Thursday, March 24, 2011

Photo updates from our site in Mabaruma

Hi all! We're back from Region 1 and it was awesome! We'll be living in an Amerindian village named Mabaruma. We flew there on a small 13 seater prop plane, rather than take a 24+ hour boat ride. The purpose of our visit, which was from last Sunday until today, was to check into our site and start getting acquainted with the area. We were able to see our house, which is actually bigger and newer than our condo in Gainesville. I'll post some pictures of that once it's finished and we get settled. (Mabaruma view on the left)

The plane to Mabaruma.

The airstrip in Mabaruma.

Right off the plane we met up with another PCV who showed us around. The day we arrived was a huge holiday called Phagwah, which involves spraying water on each other and then throwing stain powders to celebrate the beginning of the spring season.

The culprits that powder-spanked us.

Post Phagwah... and yes it stains the clothes permanently.


Our first day we took a hike down the hill to a waterfall where we saw monkeys. Mabaruma is awesome and we feel so lucky that we got placed there. Ilana's job is at the hospital and will involve maternal & child health, while my job as a teacher trainer is at the Department of Education, which allows me to travel up and down the rivers to the different schools.

On the way to the waterfall.

The waterfall we walked to from our house.

One great thing about our site is the number of other development workers and VSOs (volunteer service organizations) that are placed there. We met a Canadian family: Judd and Karen Wickwire and their sons Jake and Zach who are just all kinds of awesome. Judd is a pilot who works to med-evac people from the region while Karen home-schools the boys. They own a boat and invited us down the river with them. They also provide internet in our village for a small fee. Thanks Canada.

Mabaruma has a population of roughly 800. It's situated on the ridge of large hill surrounded by rainforest as far as you can see. There is one avenue that runs down the spine of the hill and it's straddled by huge rubber trees.
"De Road"... the only road, straddled by rubber trees.

The view down the northwest side of the ridge.
Ilana next to one of the rubber trees.

Straight... up... jungle.

Right now we're back in West Demerara for another 3 weeks to finish our training and get sworn in on April 13th. We're happy, healthy, and safe and really excited that we have such an awesome community to look forward to in Mabaruma.

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