Je bekijkt de reis...
Reisverslag Rainy season
15 juli 2011
'Sup guys, how is life so far north-east of me? In the southern part of Guyana the place is wet, rainy and flooded. Which has led as you might have heard to a lot of problems. Floodings aren't that weird around here. Every year or twice a year the rain comes and puts the savannah grass under water. This year is a bit special though, it has never been that high. Some people have amazing ideas about the reason for this record hight, ranging from religious world endings to immigrating water from Brazil (water follows all the Brazilian people that come here and build new shops). Myself I think that this is mainly because of the global warming, rain had changed, directions have swapped and before a couple of years ago the rain was really predictable, August and December. Now you just got to keep watching your washed clothes.
Anyway the rain itself is not even that bad, usually during the day it is dry or there is an occasional shower. During the night it rains hard hard hard which makes the place cooler and more bareable. It might seems weird to people back home but “cooler” on the savannah seems like quite a big difference, it might drop from 30 to 25 or 20 degrees, but after living here for 280 days 20 degrees seems freezing. I actually took my sleeping bag and big pyjamas out. Calum says I'm whining and still sleeps in just his boxer shorts and with his fan on. So lets hope that when I come back home it is nice and sunny august weather for me to ease into the European climate.
The flooding on the other hand is a bit different, not much rain still turns out to be a lot more than usual, or the drunk guy with his Brazil idea is right. Water on the savannah usually makes all the transport a bit higher, the little creek between Lethem and Saint Ignatius (my village), rises up a bit. At the moment it is a bit worse, let me make a list:
1. The speedboat ride from Saint Ignatius is a lot longer the usual (from 30 seconds to 2 minutes). This means the water come shigher than usual and now you cannot wade through, you actually NEED the boat.
2. The back road is flooded too, normally the cars/vehicles can take a way around the back and still come into my village. To drop off school students and teachers or to bring in goods. That is now gone, this means ANYTHING has to come in with that 1 little boat. Bicycles are allowed on and stuff for the shops come in too. I've seen cement bags, bricks and hardening steel being brought in on a boat and of course fuel.
3. The track from Georgetown (the capital) down to here is completely gone, no more Intraserv bus and even all the minibus services have stopped going. The water raised on ti in about 1 night so tons of trucks are stuck on the road. One of the other teachers' husband is a driver, it took him 4 days to get back after coming up in about 21 hours. This means a lot of supplies are running low, mainly fuel is hard to get, the remaining fuel is reserved for the power company and the speedboats.
4. Half Lethem is flooded. Shops gone , clothes soaked, the internet café is wet and even the electricity station's generators were out for almost 3 days. We in the school received a generator for the water pump (no well here, poor 200 dorms kids) and I was able to charge my new camera (thanks mum and dad for buying and Sonja for flying it into Lethem) by one of my students whose dad had a generator in his shop.
5. School is out! Hehe I left the best one for the last, the HM together with the minister of education have decided the school to be closed until further notice. Which means till the water drops. Seeing the students from Lethem will all be busy fixing their houses and shops there is no point keeping the school open for those few that live in the school compound. Now as student I would have been really happy, but as teacher you do start worrying about your planned work and tests, mainly in the exam classes this is important (3rd form), but probably we will get the lost time added to the end of the year, which is good to do work but also sucks cause I don't really want to be here longer, I want to travel around with the money that I saved up.
6. The CXC exterminator is afraid to go into the speedboat, which sounds a bit funny but this resulted in a change of exam location,now all students have to go to the Lethem democratic council. This is for the fifth formers who are already doing their final school tests. Most actually live in Lethem so that makes it a bit easier for them but mainly for the dorms students this sucks.
Anyway the school is still dry, the place where we usually swim is now not 5 minutes walking away but about 10 meters to my house, this is still 2 metres lower so I am not that afraid myself yet, it just sucks being so cut off from the world. Maybe you have heard anything about this yourself, people from Canada called other teachers asking if everything was all right. If you want to read some official reports you should look at Guyanese newspapers, kaieteur news or the stabroek newspaper. I probably cannot update this yet so you will hear this later, and for photos you will have to wait even longer till I am in Georgetown.
My life is going good though, the place sometimes gets boring without school, since we are cut off there is not really much chance travelling anywhere else. But there still are 200 dorms students on the compound who scream yell and smile when you give them any sports ball. Next to that we are training with a school football team for a national football tournament for secondary school teams. Sometime soon we have to play against Annai secondary and Aishalton secondary school. If we win that (which we most likely will, since we have about 400 more students to chose from then they have) we have to play in Georgetown.
Anyway that is all for now, I hope I can soon upload some photo's but since the water sill runs into the Wellington boots from the guys at the bank I think that might take a while,
cya and miss you,
Stefan La Rooij
p.s. its now the 15th of july i know, havent haad time/electricity so coudnt upload this faster, ill try to get something more up to date during the week now that im free
16 juli 2011 16:19 | Door: Bernadet
Hoi Stefan, leuk om weer wat van je te horen. Wat een ellende zeg die regen! Hopelijk kun je toch nog wat gaan reizen. Ik zie er naar uit om je weer te zien. Nog een paar weken...... Veel plezier (sterkte) nog die laatste weken. Groetjes Bernadet en Loek
17 juli 2011 14:26 | Door: Hans Clerc
Hi Stefan, even een berichtje uit Roemenie. We hebben net 5 weken Turkije achter de rug, en daarna via Griekenland, Bulgarije en nu Roemenie op weg naar Hongarije. We willen in Budapest weer een paar dagen de stad bezoeken. Voor jou is het eind dus ook in zicht, he? Groetjes van Conny en Hans en weer tot ziens