My third year was so successful and fulfilling that I couldn't peel myself away from Guyana just yet, so now I've become a Response Volunteer. A Response Volunteer is a PCV who goes to a country for a limited amount of time (typically 6-9 months) and for a very specific and detailed job. As was described to me recently, the PCRV acts almost as a consultant in this position because their ability to truly integrate into the culture within such short time limits is harder. Similarly, because of the short amount of time in country, their work takes precedence and therefore leaves the volunteer with more responsibility to shoulder than a two-year PCV. For me, however, my time between being a regular ol' PCV and a newly "sworn-in" Response Volunteer was only the matter of a few weeks and since I'll be doing the job in the same country I've been living in for the past almost 4 years, I've got a serious leg up on all the others.
Although I cannot technically talk about the specifics of my job as yet, I can tell you, followers, that my job will entail more HIV/AIDS focus specifically in the schools in terms of executing programs, curricular improvements and additions, training and educational sessions as well as evaluations. I've been looking forward to moving into this next phase of Peace Corps for a while, so my anticipation is high. I'm excited to see what we can accomplish with this task in front of us with the materials and time given to us. What a challenge!
In the meantime, my two good friends from my Peace Corps group have come back to teach at a prominent school in town so spending time with them has been the icing on my already sweet cake. Liza and Mica are truly rewards for staying so long in Guyana.
Recently, Liza came back to marry her Guyanese fiance, Marlon. Their wedding was one of truly unique aspects full of traditional Guyanese moments, mixtures of laughter and tears, family and friends and best of all, Chinese Karaoke.
And as some of you have been guessing, yes, I'm still with Barry. He proposed to me in May and while we have not set the date as of today for our wedding, we are going strong and very eagerly looking forward to our wedding and enjoying our lives together.
So, friends, continue to look forward to updates and the fun goings-on of my life as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer and, as Barry's family and friends say, an American-Guyanese.