Friday, 10 May 2013

Chenapou

After months of tentatively answering questions like "when are you going" and "are you definitely going to Guyana" with grunts of "um not sure really", it is a relief to finally say my project has indeed been confirmed and that my estimated departure date is the 17th August.

Chenapou will be my destination, a remote village of about 500 inhabitants on the banks of the Potaro, 3 hours journey by speedboat upriver from the famous Kaieteur falls. Here there is a primary school of 170 pupils, where Project Trust volunteers have been teaching for four years, as very few qualified Guyanese teachers are prepared to work in such a remote area.

There is very little information to be found on Chenapou, although a google search returns a page from the government website about Kaieteur National Park. In summary, the local people are from the Patamona Tribe and have their own dialect, although English is also spoken. Their way of life is still very much dependant on the forest and the river, with a considerable amount of their diet consisting of different forms of the root vegetable Cassava. They make Cassava into a powder called Farine, they make bread from it, they even make drinks out of it.

My accommodation will be a semi-detached house on stilts, presumably shared with my partner, which is even fancy enough to have a flushing toilet and solar panels to provide electricity.

Not that it reveals anything at all, you can view the location of Chenapou or Chenapowu as it seems to be alternatively spelt, on google maps here. The satellite image reveals it to be in the middle of a mysterious pixelated cloud. I find this makes it all the more exciting!

For now it is a case of getting vaccines, disclosures, references, letters... filling in all the paperwork and waiting for training in July when I'll find out the full details about my project and find out who I'm going with.

Below are some photos taken by a current volunteer in Chenapou who has a blog here.



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