|The Regional Education office, where my office is located.|
|This is what the Internet actually looks like.|
At 8am I walk to work, which only takes 2 minutes since we live on the administrative compound. I like that much better than the 45 min drive through traffic back home. The last traffic jam I saw was when the Prime Minister’s motorcade stopped in front of the secondary school and a few minibuses waiting behind him.
|Here I am in my office.|
At this point in my service, my job is basically to be gathering information about my community, try to identify and prioritize the needs, and then try to come up with a plan to help people meet those needs. Most days I spend a good deal of time observing or researching things like teaching strategies or grants. I have also done a bunch of workshops with teachers on subjects like lesson planning, differentiated instruction, Marzano’s high yield strategies, components of literacy, how to teach reading when you’re not a reading teacher (thanks SBAC Mentor Coach peeps!), and student engagement. I’ve also been giving tutoring sessions a few nights each week. Monday night is math for secondary students, Tuesday is English for adults trying to pass their CXC test to get a better job, and Wednesday is science/engineering activity day where I have kids compete in groups on some challenge like “who can build the highest tower out of 7 pieces of paper and 1 piece of tape.” It’s going well so far but I’m worried I might get spread too thin.
So I work from 8am to 4:30pm with an hour lunch break between 12-1pm. Since Ilana and I both work so close to home we’re able to meet up every day for lunch, which has become a favourite little tradition of ours. Lunch is usually a sandwich, chips and fruit, even though Guyanese don’t consider a cold sandwich a meal. I guess it all balances out when we see them in their business suits eating chicken and rice with their hands.
At work the culture is very different. Here it’s much more formal, for example everyone is referred to by either Mr or Mrs and their surname. Depending on the time of day, everyone is greeted with the appropriate salutation, which here include “Morning, morning” or “G’afternoon”. Only after the Sun goes down will people greet each other with “Good night.” That took some getting used to… it’s common for people to answer the phone “Hello, good night.” They are also meticulous about qualities we Americans don’t emphasize as much like handwriting, spelling, drawing lines perfectly straight (like when they hand draw weekly schedules or budget forms)… all things I’m trying to improve on.
|Ilana doing wash.|
|Taking a swim after our one hour hike to the Kissing Rocks.|
After dinner we’ll usually chill in our hammocks or under our mosquito net and just talk or read or watch a DVD we bought for a $1. Right now we’re ploughing through the entire series of Lost, which is the best show we never watched back home. We were watching Dexter but haven’ been able to find the second season (cough, cough….Alex… elbow nudge, elbow nudge).
|Me sitting on top of the Kissing Rocks.|
|The view from the top.|