February 27, 2009
It’s morning here in Essequibo. I’m finally with my host family and have had a full night’s sleep (believe it or not). The first thing I wake up to is not my alarm on my watch, but the rooster outside my new house and the dog, Kujo, barking at the rooster to hush. Although the rooster is up an hour earlier than I intended to be up, I am awake. The more I’m awake, the more I listen to the noises outside my window. I lay under my mosquito net and I hear wild birds chirping and cawing in the jungle; I hear the next door neigbor’s bhangra music playing; I hear my host mom and dad outside giggling with each other while one sweeps and the other tends to the plants; I hear the taxis (more like minivans) hustling past the houses; and again Kujo barking at the rooster.
Today is Friday. Yesterday, I met my host family, an incredible Hindu family with the greatest laughs. As I relaxed in their hammock and chatted with them, I instantly bonded with each of them. There are four of them and I feel like it’s part of my own family from back home (the only difference being that I have a sister and a brother instead of two brothers). It is tradition that the host mom makes meals for you and helps you to learn the culture and the skills needed to do your job while in Guyana. So, my first meal was one of the best I’ve had yet: pumpkin curry, roti (a type of flatbread), chicken and a chai-like tea. Also, for training, our host mother packs us a lunch (yes, I feel like I’m going to elementary school only because I carry a backpack and a packed lunch, but we both giggled about it). OH my deliciousness!
As I continue to write this it’s now night. This day has been long. And today is also the first day I’ve felt really homesick. I’ve been overwhelmed and bombarded with information and homework, yes homework. All 33 of us had confused looks on our faces during the training. And that wasn’t even when it was time to leave and we had to figure out which taxi to take (haha). But, coming back to my host-home, my host dad was waiting outside by the almond tree for me. He said jokingly, “I was about to come on my motorcycle for you.” They care for me, take care OF me and make me laugh. So, I guess even though it’s hard to believe I’m here and really doing this Peace Corps journey, I’m here, and every moment that passes is another moment I’m living in true paradise.