Day 4 (What Happened to Day 3?) in Guyana

Closing in on midnight in Bartica. I’m typing this on Bekkie’s borrowed laptop, so I don’t get charged a fortune for blogging on my phone. Yes, Karan, they have internetz in Guyana now. Do tell your granny. It moves like molasses, though. And speaking of molasses –or at least the thing it turns into– yes, Karan, you may also search for the leading brands in the USA. Do tell me if you find them: El Dorado and D’Aguiar.

Well, the team managed two live TV call-in shows, last night and this evening. Thankfully, I was not a part of it. (Especially tonight, since I’d started on the rum a bit early, and was in no condition to be placed in front of a live mic.) They did splendidly, fielding some very telling questions. My favourite phone-in question today was: why do some men ejaculate earlier than others? The way it was phrased, I wasn’t sure if this was a concern over premature ejaculation or someone worried about his impending threesome.

Today was definitely a highlight of the mission. We went to the river-based community of Kartabo, population 200 or so. There, the doctors gave clinical care, and we useless members (i.e., me) engaged in some public education exercises. This really is the heart of the intervention. Of course, I had to preface our shtick with stupid jokes and finger tricks. (Those who know me know what I’m talking about.)

Nothing makes friends faster in a remote Third World community than the ability to simulate bird noises and to look like a complete buffoon. Apparently, I’m well skilled in the latter. This allowed us to talk to these women about very intimate topics, including sexual health and pregnancy planning.

In the process, I attracted the attention of about 30 adorable primary school children. At one point, all 30 –just heart breaking in their little school outfits– gave me a tour of their village, stopping frequently to demand another riddle or a magic trick. Rarely have I seen such astoundingly beautiful children, and I can’t help but worry for their futures in a community where 30 year olds look like 60, and where preventable maladies like Typhoid, HIV and TB run rampant.

Tomorrow we are off to another river community. And Sunday, we enter the thick interior, where the more physically challenging segment of this mission begins.