Guyana GAFF Newsletter Winter 2018
POSTED ON FEBRUARY 14, 2019BY GAFFPOSTED IN GAFF
As we welcome in the new year, GAFF also welcomes a few new volunteers to the staff. Preethi, Owen, and Kelci are GUY31 volunteers who arrived in the country this past June. They have eagerly awaited this edition of the GAFF newsletter when they would get the opportunity to introduce themselves to the GAFF audience. For the next 19 months, these three intend to bring you exciting and interesting content about Guyana. We hope you’re as excited to read it as they are to write it!
Chandra – January 10th
Fahzeela – January 30th
Kelsi – February 3rd
Andy – February 14th
Oumou – February 16th
Jami – February 28th
Derek – March 2nd
Julia – March 2nd
Aicha – March 3rd
Stephanie P, – March 5th
Dorie – March 5th
Frances – March 8th
Andrew – March 16th
Caroline – March 19th
Tristan – March 22nd
Arielle – March 29th
Clare – April 11th
Amber – April 16th
Meredith – April 21st
Martine – April 25th
Jean – April 29th
Jamal – April 30th
Rachel – May 7th
Chelsea – May 12th
Jennel – May 12th
Karin – May 13th
Martin – May 13th
Ella – May 28th
Carly – May 31st
Martin Luther King Jr. Day (US) – January 21st
President’s Day (US) – February 18th
Republic Day/Mashramani (GY) – February 23rd
Phagwah (GY) – March 21st
Good Friday (US + GY) – April 19th
Easter (US + GY) – April 21st
Labor Day (GY) – May 1st
Arrival Day (GY) – May 5th
Independence Day (GY) – May 26th
Memorial Day (US) – May 27th
As many of you probably know, this past November we bid farewell to one of Peace Corps Guyana’s biggest supporters, U.S. Ambassador to Guyana, Perry L. Holloway. Ambassador Holloway started his term in Guyana in September of 2015 and faithfully served in the Ambassador position until November 2018. He has sworn in 73 Peace Corps Volunteers during his tenure as Ambassador and he and his wife Rosaura have visited volunteers in the hinterland and coastal areas across the country. Holloway also oversaw Peace Corps Guyana’s establishment of its Environmental Education sector. After spending 30 years in public service, the Ambassador retired from the US State Department, and he and his wife plan to moved to Miami, Florida where he will work for a private company. We thank the Ambassador for his support to Peace Corps Guyana and wish him well on his next endeavor!
A Postcard to…Mom
Happy New Year! I miss you so much, but I have so many awesome Guyana stories to tell you. I can’t believe I’ve been in Guyana for 7 months now. It feels like yesterday you guys dropped me off at staging and we said our last tearful goodbyes. Since then, I’ve completed training, sworn in as an official volunteer, and survived my first term of teaching! My favorite thing about Guyana is the mash-up of different cultures. There’s three main religions in Guyana – Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, and everyone celebrates everyone’s holidays and attends different religious functions, regardless of your own religion. And each religion has their own traditions, dress, and foods that they happily share with everyone. It really brings a sense of togetherness to each community.
Speaking of, the food! Wasn’t really sure what diet I was in store for when I signed up for Peace Corps, but I am absolutely loving the food here. Fried okra is probably my favorite vegetable, and I can’t do without my host mom’s amazing roti. I would die for that roti, it’s so good! May even rival yours… There’s definitely a different variety of fruits and vegetables like this huge, green spikey fruit called soursop (which makes an amazing juice) and extremely long green bean looking things called bora. It’s really cool to see the differences in produce and how they cook with what’s grown here.
One thing that’s been pretty tough to deal with is the heat! I am craving changing seasons, Jersey winters and a cozy snow day. It’s been way too long in summer for this gyal. My ten-minute walk to school in the mornings feels like a marathon by how I look after it! School, on the other hand, has been going pretty well. There were definitely some hiccups in the beginning, and still some now but I’ve learned to accept that this is what Peace Corps service is all about. My students love HFLE classes taught by Miss Preethi, and they always come to chat with me during all my breaks and lunches, which is definitely a perk of the job.
