Onward and Forward With The List

Okay! It is a lazy Sunday here in Florida. The rain started about four hours ago and now at six p.m., it is still a steady rain. It was so much cooler this entire weekend and overcast. It has been ninety degrees most of this past week and it has dropped dramatically to low seventies during the day all weekend! I did finish up the shed except my paint supplies and Christmas decoration stuff. That was a huge scary job. I pulled out a big suitcase I was going to air out and use and it had a medium size hornets nest built inside! I quickly tossed it into the back of my truck. It’s trash now! I can’t believe I saved so much junk out there! So now even though I only have it about twenty percent full with stuff I am keeping. I am not sure it will hold everything I want to store. I have discovered that it is my husband with not only more items to send than me, but way more junk he wants stored! He is a pack rat. It is going to be really nice to downsize our life so severely from where we were.

It is going slowly inside but it’s going. I have so much packing left to do. Both for shipping and to save in the shed. I am giving away my living room couch and chair. After ten years of life with the Boyers it is beat to hell. Or if no one picks it up off the curb, I will have the garbage man pick it up. Vanessa is posting the few nice pieces of furniture I have. And I do mean few. I want my dressers as they have special meaning to me as silly as that sounds! Mark’s dresser is actually Scott’s dresser that I bought over thirty years ago. It was the first really nice piece of furniture I ever bought. My mom was still working at Peoples Department store downtown Tacoma then. She called me so excited. She saw this wonderful dresser than was on sale fifty percent off plus her twenty percent discount!! I don’t know how I did but I wanted it for him and he needed one badly. Anyway I put it on layaway and within a month with my tips from waiting tables, I bought that beautiful dresser for two hundred and seventy-five dollars. It was over six hundred before the sale and mom’s discount! It still looks awesome and is in beautiful condition. The other two I use are antiques. One is an old fashioned *chifarobe*. I can not find the right spelling for that word and it is an old southern word so it may be slang. Anyone out there reading if you know, let me know! I have two more dressers I don’t care that much about that Vanessa and Alex are using. I haven’t decided to sell or store.

Okay what else has gone on since last we spoke. Or I should say wrote. Oh! I know something I will share with all of you. Alex’s passport has expired. He lives with us. He is Vanessa’s husband for those of you that may not know. He has mailed it five times now and they continue sending it back over the damn picture!! He is Canadian and evidently they are much stricter than the U.S.A. The picture either had a glare, he was smiling, he was smirking (he wasn’t) the first one was the wrong size. We use 2×2. They use 2×2 and three-fourths. Each time is really a pain the ass. Our post office always has a long line so there is a wait plus he can’t work here as he was going to school so it is a $20 hit for me each time. The picture is twelve bucks too. So. The latest on that saga of the passport is I sent it off again this past Friday. Each time takes four to six weeks. I want to fly out of here in just under six more weeks, (June first) so say a little prayer, light a candle, chant some mojo whatever floats your boat my way please that this fifth time is the charm and the passport passes inspection! Whew! That was a hell of a long ass sentence! My writing style is kind of a James Joyce Stream of Consciencenous style. Whatever pops in my head! Hope I am not loosing you all!!

Okay onto the list! Six items are crossed off with four more pending. Stove is fixed. Needed three brand new burners plus new plugs for all four burners and wiring. I clean those little drip trays too often I guess but I can’t stand when they have any overspill or grease on them. So I am constantly taking them apart. Since Mark had taken over the cooking about the past eight months, the stove took a beating. As a professional cook, he cooks like he is using a restaurant stove. He cooks everything high and grease is splattering and fires are sparking under the burners (it’s an electric stove) and seasonings and food are splattered all over the top. It’s a twenty minute clean-up on the stove when he is done. He does cook awesome meals though so I don’t bitch about it to him. But I will to you guys just a teense! Kidding! I miss him. But the stove has been clean all week!! The solar panels are down! Also the eves that needed replacing from those crappy old panels are about half way from being replaced and yes Kathy ‘Robert is doing all the work! Where he is replacing all the damaged wood of those eves that rotted out due to all the leaking problems I have had the past few years with those darned solar panels. It is worse damage then I thought and is from the end of the house and all the way across my front porch. about twenty feet or so. He said all the bolts had rusted out so rain was dripping thru the holes too contributing to the damage. All those bolts ran across the front porch too. Onward with the list! That is four things so far and I should have added that damned passport! I have spent hours dealing with that. Air conditioner has been serviced and all checked out. Something I have never done in the eight years since I bought it! Ha! I ought to rent my home out more often. All the beat up broken down stuff is getting fixed finally. And The Plumber has been by! He just checked out what I need repaired and will be back. He has to drill through my living room wall to get to the shower pipes. Elijah was visiting (My Grandson) and he is just like his dad!! My son Scott’s little guy and he is darling and so sweet. He went in by himself to shower. He couldn’t get the water on so he reamed and the handle that doesn’t turn on water but turns on the body sprays and hand held wand. He totally stripped it so it hasn’t worked since they visited at least two years ago. He felt terrible poor little dude! He is this little bull! He is nine now and is wrestling and I guess he kicks ass according to his dad. So that is six with two of them a work in progress. Only thirty more to go. I am so glad I have my list.

