Giving Back to Get: Reflections from a WorldTeach Guyana Volunteer
Posted by WorldTeach in Guyana 10 Jun 2014
“Guyanese people have taught me to genuinely care for a wide range of people, from stranger to close friend, from student to family. Everyone takes care of everyone in Guyana. Self preservation isn’t a term that can be used to describe someone who lives in Bartica, or Guyana as a whole.”
For many, teaching and living abroad starts a process of personal growth where one discovers more about themselves and the world around them. They gain a greater understanding of different cultures, as well as a sense of social responsibility derived from living in such close knit communities for the duration of their stay. Previously, we mentioned Mariah’s experience in Guyana and her quest to create a library for the children of her dorm. Read more for an update on her progress, both on the library and on her personal growth while in her new community.
I have gained experiences that will stay with me forever, and some that have changed me. All of which are unique and interesting. BUT (I have mentioned before) I have gained some knowledge or experiences that I will never need to use again. Another has just occurred.I was the official timekeeper for the spelling bee held at our school for the schools in our region. Is that something I can put on my resume? No. But no one can take it away from me! I am very proud to be the time keeper (counting to 3 and 30) to ensure fairness cloaked the competition! I have also learned to solve the Rubik’s cube. Again, I can not put that on my resume (even though I think it is quite a feat and it would set me apart from other applicants).
Hallie and I have finished watching the series of Grey’s Anatomy, sans the latest half season because they hadn’t aired yet when we bought the series. This brings our series watched to Friends, Gilmore Girls, West Wing, Grey’s Anatomy, and Modern Family. Now we are waiting for our next trip to Georgetown to get either more movies or more shows to keep us entertained until we come home (51 days).
It’s getting to the point where everyone is asking me if I am ready to come/go home. Here is the most basic answer I can come up with. I am not ready to leave the culture and the weather and most students. I am very much ready to home to eat. I am surprised about how much I am not homesick. I thought that I would have at least once gotten upset or panicky to come home but it never happened. This is do to one simple fact: I can talk to my family and friends. I cannot talk to food. I wish I could have something classy to say about my return home but all I can say is that I have looked up my food options in the Miami and Charleston airports because I want to be prepared for my first American food experience. Not classy in the least; desperate in the most.
Next week is a three day week because Monday is Independence Day and Friday we have our big field trip to Georgetown with grade 7s. Yay! The library has 263 books now with 2 (I think) last boxes on their way!! The kids are loving it! I am hoping to get some pictures of them with the books. Hallie and I convinced one boy to read Harry Potter despite the overwhelming thought that the movie is better than the book (this applies to all movies not just the best series in existence, HP)! The girls are loving LOVING the Danielle Steele, Nora Roberts and other romance novels. Three girls quite literally screamed when they saw we had the Twilight series! To say our library is a success…I emphasize the amount of an understatement it is!!
– Mariah Parker, Guyana ’13-’14
To learn more about our WorldTeach Guyana program, join us for a webinar on Tuesday, June 17th at 7pm EDT. We will speak with two current volunteers and the Field Director to learn about teaching and living in Guyana. Register for the webinar here.