My time in Guyana to-date / Mon affectation au Guyana jusqu’à présent

thefalls

Reflecting on my time in Guyana at the top of Kaieteur Falls

La version française suit l’anglais

January 11 marked four months in Guyana.

Two-thirds of my international development pilot at the Open Doors Centre is now complete and I’m met with mixed emotions—both happy and grateful for the experience, sad that it’s almost over, and hopeful that my involvement has had somewhat of an impact.

I have come a long way since first touching down in Georgetown.

I arrived with few expectations—a cardinal rule in international development work—and let my surroundings and experiences shape my view of Guyana.

Ask me today, and I will only speak with love and admiration for this country! There is something fascinating about exploring a country and immersing yourself in a culture that is unknown to so many.

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Things are heating up in Guyana / « Ça chauffe » au Guyana

Wiri-wiri peppers

Photo credit: Wiri-wiri peppers by *Amanda Richards, on Flickr

La version française suit l’anglais

Ever since I got my stove working, I’ve been experimenting in the kitchen. 

This week, I present to you a couple of my Guyanese favourites:

  • Coconut Choka
  • Crab Back

Both recipes call for wiri-wiri peppers.

Attention: these peppers are Hot! Hot! Hot!

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Christmas in Guyana / Noël au Guyana

Attending a Chamber of Commerce event

Attending the 124th Annual Georgetown Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner (I’m second from right)

La version française suit l’anglais

I was warned Guyana is the best place on earth to celebrate Christmas.

Mr. Lewis asked me, “Where else are you going to see bands in the street and such colourful decorations on all the buildings?” and so far, Guyana seems to be meeting those expectations.

Christmas has sneaked its way into the loud, cheerful and colourful culture of Guyana.

It’s not a time or season, but a state of mind, and everyone takes part in the festive cheer.

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Learning a new language /Apprendre un nouveau langage

Présentation d'un étudiant en langage des signes

Sign language presentation by student

La version française suit l’anglais

When I first arrived at the Open Doors Centre I had basic knowledge of sign language.

At the time I didn’t realize how important a skill it would become, with over half the students at the Centre having either a speech impediment or are hearing impaired.

My first few days I walked around the Centre finger spelling and telling everyone my name.

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Advice needed: Work & school update / Le point sur le cours

From BDC to the Open Doors Centre in Guyana

From BDC to the Open Doors Centre in Guyana

La version française suit l’anglais

It’s the second week of December, I can’t believe it!

School is over (class at the Open Doors Centre ended December 12th) , and I wrap up the first half of my course this week.

Time has flown by so quickly!

In January, we will start looking at marketing, sales, bookkeeping, etc.

Any ideas or tips from colleagues on an entrepreneur training curriculum are always welcome 🙂

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Meeting the Prime Minister / Ma rencontre avec le premier-ministre

Le premier-ministre guyanien, Samuel Hinds. Source photo: Government Information Agency (GINA)

The Prime Minister of Guyana, Samuel Hinds. Photo Credit: Government Information Agency (GINA)

La version française suit l’anglais

I’ve been teaching at the Open Doors Centre for 2 months now and am enjoying so many aspects of my new role, but I don’t know much about entrepreneurship in Guyana and have few ties to the business community…

Even so, I recently met the Prime Minister (more on that later)!

My placement falls under Cuso’s ‘secure livelihoods’ bracket (creating wealth) and is focused on writing a curriculum to teach small business, but I wanted to learn more about the opportunities and challenges entrepreneurs face every day in Guyana.

When I first accepted my position with the BDC (account manager in Kitchener) I faced similar challenges — new city, new job and new community. I attached myself to my local Chamber of Commerce and experienced some early successes.

Here in Georgetown, I also reached out to the Chamber of Commerce and Rotary Club in hopes of learning more about small business and support available for entrepreneurs.

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What’s Cooking in Guyana / Qu’est-ce qui mijote au Guyana

Mmmm fresh roti! Photo credit: Roti (Chapati) Recipe by Manjula

Mmmm fresh roti! Photo credit: Roti (Chapati) Recipe by Manjula

La version française suit l’anglais

I’ve been gearing up for this moment.

I bought the What’s Cooking in Guyana cookbook and have been flipping through it for recipes to try.

I hosted a dinner on Saturday and tried my hand at making fresh roti.

Roti is an Indian bread (also known as chapati) very common in Guyana.

It is flat, like a pancake but thinner, and ripped into pieces to grab food and sop up the liquids of curries and stews.

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