Teaching, Hammocks and Farmland: An Update From Guyana!

Yesterday was the 5-week mark of my arrival in Guyana!! That means
only 7 more weeks to go! I can’t believe how fast the time is going!

I am really enjoying my time here and am learning a lot about what
life is like in Guyana every day, as well as a lot about myself! Since
my last email, I’ve been teaching the Grade 3 class at the
primary school three days a week, and helping out for parts of Monday
and Tuesday. The kids are starting to settle down a bit as they are
getting used to our presence in the school, and I am finding my job as
a teacher a bit easier with each day of practice. I’ve discovered that
being a teacher is certainly NOT an easy job – regardless of where you
come from or what country you are teaching in! It’s definitely
something I learned very quickly in this environment! Coming from a
family of teachers, I thought I understood fairly well the
difficulties that teachers face and the amount of work and effort that
goes into teaching, but coming here REALLY opened my eyes! Imagining
what it must be like was one thing, but actually living it is a
completely different story!! Not only have I found out how draining it
is to try to keep 25-30 Grade 3 students occupied for a whole day of
school, but I’ve also discovered how difficult managing a class is!! I
thought back to all the teachers I’ve had in the past who struggled to
keep some rowdy classmates under control and focused on a lesson, and
I could really sympathize with them!

In other news, I can now say that I have slept overnight in a hammock
in the jungle and survived a big rain/wind storm in the middle of the
night!! One of our Guyanese friends took us camping at the creek where
we go to bathe last weekend! It was a lot of fun! We went for a
rainforest walk before dinner and it started to pour – how fitting! In
the morning, one of the locals gave us a fish he had just caught out
on his fishing trip so we could fry it for breakfast, and it was
delicious!

The jungle scene in Guyana. Can you see any hammocks?

Last Saturday we took a road trip to another region of Guyana called
Berbice! We left St. Cuthbert’s at 5 am and didn’t get home until 7:30
pm, so it was a very long day of traveling! We probably spent at least
8-9 hours driving, but it was definitely worth it! Berbice is made up
of tons of small villages and a few towns, and most of the area is
covered in farmland, as the main industry of this region is
agriculture. We saw our fair share of donkeys, horses, goats, cows of
all kinds, and sheep roaming freely across the roads, and often had to
stop for them to cross the road in front of us! Given the speed of our
driver, this wasn’t always easy, but luckily, we didn’t have any super
close calls! There are also lots of sugarcane and rice fields here,
and we got to stop off at a rice mill and a sugar processing plant to
take some pictures. Some highlights of the day were crossing the
world’s longest floating bridge across the Berbice River (one of
Guyana’s largest rivers), and looking across the Corentyne River
(which serves as the border) to Suriname! I almost made it to another
country, but not quite!

-Allison Burney, Youth Ambassador, Guyana 2012

For details on upcoming projects in Guyana, Check out our Program Calendar

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