Queen's Health Outreach: Guyana Initiative

Week One - Done!

A huge hello to our friends, family, QHO team and readers! We are so excited to be blogging from Guyana over the course of this initiative to update you on our successes, opportunities, lessons learned and experiences over the next 6 weeks. We arrived in Guyana on April 29th after a long night of traveling and spicy Skittles.

We were surprised at the airport by our Initiative Directors, Nick and Hannah, which was such a treat since they tricked us into thinking we would just be meeting a driver to take us into town. We then settled into our accommodation at Rima’s Guest House and had traditional Guyanese food, like curry, cook-up, roti and rice for lunch from Nick and Hannah’s favourite spot in Georgetown. They then took us to the National Park, where we were met with the BEST surprise. Hannah and Nick both grabbed a branch from the trees with leaves on it and began swirling it around in the water to attract something. We were so unsure of what they were at first, guessing everything from alligators, otters, hippos to what Alexa called “sea pigs”. In a basin in the park live several manatees!

A few days later we said goodbye to the Berbice team, shed a few tears and got ready to plan out our initiative.

This past week, we’ve had several meetings with our community contacts and partners to begin planning an amazing initiative. We are working with Aspire Youth Network, an incredible organization focused on promoting sexual and reproductive health education and rights in Guyana, as well as the Everest Cricket Club to facilitate discussions around the benefits of physical activity and community on mental health. We were successful in getting into many schools QHO has not taught in before, and specifically lower level schools (on the Guyanese school literacy ranking scale) in the community. Some of the schools we have worked in before, such as the Reyaz Business Institute (RBI), The Adult Education Association (AEA), and St. John College were extremely excited to have us back and we are eager to start teaching next week! Monday is a holiday in Guyana, so our first day of teaching will be on Tuesday May 7th. We said goodbye to Hannah and Nick today as head to Essequibo to assess feasibility for QHO initiatives within a new community in Guyana. We wish them the best of luck and look forward to hearing how it is when they return to Georgetown for one final night later this week!

Next week, we will have our first (almost) full week of teaching in many classrooms across Georgetown, as well as on NTN – the National Television Network (which will also be live streamed on Facebook for you to watch from home!). We are excited to get started with our school and community partnerships to continue developing meaningful relationships in Georgetown, facilitate effective and informative health discussions and experience all that Guyana has to offer!

Chat soon!

The G-Town Gals

Avery, Alexa, Georgia & Sarah

 

The team at Toronto Pearson Airport before departing Guyana (Note: this is likely the last time we've worn sweaters!)

Our new manatee friends!

See you soon Berbice!

Bye Hannah!