Friday, February 6, 2009

Locked and Loaded

I spoke to Guyana today.

More specifically, I received a phone call from my country director, one Mr. James Geenen, and my program manager, a Mrs. Simone Sills.  Both were helpful and friendly asking my a bunch of questions about my expectations, anxieties, fears, and what my thoughts were on my assignment.  Simone gave me a run down of my itinerary beginning February 24th until I am placed in my assignment 8 weeks after.  Here is a synopsis:

I will be leaving Los Angeles for a brief staging stint in Philadelphia for about 48 hours.  My sister is planning on taking a train from New York to see me off!

Flight itinerary is as follows:

22 Feb 09 – Sunday

United Airlines Flight 192          EQP: Airbus A320       Economy

Leaving Los Angeles                 8:55am             Terminal 7

Arriving Philadelphia                 5:05pm Terminal D

Seat 17 F (window as promised)          Food for purchase*

*Apparently serving your country garners you NO free food on your flight.


Next up is what I will be doing when I get to Guyana.

  • I will be traveling with 25 other trainees as the 24th group of volunteers to go to Guyana
  • Feburary 24th, 2009: Arrive in Georgetown, Guyana at the airport (Not the harbor)
  • Feb 24-27: Peace Corps/Guyana will put me up in a hotel outside the capital city for 3 days as I am briefed about safety, geographic orientation, basic information about life in the country, etc.
  • Near the end of the week our group will travel by boat to the Essequibo coastal region of Guyana to set up our facilities for 8 weeks of training.  Training will include technical and skill-set areas as well as education and immersed exposure to the culture.*
  • During this training period I will meet my host family and be introdced to the day to day life in Guyana.  This will include learning how to hand wash my clothes, cook nutririously from local ingrediants, learn the lay of the land, etc.
  • Six weeks in to training: I will be spending 1-2 weeks job shadowing current PC volunteers in a variety of job sites throughout the country.  I will be visiting job sites of the interior country where running water and electricity will be absent as well as sites near the capital city where more ammenities are available.
  • Eight weeks in: After my job shadowing period is completed I will be asked to list my top three sites of choice and one of those will be chosen based off of my skill set, personality, and my preferences.

In addition to all of this I was given an opportuinity to ask them questions I've cultivated over the past two months.

Some of those questions were:
  • What is the dress like outside the working environment?
  • Can I keep my beard?
  • Is music accessible there and can I buy an instrument when I get there?
  • Should I bring my iPod?
  • Should I bring a camera?  Digital or analog?
  • May I bring a recorder to document my experiences as well as music?
It was a wonderful conversation and both James Geenen and Simone Sills made me feel very welcomed and comfortable about what will become of me in the next three months.


1 comment:

Her Imperial Highness said...

What did they say about your iPod?
Camera? etc. Enquiring minds want to know.