In the last few weeks, I have been exchanging some entertaining and informative emails with current Peace Corps volunteers who are stationed in Guyana and one new volunteer who will be arriving with me in June.
While some of these emails are long, I wanted to share them with you all. I have made some corrections and modifications to these emails, but their overall message is the same.
This first email was forwarded to me from Pam Kingpetcharat, a current Peace Corps Information Technology volunteer. Pam will be training me when I arrive and has been kind enough to include me on her semi-weekly email to her friends.
In this particular email, she forwarded an email from Amy Myers, a volunteer who is teaching Guyana children. I thought Amy’s email was quite entertaining and hope you feel the same.
From: Pam Kingpetcharat [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, March 27, 2002 7:41 AM
Subject: PC Update: Other PCV Life
I figured it was time that I owed you all another PC Update but I haven’t had much time connected to the Internet lately so I thought I’d send you an update from a fellow PCV…Amy Myers.
A little background: Amy is an education volunteer here in Guyana. Education volunteers teach Life Skills as a mandatory primary project. Life Skills includes things such as resume building, sex, HIV/AIDS, body language, decision making and other subjects that we take for granted kids learn in the states.
I don’t know if I mentioned it but the statistics show that a large majority of PCVs are white, females, between the ages of 22-30. As a result, security issues and in-country training attempt to focus upon the unique issues white, females between the ages of 22-30 might have in-country.
If you can’t guess from the note below, Amy is white and gets proposed to (for marriage) A LOT…simply because she is white and American. Amy is cute, but she isn’t Cameron Diaz. A lot of the marriage proposals will follow with, “will you take me back to America with you?”
This isn’t unusual to me since in Thailand, white men are usually approached by Thai women (though not as forthright) for the same reasons. The motivating factors are economic and political. Many (not all) Guyanese do want to go to America if not to live with their family, then to get a better life. It’s still considered the ‘promised land’ to many outside of it’s borders.
Fortunately, this is something I don’t have to deal with here being a person of color…I still get a lot of cat calls but EVERY WOMAN in Guyana gets cat calls.
— Amy Myers wrote:
Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 11:17:15 -0800 (PST)
From: Amy Myers
Subject: “Missing you all!
Yes sports fans, that’s right! It is now Easter break in Guyana and I am officially not a teacher for two whole weeks! What is even more momentous is that I have survived yet another term at school, and am mostly unscathed. Cheer for the hero now…c’mon…I can’t heeeear you…! that’s better.
Hmmm….only one proposal this month. Maybe I am losing that youthful glow. Guyana has started to take its toll, sure, but now that the nasty skin fungus has cleared up, don’t you think the boys would come a runnin’? Perhaps that what Guyanese men dig…thus I won’t be able to snag me one o’ those stallions with the gold teeth and mesh shirts and B.O. beyond any imaginable stink after all. Darn.
Well, the suitor yesterday was made even more special because I had several students with me to witness. Cool. I had taken a group into town to go to the zoo and on a picnic, and it was on our way back that my latest prince approached. He took my hand firmly and said that he loved me and wanted to put a ring on my finger. He even pointed to which finger…third one, left hand. I swooned?…not really.
Now this was a little too much for my students and they all stared to giggle. They are 11-13. Anyway, I was a little more concerned that he might actually take the rings I was currently wearing OFF my fingers so I asked him ever so sweetly, to “Take your hands off me right now, man! Go and leave me alone, because the marrying is not going to happen.”
Do you think that there is something wrong with my approach? Because he left me muttering something about me not liking black men. Hmmm….I guess I will have to work on it, or I will leave this country with no ring around the finger he was so kind as to point out needing a ring. ;)
Anyway, in just three months I am going to be home for a visit! Time here has just flown by…nearly ten months already! I hope to see as many of you as possible in that time. Okay, that is all I can think of for right now. I hope to hear from some/all of you soon. Those who respond will get bumped up significantly on my ranked list of favorite people–and I know that appeals to you all!
Peace Corps Volunteer: Guyana Group 9
263 Earls Avenue, Subryanville PO Box 101192