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

Sunday, 17 November 2013

More Athletics, Chocolate and Horses

So, having previously explained how I was happy to be getting to the end of my time getting up for 05:30, I then proceeded to travel to Katoonarib for the Inter-Schools Athletics. As was quite clearly necessary, we got up at 04:00 each morning there for three days. At the end of the competition, Macushi Primary School came fourth (I think, don't hold me to it), although there was never really any competition - Sand Creek, the winning school, blew everyone away. Only 7 out of the 40 athletes that we took won their races, and would go onto Aishalton for the Inter-Branch Athletics.

The Inter-Branch Athletics held in Aishalton happened immediately after the Inter-Schools; so immediately that Neal (a volunteer from Sand Creek) and I got up at 03:00 the next day, to travel south down to Aishalton as we were going as staff members -  Neal as assistant coach and myself as scorer. It was a fantastic week (28th October - 2nd November) down in Aishalton, particularly because Pete, Chester and Sara were there, and Johnnie (also from Sand Creek) came down down to join us at the end. It was helped by the fact that we were able to buy a beer other than banks - Guinness. Admittedly, it was Guinness Foreign Extra, but that's not the point. Oh, and South Central (our area of the Rupununi) came second by just 10 points.

The next Monday we had the day off school, so Steven and I went into Lethem to buy some essentials. The essentials being new hammocks and Cadbury's Dairy Milk. My new hammock is voLUMINOUS (this would make more sense if you could see a picture of it, but the laptops here all have viruses, so I'm not going to plus my camera in, sorry), and you can only truly appreciate chocolate when you've been without for so long. Getting back from Lethem afterward proved to be interesting. In the morning, we had got there by hitching a ride in the back of a 4x4 that was passing through Shulinab, so had no plans for returning. After close to two hours of wondering around, trying to sort out a way back, we got a lift after telling the people at the gas station to let any vehicles know we needed a lift. Someone drove us to St. Ignatius, just outside Lethem, before his father then took us onto Shulinab.

The next weekend, we had absolutely no plans. So in true Guyanese style, we ended up having a fantastic time. Johnnie and Neal from Sand Creek came over on the Saturday, and on the Sunday we rode horses for the first time. The latter led, unsurprisingly, to rather less than comfortable backsides for the next couple of days (the saddles here are remarkably thinner and less padded than what you might find in the UK), but it was just brilliant. The horses are also a lot wilder than your average riding horse. Which made things interesting. Neither of us fell off, but the feeling you get when galloping through the savannah is unrivalled (especially because it's less painful than trotting). With any luck, we'll be getting out on horses a lot more often than we have done so far.