Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Internetted in Guyana


I have the internet now. In my house. On my computer. No longer will I be out of touch with people (except for when I'm lazy). No longer will I be disconnected (except for last night, when the internet was out for the entire country). No longer will I get tired of reading and playing guitar only to turn on tv and see that the only things on are Full House reruns and that one program where some guy reads the local obituary for an hour or so. I am finally master of my own time-wasting destiny, and it's pretty cool.

This also means that I will start posting pictures on my blog starting next update. For real this time. In the meanwhiles, you guys can email me or get online to chat and I might even actually respond!

Aside from trying to use my new powers for good and not evil what have I been doing? Well, since I got back from Colorado life in Guyana hasn't changed too much. It's still the rainy season down here and it's still raining quite a bit. Last Monday my school's courtyard was flooded out and school was cancelled for the day (take that snow days!). Some places in the country have had some pretty bad flooding, but I'm still dry in Essequibo. Overall it's good to be back. I guess. (Enthusiasm is key)

One big thing that's about to change down here is that we have a whole new group of volunteers dropping in at the beginning of February. This is exciting for us current volunteers because it means we get new friends.

In fact, I have a feeling that some of these new volunteers have been dropping by this site. Traffic has gone up lately and I'm getting hits from all over the US. I don't know how they found me, because if you search for "Peace Corps Guyana" I turn up at around the 120th link. But if you guys did somehow find me and have questions about being a volunteer in Guyana, get on an instant messenger and ask me.

And if you're a friend that I haven't seen in 6 months, (or even if I have seen you) get on instant messenger and say hi. Heh heh. Do it.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

Getting wet

Well, I've been trying again to keep in touch with everyone. I went to the internet cafe 4 times this week trying to get connected. The first two times it was down for no reason, but the last two times it was closed because of flooding. That's more like it. Hopefully they'll get it back to uh . . . normal soon. Right now I'm at another cafe that I rode a few extra miles to.

Why was the internet cafe flooded in the first place? Well, the rainy season kinda started and we've been getting some heavy rain lately. We've also been getting some light rain and some of the medium kind. Aside from the internet cafe being closed and my clothes not getting dry though, it's actually been kinda fun. Just a couple days ago I realized that it was the first of December and that it shouldn't typically be 88 degrees outside in the shade. I've never ever felt cold in this country but I've felt the most not hot ever since the rain started early last week. The temperature dropped to an icy 71 degrees and all my students started wearing sweaters. Brrr. Yeah whatever you wimps.

Speaking of my students, they finished up their finals last week. We still have one more week of school coming up though, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me but hey I'm flexible. It really seems to be a week for the teachers to get all their paperwork done but the students are still coming. Maybe we can play some games like 'who can pick up the most pieces of trash' or 'who can erase the most chalkboards with their face?' I'm looking forward to it.

What I'm really looking forward to is coming home for Christmas. Not that I can't wait to get out of Guyana. It's just that I'm stoked to see everyone back home. And good news, I did buy a laptop and I'm going to pick it up when I come home so that I can get stuck in the rain on my trip back and waste a few hundred bucks -I mean so that I can keep in touch more. Yeah that's it.

I gotta get going. I'll catch you guys during Christmas vacation (if you live in Colorado and know me and dont avoid me). Hoo ha.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

I'm not dead

Yeah so I'm not dead. At least I don't think so.

I originally wanted to keep up this blog so that the question "where is wesstun?" might be answered and not raised. So yeah uh well I didn't end up moving for another 3 weeks after I thought I was going to, and then when I did my internet mooching prospects dried up and then I tried going to the internet cafe 3 different times and it was always closed even though I was going during 'business hours' and then I got busy and then I remembered you guys after a couple more weeks and thought about what a punk I'm being for not keeping in touch and then I tried again but it was closed again and then I finally tried again today and hooray they're open! I'll do the best I can to summarize my recent life in a few paragraphs without any more run-on sentences.

So I really did move finally. Oh man. Unpacking all my bags for the first time since I've arrived was a sweet thing. I even found some stuff that I brought but I don't remember packing. It was kinda like Christmas. I live in a studio sorta deal on the bottom floor of a two story house. The family I'm renting it from lives upstairs. It's actually a pretty awesome setup as far a Peace Corps housing goes. I have my own entrance to the house, my own bathroom, shower, kitchen, bedroom, living room, patio, stove, oven, refridgerator, tv, sofa, armchairs and hammock. Yeah, I can get used to this. It's kind of amazing the range of housing luxury that Peace Corps volunteers here in Guyana can get. There's a volunteer living less than 10 miles away from me who has to put up with a pit toilet, no electricity and no running water for the next two years. Whew, I dodged the bullet on that one.

You'd think that after moving into such a swankily luxurious apartment I'd direct my efforts outward and focus all my energies on improving my community. Well, yeah, I might get to that later. For the three weeks I've been living at my new house though, I've actually been keeping myself a little busy with home improvement. Even though my house was totally stocked, I still didn't like the idea of being the main course for an all-they-can-eat mosquito buffet. Another volunteer here in Guyana told me that she likes sleeping under a mosquito net because it's 'romantic.' I think that's kinda like saying that gunshot wounds to the head are romantic because the color of blood reminds me of Valentine's day. I guess the romance wore off for me. So yeah I've been plugging up every mosquito-sized hole in my house with mosquito mesh. I finished last week. I've been sleeping without a mosquito net over my bed now for 5 days. Oh baby.

Hmm what else? Oh yeah I've been teaching at a Guyanese school for 8 weeks now. I kinda left that detail out. When I last talked about this I said that I was worried the kids were just going to run around screaming for the first week because of having no schedules. Well, they only did that for a couple days because they put the class schedules together quickly this year. Hooray. Now they run around screaming in an orderly fashion at scheduled intervals.

I actually really like teaching here. I was scheduled to teach 4 science and 2 math classes, and I'm having a good time with them. In some ways, the students are harder to control in class than American students, but they're also easier to impress, so it all balances out. I'm teaching at a secondary school, which in terms of student age is equivalent to a high school back home. In terms of coursework though, I'm basically teaching junior high material.

Not everything about teaching here is easy. Some of the student names have been tough to get down. Most of the black people here in Guyana have western-sounding names like Stewart or Keron or Notorious SML or something. Watch out for those Indian names though. I have one student named Vijay Nandhalall. I won't tell you how to pronounce his name exactly, but if you say the first name and the last name together quickly like he did when he introduced himself to me the first day, it sounds like a certain part of the female anatomy followed by " 'n doll all." I honestly thought the kid was giving me one of those I.C. Weiner or Seymore Butts jokes. That's his real name though. And that one's easy to remember because it's crazy. I'm still working on some of them.

Anyways the owner of this internet cafe is looking at me like he's going to be rich so I better get going before I go broke. Thanks everyone that commented on my last post and I'll try to catch up with you guys when I come home for Christmas. This not-being-able-to-keep-up-with-people nonsense has got to stop. I'm thinking of trying to pick up a cheap used laptop or something while I'm home so I can take this internet shortage issue into my own hands. (And so I can play video games. Don't tell the government.)

I'll try to post at least once more before I make it home for Christmas.