There are definitely times when I miss all of you guys and want to come home, but I know this is where I am supposed to be and wouldn’t trade it for anything. Besides, you’re coming to visit me jus’ now, right? (Also another one of my favorite Guyanese phrases – for another time). I’ll write again as soon as I can!
P.S. I adopted a cat! His name is Jasper and he’s 4 months old. He’s very vicious but he’s so adorable you immediately forgive him for any mischief he’s caused. Can’t wait for you to meet him!
Long ago in the year 2009, when most of us were still wearing plaid Bermuda shorts and polos or spraying too much AXE body spray in the hallways of our middle schools, our predecessors, GUY 19, were serving in the places we now call home. As an homage to their ten-year returned status, we here at GAFF would like to share the horoscopes they prophesied all those years ago. Happy 2019, we hope these horoscopes have you looking forward to this new year!
Welcome to the life of independent housing, GUY31! For some of us, we are concluding our five-month homestay, packing up and starting the adventure of living on our own in Guyana, with all the joys and fears that come with it. The journey is indeed just beginning. On the search for the perfect PCV digs (within the budget of course), volunteers came across all sorts of houses and apartments but eventually had to make a decision on the one they would call home for the next 19 months. Two of our volunteers, Connor and Liz, gave us a sneak peek into their new places! Take a look below and stay tuned for more rad places in the next edition of PCV Cribs!
Connor’s Sweet Digs
Welcome to the Essequibo Coast, Region 2! I’ve just moved into my new place and can’t wait for you guys to check it out. I live in the upstairs apartment of a house and it has a kitchen complete with a stove, oven and fridge, two bedrooms, a small living room with a TV included, bathroom and a nice veranda to chill out on. And yes, that is an air-conditioning unit. Although it’s quite expensive so I won’t be using it that often. I guess you could say when I saw the house (and the air-conditioning), I knew I had to have it!
I’m about a 10-minute walk from school and a 10-minute drive away from the nearest supermarket. Nice location, and a house that feels like home. What more could I ask for?
Liz’s New Crib
Hey welcome to Region 2, just a mile from my Secondary School of service.
I live on the first floor of the house, below my old host parents. This luxurious apartment has two bedrooms, one bathroom and an open layout with a living room and kitchen. It offers the perfect space for doing yoga and prepping for school lessons. I have a great view out my back door of the backyard where a new patio area was just put in.
It gets a nice breeze and the side of the house offers a great spot for hanging in my hammock and gaffing with my host parents.
Most of you probably know there’s someone new in the office, but if you don’t…meet Roger! Roger Wilson is the new Program and Training Specialist (PTS) for the Environment sector and has officially been on staff at Peace Corps Guyana since September. Roger is a pro in the classroom, having been a primary school teacher for the past 20 years, and is a great resource for volunteers in anything science or literacy-related. On behalf of all volunteers, we’d like to welcome Roger to PC Guyana! While most of you know about what Roger is doing for Peace Corps, GAFF sat down with him to get to know him a little better.
What did you do before joining Peace Corps Guyana?
I taught at the primary level for 21 years – (16/09/1997 to 16/09/2018)
As PTS for Environment, what is your vision for the sector?
To see that the students become good environmental stewards or help them to have the necessary prerequisite knowledge to become such in the future.
What do you like most about your job?
The fact that I get to be like one of the first persons to make that lasting impression on the PCVs minds [when they come to Guyana] about what it takes to be a teacher and what to expect in a Guyana classroom.
Any advice to give to our volunteers?
Believe in the outcome of the bold step you would have made in coming to Guyana and work with the little you have to make it into something memorable.
Now for the real questions
What is your favorite food and drink?
My favourite food is channa (chickpeas) in all its form and my drink is water or freshly blended 100% natural fruit juice.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Germany, Denmark or any European country. This is so because I love a simple lifestyle and rich history and Europe seems to be the place where rich history exists.
What do you do in your free time? (Hobbies, activities, etc.)