Okay here is some great news. Mark and I been skyping and today he found us a place to rent! Prices are high there so I am not getting the two bedroom I wanted but I am getting which sounds like an awesome one bedroom right on the ocean! It is also safe. It is the first floor of a three story house. The owner lives on the second and third floor and owns a security firm. Mark says his guys carry AK-47’s. I think I got the numbers right. Maybe not. I am not certain. But they are guns anyway. So no one messes with him or his home as it is very well protected. Also Mark has his own driver available twenty-four/seven. And the driver is for me too and he is a security/body guard. So no worries my family and friends. I will be safe. The place has living room furniture and a bed and is very small. It’s a shotgun style it sounds like to me. You know the kind. Doni-Lynne, I know you know what I mean. They have them in Louisiana. You enter into the living room, walk straight through into our bedroom, then comes the kitchen and then you are out the back door all in a row, hence shot gun style! It is going to be so freeing to not have a bunch of stuff and live so simply. No more stressing because I need to clean and I hurt too much. Outside is a gorgeous yard full of flowers and vegetables. There is also a large pagoda in the back right by the ocean. It has a nice grill for BBQ’ing and picnic tables. The landlord said we can have parties out there and although he has a full time gardener I am welcomed to plant whatever I want. Mark told him I love to garden.

Alright! I am going to stop now. Lord knows I could easily keep going but I don’t want to tire you out or bore you or worse put y’all to sleep!

Much love and hugs, Sandy Boyer

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Most of my family and friends have gotten the news of my devastating loss. I am posting this here on my word.press account because I need to let a few of you know my new email address. My email was suspended by the old provider for some unknown reason. I had just told Mark about it the day before he died. So Zita who I want so badly to email and talk and any of you not on facebook who didn’t get my new email address, please please email me your address as I lost everyones on the old account.  sandy.boyer1119@yahoo.com

 

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An American view on Guyana

An American view on Guyana.

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An American view on Guyana

The longer I live here, the sadder it makes me.  I realize I am living in a third world country but from my perspective it is not because of lack of resources or education.  The people here are poor but education is a priority.  Most people pay for private school as the public schools are poorly maintained and classroom size too large.  Even poor people come up with the money for private schools and bus fare for their children.   And the country is very rich in resources such as gold and diamond mines among other valuable minerals.  So why is it that with under one million residents of this small country, there is barely enough money for people to survive?  The annual income for a family of four is $3,800 a year.  Barely over three hundred dollars a month.  Sixty percent of this country is under thirty years old.  There is something so vile and evil here and it has to do with the politicians.  Nepotism and greed beyond anything I could even imagine.

I buy three newspapers here daily. One is biased on the current ruling power and another is biased on the oppositions views and lastly one is neutral.  I am not a political person and I have been buying these three papers to learn or at least try to learn what the hell is going on here.  I also talk to the people I have met here on what they think.  Everyone of them tells me it is corruption and it starts at the top.  For instance, there are two areas that require bridge access for people to survive, getting to work, school etc.  The government got monies from the US and Canada and other countries with wealth to repair these bridges.   So these two bridges got the money over two years ago and the money is gone with nothing being done to repair the bridges.  In fact the bridges have deteriorated even further and are now sliding away due to floods from all the recent rain.  The Secretary of state (who is bashing the USA constantly) is a real piece of work.  He flat out lies and tells half truths during his pompous announcements with the press.  It’s a whole new story about the lies he says about the American Consulate.  So this Secretary Luncheon (that’s his name) is in the paper daily lying to the constituents.  All of these politicians have family members and bosom buddies that help them run the country.  They care nothing for the population and their needs.  There is no mental health here. Their are no programs for people with disabilities.  I have not seen one person in a wheelchair in the seven months I have lived here.  I have seen children so poor they look just like those ads on tv to get you to pledge monthly to save a child.  The poverty makes me feel ashamed as a human being.  I simply can not grasp how the government is so greedy at the cost of human life.  We need Ghandi down here.  If I was a citizen I would lead a revolt.  I am surprised there isn’t a revolution here. 

