Queen's Health Outreach: Guyana Initiative

Week Three!

Good day to all reading this, all of us in Berbice hope all is well. Things have been amazing here in Berbice, with sunny weather and light rainfall to guide each and every one of our days. We are waking up bright and early as usual thanks to our lovely neighbour Winston. Winston is not a human as we may lead you to believe, he is a cheeky rooster who loves giving a good old ‘COCKADOODLEDOO’ before the sun is up. This is no worry however, as the Berbice team puts that time to great use doing things including various exercise circuits led by our very own Caitlin. She provides extensive workouts using resistance bands, full water jugs, and people’s own bodyweight. Other morning activities include Logan eating too much breakfast than is good for him, Hannah reading on the hammock, and Isabelle enjoying the morning doing crosswords/making friendship bracelets.

Last week we were privileged to be invited to one of our friend in the community’s birthday party. Our friend Kevin turned 30 on Wednesday night and invited us to celebrate with him at his home. There we were immersed in Guyanese culture on a more personal level, having the ability to experience some home cooked food. It was an amazing experience we did not think we would have while here in Berbice, and we are more than grateful for these relationships we are formulating in the area.

Further, team Berbice went to visit our big city friends in Georgetown the past weekend, taking a lovely break to recharge the batteries for the coming weeks. Seeing everyone in Georgetown doing so well was a welcome sight. We absolutely loved getting to spend time with them, hear their stories about teaching and its associated struggles, and generally enjoy each other’s company. We did not truly realize how much we missed them until we saw them, and now we are even more excited to see them come to our neck of the woods in Berbice in the near future. Another lovely experience was being able to visit a more in stock grocery store in Georgetown. We gathered many cooking necessities that Berbice simply doesn’t provide for Chef Logan and his team of apprentices. These various ingredients will continue to provide team Berbice many culinary adventures that we are very excited to undertake.

Now onto the real reason QHO is in Berbice, the teaching. We here in Berbice finished off last week talking about healthy relationships, consent, and abuse. These were very important topics that deserved all the attention it received from the students. In general, we were very happy with the reception we received from all students we taught. They asked very difficult and stimulating questions to each member here. We personally love hearing these questions as they show us that the students are listening, engaged, and curious about the topics we are talking to them about. Furthermore, discussing things on a more peer to peer basis has been an absolute privilege for us, as we hope to continue to break down the barrier between those who teach and learn, continuing to facilitate a dialogue and discuss topics that students really are curious about. This week we are teaching about the very difficult and ever important topics of suicide and depression. These are very difficult things to discuss in life, and even more so in school environments. That is why we believe it is so crucial to do so, and though it is difficult, everyone here is more than willing to bear that burden and help facilitate that dialogue. These topics are something we are all very passionate about, and we are so encouraged so far hearing the receptions to this information we are discussing in the classes. So far the lessons have been going quite well, we are very excited to see what the rest of the coming days bring us regarding this information and how the students receive it.

Now before we go, each member would love to give a passing update on their life here. Isabelle is becoming an avid runner, storming up and down the main road at such a pace Forrest Gump himself would be jealous. Hannah has read all the books available in Berbice, she is currently writing a short novella now depicting her adventures in Guyana. Caitlin hasn’t showered since the last update. We are beginning to worry. If anyone has suggestions for how to get her to shower finally please email us at guyana@qho.ca. Logan has been having the absolute best time writing this blog post, though he doubts he will get to ever write another. We are really looking forward to see what these coming days bring for us.

From Berbice to all our humble readers, have a great week!