GOLD Guyana 2012

Hello and welcome to our blog! We are a group of 6 Girlguiding UK members aged between 19 and 27, who have been selected to take part in a GOLD project this summer.
GOLD stands for Guiding Overseas Linked with Development, a project run by Girlguiding UK which gives young women aged between 18 and 30 the chance to assist in community action projects in other countries. As well as making a positive impact on the community, we also hope to grow the Guiding Association in the country so that they can participate more fully in WAGGGS (World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts). There are 8 projects this year, including our destination Guyana.
We're all very excited for our GOLD journey to begin, and we hope you enjoy reading about how we are preparing and what we are doing when we get there!

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Welcome to the Caribbean love!

It was our second day off yesterday and Ashley, one of the Guyanese Nikki met last year, took us to Princess Hotel which is the most expensive one in Georgetown to go swimming! We were all very excited about the prospect, particularly due to the brown water. We arrived and a bit bizarrely had our bags searched, but found a nice table spot next to the deep end and quite quickly got in. It was such a nice pool and so just what we needed to be clean and cool! We were very excited about the prospect of a tan too (except the non-tanning ones among us). It was 10ft deep at the end and we had a ‘who can touch the bottom’ competition, definitely won by Ashley, with the runner-up being Heather. After we’d had enough of sunning and swimming and the clouds began to gather we went and sat in the shade and ordered some chips. Sadly it was about two hours later before the chips actually arrived so we were a little disappointed and very hungry! We got some free fried fish and plantain chips for our wait though so that was appreciated. We then left and took a taxi home. The taxi route took us through some of the poorer areas, and having just been in such a luxurious hotel the difference was even more marked and reminded us that even though we’d had a lovely day in a fab location, there is a reason for our trip and hopefully we will make a difference.
When we reached home we chatted to Ashley and planned for our first day of advocacy. After a late dinner we were all pretty tired and so went to our new beds as we have all moved around so everyone gets a fair deal.
Today was advocacy day #1 of 2, and we certainly had a busy one! We only had a small number of girls which was a little disappointing but we felt like they really got a lot out of the activities we did. The difference we saw in them from the morning to the afternoon was tangible and really made our day. The morning was mainly team and confidence building and voice projection – i.e. lots of shouting games – and resulted in us having a little less energy and voice in the afternoon! Because they were in such a small group we were able to have some really good discussions with them and get to know them more. It was also some of the quieter girls so hearing them being able to voice their ideas was great. The day culminated in them writing a letter to the Ministry of Forestry about deforestation and reasons to stop it – they did it all by themselves and it worked out really well when we wrote it up on big pieces of paper.
This evening we had a relax on the patio where we saw some amazing birds and also got some tasty home baked bread from our neighbour Mrs. P. which were so so tasty. She also gave us fruit from the tree to have for breakfast – how kind is that! After planning for tomorrow, we had tea and now are having some pineapple! Wish you were here?
Lots of GOLD love
Team Guyana 2012

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