To be honest, I watch a lot of YouTube videos on “Messi, the Puma”, “Paternity Court” and any video that deals with aeroplanes because I am a lover of plane watching.
Who inspires you?
My mom and my dad (now deceased) as well as my girlfriend’s son
Three words that best describe you.
These three words are: patience, love, giver
A fun fact that no one knows about you!
Any part of something baked that touches the pan I cannot eat.
So there you have it, folks! Next time you’re in the office, stop by and say hi because Roger would love to chat with you.
English Is Really Hard
Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy is the greatest story ever told when you look at how English is used and easily misunderstood. If you have not seen that movie, please scroll to the next section.
Coming to Guyana and trying to teach is the most difficult adventure I have experienced. I first thought that my many years in school and degrees earned made me an authority on the English language, and then I had to explain things to second graders.
Guyana is an English speaking country, but they use what is called Creolese regularly, with a pinch of the Queens English. My biggest difficulty in understanding locals is how I hear and try to understand Guyanese Creolese, I used to try and use direct translation, by trying to find the closest American English word I know, but now I try to use more British vocabulary as a reference and just guess what the topic is and understand from there… and then I came across Marlene Davis.
Here is the shortest version of this story I could come up with. As I am burning through my data, scrolling down Facebook looking at what my friends back in the U.S. are “doing”, I come across a post which showcased Marlene Davis, a Caribbean author, who highlights how difficult English can be. This Caribbean lens was exactly what I was looking for and allowed me to be more sympathetic to new learners. Ms. Davis provides 14 examples on how in a sentence the same spelling of a word can be pronounced differently and have a different meaning. Enjoy!
Ms. Marlene Davis: English is Hard
The bandage was wound around the wound.
The farm was cultivated to produce produce.
The dump was so full that the workers had to refuse more refuse.
We must polish the Polish furniture shown at the store.
The soldier decided to desert his tasty dessert in the desert.
Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present to his girlfriend.
He could lead if he would get the lead out.
A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
I did not object to the object which she showed me.
How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
The insurance was invalid for the invalid in his hospital bed.
Upon seeing the tear in her painting she shed a tear.
I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
At the beginning of every class, there’s a chant I like to have my students say. It goes like this:
“I love myself”
The first couple of times we say this line, my students look at me, then at each other, then down at the floor, and they giggle. They giggle to themselves and then with their classmates because they think that telling each other how much they love themselves is a silly thing to do. And on some days, it’s not an easy thing to say. So, when it’s their turn to repeat the line, “I love myself,” they say it in their tiniest voices. Almost inaudible, they whisper it softly to themselves, with their chins on their chest.
“I mean every single thing”
Even when you’re young, fearless, and resilient, it’s hard to believe that everything about yourself is something worth loving; That both your flaws and successes contribute to who you are. Are they allowed to love every single thing about themselves? They whisper the question to their own hearts, “I mean every single thing.”
“From the color of my skin”
One of the most incredible things about Guyana’s culture is that it spans continents, inclusively taking aspects of different races, religions, and traditions. This is one line the students have no trouble with. No matter the color of their skin, they say this line in harmony and let the world know it can be done.
“To my soul energy”
I’m a firm believer that within everyone, there are gems to be discovered. There’s a unique reservoir of talent and goodness within the tiny bodies of these students but to find it, they must first quietly confirm with themselves that their souls, their energy, are there, waiting to be discovered and loved.
An unforeseen comfort of saying this repeat-after-me chant is that I, too, must say it. Choosing to leave my former life an entire continent away and being faced with questions of my own character has not been an easy challenge. Just like there are days of triumph, there are days of struggle. So, along with my students, even on the days I don’t believe it, I give myself a little love and encourage myself to find my own greatness. Now, with our newfound confidence and an eagerness to achieve small successes each day, we proudly say:
“I love myself”
We cup our hands around our mouths and as loud as we can we let our pledges of self-love reverberate through the school. We tell ourselves and each other that we are people worth loving.
