Saturday, 31 August 2013

Goodbye Georgetown

Sidestepping a puddle that covers half the street, you are suddenly reminded that earlier in the day it was raining so hard, that you were soaked to the skin just crossing the road to get into a taxi. You wouldn't know otherwise, from the clear blue sky, the burning sun overhead. Sidestepping the puddle is easier said than done- the lack of any pavement pushes you into the path of minibuses that fly around the road, overtaking the rusted trucks, the horse drawn carts, the mopeds and the cyclists balancing huge tanks of water on their bike frames. 

Looking up past the iconic clock tower of Starbroek market, you notice the funnel of a ship, which reminds you that you are just metres away from the Atlantic Ocean. Another thing it is easy to forget. Georgetown does not thin out towards the sea, it doesn't even register its existence until it abruptly meets the narrow stone  wall that separates road from water, and just stops there. You could wander around the town for hours and not catch the slightest glimpse of the coast.

Ben and I walked back to the flat yesterday: past Giftland for soap; past the hardware store to pick up long boots; through the bustling, noisy market; coming out by the famous cathedral (highest wooden building in the world); then on to the post office and Umana Yana, the huge Amerindian hut; and finally to the sea wall which we walked almost the entire length of on our way to Cambellville, our district of Georgetown. The sun beat down on us the whole way, and we felt we deserved a cold coke from OMG (the cafe next to the flat) and a lie down in a hammock after that. 

We had been working at "School of the Nations", across the other side of town, helping to set up the library by filling up the shelves with box-fulls of books that had been donated from Canada. We were slightly jealous of the fact that they had more books than they could ever fit in their library, whilst we will be lucky to have just a handful of books in Chenapou, where we hope to be tomorrow.

Georgetown has been a fascinating experience, but as much as I have loved the places and people I've met here, I can't wait to get on that little plane tomorrow and fly over the rainforest, end up somewhere more remote than I've ever been before. I can guarantee there will not be an internet cafe like this one in Chenapou, so this is probably the last blog post for a while! I'll leave you with a couple of pictures. Remember you can see more photos if you click on the photo gallery link at the side of this page.
Breadfruit; fried on the left, boiled in the middle + sauces on the right

Umana Yana
The Seawall

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