My first birthday in Guyana. I didn't take too many pictures team, so sorry on that factoid, but the reasoning is because I had moved to my new community, Waramuri, 4 days prior to this celebration and truthfully, I felt a leetle awkward about taking any pictures. BUT I woke up and Auntie Norma (the 69-year-old, semi-British woman I live with) had made a big breakfast and coffee and we sat out on the porch to enjoy our coffee and took in the scenic jungle background with the sound of monkeys and macaws chattering about.
WARNING: Pictures on my phone have very poor quality, but they get the job done and they look a bit like paintings, so it's super artsy.
The neighbors at this point started up their generator and blasted Happy Birthday music for 20 minutes. And of course, “Go shawty, it’s your birthday” started playing and Auntie (69 remember) started danced to the whole song, dragging me in to dance as well. The neighbor kids made me the sweetest birthday card and we had a wonderful roast chicken lunch with some family members of Auntie Norma’s as well….and remember, I moved in 4 DAYS AGO, this community is positively wonderful.
That night, I hopped on a crowded bus to travel through the jungle to a town about 40 minutes away called Kumaka where a Pentecostal revival was going on. I got there and it was a huge field FILLED with Guyanese. They started to play worship music and all the youth went to the front to dance and celebrate. Just like that I was a part of a worship mosh pit of Guyanese jumping up and down in the middle of the jungle singing at the top of my lungs, steam rising from our heads, and sweat POURING. That went on for about an hour and then the pastor gave a talk and off we were. On the bus ride back, we were jostled every which way by the rough road through the jungle, but I couldn’t stop smiling as I thought, with sweat drying in my hair and my seat neighbor practically in my lap, “WHAT A BIRTHDAY!!” And just like that I turned 24 in Guyana, stay tuned for 25, I’m planning on hosting a jaguar-wrestling party.