Happy Anniversary!

25 02 2010

Yesterday I celebrated my one year anniversary of being in Guyana. It’s hard for me to believe that a whole year has gone by. I remember stepping off the airplane with a sense of excitement and fear thinking to myself, “WOW, this place is beautiful, but what the hell have I gotten myself into?” I am happy to report that after a year of living in Guyana things are going quite well. It has been a year of incredible growth, new experiences, building new friendships, and HARD work. The following is a list of some of the achievements from the past year.

Year 1: Accomplishments and Experiences

  • · I have tried new foods including: labba (a Guyanese rodent that tastes like beef), iguana (it tastes like chicken, but has more bones), catfish eggs (tastes like chicken egg yolks), snails (I’m not gonna lie the snails were disgusting!), and chicken feet (once you get past the fact you are sucking on a chicken’s foot, it’s not so bad).
  • · I can understand about 85%-95% of what is being said to me in Creolese as opposed to the 10%-20% when I got here a year ago.
  • · I have begun to think and speak in Creolese. This is a good thing until I get back home and no one understands what I’m saying.
  • · I can eat a mango like a Guyanese. From an outsiders point of view it looks a little like making out with a mango, but you actually get more of the fruit and juice eating it that way.
  • · I can “sip” (the incredibly obnoxious kissing noise that Guyanese men make at you when you walk down the street). Most of my fellow Peace Corps friends can’t see why I am proud of this, but it is actually harder to accomplish than you would think. It’s not just making kissing noises, there is an art to it, because it has to be loud enough to get the attention of the person across the street. In order to do it correctly you actually have to suck and purse your lips at the same time, the part of the lips that have to meet in order to get optimum volume is the inner part of your lip (the part that is closer to your teeth), not the outer part that you actually kiss with. If you do it with the outer part you just end up sounding like a baby seal.
  • · I can use public transportation and not get ripped off.
  • · I can shop at the market and I know what 95% of the things are and the proper Guyanese names for them. This sounds like a no brainer, but they have fruits and vegetables here that I never knew existed until a year ago and they call familiar things by different names.
  • · I started my official Peace Corps project. I am using a literacy professional development course designed by a former volunteer to train all the primary head teachers in my region to further strengthen teacher training and understanding of how to teach literacy.
  • · I wrote a report regarding suggested changes to the end of year National Grade 2 and Grade 4 Reading Assessments. The report was sent to the Central Ministry, NCERD, and the Minister of Education. According to fellow volunteers at NCERD the report was the catalyst to the Ministry actually looking to change the format of the test.

I’m proud of all the things I have accomplished, but I still have another year here and some goals that still need to be met……

Year 2: Goals

  • · Venture into the scary meat section of the market and actually buy my meat and fish from the market ladies, instead of buying the prepackaged overpriced chicken at the grocery store, or sending my boyfriend to the market to get it for me.
  • · Do more traveling in Guyana. Make a trip to Shell Beach to see the turtles, go to Lethem for Rodeo, and take the overland trip to Kaieteur Falls.
  • · Visit the US to see friends and family.
  • · Continue with my Peace Corps project and help other regions reach their literacy goals with the use of the literacy professional development course.

Here is to one year down and one year to go!

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4 responses

8 03 2010
Leyna

I love your bog Liza, and I am so proud of you for all you have done and accomplished this past year! Sounds unbelievable. xoox

9 03 2010
Dorkpants

First of all, do you do the kissing thing back at the guys when they do it to you.
That would catch them off guard if you did it louder and better than they can.
Second of all you ate some nasty stuff, your breath probably really stinks!
I am glad you are having a good time and learning so much. Just think some day you will be almost as smert as me. We miss you a lot. Much love homey!

10 03 2010
Cheryl Evans

Wow-huge accomplishments gyal! Love the blog-as always it makes me smile and think back fondly!
Glad all’s well with ya! xx

31 03 2010
Terri Ainardi

What an amazing accomplishment. It doesn’t seem like all that long ago you were talking about this at Anna’s parents after graduation. You should be extremely proud of yourself. I’d love to see you in June. Maybe some beers w/ the UWers?? Good luck with your project! Cheers.

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