I have learned over these past several months the country wasn’t always like this.  Evidently eight years ago they had a great leader.  The city was clean!  I have told you how filthy this place is with all the garbage everywhere.  Especially bad at the market place in the heart of the town. This garbage clogs the trenches which is the drainage system. Then when it rains because the water can’t drain the streets flood.  The sewage system leaks into this flood and diseases occur.  The old government provided garbage service.. Now there is no such service under this presidents regime.  I am sure the money that was formerly used for the service is now being pocketed by these crooks.  And this is only one area where money is being siphoned off for their pockets.  I read about it every single day.  The roads are another area that has fallen by the wayside.  I was told the roads used to be maintained.  Now some of the potholes are as big as a car.  The roads are terrible.  So no maintenance of garbage service or the roads are huge concerns for all the citizens here.  The city reminds me of pictures we see on the news of countries that are in a war.  I compare it to that because when we see news pictures afterwards, the cities are restored and made livable again.  Not here.  The city looks like it is under siege. 

So it goes.  My heart is heavy for the people.  The majority of the people I have encountered are very kind and appear happy.  I realize this is all they know especially the younger ones.  I have met a few well to do Guyanese but have learned they mostly deal drugs.  This is per my driver and other friends.  The police are corrupt and don’t even hide it.  One of their tactics is to set up road blocks.  They won’t let you pass unless you offer them a bribe.  I have gone through these road blocks and have been cautioned not to argue or complain.  The police are very threatening here.  They shoot unarmed people if they even suspect a person of any wrong doing. 

Right now the big news every day for the past couple of weeks is a young mans claim of police brutality.  This young man says he was raped while in police custody by an officer with a police baton.  It perforated his intestines and he is in the hospital with a colostomy bag fighting for his life.   Yesterday the Minister of Health gave a statement that the young mans injuries could have happened from a hernia in his scrotum that blocked the intestines causing gangrene.  Who to believe?  The politicians and police are evil and corrupt.  Perhaps the young man is hoping to use this to get a huge settlement?  Who knows.  So far another witness has come forward on behalf of the young man who is claiming the rape. 

On a lighter note, Mark and I are doing well.  It didn’t seem like Christmas to me this year.  I had pepperpot and black cake as is the tradition here.  It was good but not turkey and dressing! Haha!  I did find a decent place for NY pizza too this past month.  Believe me, when you are craving American food this is major.  The pizza here is not at all what we have in the states.  For one thing they bake the crust first with no toppings.  Then they put no sauce, about six thin strips of cheese and then load it with raw vegetables like onions and mushrooms.  They then reheat the pizza leaving all those veggies raw and barely warm.  It’s awful.  A brand new place opened around Christmas and I took the risk and tried it.  I have been back four times.  Nice thin crispy crust with pizza sauce and real mozzarella cheese.  I thought I had died and went to heaven!  It’s the small things after all!  I hope it succeeds here as my Guyanese friends don’t care for it as much as I do.  They feel like they are getting cheated because of the thin crust and lack of raw veggies.   I am just happy to find any type of food here I like and don’t have to make myself.  I cook a lot of egg or chicken dishes.  The food here is simply dreadful.  I hate admitting this but it is poor people food and is not edible to me.  I sound like a snob and I am not.  I just am used to decent food.   I make tacos almost one night a week and omelets a couple more.  If Mark has already eaten I don’t cook.   Mark is doing well.   Working hard and pretty much consumed with the job.  I am glad for that but don’t see myself living out my last years here.  Too dangerous and way too dirty.  I am still practicing my Spanish.  I have been fortunate to meet a few people form Mexico who work with Mark and come down every month.  One could barely speak English and with my awful Spanish and vivid charades like movements, we could somewhat understand each other.  I still dream of retiring in Costa Rica.

So aside from everything so far, my life is good.  I continue to volunteer with victims of domestic violence and I have been asked to be the Godmother for a new baby girl!  I am planning on holding a reception after the baptismal  in my back yard for eighty people.  The babys name is Kenisha and she is absolutely darling.  That’s all my news for now.  Thank you all for listening to my rants and thoughts.  It means so much and if you get a chance or feel like it, write me any time.  I love hearing from you.

