It was a strange feeling, watching the houses of Edinburgh shrink beneath me, disappear behind the clouds, knowing that it was the last time I'd see Scotland for a year. Three flights later, many hours later, many plastic cups and trays of plane food later, it was dark, save for the occasional flashes of a distant thunderstorm, and a few pinpricks of light. These pinpricks of light were the only trace of a whole country beneath me. Guyana, almost invisible by night.
Stepping off the plane felt like stepping into a bath. The warmth and humidity, even in the middle of the night, caught us all by surprise. We bundled into stuffy minibuses, winding open the windows and relishing in the breeze as we zoomed through the streets towards Georgetown. New, indescribable smells wafted in that breeze, whilst our eyes were glued to the houses flashing past. Amazing houses, all wooden, on stilts, and every one unique in design, decorated with elaborate patterns and colours.
I’ve been in the flat with thirteen other Project Trust volunteers since Sunday night, battling the cockroaches, the holes in the mosquito nets, the relentless heat and the heavy tropical rain. It’s not really so hard, we are cooked for by Rishon every day, fresh pineapples for breakfast and home-made rotis with dahl for dinner.
Our time here, when we are not shopping for our projects or attending training at the Ministry of Education, has been spent visiting the zoo, meeting the British High Commissioner and relaxing around the flat.
Most volunteers are heading off to the interior on Wednesday of next week, however the limited flights to Chenapou mean that Ben and I cannot leave Georgetown until a week on Sunday. This is slightly scary as the school term is supposed to begin the day after! Even so I’m looking forward greatly to getting out there, leaving the noises of the city for the peace and remoteness of the rainforest.