Saturday, 21 December 2013

Making an Entrance

The following is an extract from my diary from the 1st of September. I thought it shows quite well what a mad but memorable day we had making the journey into the interior for the first time.

I got barely any sleep the night before we flew to Chenapou. Seemed to spend half the night chasing a cockroach around the inside of my mozzie net. Then got up early, final bit of packing, tidying up the flat, no sign of a vehicle from MOE (Minisitry of Education) so Rishon takes us to Ogle Airport.

After a few phone calls we manage to get some baggage paid for, but still need to cough up 25 grand for overweight. Then there's the fun of getting through Immigration. Our 2 week stay on the tourist visa has expired, and we have no official permission to be in the country. Thankfully our letters of appointment from MOE save us.

The plane was even smaller than expected. 4 seater with all our stuff squashed in behind. Very noisy but worth it for the views of Georgetown's suburbs disappearing, giving way to endless green, the mighty brown Essequibo. Mahdia (central town of region 8) sat at the foot of the hills, the point where the flat lands rise all of a sudden to form a barrier, a step up to an unknown land.

"When oh when will our plane come?"
In Mahdia we waited. And waited. We played cards, chatted to some Chenapou villagers, but mostly we just waited. It was fascinating watching the planes come, unload, load, take off again all in the blink of an eye.

By 4pm roughly, our bags were next in line. Our plane had no seats in the back, we had to cimply perch on a ledge, a couple of kids in front of us sitting on boxes.

I was exhausted, but completely amazed by the beauty we were flying over. Hills and valleys in sunshine, cloud, rain, every shade of green. I felt like the luckiest person alive to have been given this glimpse of one of natures wonders.

A crowd of villagers stood at the airstrip, many welcomed us, shook hands. Children started picking up our boxes. All around the rainforest looked spectacular in the evening light. I felt overwhelmed. This was my home now, I had made it at last, after months of anticipation, weeks of waiting, days of travelling. Chenapou.

The night is now a blur. I'm writing this after two days. The two most bizzare, tiring, mind boggling, stressful, fascinating, difficult, crazy days of my life. Everything is different.

All I remember is noises in the night, the terror of what sounded like rats. Turned out to be a moth. A bird sized moth though. Hammocks, nets, dust, candles, roti, sleep. Cold. What, cold!? Sleeping bag. Sleep again.

No comments:

Post a Comment