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Christmas in Guyana

Well, here it is December already. I did buy a tree and some lights. Still need decorations so it is a bit naked looking at the moment. It has been an eventful past month. Last week we had a pretty good down pour. Believe me I have seen much worse in Florida. The rain cause the worse case of flooding since 1892. It was because of the poor conditions of those smelly trenches I think I told you about last month. They are all clogged up with Styrofoam containers (which don’t degrade ever) and plastic bottles. The city is responsible for maintaining the trenches but it hasn’t been done in years I guess. The reason it hasn’t been done is because the government is so crooked. Everyone is lining their pockets. It is so corrupt here.  This country has under a million people and is the size of Idaho. It is truly rich with gold and diamond mines. And yet the poverty and filth is heart breaking. There is no reason the population shouldn’t be thriving here. The young people all want to migrate to other countries and I don’t blame them. The police force is the most corrupt of all.  So during this flood I needed to go to town for errands. Driving up the main drag I see this huge snake on the road, dead with a guy poking it with a stick. It looked like it had just swallowed a goat or sheep or dog or something. It was about twelve feet in length. It was an anaconda!  Wow! It had to have come up from those nasty trenches! Luckily my neighborhood didn’t flood. Most of the flooding was right in town where it is the most populated. The water was up to my knees. I did not get out and walk in it. My God the diseases from that filth! All I could see in my mind was bacteria and germs percolating from those nasty horrid smelly trenches.

I have my own driver now instead of sharing with Marks company. It is wonderful. He is a very nice young man. He is so tall he has to duck coming in my house and going through the doorways! He is also my body guard. I am a target here mostly because of being white and American. I do love to get out of the house and explore and now with having Troy, my driver I can go anywhere whenever I want. I decided it costs less than if I had to buy a car, insurance and gas and maintenance to just hire a full time driver. Plus I need the safety a having him with me. His big brother was driving me (after I stopped using Vic) and when he started getting too busy he suggested I try out his little brother and see how it worked out. Well it has been great. The driving here is intimidating. I did get my international license so in a pinch I can legally drive and I have driven early in the morning when there is very light traffic. You have to a bully driver and yet courteous at the same time if that makes sense. Besides being very narrow and having those big deep trenches just inches from the road, there are pedestrians walking and on bicycles. Plus scooters that drive much slower than the cars and drive at the very edge. Plus there are horse and mule drawn trailers or wagons that are working hauling building material, rice, sugar cane you name it. All of this is in front of you and beside you as you are in your car. Let’s face it. I will be sixty next summer. My reflexes aren’t what they use to be.
The money here is called dollars. One thousand dollars Guyanese is five dollars USA. So you can be a millionaire here easily! All you need is five thousand US dollars which is one million Guyanese. They don’t say him or her in their speech. It is ‘e for he and sha for she. For instance we would say “Is her mother coming?” They say “Sha muddah come?” Or war sha brush?” For where is her brush.. They don’t say r’s on the end of words or ed at the end. This country is the last of the Carribean. It isn’t an island but they actually have the CariCon here which is the headquarters for all the Carribean countries. They have their summits and meetings here in Georgetown. Maybe it is because they speak English? It is the only country in South America that speaks English as its official language.
I read like crazy to full the time and wore out my Kindle! I have a new one coming next week from one of Marks associates flying in from the states. Electronics are super expensive here. They don’t have free trade here so duty is around forty percent plus they have something called VAT added also. It is at least double the price what we pay in the states.
I am getting much better acclimated the longer I am here. I still get homesick but can’t imagine living without Mark. I am cautiously making a couple of friends. I say cautiously because the first few I met and became friendly with pretty much just wanted things from me. Mainly money. I promptly dumped them.
My biggest challenges remain pain and loneliness but I am coping so much better. I am looking forward to Christmas here with Mark and a couple of friends who have adopted us! I wish all of you reading this a Merry Christmas and am sending you a hug. Take care and please feel free to drop me a line when you get a moment. I love hearing from you.

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Pain, Homesickness and Dealing With My New Life

As I begin my fourth month in my new home, I have come to many decisions regarding my new life and the challenges I face.  I am staying. I have come so close to flying back to the states all due to my back pain. I am so glad that I haven’t.  The longer I deal with my pain, believe it or not the stronger I am becoming. The idea of going home hurts my spirit. I belong with my husband and it would be so lonely and sad if I left.  I still miss home and my kids terribly but I will go back as a visitor and not to live.  I am actually handling for the first time in years being in chronic severe pain with ice packs and Tylenol.  I am past the depression and tears and am amazed how we are able to reprogram our brain to cope with adversity.  I ended up being hospitalized a couple weeks ago for three days.  The doctor had wanted to do a spinal block to ease the pain. He decided against it after reviewing the MRI that I had done here.  He said it was way to severe for anything to be done.  So I came home and decided I would handle this by myself. 

