My name is Harry Carstairs. I am from Perth (Scotland), have just finished school at the High School of Dundee, and have opted to take a 'gap year' before I go on to study physics at Edinburgh University.

The main reasons for doing this are to explore, to learn things about the world outside of the normal curriculum, to live independently in a different community and to challenge myself with work that will give something back to that community.

I found that Project Trust- a registered educational charity based on the Isle of Coll- had a similar vision to me when it came to productive gap years. It provides projects in a number of countries in South America, Africa and Asia, specifically for a small number of school leavers, who are selected after a course on Coll and then trained before their departure.

On my selection course Project Trust and I agreed on Guyana as the country for me, with its remote, rainforest villages and teaching projects. Since then I was informed I would be going to teach in a primary school at Chenapou, a place invisible on most maps. I am working here because so few trained Guyanese teachers are prepared to live in such a remote place.

I am spending an entire year in Guyana, starting in August 2013. I will be with a partner at the same project as me, and a group of other volunteers dotted around the country.

This blog is to inform my sponsors and anybody else who is interested, of how my project is going and what else I am getting up to during my year away. Whilst I am in Guyana, however, communications are very limited and updates will need to be sent by post, so will be less frequent.

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