“I mean every single thing”
We swing our arms out wide, gesturing to the world that our biggest accomplishments and most worrisome insecurities make us who we are; who we love.
“From the color of my skin”
As we stand in our circle and say this line, we rub our arms and fling them upwards, sending out the message that everyone’s skin is beautiful and loveable regardless of the difference in hues.
“To my soul energy”
As our chant comes to an end, we spin in a circle, hands grasping at our chests, and with the biggest voices we’ve got, make a promise to go digging for those gems hidden within us.
After we’ve transformed our quiet questions into exuberant promises, after we’ve made our pledges to the world and to ourselves, we break into dance. Together my students and I hop around our classroom, spinning, kicking, and wiggling. And we giggle—we break into fits of laughter. But this time, our chuckles are not a result of nervous insecurity; our laughter is a manifestation of the joy of giving ourselves a little bit of love and reassurance and telling the world to do the same.
December 1 marks World AIDS Day and this past December PCV Stephanie along with other volunteers and organizations along the Essequibo Coast organized a walk to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS. GAFF member Sam sat down with Stephanie to recap more of the successful event.
Sam: “Hi, Stephanie, morning! GAFF wants to cover your HIV walk for two reasons: One, because I know that it’s challenging to host a large-scale event like this one, and two, because it was so successful! What made you decide to put your effort into the World AIDS Day March in Suddie?”
Stephanie: “Yea, I’m happy to answer any questions. The inspiration from the walk really came from the HIV Treatment Center at Suddie Hospital. I’ve been working there since we’ve started our service, and it’s really been such an incredibly positive experience working with the patients and with the staff. I’ve been co-facilitating the support group there and doing a lot of health talks with the patients. I’ve really enjoyed working at that part of the hospital, it’s been really great. So, I really wanted to do something special for World AIDS Day, really just to honor those living with HIV and to also raise awareness about the epidemic. I really wanted to do something special. I wanted it to be big, too, and I had heard in the past about an NGO on the Essequibo Coast called Hope For All. They do a lot of HIV counseling and testing and I had heard that they have done walks in the past for World AIDS Day, but I guess they hadn’t in a couple of years, basically due to a lack of funding.
I thought a walk would be a great opportunity to really honor those living with HIV and to raise awareness. I felt like if we got a lot of community support and we got a lot of people to join in on the walk, it would be hard to ignore. Think about it: if you’re walking with a lot of people, and doing all of these chants, and bringing a lot of attention, people come out of their houses and they look to see what’s going on. I think a walk is a really powerful tool to raise awareness.
I also thought that the 2018 theme “Know Your Status” really resonated with me. Working at the clinic I’ve heard lots of stories, recent and old cases, of people not knowing for years that they have HIV, or their partner not knowing. So, I really liked the theme “Know Your Status” and I wanted to do something big in order to raise awareness about the importance of getting tested.
Sam: “That is so awesome. I had no idea that you were so involved with the HIV Clinic at Suddie Hospital. It sounds like you are really connected to both the patients and the importance of “knowing your status.” I’m curious, now that I know how close to your heart it is, how did you feel on the day of the march? I know from pictures that the event looked successful, but on the day, did you feel like the walk was a success? Did you feel like it was more challenging than you expected?
Stephanie: “Well, for me, I thought the walk was definitely successful. I left feeling really good about it. We had over 100 people show up, which was so amazing and way more than I expected. I invited the army recruits and the police recruits, and that helped the numbers, and there were a lot of people that I had invited from the hospital and community. We walked from Three Friends Village to the Anna Regina Car Park, which is a pretty good distance, and then once we were in Anna Regina at the Car Park, we set up a stage where we had a World HIV/AIDS Day Programme. I asked a few people to speak, like the RHO, the woman in charge of Hope For All, and we had somebody from the Guyana Kindness Movement (who is also Carly’s Host Sister).