On another note, I must say it absolutely stinks here! Literally.  It is so filthy here. People through garbage all over and then others try to clean it up and burn it. Plastic bottles, glass, tin cans etc.  All of this while burning smells horrible. Mix that with the occasional whiff of decaying animals found along side the rode and the stench of the trenches which are just a foot or so from the edge of the really narrow roads filled with plastic bottles and other debris and this place reeks.  Then you have all the fumes from the vehicles that have no rules for exhaust and man oh man my eyes physically burn from that.  The worst smell after the death smell is the burning of the plastic bottles.  I never thought of myself as particularly sensitive regarding odors but that particular stench gags me. 

I have brief glimpses of astounding beauty here.  The kind that makes it hard to swallow and your eyes tear up.  I see wild macaws of all colors in the trees and on the fence by my home. Brightly colored birds that are seen single, in twos and once a huge flock eating figs from a palm tree!  They were spectacular to see in their own habitat.

Since I wrote a month or so ago, I have been to two embassy functions. Saw the president of Guyana at the first one.  I enjoyed the appetizers the best. It was at the Mexican Embassy and they had flown in authentic chefs and I love good Mexican food!  I got stuck with two arrogant retired Guyanese teachers who seemed to make it their mission to let me know how superior they were. Ugh. I let them prattle on and then left and found Mark and Vic and asked if it was time to go yet.  I guess that retired teachers are a given at these events.  They began by criticizing me for not knowing how to speak Spanish. Biotches. I just smiled and said I knew enough key words for nursing.  They wouldn’t let it go and I just smiled my way through their critical words.   The second event was much nicer.  I met the American and Canadian Ambassadors.  This was at the Mexican Ambassadors private residence. He is a very nice gentleman and his wife is fun and vivacious. Very intelligent both of them.  I was not impressed with the other ambassadors or their spouses.  The Americans seemed bored and arrogant. The Canadians were nicer but boring and really really young.  There was a professor from the Guyanese University along with his wife and teenage daughter.  They were interesting.

So that is all I have to report other then I miss all of you and would love to hear from you.  It is kind of lonely here!   I am still loosing weight but not as quickly as those first forty pounds. It is alright though. I would love to loose about another thirty. I have gone down several sizes which is great! My clothes are way too big and I bought a belt to keep my pants from falling down! Ha!

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Mostly loving it here…

Alright.  Things are looking up.  I have decided in order to stay here, I need a car. It basically entails getting used to drive on the left of the road and from the right side of the car. I can do this. As a driver for over forty years with not one ticket or accident I have new found confidence the more I get acclimated to my new home. The roads are very rough. Full of potholes and very narrow. And I live in the biggest city in the country and have been told they have the best roads!! Pretty scary!  I can not stand waiting for a ride and being driven!  I like being independent.  What made me realize that I need to take control is being late all the time as the driver is always late. Love him to death but I am just the type of person who can’t stand to be late for appointments and  usually attempt to arrive at least five or ten minutes early!!  Part of my OCD personality I guess. So a car is at the top of my list. I can go get an international drivers license they call it here and can drive anywhere.

