I just ate real ice cream. I also sat in an air conditioned coffee shop where I ordered fresh brewed Peruvian coffee, pankcakes, and free drinking water. Yes, free drinking water! It was ice cold, too! And, ohmygod the coffee was divine. Georgetown will definitely be my escape while I spend my two years somewhere in Guyana.
I am starting to get attached to the culture, though. I just got back from a week in Port Kaituma, where a magnificent and splendid PCV, named Rob Hickman, showed me around his site. It was a rugged, dirty, smelly, and remote mining community very close to where Jonestown is/was. I got to go out and see the remains and write my name on the side of Jim Jones' truck. It was creepy. There are trees that bleed blood colored pitch if you cut them open. Coincidence?
Rob and I are similar in personality, humor, and all-out nerdiness. He is a goofball, has a sensitive and gregarious nature about him and will never drink the last 1/4 of his coke. He has them all lined up like fallen soldiers on his kitchen counter and, if combined, could bring us world peace. If only Rob cared enough. Rob was an excellent host and told us all sorts of things about his service and made sure he gave us a good perspective on what's to come. It was wonderful because I think I received a information genuinely, honestly, and in a supportive way - something not all other Guy 21ers got to experience. I am definitely going to include a profile on Rob. He is a fascinating person.
The night before I flew out there, Peace Corps put me up in a hotel with a/c, warm showers, TV, and a freaking amazing bed to sleep in. I then flew to P.K. and spent five glorious days with my, now, favorite volunteer and experienced what it is like to live in a near-lawless community. Talk about sin, there is enough in that town to challenge the likes of nearly all Vegas-goers! I'll have to tell you some of Rob's rivetting stories about gun slingers and hookers that cut the bellies of men. I am not exaggerating, either.
Today (Sunday, March 29) I returned to my training site, but not after spending some time in Georgetown on the way back. That coffee shop I spoke of before is called the Oasis Cafe and a Brit owns it. If you didn't happen to catch the Guyanese flag or newspapers lying around, you would think you were in some cafe in the States. Talk about a proper escape... it was plumb.
I'm now back on the Essequibo coast, in my bed at my host parent's house. This week we get to see what sites are available to us trainees and then we have a week to write an essay noting our 3 most favored and 3 least favored sites and the reasons for each of them. My stay with Rob was completely amazing and massively helpful in knowing what I want out of my site placement.
Will try to find time to write more. Anyone want to donate a laptop?