Site Assignment Day is probably one of the most important days for sweet little Peace Corps Trainees such as myself. The problem lies in the fact that Peace Corps staff loves to just TORTURE us when it comes to revealing information. The game we played to reveal our sites ended up being really fun, but suffice it to say we were all more than ready to find out where we would be living the next two years of our lives, what our job assignment would be and who our six-month host family would be. Most of you know I originally wanted to be placed in a more remote site, and would have been perfectly ok living without certain amenities. Of course, having known this from the very beginning, Peace Corps decided to do the polar opposite with me. They love to keep you on your toes!! So without further ado (as I know you are all just perched on the edge of your seats waiting to find out where I’m headed)…
My home for the next two years is none other than LINDEN, Region 10. Linden is the second biggest city in Guyana. Keep in mind, that the term “city” is used pretty pretty loosely here; Linden has cows, roosters, and other livestock roaming the streets just like the rest of Guyana. Knowing I would be living in a bigger town than I had hoped for took some getting used to at first (I may or may not have had an inkling of where my site would be a few days before we officially found out, sources will remain nameless), and letting go of that stereotypical Peace Corps-living-in-a-mud-hut-using-a-latrine-and-lacking-communication-with-the-outside-world thing was difficult. BUT, as with everything else that has gone along with this process, one just makes a decision to go with the flow and trust that staff knows what they are doing and has your best interests at heart.
I will write more about Linden and its history later, but I know most people want to know what I will actually be DOING with my time here. My primary job assignment will be working with a designated primary school to improve literacy. This (hopefully) will include holding teacher workshops, doing remedial literacy pull-out lessons, and helping to improve and actually utilize school resources (computer lab, new literacy room, etc). There are plenty of opportunities in and around my school/town for secondary projects, but we aren’t even supposed to start thinking about that until our first three months have passed. Those of you that know me can probably guess that my gears are already crankin’ on this though…
Now for my host family and living situation update: I will be living with a young (in their 30s) couple in a traditional live-in situation. What this means is that I live in a room in their actual house. There are a lot of different living configurations for our group, since in some cases the traditional live-in wasn’t an option for their particular community. The idea behind the six-month homestay is that it will help us become better integrated into our communities, and that ultimately we will be able to be more effective volunteers. I am super excited to get to meet the people that have agreed to take a Peace Corps volunteer into their house for six months, and am sure that I will become just as attached to them as I am to my current family!
I will be posting lots of updates today that have been written over the past couple of weeks, and would like to apologize now for sucking at updating the blog I vow to do better now that I have moved to site and am more or less “settled”.
***Some shoutouts to people that have sent me letters and even packages: Mom, Whitney (I have gotten a letter or package from this awesome lady every week since I arrived), Wencks, Maddie and Harper, Katie, George and Jan Aldrich, and Adam. Keep the letters coming people, and if you choose to send packages please try to fit whatever you want to send in a small or large padded envelope as opposed to a box. They are typically cheaper for y’all and I have to pay less incoming customs fees. But do know that even letters/cards/pictures brighten my days a TON and they’re free for me to receive!
To respect my host family’s privacy, I don’t want to post their address here, but if you want it email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.