I am adjusting a bit better. Culture shock, homesickness and lonleyness (sp?) is improving daily.  It helps that my pain is at least temporarily being kept at bay with morphine injections every twelve hours. And no for those of you not aware, I do NOT get high. When a person truly is in pain, the narcotics go to pain receptors of the brain and not the pleasure receptors. I have had to explain this even to medical personel for years. I held down a job for eight years taking large amounts of morphine deriviative meds. I drove, worked and functioned like anyone else.  I don’t mean to sound so defensive. I have been judged on this by others so I always attempt to explain. If you have never had the degree of pain I am under, I can understand that it may be difficult for many people to understand.  My spine was almost severed at L5 and S1 when I was 26 years old.  I had six weeks of hospitalization where I was immobilized and then almost a year of physical therapy. I got better and better and even went back to work as soon as I got out of the hospital. I went twenty years with my back just aching a bit like everyone else but never needed anything for pain. Then at age 46, the pain came back with a vengeance and never has left me. It is like a fire at the base of my spine and runs down my right leg all the way to the bottom of my foot.  All that works is opioids.  It is because it is the only medicine that helps with nerve pain. And nerves can’t be fixed. Enough about that as that is not what I really wanted to write about but I feel I owe all you an explanation about my difficulties here with the type of medication that is available. Nothing like we have available in the states. The meds here are very inexpensive though but really old fashioned compared to what we have available to us in the states.  Most people here could never afford our meds.  Sad but true. Luckily for me we are rich over here and I can afford a cab twice a day to and from the hospital for the injections, (against the law for me to take them home and give them to myself) and the price of the injections.  The price is equivalent to $2.40 here! So for around fifteen bucks a day I can get relief. That’s the taxi and the meds. You wouldn’t believe the hospitals here. Everyone is on one ward. Mothers with new babies, post op patients both adults and pediatrics. These nurses take care of everyone from newborns to elderly patients who are dying. I am truly impressed as this seems very difficult. WE are so specialized in the USA that I would be terrified to care for a new baby!! I knew in nursing school kids weren’t for me. They scared the heck out of me.  Give me adults only please!  One young male nurse asked me to find out an international address and phone for nursing jobs all over the world.  Most people here don’t own their own computers due to the cost.  So I got him all the info and there were so many sites to choose from. I wrote out six for him. I told him how we do nursing in the states and that it is specialized.  I also told him his experience was fantastic as he could go to almost any field.  I have been treated so kindly here. I absolutely love the Guyanese people. They are happy and appreciative of what they have.  The young people here that work for my husband, they all dress up. I remarked to my friend Vic that call centers in America are very casual and don’t dress up like the people here. He told me having a job that isn’t manual physical labor is valued and dressing up is a sign of pride for having a job that uses your mind not your back.  For those of you that don’t know, Mark is Executive Director for the second largest business (sugarcane is first) in this country. He is in charge of three thousand folk.  The company is a not for profit. They give back to the country and charities here.  So it’s a wonderful thing.  Most of it believe me there are frustrations that I witnessed first hand yesterday. I need my History and Physical from my former doctor in Florida.  I do not have an international phone line in my home like for a fax machine. My doctor here doesn’t have a fax machine either. My doctor in Florida I tried several times to fax from Marks workplace.  There is one fax machine that works. After making several attempts yesterday, my request and authorization to release medical info for my doctor here, finally arrived at the destination in Lake Mary Florida. I even called my former doctors office which is beyond awful. There are two receptionists there that are the rudest individuals I have ever dealt with. They are that way to everyone so it is not personal.  Just a couple of mean hard women. Before I could finish a sentence, she began arguing with me. You can’t have it sent to your house! It has to go to your new doctors office!! I explained my situation saying it was going to an office. I explained to her that this was  a third world country and the doctors don’t even own fax machine. They email or call one another. After getting her to finally listen and concede my point, Mark came into his office and said, “There is no ink in the fax machine.”  I was still on the phone to America so I told her I would call her back with an office fax as soon as I could find one.  Can you imagine the frustration??? I spent two hours calling the mean chick in Florida and dealing with faxing from a place that never uses the fax machine. Sigh. Mark was so upset I left. I told Vic to drive me to an internet café in town. The third place had access for international faxes. Only took me around four hours to get this straightened out. And truthfully? I won’t get the return fax now until Monday so who knows if it will happen yet?  I am so spoiled by the ease in which we have things in the states that I finally had to let go of my frustration and anger and just shrug it all off.  It is a different world here. Simpler yes. That is both good and bad.  The postal service is out of the question. It is a two to three hour ordeal to get anything that you may have received via mail. We don’t have mailmen in this country. I have cable tv. I just need to go in and pay my 8,000 dollar (Guyanese dollar) a month bill in cash before the sixth every month.  One thousand Guyanese dollars is five dollars US.  I even pay my rent in cash. No credit cards or checks here in this country.   So I carry this big wad of cash as the biggest denominator they have here is one thousand dollars (or five dollars).  One hundred dollars is fifty cents!!  At least it is easy to translate to US dollars.

You would not believe how much appliances, electronics and cars cost here. A lot more than we pay and it is inferior cheap stuff usually made in China.  No wonder people can’t afford this stuff. I would not mind paying so much if at lest the quality was there but it isn’t.  I hate paying a lot for junk.  For instance an eight hundred dollar refridgerator? About two grand here and it is cheaply made and inferior. All the stuff here is like that. I told Mark I will do without then pay the prices they are asking and getting.  I don’t understand how they get away with it., I hear because it has to be shipped but many of our products do too!  I am suspicious that the government gets a huge cut. Something doesn’t seem right to me  about this at all.   I need a wire rack for this kitchen or lack of that I have in this apartment. I went to every hardware store in town. Everything they had was flimsy and poorly made. I ordered one from Trinidad and I will get it in a couple more weeks.

