Sunday, May 22, 2011

Spare time + change =

Since joining the Peace Corps and moving to Guyana, it would be fair, and in no way negative, to say that we now have some extra time on our hands. We’re doing our best to stay busy (i.e. gardening, reading, hammocking) and I’m definitely not complaining since having extra time seems to be one of the perks to our new life. So, below are the results of extra time + change.

Figure 1 - Lifestyle Changes
As you can see from figure 1, Ilana and I have experienced differing levels of enjoyment for some of these new changes.

Figure 2 - Water vs Stress
When we first moved to Mabaruma the learning curve was steep. Thankfully now things are leveling off as we get better settled in and finding a routine. We’ve begun to notice patterns in our attitudes. Figure 2 represents the inversely proportional relationship between the level of water in our tanks and our general level of stress.

Figure 3 - Cow Sounds
Another trend we’ve noticed is how our affinity for cows has changed. At first it was hilarious to hear a young calf and his mother taking turns trying to locate each other outside our window. However hearing that sound at 5:30am for 4 weeks in a row just makes me miss steak that much more.

Figure 4 - Our Guyanese food pyramid
Speaking of steak, some of the greatest changes so far have been in our diet. Perhaps one of the biggest surprises we’ve encountered so far (aside from Ilana’s appendix trying to explode) has been how much we miss food and drinks from home. Looking at pictures of ourselves from when we were State-side, it’s easy to believe we liked our food.

Figure 5 - Fantasies
Consequently we have some new fantasies.

Figure 6 - Reasons Nate Sweats
When I’m not dreaming about food, I’m probably sweating…. Though the two activities don’t seem to be mutually exclusive. Ilana’s dad, Jose, often says “you gotta sweat the body”. He’d be proud of me. Notice there is not a graph to represent Ilana’s perspiration pattern. I’m still trying to figure out her secret.

On a completely unrelated note… A few days ago I was riding in a truck and saw the largest bird I’ve ever seen sitting on the top of a really tall tree. Since we were driving away all I could see was it had the shape of a large eagle and was slate gray across the front of its breast. Hearing stories from SPICE fellows about the elusive Harpey Eagle, the largest bird of prey in the Western hemisphere, and knowing this area is included in their distribution, I have been trying to catch a glimpse of one since we’ve been here. I heard the screeching of some kind of eagle the other morning and when I looked outside to see what kind of raptor I saw a huge slate gray bird perched up in the top of a rubber tree. To the complete surprise and confusion of our neighbor, I ran outside to take these pics.... can anyone tell me if it's a juvenile Harpey. I know it's probably not, but maybe!


  1. Love the graphs! My biggest cravings were whole foods top of the morning muffins (provided by Trevor upon airport pickup) and the top bean patty/cakes (provided shortly thereafter). Seems no matter where you go, hippy food is an American one-of-a-kind.

  2. This may be the best blog entry in the history of online journaling. Have a special affinity for figure 4; specifically the statistic on "anything that can be fried." On a lazy night when most of the more perishable food items have been used and I'm face to face with a bag full of potatoes, one thought alone is staring right back at me. "Put that bitch in the kahari!"

  3. Hey guys,
    I sent Nate an email, not sure if this may be checked first. It is important :)
    Jessica Mead

  4. One of the best blog posts yet. Those graphs are genius. Especially the cow curve. Genius.