Home, bittersweet home. Coming back to Scotland earlier than expected has not been ideal, but I must confess that this first month out of Guyana has been significantly better than I anticipated.
There have been so many things I’ve come to appreciate much more after the four months away, and I do genuinely feel I’ve made the most of being back in the UK despite the circumstances. This post won’t be as long as some of my other entries, and let that be a testament to the fact that life in Scotland just isn’t as exciting as life in Guyana!
Once settled in, the first and most obvious task to be done was to figure out the best way to put on the weight I’d lost as fast as possible. I saw a dietitian who gave me lots of tips and advice about how to do this effectively, but these could be pretty much boiled down to eating a lot and eating often. It definitely took some conscious effort to try and reverse my previous understanding of what was healthy, but unsurprisingly it wasn’t too bad to have an excuse to have calorific second lunches and big slices of cake all the time. One thing that I definitely did notice however is how geared towards weight loss society is: everywhere I looked there seemed to be low-calorie, low-fat, low-sugar options that are branded as healthier, almost cleaner choices. I’m not denying the fact that I would have always chosen these over their more ‘unhealthy’ counterparts in the past, but in my situation it seemed these evil options were in fact the best ones for me.
And this has been just one of the many things that I’ve observed since coming back home after being away. From microwaves to washing machines, from TVs to half-decent mobile networks (sorry Digicel), from good roads to cockroachless living – we definitely have it good over here. It’s such a cliché I know, but I’ve been pretty shocked by how much I’ve noticed all of these things. However, there are definitely things I started to take for granted in Guyana that I’m missing – Shellon’s cooking, the completely laid-back nature of seemingly everyone I met, the free-roaming animals in the streets, the disconnection to technology.
Weight gain, just as with weight loss, isn’t the fastest of processes, and so I knew that I needed to find some way of productively occupying myself. I spent the first few weeks spending time with friends and family, but after a while I realised I had to find a job and ultimately started to work at a café. The job’s been great, allowing me to save up some money that I can hopefully use for travelling if I return. I won’t give details, but all I’ll say is that a Scottish barista earns shockingly more than a Guyanese teacher. I’d actually left my fundraising leaflets around the café before leaving for Guyana, and some of the regulars recognised me and asked how my time away was, which I think’s pretty amazing.
In addition to this, I’m also keeping up my teaching abilities by tutoring Maths and Physics to different students in my area – not quite the same as teaching at MRPS, but it’s something!
Throughout all of this though, I’ve been unable to forget the fact that I’m actually supposed to be in Guyana. My life in Scotland feels mundane in comparison to the constant adventure that was teaching and living in Matthew’s Ridge, and I’m just so desperate to get back. At the time of writing we’re approaching the end of March and I’m still not 100% sure what’s happening, but my fingers are crossed.