Monday, July 18, 2005

Belated Q and A and Stuff

Oh baby.

It's good to be back from wherever it is that I went, even though it was also good to be gone. I'll talk about that in a bit.

For the moment though, this update is going to be a Q and A session as promised. I'll sprinkle questions such as 'where have I been' and 'why is cheese tasty' randomly throughout to keep things unorganized and hard to follow. Enjoy.

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Q: Wes, aside from using a mosquito net and simply being rediculously manly, what are you doing to avoid malaria and stuff?

A: I was a bit misleading in my post where I talked about my mosquito net and how it was going to keep me from catching malaria, because I made it sound like that was my only line of defense. Actually the Peace Corps has been doing quite a bit to keep us safe. Since a week after coming to Guyana, I've been taking a drug called Larium, which is supposed to be very effective at preventing the disease from being established. That's kind of a story in itself because the drug is supposed to have the side effect of causing funky dreams and can supposedly be psychotically destabilizing but so far I've had no trouble ha ha. DIE!!DIE!!! Sorry about that. Anyhow some of the other volunteers have felt sufficiently weird to change to another drug. Since I always feel weird though, I'm not sure I'd know the difference.

Regardless, malaria is supposed to be almost non-existent on the coast of Guyana and is only a big risk in the interior. I don't want to spoil anything but I will say that I my permanent assignment is on the coast down here so you guys should be able to come see me without fear.

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Q: Wes, are all the streets in Guyana paved?

A: Ah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Not exactly. The state of most of the roads down here is not as bad as you might think though. In the post where I'll be at for the next two years for example there's basically one paved road that just runs along the coast, and most everything from there is dirt road sprawl. That one paved road is in pretty good shape though so getting around isn't huge trouble. Nevermind the fact that you have to take a boat to get to this road.

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Q: Wes, my life has no meaning without reading your blog. Why has it been so long since your last update?

A: Well, I said last week that we were finding out what our sites were last week, but what I didn't know was that we were being whisked away to visit our sites that Friday. So I didn't really get a chance to tell you guys where I was going until I got back a week later, and then the internet was down for 3 days because of blackouts and stuff. That and I don't really like you guys.

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Q: Wes, what is the food in Guyana like?

A: I think this question alone will be a good topic for a few updates, but I suppose I can give a brief overview of Guyanese food from my experience. Guyanese food is comprised of 4 basic constituents:

1. Rice
2. Stuff
3. Oil
4. Stuff fried in oil

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. Honestly though I pretty much had to use category #2 to make this answer manageable because there's lots of food down here. There's lots of Indian food, so there's no trouble finding roti, curry, dahl, or any of that swell stuff. Lots of fried food. Lots of tropical friuts and vegetables. Not a lot of restaurants. I really was surprised to find out that Guyana isn't really a restaurant culture, so Guyanese food is really what you end up cooking for yourself, and I'll get to this in the future. Overall though, I've had a good time with Guyanese food so far.

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Q: Wes, what's the countryside like over there? How 'bout that vegetation and jazz?

A: I've spent all my time on the coast of Guyana so far, where it's pretty flat. I understand that the country gets pretty hilly in the interior though. The coast has lots of palm trees, lots of green stuff, and lots of rivers, but I don't think you can call the coastal area a rainforest. The actual rainforest starts a few miles inland, and I'm still waiting to explore it a bit.

I really want to emphasize how many rivers are in this country and how totally flippin' humongous they are. To get to my site, I have to cross one river that's so big across that it takes about 30 minutes by speedboat. Yeah.

I'll get to this more in the future, but for now, the countryside is pretty nice looking and that's all you need to know until I post pictures and you see whether or not I'm a big fat liar.

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Q: Do most places have power?

A: Actually yeah. A few volunteers are being sent to places deep in the interior where they have to make do with a kerosene lamp at night, but most of the major populated areas have at least semi-constant power. My site only had two blackouts during the last week when I visited. Snazzy.

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Q: Wes, what is the favored mode of transport in Guyana

A: There's a ton of minibusses on the road that move around at about 4 thousand miles an hour and play reggae music on loadspeakers. There's a few taxis and every once in a while you'll see a non-taxi car that could easily become a taxi if you stick out your hand. Honestly though minibusses are everywhere. It's pretty much the mode of public transportation, even though they're completely privatized

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Q: Wes, why are your responses getting progressively less funny?

