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!

Saturday, 4 August 2012


 Hello everyone!

Hannah and her saviours!
We have had an amazing few days and have been as busy as bees! Yesterday (Thursday) was our last day of training with the girls at HQ so mixed feelings of happiness at how the girls had grown, and sadness at how quickly the time has gone! Our plan for the day was to help the girls complete the active response badge which certainly kept both them and us busy. It involves dealing with bleeding, if someone’s not breathing, accident response, making an emergency phone call and fire and water safety. Luckily we had our resident lifesaver, Hannah, on standby for the water safety! The girls did really well –especially in the heat, even the Guyanese were feeling it - and all the ones who were there all day passed (we had two after lunch stragglers who passed their clauses too). We had a little ‘assessment’ at the end of the day – Laura was not breathing, I was drowning in water, Hannah was bleeding profusely, and Heather’s house was on fire. They all dealt with each situation in a calm manner and were so good at keeping us calm too! We had an amazing lunch of roti and curry homemade for us by some of the Leaders. One of the girls brought us cake and biscuits which was so cute and really appreciated – yum! A special mention must go to Laura for Thursday for her amazing golf swing cockroach removal (much to everyone’s relief – I was standing on the bed trying not to scream).
All the girls!
Today was an amazing day! Heather, Hannah and I were up with the sun at 5.15am to get ready and walk (after leaping the locked gate to our house) to Romaira Airways where we caught a bus to take us to the airport for our flight to Kaieteur Falls! The bus there was interesting – not the two beautiful ones either side but a normal #42 minibus looking a bit beaten! We were amazed to find inside that it had air con though. When we arrived at the airport after a bit of kerfuffle outside we were allowed to check in through the ‘Flight Crew and VIPs’ queue, and sit and wait in the executive lounge. We each had a cup of tea and a biscuit but sadly my tea was slightly orange… After a slight delay due to weather we eventually caught our first view of the plane. It was tiny, and just about fitted in the 9 passengers and the pilot. Hannah and I held hands in terror during the take-off but were soon overawed by the amount of trees and beautiful scenery beneath us. The noise and vibration from the wings was incredible so it was with a certain amount of relief that we came upon the mountains and saw some beautiful cliffsides rising up beneath us. 
Shortly we had our first view of the falls – the largest single drop waterfall in the world – and the pilot took us on a slightly terrifying circle over it which was amazing. We came into land on this tiny and bumpy looking runway and with relief stepped out onto the grass into Kaieteur National Park. There was a beautiful building to look at but soon we were on our way into the rainforest with our guide, Lee, who was casually wearing flip flops and hopping about all over the place! We saw some golden frogs which are only 16mm in adulthood, and an alarm clock beetle! The view of the falls and the mist coming off were amazing, and we had a fab time visiting all the views (one of which was called Boy Scout’s view) and taking daring pictures near the edge and down a little rock climb! Needless to say, we were all in amazement and awe. The flight home was equally as hair-raising – the pilot, at 5000ft, decided to open his window and fly with his arm out of it… casual. Eventually we reached Timehri Airport and were soon reunited with Nikki and Laura. They had been having a busy morning buying Guyana out of souvenirs, and were chilling out when we arrived, hot and sweaty.
Heather, Jess and Hannah at Kaieteur Falls
After a quick relax, Nikki, Hannah and I went off to Mr. Phagoo’s – a buy-everything shop – and the Guyana store for camp resources. On our return, Heather and Laura had washed the team tops, and we had a lovely chat with our neighbour Maria. We were then surprised by a huge number of bats that appeared in the garden and Heather even managed to get a picture of one – they fly really fast and at your head!
We have been so lucky these past two days and although we are tired I think we’d all agree it was worth it! Hopefully lots of the girls we’ve been working with will be there at camp!

Lots of GOLD love
Team Guyana 2012

The team and our badge planning!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you have all done really well in training the girls - although I hope they don't have to use their first aid skills too quickly!! Interesting flight, but obviously worth it?! Keep up the good work. Judith xx