Our landlords ninety two year old mother died three days ago. It was a very quiet easy passing. She had breakfast and sat down and took her last breath easily and painlessly according to witnesses.  (The maid and I are friends!!)  This landlord is incredibly cheap as I have mentioned before. He asked me for the rent to bury his mother the next day after she passed. I was thinking to myself (sarcasm here) why the hell doesn’t he just throw her over the seawall which is in our backyard!  I kept my calm and paid him and offered my condolences.  I also heard that he didn’t wait for guests to arrive from Europe and Canada as the funeral home charges for “storage.”  All I can say is wow……

I hope all of you reading my blog are doing well. I miss you all so much!! Today is beautiful out and I may take a walk on the seawall. Everyone does that here. It is a wall about seven feet tall and we have it as the sea is actually higher than the land! We are below sea level by six feet here and you can look to the ocean and then look to the land and you can see the difference! Isn’t it Death Valley in California that is also below sea level? And New Orleans? Doni-Lynn my Cajun princess you can help me with that question! LOL.. Well I have talked y’alls ears off. Love and hugs and thanks for reading! Your replys and critique feedback is always appreciates!

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Mostly loving it here…

Alright.  Things are looking up.  I have decided in order to stay here, I need a car. It basically entails getting used to drive on the left of the road and from the right side of the car. I can do this. As a driver for over forty years with not one ticket or accident I have new found confidence the more I get acclimated to my new home. The roads are very rough. Full of potholes and very narrow. And I live in the biggest city in the country and have been told they have the best roads!! Pretty scary!  I can not stand waiting for a ride and being driven!  I like being independent.  What made me realize that I need to take control is being late all the time as the driver is always late. Love him to death but I am just the type of person who can’t stand to be late for appointments and  usually attempt to arrive at least five or ten minutes early!!  Part of my OCD personality I guess. So a car is at the top of my list. I can go get an international drivers license they call it here and can drive anywhere.

 

