Wednesday, 31 December 2008

December news 2008

It's 31st December 2008 and we spend Old Year's Night with Nicola, Richard, Nicolette and Martin.

It's 27th December 2009 and we escape to Tobago for a week in the sun and very little rain.

It's 25th December 2008 and we go to the Pegasus Hotel with friends for christmas lunch. Yard is flooded and it's pouring rain for the second year on the run.

It's 24th December 2008 and we are invited to a small party at NCERD with Miss Ali, Mary's Line Manager. Tonight we will go to Midnight Mass at the Ursuline Convent

It's 22nd December 2008 and we go to the Ministry of Education Christmas party at Georgetown Cricket Club

It's 20th December 2008 and due to the lack of any VSO Party and the British High Commissioner didn't invite VSOs to his bash last week, we decided to hold our own here. See separate report for pictures.

It's 19th December 2008 and we finish work for Christmas having met our deadlines for Christamas. We worked right to the last minute and there has been hardly anyone working for the last month. Wind down for Christmas is phenomenal in Guyana

It's 13th December 2008 and we go to Odysssey Roof Top Garden to celebrate 22 months - getting close to the end now

It's 4th December 2008 and we go to the Pegasus Hotel for their Pizza Night

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Christmas 2008

Happy Christmas morning

What can be said about this surreal Christmas in the sun with icicles and snowmen and 35C? This was our 2nd Christmas in Guyana. It started with a lovely Christmas gathering in NCERD where we sang carols and Miss Ali provided lunch for the department.

On Christmas Day it was seriously raining and the yard was flooded which necessitated going to the Pegasus Hotel by taxi in our long boots. Not the ideal entrance to a posh hotel but needs must.

Mary goes to Pegasus in wellies

We had lunch with Jane, Jud, Lucia and her Mexican friend. It was a very quiet affair and over in a couple of hours. But we did get the turkey and ham but no mince pies, Christmas pud or cake. But the company was good.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Ministry of Education Christmas Party

Mr Goolsarran (Director) and Sunita (secretary) join us and Jane and Jud

On 22nd December we were invited to the Ministry of education Christmas Party at Georgetown Cricket Club (Bourda) just five minutes from home. Good food and an open bar were very welcome and we spent an enjoyable few hours.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Happy Christmas to all our friends and family

Let me set the scene. It's 5-30am and there's torrential rain, the cockerel is crowing, the frogs are croaking, it's 27C and the man downstairs is playing "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas" Dream on fella!
It's weird and surreal but it's Christmas and tonight we are off to the Ministry of Education Christmas party at Bourda Cricket Club just 5 minutes walk from home. It's our last Christmas in Guyana and by Christmas Day there'll only be 50 days left here. We're missing you all but will soon be home.

Stephen and Mary

wish all our family, friends and colleagues

a Happy, Holy and Joyous and Peaceful Christmas

Sent with all our love

And wishing you all you want in the New Year

Health and Happiness
for 2009

Making our own Christamas Fun

There were days when others provided the fun but, in the absence of a a VSO Christmas Party and the fact that the British High Commissioner decided to have his party this year without inviting VSOs like last year (probably the Queen cutting back), we decided to make our own Christmas cheer.

We invited all of the VSOs and a few others who were left in Georgetown to join us for a little festive cheer. It turned out to be a great party and set us all up well for the start of Christmas.

Rain Rain Rain

They say that we've had three times the monthly rainfall in half the month and believe me that's a lot of rain. People are a bit edgy about it because in 2005 they had very serious floods around this tinme of year. But we carry on working - well we do, a lot of others don't. So this post will just give you a flavour. Actually there's been much worse than you can see here but didn't have my camear with me otr too wet to take photos.

VSO Jane in her stylish long boots

Our garden

Off to get the gas

National Park

What the heck - more rain

National Park

Rotary Christmas Affair

Trying to get in the mood for Christmas we were invited to the Rotary Club Christmas Affair at Marian Academy. It was a slick performance and we saw the other half of Georgetown - the one you don't see every day - the wealthy or at least that's how it appeared. A beautifully decked stage heralded a host of talent through singers to steel pans and the famous Arturo Tappin - a brilliant Saxophonist with rasta hair going to below his knees. They call him Leon in Brazil. Well he looks like a lion with a tail. Everyone was good and pleasant to listen to but he had exceptional talent. What a performance.

It was all for charity and the artistes gave their skills for free. A good evening!

Miriam and Stephen - redressing the balance of the last post

Ron Robinson - local celebrity and broadcaster

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Mary visits Lethem

The Savannah Inn

Soon after we came back from out visit to England, Mary set off to Lethem in the south west of the country to do the last of her Fast Track Initiative workshops for educators. She went by 12 seater plane and stayed in the Savannah guest house which turned out to be surprisingly comfortable and with a good chef who was able to get meat from Brazil and who was very creative -an unusual trait here.

It's not all work for Mary and Odetta

Although she had only 2 and a half days to deliver she had to go for 8 days because of availability of flights and a national holiday - Eid. The workshop went well and now she can say she has completed that side of her work.

Crossing the Takatu

It had an upside because she was able to go over the newly constructed Takatu Bridge (which is already sinking into the ground but being repaired) into Brazil for a few hours. She noticed the change immediately, street lights and pavements and well stocked shops. She was also able to visit St Ignatius - an Amerindian village whose main industry is peanuts. They have become mechanised because they have a machine that shells one peanut at a time! They have a hand to mouth existence and survive; well, I don't know how but they do!

Peanut Produce in St Ignatius

Manufacturing peanut products

And, for the first time in 30 years, Mary went on the back of a motorbike. She spent a couple of lovely evenings with two VSOs from Australia - Teddy and Vanessa and got a lift home on on their motorbike (courtesy of VSO).

Drive safely Teddy, that's my wife

So Mary is back now and, due to the joys of email, is still able to work with Meg who is in Southport 5,000 mile away beavering away at stories for their third and last educators' manual.

See a slideshow?

Click to see all of the pictures

Mary in Lethem Novemeber 2008

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Celebrating another month

Mary and Miriam

Ever since we arrived in Guyana 22 months ago on 13th February 2007 we have celebrated our achievements by going out for a meal on the 13th of each month to different places. In the early days of course Allende was with us but now she's been gone for over a year. Yesterday was no exception and for the last year or so others have joined us as they arrived 6 months later on 13th.

Mary and Mira

So yesterday we went to the Roof Top Garden Cafe in Kitty. It's a little known secret, even the taxis don't seem to know where it is. On top of a building with a view of the city we had a a lovely meal with Nicolette and Martin, Mira and Miriam (honourary VSO for this purpose from Canada who is 6 months ahead of us and doing 3 years - what a star!).

Nicolette and Martin celebrated their anniversary

We toasted Meg and Bill who are in England at the moment (Meg came with us) at 7-30pm as promised. It was a great evening but we realised that the next one which will be on 13th January 2009 will be the last!
It was one of those days. They did take pictures of me but everybody I was with had their eyes closed so I cut them out. So I cropped myself out of the others and here I am. The red face could be the sun or the alcohol. I'm not sure.