We have finally moved into our house and are beginning to explore the neighborhood surrounding us; this morning I’m at an internet cafe right down the street. Yesterday we had business to take care of: headed to the bank (which is air conditioned and glorious) and to pay a few bills. We walked both there and back, and after only two hours we were exhausted. The sun is seriously intense here, and the head in general is just depleting. We watched a movie last night and went to bed at 9.
Its safe to say I (and all of my community-mates) are still in the adjusting phase of all of this. We were so excited to arrive and to begin, but not prepared for what we would see. Now we are just trying to get comfortable, to orient ourselves and to feel settled all while trying to process what we are seeing and experiencing. I’m shocked at how difficult processing this all has been for all of us; it seems like we could not have prepared ourselves any differently for the sights around here, it was unimaginable before we saw it.
It’s also still hard to wrap my head around being here for an entire year! It smells bad and I’m sweaty all the time–and will be for a year! Already in my head I have come up with “what Guyana needs” to get rid of all the trash on the streets, the rancid smell, the dirty water. But throughout the year I’ll experience what Guyana already has, and continue to learn why they don’t have whatever it is that would or could make the water clean, the streets less dirtied and the air a little fresher. Although its challenging now, I’m excited to see how I learn to understand the country as the year progresses.
On a lighter note, yesterday we made our first meal together in our house. We got rice, corn and black beans to make “tacos”, along with some hard taco shells and hot sauce (which we were all stoked about). We made the rice and beans, neither of which were “instant” and sat down to finally indulge.
First, the taco shells were stale as heck and tasted like laundry detergent. Next, the hot sauce was more than hot, it was painful. As hot sauce veterans, we were confident that the amount we each used was sufficient. Before I had eaten three bites, my face was on fire and there were tears rolling uncontrollably down my face, and my mouth was burning painfully. The three of us who used the hot sauce were in so much pain trying to suffer through this firey taco bowl; we were all sniffling, crying a little bit, yelling. It was the most spicy thing I have ever tasted! It was so painful, none of us at dinner later in fear that it could maybe be the tiniest bit spicy. Now we know that the hot sauce here is not Franks Red Hot and to beware.