually very tender (it is also usually bone ridden, fatty, in small quantities and extremely fresh, I actually plucked a chicken a couple weeks ago). I also am going to a jandi (sp?) tomorrow, which is a Hindu celebration of some sort, but we get seven curry quintessence of dining down here. I’m starting to notice that my food paragraph is getting long, I guess some things don’t change.
I brought back the mustache, it’s a Peace Corps Guyana Male Health Volunteer tradition, and I’ve learned throughout life the peer pressure is not worth fighting. My host aunt said I looked like a real American. She also continues to introduce (or drag) young giggling women to me at a rate of about 2 or 3 a week.
Other PC news, we had our first trainee go home and our first trainee end up in the hospital. The girl who left had some tough living situations. The girl who got sick spent a week in the capital with dengue fever, fun fun. I have yet to contract anything serious, but my allergies have kicked in and cause mild discomfort.
I’m starting to understand most of what’s being said to me, but there are still some people that I don’t have a first clue of what they are saying. Some examples, “meh nah know” (I don’t know) or “dem breeze be high today, bai” (it is very windy today man). Or if you want to emphasize something you don’t say very, but just repeat the adjective “dem bai is bad bad bad” (that boy is very bad). I find myself unconsciously speaking it sometimes.
And although I won’t post this today, I should say happy birthday Tim, I would call if I could.