There was a moment when I thought: ‘this is exactly why I did this walk.’: I guess some of the Army Recruits were talking to some of the GUY 30 volunteers who were there: Aicha, Carly, Kelsi, Chelsea & Taylor, The army recruits asked, ‘So, where can we go to get tested? When can we get tested? Can a group of us go to get tested?’ and that, right there, was when I was like, ‘wow’, that’s the point of the walk, and for them to say, ‘now I want to go get tested.’ That was the whole point, to raise awareness. The point was to “Know Your Status” and then we had these army recruits who went and got tested, and that was all because of the walk.
That story made me feel that all of the stress and all of the work that went into it was definitely worth it. I thought it was really successful. What I was also really proud of was that all of the funding and all of the materials were donated. It was all community-run. We had flags donated from Shawn’s Mini Mart, Massy Company donated signs, Myself, Carly and Chelsea went around to basically every business in Anna Regina and asked different people for donations. Some people donated water, some donated monetary funds. It was really all community-sponsored, all Essequibo businesses supported this walk, which I thought was really special and important to show how you can do these walks, even if you say you have a lack of funding. If you are willing to go around asking for money, doing these events is really possible. It’s all about talking to people and asking people to get involved. I thought that was really special.
I did have a lot of help from the GUY 30 Volunteers. From the very beginning, Aicha helped me with the idea and some of the planning. Carly and Chelsea were super helpful in helping me beg for money. I just handed them my donation letters and they went around asking for donations. Taylor and Kelsi were there for the day of the walk, and some GUY 31 volunteers showed up too. They were helpful with passing out food and stuff like that. I was really appreciative to get help from some of the volunteers and help from the Suddie Health Center staff as well. People from the community were really willing to help out and donate stuff for the walk.
It was successful. I was happy with the turnout. Over 100 people were there, walking. That was really special. More people causes more attention, so I was glad that so many people did show up and participate.
In terms of challenges, planning is always the most challenging, and getting people to get excited about the project. It can always be very challenging, but all of the challenges and effort that went into the planning was worth it, because so many people from the community showed up, participated, and supported the walk. I think that’s what made it so successful. I think people were really happy with the outcome.
Sam: I actually have two more questions: was there somebody who helped you in the planning stage? Whether it be someone from the hospital or the community. My other question is: did you get a lot of feedback from the community and the patients afterward regarding what they thought about the walk?
Stephanie: Unfortunately, I think a lot of people living with HIV are still so afraid of people finding out their status or being discriminated against, that not many of them attended the walk. The stigma of HIV is still present and so prevalent, that many survivors didn’t come because they feared someone finding out their status. Most people that were there were people from the hospital and health center: nurses and staff, and a lot of the businesses that donated stuff were there, too.
In terms of feedback after the walk, I did have some people from the Suddie Hospital and Health Center Staff, like nurses, come to me after and say that it was a really nice walk and event. I think that they were the people around me as I was running around trying to plan the event, so they know how challenging it was to plan, and they acknowledged that. I would say a handful of staff members and nurses acknowledged it.
I think the person who helped me plan it most was the RHO of Region 2, Dr. Khan. She was extremely helpful by putting me in contact with people for donations and setting up the stage. We really worked closely together in terms of getting donations and getting the event together. She was very helpful. The woman in charge of the NGO, Hope For All, Shondell Butters, was helpful, and the staff members that work with me at Suddie Health Center were very supportive. Some of them, like Tricia Alves, came with me around Anna Regina to drop off donation letters, because I wanted to make sure that every time I dropped off donation letters, I was walking with a nurse or community members so that I wasn’t the only one spearheading this thing. I wanted someone to be with me so that we could be doing it together.
Also, I don’t know if it’s been anyone else’s experience, but working with certain people can be very difficult. I definitely did get a lot of push-backs. There are some people whose response is always “well, that’s not gonna work.” You have to just be persistent. You can’t let some of the negative comments and the doubts get to you. Be confident in your own skills and your own ideas, and that it’s going to get done. It’s about not being discouraged. I’m sure there’s always somebody who’s going to be willing to help. You could ask 10 people for help, but you only need one.
Diversity and Inclusion Support Committee would like to introduce to you its four new members, Jessie C., Akeesha G., Martin A., and Kelsey F.
