Friday, July 16, 2010
Part of reconnect was to turn in the Community Diagnostic Surveys (CDS), the purpose of the last 3 months of observing and getting integrated in the community. It’s a compiled report of my community, the needs and interest, and goals for future projects. It’s a pretty long report and I dreaded doing it but now that it’s complete I realize how important and helpful the CDS is.
The sessions taught at reconnect were informative and effective, especially the health sessions. It’s so crazy…our health section/volunteers have diminished. We started with 17 health volunteers and now we are down to 11. Anyway, I have gotten so many good ideas to take back to site and use at the health center and other projects. I am pumped to get back and set up meetings, get to work with health talks, and more project planning. We will be having another reconnect conference in October for our 6 months at site to check in again and learn more about making our projects sustainable and efficient.
I am now on the Environmental Task Force. Which I am pretty excited for but I don’t know all it in tells right now. I think it’s going to be a little challenging, seeing as environmental issues are not a concern here but that’s why this task force has been implemented, so it will be interesting.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
So far we have talked about and reviewed the importance of staying safe while serving in Guyana. We have gone over our Emergency Action Plan (EAP) and what to expect in case of an emergency or in the likelihood of being evacuated.
PC is moving away from bucket filtration systems for the means of having safe, clean drinking water and we were given a demonstration on the new treatment called PUR. It’s a chlorinated packet that cleans and gathers sediment from dirty river water. My health center has started to use these packets as well and it’s being targeted to the remote areas, since they use river, stream water for bathing, washing clothes and dishes and drinking. The packets actually work quite well however, they are time consuming and require man power (5 minutes of stirring). We’ll see how it works out.
Chelsea and I have been good and sticking to our workout routine, although staying in a hotel in Georgetown has made us alter some things. We were hoping there would be a gym but there’s not. There is a swimming pool though and it’s perfect for swimming laps. Monday morning we planned on waking up at 5:30 to swim but it was pouring rain, so being the resourceful women we are, we ran up and down the stairs and were still able to work out our arms, do push up and 3 ½ minute abs.
This morning we were able to swim, I have not swam in a long time and it was hard! Then we worked out our legs and jumped back in the pool for 2 more laps and 3 minutes of treading water. I know we are awesome!
Today everyone presented on their first 3 months at site and shared their experience, needs in the community, future project plans, and pictures. It was good to hear and see about everyone’s life in Guyana since training. I can’t wait to go visit people and see what it’s like it live in a hut, in a remote village.
Monday, July 12, 2010
This week I am at a reconnect conference with my GUY 22 group to do more training and checking in. I want to blog about each day, hope you enjoy!
We arrived in Georgetown and checked into the hotel and saw some people I have not seen in 3 months. But first, there’s a place we like to go in Linden to socialize and relax. For the last few weeks we have been going there a lot to watch the World Cup and a few days ago we met the owner, Mr. B, he actually went to school at USC. Anyway, he asked where we’d be watching the final World Cup game and Chel’s told him we’d be in Georgetown. She asked him if he could recommend a good place to watch the game. He ended up hooking us up at the Georgetown Club, we didn’t know what to expect. When we got there people knew who we were and that Mr. B put us on the list and his tab. It was another one of those random moments where I couldn’t believe my life but I was so happy it is! As I was sitting there a thought came to mind; it's going to be so neat to look back at this experience!
The club was like a country club back home and only certain people are able to go, it was nice and a lot of fun. There ended up being a hamburger competition and the burgers were SO good! The funny part was the Caribbean travel man was there. He is from the U.S. and has a show on the Caribbean Weather Channel, which I see on TV and enjoy watching. He goes to different tourist spots around the Caribbean and checks out the hot spots and does a little video segment reporting his finding. Anyway, five us were sitting at a table when I spotted him, I turned to the table to point him out to the others but I saw the look on Tony’s face, he spotted him too and he said, “Where do you recognize him from?” and I said, “the Caribbean travel man!” I was excited! He was there to film the events of the World Cup and winner of the hamburger competition. The cool part was we got it be in the group of people surrounding him and yell, “hot, hot, hot” at the end. I can’t wait to see if we’ll be on TV! Later, as we were getting our burgers I told him I enjoyed watching his show. I also talked to the cameraman, it was their first time in Guyana and they’ll be here for a week. He said they travel for about a week then go back home for 2 weeks to edit and air the show. I love that Chels and I got to take a picture with him! I’ll let you know if I see us on TV.
Another fun part about being at the club was the blow horns we got. They are really loud and annoying but so fun to blow! I was hoping the Netherlands would have won the World Cup but I am happy for Spain.
Afterward we went back to the hotel, got reacquainted with everyone and went over the agenda for the week.
After 5 months of taking cold showers tonight I got to take a HOT shower!! It felt heavenly. Usually my nightly showers consist of me turning the water to a trickle and splashing water on myself, lathering up with soap and then rinsing, this process takes me a minute and 30 seconds, tops. But tonight I just stood there letting the hot water hit my back for 10 minutes. It was awesome! It really is the little things that put a smile on my face :)
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I am so happy for her and I can’t wait to meet him! My mom text me the news in the evening on July 7th, my heart melted, as I was little sad I could not be there, but also extremely thrilled. Later my mom called to tell me what was happening and that Andrea wanted to make sure I knew, thanks Ange! I know mama and baby are healthy and happy! Andrea, my thoughts and prayers are with you and I can’t wait to see you and meet your little Reggie!! Love you!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I am getting ready for reconnect, a week long reunion with my fellow GUY22ers and more training. It will be good to see everyone, I am looking forward to it! I can't believe I have been at my site for 3 months already!
Will write more soon!
Saturday, July 3, 2010
For about 4 days we were without water. We have a big tank that water from the river is piped into and that’s how we get our running water. When water is running low in our house we turn open the valve to fill the tank but I guess there was work being done on the water pipes within the community so we were getting no water. We had to buy a 5-gallon water jug to use for drinking and washing the dishes. Luckily I had some rain water stored and we were able to collect rain water to use for bucket baths.
I went on 2 river outreach trips within the same week. It was good to be on the river! The second day of outreach we ended up leaving much later than planned and it had started to rain. But we all piled into the boat, I was prepared with my rain jacket and everyone else was covered in black trash bags. Tim got to come along, I was glad to have him there to witness the craziness that goes on during these outreach trips, especially on that particular day. In effort to try and stay semi-dry a big blue tarp was placed over all 9 of us as were speeding down the river. I found this very amusing but the tarp did not last long as everyone was still getting wet so we just embraced the rain.
I just love the little nursery school kids here and their cute checkered school uniforms. The other morning on my way to the boat landing this little girl, probably 4 or 5 years old said, “Sara!” I said, “Hi, good morning”, then she yelled back after I passed her, “I brushed my teeth today.” My heart melted. I feel bad because I don’t know her name but she is so cute!
I have started working (observing) at the hospital kitchen; they are in need of nutrition guidance so I am seeing how I can help out. Today (Friday) was my second day there and I just watch and learn what they make for the patients. To be completely honest, it blows my mind what they prepare and serve to the patients, so much salt and spices are used. But the ladies are so kind and generous, they make sure I taste everything and afterward I am so thirsty. I think the biggest thing I can do is just educate. I will keep you posted on this project.
Rasta fell in the trench the other nigh. I did not see it since it happened late at night but Chels told me about it. I knew it was a matter of time that she would end up drenched in trench. Poor kitty.
I have also been enjoying watching the World Cup, soccer is a pretty exciting sport to watch!
Happy 4th of July to everyone! Much love!