I am adjusting a bit better. Culture shock, homesickness and lonleyness (sp?) is improving daily.  It helps that my pain is at least temporarily being kept at bay with morphine injections every twelve hours. And no for those of you not aware, I do NOT get high. When a person truly is in pain, the narcotics go to pain receptors of the brain and not the pleasure receptors. I have had to explain this even to medical personel for years. I held down a job for eight years taking large amounts of morphine deriviative meds. I drove, worked and functioned like anyone else.  I don’t mean to sound so defensive. I have been judged on this by others so I always attempt to explain. If you have never had the degree of pain I am under, I can understand that it may be difficult for many people to understand.  My spine was almost severed at L5 and S1 when I was 26 years old.  I had six weeks of hospitalization where I was immobilized and then almost a year of physical therapy. I got better and better and even went back to work as soon as I got out of the hospital. I went twenty years with my back just aching a bit like everyone else but never needed anything for pain. Then at age 46, the pain came back with a vengeance and never has left me. It is like a fire at the base of my spine and runs down my right leg all the way to the bottom of my foot.  All that works is opioids.  It is because it is the only medicine that helps with nerve pain. And nerves can’t be fixed. Enough about that as that is not what I really wanted to write about but I feel I owe all you an explanation about my difficulties here with the type of medication that is available. Nothing like we have available in the states. The meds here are very inexpensive though but really old fashioned compared to what we have available to us in the states.  Most people here could never afford our meds.  Sad but true. Luckily for me we are rich over here and I can afford a cab twice a day to and from the hospital for the injections, (against the law for me to take them home and give them to myself) and the price of the injections.  The price is equivalent to $2.40 here! So for around fifteen bucks a day I can get relief. That’s the taxi and the meds. You wouldn’t believe the hospitals here. Everyone is on one ward. Mothers with new babies, post op patients both adults and pediatrics. These nurses take care of everyone from newborns to elderly patients who are dying. I am truly impressed as this seems very difficult. WE are so specialized in the USA that I would be terrified to care for a new baby!! I knew in nursing school kids weren’t for me. They scared the heck out of me.  Give me adults only please!  One young male nurse asked me to find out an international address and phone for nursing jobs all over the world.  Most people here don’t own their own computers due to the cost.  So I got him all the info and there were so many sites to choose from. I wrote out six for him. I told him how we do nursing in the states and that it is specialized.  I also told him his experience was fantastic as he could go to almost any field.  I have been treated so kindly here. I absolutely love the Guyanese people. They are happy and appreciative of what they have.  The young people here that work for my husband, they all dress up. I remarked to my friend Vic that call centers in America are very casual and don’t dress up like the people here. He told me having a job that isn’t manual physical labor is valued and dressing up is a sign of pride for having a job that uses your mind not your back.  For those of you that don’t know, Mark is Executive Director for the second largest business (sugarcane is first) in this country. He is in charge of three thousand folk.  The company is a not for profit. They give back to the country and charities here.  So it’s a wonderful thing.  Most of it believe me there are frustrations that I witnessed first hand yesterday. I need my History and Physical from my former doctor in Florida.  I do not have an international phone line in my home like for a fax machine. My doctor here doesn’t have a fax machine either. My doctor in Florida I tried several times to fax from Marks workplace.  There is one fax machine that works. After making several attempts yesterday, my request and authorization to release medical info for my doctor here, finally arrived at the destination in Lake Mary Florida. I even called my former doctors office which is beyond awful. There are two receptionists there that are the rudest individuals I have ever dealt with. They are that way to everyone so it is not personal.  Just a couple of mean hard women. Before I could finish a sentence, she began arguing with me. You can’t have it sent to your house! It has to go to your new doctors office!! I explained my situation saying it was going to an office. I explained to her that this was  a third world country and the doctors don’t even own fax machine. They email or call one another. After getting her to finally listen and concede my point, Mark came into his office and said, “There is no ink in the fax machine.”  I was still on the phone to America so I told her I would call her back with an office fax as soon as I could find one.  Can you imagine the frustration??? I spent two hours calling the mean chick in Florida and dealing with faxing from a place that never uses the fax machine. Sigh. Mark was so upset I left. I told Vic to drive me to an internet café in town. The third place had access for international faxes. Only took me around four hours to get this straightened out. And truthfully? I won’t get the return fax now until Monday so who knows if it will happen yet?  I am so spoiled by the ease in which we have things in the states that I finally had to let go of my frustration and anger and just shrug it all off.  It is a different world here. Simpler yes. That is both good and bad.  The postal service is out of the question. It is a two to three hour ordeal to get anything that you may have received via mail. We don’t have mailmen in this country. I have cable tv. I just need to go in and pay my 8,000 dollar (Guyanese dollar) a month bill in cash before the sixth every month.  One thousand Guyanese dollars is five dollars US.  I even pay my rent in cash. No credit cards or checks here in this country.   So I carry this big wad of cash as the biggest denominator they have here is one thousand dollars (or five dollars).  One hundred dollars is fifty cents!!  At least it is easy to translate to US dollars.

 

You would not believe how much appliances, electronics and cars cost here. A lot more than we pay and it is inferior cheap stuff usually made in China.  No wonder people can’t afford this stuff. I would not mind paying so much if at lest the quality was there but it isn’t.  I hate paying a lot for junk.  For instance an eight hundred dollar refridgerator? About two grand here and it is cheaply made and inferior. All the stuff here is like that. I told Mark I will do without then pay the prices they are asking and getting.  I don’t understand how they get away with it., I hear because it has to be shipped but many of our products do too!  I am suspicious that the government gets a huge cut. Something doesn’t seem right to me  about this at all.   I need a wire rack for this kitchen or lack of that I have in this apartment. I went to every hardware store in town. Everything they had was flimsy and poorly made. I ordered one from Trinidad and I will get it in a couple more weeks.

 

Our landlords ninety two year old mother died three days ago. It was a very quiet easy passing. She had breakfast and sat down and took her last breath easily and painlessly according to witnesses.  (The maid and I are friends!!)  This landlord is incredibly cheap as I have mentioned before. He asked me for the rent to bury his mother the next day after she passed. I was thinking to myself (sarcasm here) why the hell doesn’t he just throw her over the seawall which is in our backyard!  I kept my calm and paid him and offered my condolences.  I also heard that he didn’t wait for guests to arrive from Europe and Canada as the funeral home charges for “storage.”  All I can say is wow……

 

I hope all of you reading my blog are doing well. I miss you all so much!! Today is beautiful out and I may take a walk on the seawall. Everyone does that here. It is a wall about seven feet tall and we have it as the sea is actually higher than the land! We are below sea level by six feet here and you can look to the ocean and then look to the land and you can see the difference! Isn’t it Death Valley in California that is also below sea level? And New Orleans? Doni-Lynn my Cajun princess you can help me with that question! LOL.. Well I have talked y’alls ears off. Love and hugs and thanks for reading! Your replys and critique feedback is always appreciates!

 

 

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