-these are my views, not those of Project Trust-

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Athletics, Hammocks and Snakes

For the past week, we have been preparing those students who will be competing at the Inter-Schools Athletics in Katoonarib on the 25th and 26th of October. That on its own doesn't sound too much of a chore, but I'm sure it will do once you find out that every day for the past week we have been getting up at 05:20 as practice begins at 05:30. We then continue until 07:30 (in reality it's normally about 07:00 - the Amerindians have a different sense of timing than we do in the UK). Being up at this time does have a slight advantage - it's relatively cool, so we're (Steven and I) not suffering continuously for once, at least for a short period of time. From Monday to Friday we then had practice sessions for the rest of the day as follows:

09:30 - 11:30
12:15 - 14:00
16:00 - 18:00

So hopefully, our students who are competing will do well, although they will be against students from secondary schools, where they have a much bigger selection of potential athletes to choose from.

As a result of this timetable, two things have occurred. 1) Very little teaching, and 2) A lot of time has been spent lying in hammocks under our benab, or liming and gaffing as the Guyanese call it. For those of you not up to speed with the lingo, liming is lying in a hammock and not doing anything for long periods of time, whilst gaffing is the same but with talking involved. This has helped me to become better at sleeping in a hammock, so I am now having very few problems at night. They now only occur if I set my hammock too high and can't be bothered to get up to adjust it, so suffer for the whole night as a result.

Within the past month, Steven and I have both had unwelcome visitors in our shoes. The House Laboria (I think that's the correct spelling, but the internet here is so slow that it would take forever to check) is apparently venomous, but depending on who we talk to it may also very well not be. Either way, it's not particularly pleasant to find a snake in your shoe, so we're now in the habit of shaking them upside down to check BEFORE we put them on.

Two days ago, I completed the first sixth of my year here in Guyana. Given that I'm likely to be leaving before the 18th of August next year, the past two months are actually slightly more than a sixth of my total time in South America (or the Caribbean if you're being pedantic), and time has flown. At times that's a good thing, at others it's not. However, there's not much I can do about it apart from enjoy myself and have a brilliant time.

-I'll try to add some pictures in the near future-