As you may or may not know, I now have a laptop. Yes, a brand spanking new Acer laptop compliments of borrowing money from the parentals back at home. It was a great trade off - new laptop for ten years of indentured servitude in the Willamette national forest in Oregon doing house detail. I can now sit at home and write emails, blogs, play solitaire, organize my music, write grant proposals, and much much more.
I schlep this handy machine to schools and put on power point demonstrations about computer IT basics, how students can write and make their own talking books, and how to use computers to help combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in this country. A lot of times I am teaching teachers and students how to use a computer for the first time in their lives; It is quite an experience that has revealed a lot to me. For one I realize that for Guyana, the time to connect to the rest of the world is NOW. As IT and communication technology grow more and more complex it is getting harder and harder for people who have never used these devices to easily learn how to use them. Take a pc laptop, for example. Try to think about what it must be like to use a mouse for the first time in your life? I, for one, cannot because for the majority of my life I have used a mouse almost every day. I am very excited about seeing what kinds of things teachers and students produce using the laptops we have given them. What I find most interesting is that the students pick up computer basics so much faster than the teachers.
Despite hotter temps of August, Bartica has been wonderful. This weekend will be our annual Pork Knocker Day. Guyanese miners are called Pork Knockers and Bartica is a mining town that is most recognized by its pioneer atmosphere and abundance of high rolling miners (sin, smut, and jealousy included and in full effect). So, every year the geology and mining commission of Guyana puts on a day of celebration for the Pork Knocker life style. I would now have you make your own assumptions on what activities that day may entail. One hint... we also have brothels in our town.
Outside of all the festivities we have in Bartica, I have been enjoying time on my own. I read, write, meditate, and cook regularly. I swim often in the river (whenever the tide isn't bringing in trash, gasoline, or mercury) and hike in the jungle with our British VSO friends. It is a certifiably crazy, yet fantastic place to live. I have never been anywhere like this before and I'm sure I will never experience its equal.