A Stranger in a Strange Land

We are constantly being implored not to forget that we are “strangers in a strange land”, and most of the time it’s like, how could we possibly forget?? Haha, so here are some fun, funny, and just downright funky things I’ve seen/heard/learned in Guyana—

  • “Just now” is a term used all the time here. It literally can mean 5 minutes, three hours, two weeks, a year from now; and in some cases, never.
  • Apparently, I have dolly hair and eyes that are cyat (cat) colored. Who knew?
  • People really can live in harmony with nature in their very own homes. In my first host family’s house, it was a virtual menagerie: the bat in the rafters, the lizard in the shower (who I always felt was looking at me somewhat judgingly, to be honest), crickets, frogs, the occasional cockroach, and my worst enemy: the army of eleven billion mosquitoes that choose to bite no one else in the family but me.
  • Anyone from my generation will recall the classic movie “The Princess Bride” and the R.O.U.S.’s. Well, people eat those here. And by people, I mean me J
  • Guyanese people are, in general, incredibly resourceful. Things that we would hire a handy man, plumber, or mechanic for they fix themselves. This also translates into utilizing EVERY part of animals. Chicken feet? Yum. Cow Face? Delectable. Chicken neck? Mmmhmm. Big white grub worms? Why not?
  • Find a bike without handlebars? Have a spare car steering wheel lying around? Combine the two and you have a fully functioning, and not to mention, awesome bike to ride around Linden. I actually saw this wondrous spectacle my third day at site and I think my host family was borderline concerned at the joy I got out of it. I obviously immediately enquired into how I would go about getting a steering wheel installed on my bike instead of lame ole, run-of-the-mill handlebars.
  • I am still trying to figure out how Guyanese people like their music and TV turned up to a trillion decibels, yet can mumble/whisper something from across the house and understand each other. It just doesn’t add up.
  • Just google or youtube “Guyanese wining”. Enough said.
  • In all seriousness, these are some of the more comical observations I’ve made over the past couple of months, and truth be told, I love this country!! It is so unique and diverse, and just downright hospitable. The people are open, welcoming, and boisterous and that’s just a recipe for a good time. Can’t wait to continue to learn more about my new home over the next 24 months.

Miss you all and hope everyone is doing well! I know I have been bad about updating the blog, and I promise to try and do better, but remember this is a two-way street—I want to stay on top of what is going on in your lives too, so email, skype, facebook, snail mail, or smoke signal any and all updates. Love y’all!

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4 thoughts on “A Stranger in a Strange Land

  1. Great update Jade – always look forward to your blogs. Stranger in a Strange Land is one of my all-time favorite books. Heinlein was a truly gifted author. Interesting that his wife kinda, sorta gave him the idea for the book. I recall some of the Catholic and Mormon ritual undertones in the book. Unlike Valentine, please don’t join a Fosterite or similar church – they had entirely too much fun :>) When I was in Central and South America, I too was plagued with the bazillion mosquitos who craved my blood – once I thought I would need a transfusion :>(. Recently they started swarming and attacking us here. Remembered the Navy corpsman telling me to take B vitamins. I bought a bottle of B50’s. Not only have the skeeters quit biting, but the chiggers have seemed to have vanished as well, Like you I found the SA cuisine (?) interesting and, for the most part, muy delicioso. I just learned not to ask what I was eating :>) . Please email us your new snail mail address. Vaya con Dios Jade. George

  2. Wow! What an awesome adventure! I am so glad Sunny and Sharon turned me on to your blog. I will be looking forward to following to journey. Have fun and stay safe. Kristie

  3. My favorite places are the wild 3rd world countries, and Guyana is more off the beaten path than anywhere I’ve been. I love how you can just walk down the street in those places and be amazed at stuff with childlike wonder, sort of like the bike with a steering wheel.

    • Haha yeah, Guyana is definitely one of those places that is completely unique! Every day I see or hear something new that confuses or delights me, sometimes both (as in the case of that amazing bike). It’s pretty great, you and LadyBell should definitely come visit 🙂

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