Digital Guyana

Posts Tagged ‘vso

We sadly had to say goodbye to one our team members on Friday. Pontus, who was only able to participate in the project for two weeks, is now back in London and his job with Futurebuilders.

Before he caught a bit of a kip on Friday night (his taxi pickup to the airport was at 2.30am) we had a few drinks and an unfeasibly large amount of food at a Brazilian restaurant in downtown Georgetown. At said eaterie (we’re not sure if the Brazilian restaurant is its actual name but that’s what everyone calls it) you can either pay 2,500 Guyanese Dollars (about £7.50) for an all you can eat barbeque buffet or pay by the weight. Unsurprisingly, the place is a hit with local volunteers looking to stock up on cheap (and light) veg. The caipirinhas ain’t bad either.

On Saturday, Chris, Matt and me and a dozen or so VSO volunteers travelled to the frontier town of Bartica on the Essequibo River for VSO-er Derek’s 60th birthday party. Derek and his wife Trudie, who also works for the charity in Bartica, had rented out a huge house owned by a logging company on the banks of the river. We shared the building with a nice mix of friendly local volunteers, colourful Barticans and eccentric ex pats, and, all greased by Carib lager and Five Year Eldorado rum, lazed by the pool and the river before dancing into the wee hours.

Swimming pool at large house in Bartica

A memorably fun time was had by all – even if it did feel slightly wrong partying in a former slave house on Emancipation Day with a group of mostly white people. And on the speedboat leg of the journey there and back we passed Eddy Grant’s pallacial residence on his private island – a highlight of the whole trip so far for me!

Teaching as a threesome on Monday felt a little bit strange. But with two of us leading and one of us floating between the two school groups things went really well. Sadly, the local IT technician we’d lined up to help support the last two weeks of workshops now has other work commitments, but if today is anything to go by we should be absolutely fine.

Expect to see this week’s course outlines (Further Blogging and Content and Design Skills) posted in the coming days by Chris and me.

Every Wednesday after finishing our workshops me and the guys have walked back to our flats in Kitty via the National Park to get our weekly sporting fix. Nope, not cricket. Ultimate Frisbee.

For the last while (no one’s sure how long exactly) overseas volunteers from orgs including VSO and Peace Corps have gathered each week to play this high-octane game until the sun goes down over Georgetown’s sea wall. More recently, numbers have been swelled by local kids Ronaldo, Nicholas and Chris, who have picked up the sport with impressive ease.

I’ve always enjoyed chucking a Frisbee in the park with a few mates – who doesn’t? – but was deeply suspicious of a sport that came with the prefix ‘ultimate’ (in fact, the sport is now just called Ultimate after legal action from the Wham-O company who own the trademark for Frisbee). How wrong I was.

After just a few minutes of dodging flailing elbows, getting some serious airtime and chasing the plastic (that’s not Ultimate lingo by the way, I just made that up) I was hooked. The rules are a combination of American Football and netball (you can’t run when you have the frisbee), but it’s far superior to either of those sports. What’s more, like football, all you need is the ball (or in this case, frisbee), a stretch of grass and a few people to play.

As you can see from my video above, our standard of play is hardly world beating. But then we can claim local conditions as a major extenuating factor. Early morning deluges (we’re coming to the end of the rainy season here) mean that as well as keeping your eyes on the spinning disc that’s rapidly homing in on you, you better make sure you don’t wander – or slip on your arse – into one of the numerous muddy pools of water.

As well as the video, you can check out these pictures I’ve posted on Flickr. And while you’re on the site, have a look at our Digital Guyana group (or click on the sidebar on the right) where we’ve been adding all kinds of pics from our trip.