A: I'm getting tired of working on this post, which is going on too long anyways. I'll save the questions I didn't get to for later and just say where in Guyana I've been assigned for the next two years.

I've been assigned to work at the Johanna Cecilia Secondary School on the Essequibo coast. The place is going to be really cool. I spent all last week there at a place called Golden Fleece, which is near the lovely towns of Zorg and Abram Zuil for those of you looking this up on your maps. (Ha ha) Yes I'm going to live near a town named Zorg. Yes I'm serious.

More next week. Thanks for reading.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Corey said...

WESSSSSSSSSSS!

Dude I just had the weekly pleasure of reading your blog and you kept me in stitches the whole time man. I just got back from an amazing waste of the governments money in which I was paid a bundle to sit around and wait for the BIG ONE! Since that big fire never happened , I went on earning 2,000 dollars in two weeks by doing other amazingly strenuous things such as: napping, reading harry potter, playing football and basketball, and being absolutely bored to tears. Anyways I guess I enjoy the money and hey I did get to see some smaller fires.
I am super stoked to hear everything is going great man and that is so tight that you are going to be a school teacher man and that you are going to be on the coast. Sounds like field trip time man!
Anyways I better get rolling onwards wes. Keep it real wes!

Cor

11:20 PM  
Anonymous Jeni said...

Q: Wes, how is it that I, pretty much the paragon of normalacy, am related to you? And, while we are at it, when exactly, did you become so stinkin' funny? :)
Anyway, entertaining as usual! And kudos on scoring a costal placement. Sounds uber cool!
Have a great week Wes!

2:03 AM  
Anonymous Mom said...

Hi Wes -

Your dad and Joel and I read your last posting together and we all had a great laugh! Joel helped me find a map with all the big "cities" you mentioned... He said he'd post info. soon letting others know how to find the same map (in case friends are making vacation plans...) We're having a great time with Joel here. They are inner tubing on the Arkansas river today - it's in the 90's. Tomorrow is a trip to Elitches. Check your personal email for more boring family news that the rest of the world doesn't want to read about. Love you Wes. As always - we're praying.

7:23 PM  
Anonymous Juanes Rocks said...

Wes,

Dude, I got a job. I'll be moving to seattle in the next few weeks, so everything is happening pretty fast. It sounds like you are going to be just fine down there. Now more than ever i want to come visit you. Now that I have a job, i should be able to next year sometime. By the way, I play a couple Seagull guitars last week. I think you are right, they are really sweet for the money. Any way, keep up the good work, I'll be praying for you. Big gulps, huh? Well, see ya later.

Elliot

10:47 PM  
Anonymous Joel said...

This is for everyone who wants to find out where Wes is right now.
Go to: http://encarta.msn.com/map_701512894/Guyana.html

and zoom in on Georgetown and surroundings. You should also enlarge the map to the max.

Laters

Joel

Joel

3:22 PM  
Blogger Wes said...

Elliot!

I want some specifics on your job man. Good to hear you got one.

This place will be a good place for you to relax after x number of overcast days up there, so you just let me know when you're coming. That goes for everyone.

And Corey thanks for checking in on me man. I really want to catch you on the phone sometime so we can talk more. Stay cool up there man. I hear it's in the 90's in Colorado now, but we haven't been in the 90's down here yet. (We haven't been below 70 either but that's beside the point)

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Bond... Josh Bond said...

I hate to break it to you but I'm supposed to be the funny cousin! So what ever it is you thikn you're doing...stop it. That being said...Wes! I would ask how you are doing but you're in Guyana so I am not even going to bother. I'm in Aiken not much better I suppose. In fact we have barely one paved road too, but you have to ask a redneck for a ride on their tractor to get to it, not take a boat. I don't even get internet service at my house (totally lame) so I am writing this at a hotel me and my wife are at for our anniversary. Well, I better go, I'll try to read your mediocrely funny blog again soon. It feels like it's been forever, so keep up the good work. Talk to you later.
- Josh

8:32 AM  
Anonymous Hide said...

Hey Wes! You crack me up! I am so glad that you're doing good, and having a bit of fun! I'm praying for you!

3:22 PM  
Anonymous George said...

Hey Wes,

Glad to read that you are doing great. And that you are going to be teaching... that is awsome. We knew there was a reason for you to come and get your experience substitute teaching here in Mayberry... Have a great week and will keep checking in on you and praying for you.

George

12:20 PM  

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