My name is Kelsey, and I am currently serving as a health volunteer in Region 10. My hometown is Lake Charles, Louisiana. My favorite movie is Kill Bill (Uma Thurman and 80s kung fu vibes? Yes please). If I were a fruit I’d definitely be a coconut, A hidden talent of mine is that I am a trained Thai Yoga Massage Practitioner. I will now leave you to google what on earth that even means.
My name is Akeesha G and I am an education volunteer in Region 5. My hometown is Cleveland/Columbus, Ohio and my favorite movie is The Wood. If I were a fruit I’d be Guyanese Papa and my hidden talent is my ability to connect with people!
My name is Martin A. and I’m in GUY31 serving as an education volunteer in Region 2. My hometown is Miami, FL. My favorite movie is between The Dark Knight or No Country for Old Men. My hidden talent is that I’m an expert at petting dogs. 10/10 dogs would recommend my pets.
My name is Jessie C. and I am apart of Guy 31. Currently, I am a health volunteer in Region 6, Berbice-Corentyne. I will be at my site until August 2020. I was born and raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey until the age of thirteen before I made my transition to Rahway, New Jersey, where I reside in the United States of America. A hidden skill of mine is that I started off my undergraduate college education as a Nursing major, but I switched to Public Health with a concentration in Health Education and a minor in Social Justice, before the start of my clinical rotation. So I have a lot of background in nursing when it comes to the clinical rotation stuff. One of my all-time favorite movies is Resident Evil. I liked how the movie showed that advances with science and technology are good, but when the advancements are done for the wrong reasons then it could have life-threatening impacts for all parties involved.
Stepping out of the airport and into Guyana for the very first time, among the hoard of Peace Corps staff and volunteers cheering for our arrival, there was one other thing waiting to welcome my cohort to our new home. The sounds and songs of Guyana swarmed around us and were refreshingly hospitable after a long and tiring journey. They reached out to shake our hands and tell us we were home and each of us gladly returned the embrace. Over the last seven months, these songs have taken us on a tour of this beautiful country and taught us the ways of the people who live here. Some of the stops have been expected while others have been quite a surprise but either way, the adventure has been a blast.
Each village, each bus, each person has a different soundtrack with one thing in common: good beats. If you can’t dance to it, chances are it’s not getting played. My village dances their way through a pretty consistent schedule of gospel music on Sunday mornings, R&B throughout the weekdays, and soca guiding us into the night. Though the formula for each playlist varies—some play more gospel, less R&B, sometimes chutney replaces soca, etc.—the surprises stay the same. If someone is in a big MOOD™, it’s 90s alternative pop (Savage Garden all day, err day) or The Essential Michael Bolton (this man is EVERYWHERE). Unexpected party jams include the entire Night at the Roxbury soundtrack and soca remixes of Ed Sheeran’s entire discography so at any given time you’ve got to be ready to do a Will Farrell-esque head bop or be simultaneously sad and dancing.
Day-to-day life is deeply entwined with music and the good times in-country will forever be attached to these songs. The ways that music has helped this journey along are too many to count. It has served as a connection to host families (“Girl, you gotta learn to wine!”), students, and friends alike while making the days feel like a constant party. For each song, there is a story, person, or place that has made some impact on service and I’m so glad that the technology exists for us to be able to share both.
So, here’s a mixtape from Guyana—but it’s more than that. It’s the night we stood around the bonfire and listened to “Not a Blade of Grass”, it’s five of us being squished into the backseat of a car, it’s when Siri plays “Despacito” and we all groan, and it’s the soundtrack to this crazy experience we’ve all signed ourselves up for. Enjoy.
P.S. It’s collaborative so add away Peace Corps fam <3
The recipe for this Guyanese tradition will change a bit depending on who’s cooking it. Read below to discover the basic ingredients in each of the mythical seven curries. If you’re feeling brave, try making it yourself (I recommend having a blender on hand for some of these).
