The heat… it’s starting to beat me!


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South America » Guyana
September 5th 2013
Published: September 6th 2013
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The day is much cooler again, I would say it’s about 26 degrees with a cool breeze. Eventually the day does heat up to about 32 but of course in the office it feels like 50!



I had a troubled sleep waking up a 9.30pm in a panic and then again at 2:30pm which keeps me awake until 3.30pm. I need to the bathroom each time I wake up and when I walk outside, I get distracted by the stars and I wish I could figure out how to take photos of how beautiful the sky looks.



In the morning after breakfast, Junita, the 18 year old assistant cook comes to my benab to tell me that Freddie the Caiman is at the river edge. She knows that I have been looking forward to seeing him so I rush down to the river and there he is. His little eyes poking above the surface. I can feel him watching me and I move closer in. He then moves closer in and I get a clearer picture of how big he actually is! He’s about 5ft long, maybe a little more. He’s not as big as our saltwater crocodiles but he still has a mean grin. He’s waiting to be fed by the staff and Junita comes down with a little bag with some meat in it and throws it into the river. Freddie quickly moves away from me and starts swimming towards the bag and then I can hear the loud clap of his jaw as he munches away at the bag. He lets go of the bag and lets it slowly float away and goes back to watching me. I inch my way back up the bank and see him slowly and majestically turn around to chase the bag once again. It looks almost like a game for him, catching and releasing the bag just to catch it again. And then he’s off, floating downstream. He will be back later tonight after a day of travelling down and up the rivers.



Today I am working on the attendance register. At the moment, there is a page for each person working in the month and they have to physically write in the day of the week (ie Mon, Tues weds) and then tick the day they worked and any special notes. This is all collated and paid at the end of the month unless someone urgently wants or needs their wage. My job is to fit everything onto one or two pages but I go one extra step and make it linked to their wage per day or per month so it’s all automatically calculated for the accounts person. It will need some double checking each month, but it will save much time and paper resources.



I’m curious on their salaries and I realise that the average wage is only between $7 - $15 per day and they only work 2 weeks of the month therefore around $105 - $210 a month. It makes me grateful for what I have. They take so much pride in their work and in their community.



Finally rain came at 2pm, but only a little burst and then again at 3pm for a little longer. It’s a welcome relief. At 4pm, everyone heads off to a community meeting to discuss activities for the school so it’s just me in the office, Junita in the kitchen benab and Nelson maintaining the grass. Audrey comes back from the village to collect me for dinner at 5pm and this time it’s just me. All alone. I can’t wait till the 11th when people start coming back and new tourist come through! As much as I enjoy it here and the people are so lovely, I can’t help but feel quite lonely.



One of the village health workers, Nita and her sister Pearl (also her assistant) come at about 7pm to learn how to use the internet and look at their email accounts. Previous volunteers have come and created new accounts for them but maybe didn’t quite get enough training on how to actually navigate, send emails reply etc. We spend about 1.5 hours going through gmail but the internet keeps going in and out and testing my patience. But we get through it in the end. Nita will come back tomorrow and we will go through it again, practice makes perfect. She also want to learn typing skills, so I have to figure out a way to help her with typing.



And then it’s time for bed – an exhausting day!



FYI – while I sit here on the patio of my benab, there are a lot of bugs attacking my screen tonight. Bugger off. You are annoying me.

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