Your patience is now being rewarded!! We're back, with a vengeance..... the long delay has no excuses, save, we've been occupied with months of travel in India, from where we returned to California by way of Holland and Canada. So, here we are, back in what we regard as the most beautiful part of the world and our designated home (as far as we have one) - Southern California. Early March 2014, we are on our way to Guyana, South America, so there is much 'catching up' to do.
|Still in (Northern) California, here Bodega Bay|
We left you in India after our amazing trip along the West Coast of Australia. But that was over a year ago. India left indelible memories. “You love it or hate it”, people say, and some friends and family even warned us that we would last just a few weeks. We loved it and will return, no question about it. Such an amazing country, so many stories to tell. We suggest we do that later, when we can find the time from our new home base, Lethem-Guyana (google it) because that's where we are headed.
As most of you know, we really enjoyed Tajikistan, Khorog and the volunteer experience. So, after having returned to Southern California, we started looking for similar opportunities, preferably in less colder climates, though.
Making a very long story very short, Cuso, the organization which sent us to Tajikistan, needed tourism expertise in Guyana and we signed up to help develop eco-tourism in the Rupununi, a remote region of Guyana in what is called the Atlantic Amazonian Forest (we will be going to sector 9, which sounds terrifyingly Soviet-like). Our departure has been postponed a number of times, (we were first due to depart November last year) but finally, the tickets have been confirmed and there is no stopping us now. “Soon tomorrow” is a Caribbean term we have become familiar with very quickly.
The job comes with a motor-cycle (seemingly the only way you can get around there) so we did our motor-cycle driving exams here in LA and bought motor cycles helmets, visors and additional motor gear. We also heard that during the in country training in Guyana, we will receive instructions on how to deal with snake-bite attacks; we will receive snake-bite kits . Tajikistan was tame in comparison, we think ......
Instructed by new friends and colleagues, we have loaded up on mosquito repellent and mesh, surge protectors, duct tape, more mosquito repellent and some vegetable seeds (see whether we can start growing herbs or beans). It's been suggested we leave our white clothes behind (it seems all clothes take on red mud colors) and obviously, there is no need for ski jackets and balaclavas here since the average temperature is around 90 Fahrenheit; there is no air-co to speak of, we believe.
|Volunteer (motor) cycle ??|
Still willing to visit?? We hope we'll be able to welcome some of you to our modest dwellings (details later, we have no idea how and where we will be housed yet).
There are many interesting books about this part of the world. If you are still interested, try the ‘River of Doubt’ by Candice Millard, a story of Theodore Roosevelt's daunting exploration of an Amazonian forest-river around 100 years ago (many thanks to Bill and Sherry May, who came up with the suggestion). Although things obviously have changed a lot, the book gives a great insight in the mysteries and challenges of this still unexplored part of the world.
|Government House in Pondicherry, certainly not our place in Lethem|
We hope, we are well enough prepared for the challenges of this new posting but we really can't wait to experience and learn more about this amazing part of the world, get to know and learn from the local people and their customs and help them in their quest to preserve their rich culture and way-of-life for generations to come. Join us in this new adventure, we'll try to post updates as regularly as possible. Don't hesitate to leave observations and comments. From our Tajikistan days, we remember how heart-warming it was (and is) to get a sign of life from back-home.
|THANKS for your money, we'll take it|
Last but not least; if you can spare the pennies and cents, please donate to Cuso. Our contract requires that we fundraise for this very worth-while North American non-profit organization, which finances our trip but which is continuously short of cash. Don't worry, the money won't go to us but will benefit future volunteers, who, like us, are willing to share their skills and maybe make this incredible planet of ours a little better place (there is always hope).
|Long and unknown road ahead|
How to donate:
On the main blog page, navigate to the top right hand black menu bar. There are links here for American and Canadian donors. Both in Canada and the USA, your contributions are tax deductable. For non North Americans, if you feel so inclined, donate via the American donation page. Not tax deductable but a very worthwhile cause. Another way to donate is via Flipcause. Click on the link to access our flipcause page. It’s very easy to navigate; when you order with one of the online companies listed (Target, Expedia, Amazon for instance) a percentage of the purchase price is funneled into our fund raising efforts. A little bit less painful perhaps ……
A HUGE THANK YOU for staying with us through this post and following our varied journeys to further explore this incredible world of ours and our fascinating cohabitants
We are off............................................................................................................VROOM