Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our first Eco Hostél Visitors

We finally had our first set of official visitors and it was glorious. Last week Nate’s parents, Karen and Charlie, made the trek from Florida to not only Guyana, but to Region 1 to see us for eight days. They arrived on a Friday morning and spent the whole week going on multiple hikes, joining us at work, seeing how we live, cooking and even doing wash by hand.

At Hosororo Falls

River Community "Imbotero"

Monkeys on our river boat trip

Nate and I woke up especially early on Friday and walked to the air strip to see them get off the plane. Due to sheer excitement we arrived at the airstrip 45minutes early and waited anxiously for the sound of the plane. Once it landed, it was a pretty surreal experience seeing our family getting off the tiny 12-seater prop plane. They kept telling us they couldn’t believe how far we lived, considering it took them two days, one car, two planes and one mini bus into the jungle of Guyana to see us and stay at our “eco hostel.” Once they arrived we spent the rest of the day talking, opening all sorts of goodies they brought us and giving them a quick tour around our community. The following days we went on hike to a small waterfall were we had lunch, took them on a 6 hr boat ride on the river where we saw some pretty impoverished areas, monkeys, scarlet ibis, and snakes and then swam in the river, went to an Amerindian home and parched coffee, which means we took raw coffee beans and roasted and grinded them, (let me tell you that that was the best coffee I have ever had, hands down), we went to the market on multiple occasions to see how we get our food, went to a Christmas concert at the secondary school, which was an experience in itself, had a Birthday bbq for me on our car-rimmed grill and went out to another community Whitewater where we visited an even more remote volunteer while getting their first real taste of Boom Boom mini buses.

Aunti Lizzy parching coffee

Nate grinding some coffee

WhiteWater Village with PCV Emily

A Jingle Bell item at the Christmas Concert


We also brought them to work with us to give them a little taste of what we do on a daily basis and introduced them to more people they will ever be able to remember. Each night we cooked big meals, which usually were Guyanese in nature and spent hours talking about…well pretty much everything. On their last day here, they treated us to some fried chicken and appetizers we bought at a little shop and Coke Zero which we happened to find and consume immediately. (They were also excited to drink something that wasn’t water) The week flew by of course, but we enjoyed every second of having family with us and having the opportunity to share all the things we talk and don’t talk about in our blog. There is even some talk about them coming back to do some outreach medical work next year. Saturday morning they flew back to Georgetown and spent the day with our host “mom” Debee. They got to see where and who we lived with for 2 months while we were training and got to eat some of her awesome chicken curry.

Saturday for us was a rest day as we had two upcoming days of celebrations. Sunday we attended an engagement party for some Guyanese friends. Though I think they missed the boat on what an engagement party is supposed to be. They understood it to be where you propose. A few hours into the party they stopped and had a small ceremony were the groom passed around the engagement ring for everyone to take pictures and then asked for her hand in marriage, which apparently is really uncommon here. Most people live with a partner for years and eventually, if ever, get married and have a ceremony. So engagements are not done here. The groom had lived in the states, Brooklyn, and had heard of an engagement party, so they wanted to have one. It was interesting to see how they interpreted an American tradition. Even with the “lost in translation” moment, the party was a blast. We stayed out till midnight, which ABSOLUTELY never happens here. The following day was my birthday and the volunteer I spoke of before that lives even more remote, Emily, came out to celebrate with some dinner and drinks. Nate for my birthday bbq the week before had baked me the most incredible carrot cake. He had all the ingredients flown from town (real butter and cream cheese) and made it to share with some fellow volunteers and his parents. It was incredible and an awesome birthday gift (which was a mostly a surprise).

Even more incredible is that there was some left over cream cheese icing and on my real birthday my lovely husband baked me cinnamon rolls from scratch and put the remainder of the cream cheese icing as my second birthday cake. It was melt-your-face fantastic. He also cooked some quesadillas (since I really miss Mexican food). After dinner and dessert Nate, Emily, another volunteer Dutch and I went down to the corner rum shop and had some beers. Again we had so much fun that we didn’t get to bed till 1am. Two big days and that’s just the beginning. We will be leaving Mabaruma for two weeks to spend Christmas with our host “mom” Debee and then off to Barbados for our 3 year wedding anniversary and New Year’s where we will be meeting Nate’s brother and four of our closest friends. And if things couldn’t get any better, my parents fly into Guyana the same day we get back from Barbados to spend one week with us.

Ravi and Ravenna's engagement party

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Till next time.

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