0. Prep: To create this most famous of Guyanese dishes, you’ll need the basic curry spices and the help of at least one auntie. The basic seasonings for a classic curry are:
Coriander (sometimes sold as dhania powder)
Cumin (jeera powder)
Red Chilli (laal mirch powder)
Cumin Seeds (jeera)
Mustard Seeds (rai)
Some type of onion
The basic order of curry preparation is (1) Pour a bit of oil in a pan (2) Add fresh spices till they start to make that popping oil noise (it’ll smell nice). (3) Add [whatever base you’re using] and saute for a few minutes (4) Add dry powdered spices if you’re using any.
1. Calaloo/baji: Start frying with your basic seasonings (onion, garlic, salt, pepper, whatever you have on your spice rack), coconut milk base, handful of chelote.
2. Catohaur: Clean it, seed it, saute. Be generous with the onion powder, pepper, oil, and coconut milk – boil and mix it all up.
3. Pumpkin: Your best friends here are onion, oil, and powdered seasonings. Fry that orange boy up, then add a little sugar, more salt, and vegetarian cubes. Garnish with chelote.
4. Potato and Chana: This is the most time consuming of the seven. Leave Chana to soak in a bowl of water night before, boil or pressure cook the next morning. Peel and cook potato, chop it, curry it, then throw in Chana. Follow normal instructions of the basic curry prep. It’s not a complicated one, chana just takes a long time to prepare.
5. Eddo and Bolange: Peel eddo, then cut it up with the bolange. Put in bolange first, fry them up nice, then leave it out a minute to let some of that oil clear off. Once it dries down, yeet it into water, boil with some spices. once it finishes boiling add more seasonings to taste, you want it to be a curry, not a soup, don’t be afraid.
6. Pilori/Karhi: First, grind some split peas, mix it up, season it to make pilori balls, then fry the bumps. After the frying is done, use some more ground peas and mix them with water and add basic curry seasonings. Heat up oil, then throw in pea liquid before finally tossing in the pilori.
7. Dhal: Start by heating oil in a pot, add gira, onion, (ginger if you have it), peas, salt, and a little sugar. Once you’re confident in your mixtures, throw in water and cover it on medium/low heat for about twenty minutes. Stir it up once done.
Eat over rice and preferably out of a giant leaf.
Remember, there’s no one way to do this if you have suggestions or your own recipe we encourage you to try it. If you want to experiment and try new blends, we encourage that too.
Budget Chicken Katsu
Season the chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Then, place the flour, egg and mashed cheese-its crumbs into separate dishes. Coat the chicken breasts in flour, shaking off any extra. Dip those bad boys into the egg and then press into the cheese-it crumbs until well coated on both sides.
Heat a quarter inch of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place that chicken in the skillet and cook until golden brown.
Serve over rice. Throw on some soy sauce if you really want to push up that blood pressure, you can never have too much sodium!
Go buy a pizza
Finally, if other recipes sound like too much work and you’re tired of cooking, or just want a taste of home, the phone number for Pizza Hut in town is (+592) 223–4339.
3… 2…. 1…. Happy New Years!!!!
After the ball has dropped, it’s tradition to set out some resolutions of things you want to do or change in the new year. So, we asked some current volunteers; “Do you have any resolutions for the new year? If you don’t have any specific resolutions, what are your goals for the next year?”
Julia: “I want to read more. I have work goals too, like an adolescent club at the health center and some other things yet to be mapped out’”
Hunter: “Get a job after peace corps. Get in shape.”
Kasey: “Crafts. Knitting, watercolors, Amerindian crafts – with my host grandmother. Things to do when there’s nothing to do. Cursive (better) and learn all my student’s names.”
Grayson: “Find myself“
Adam: “I never follow mine.”
Andy: “Be a better listener.”
Preethi: “Go back to school with a fresh perspective, try new things, and say ‘Yes!’ to opportunities that present themselves.”
What are your own resolutions? Let us know!
Guy31: If you haven’t already, please message Adrian Fredrick (Fadrian@peacecorps.gov) about computer account access and how to set up an account. You won’t be able to log into the office computers until you do.