It’s Jan. 6 and we’re exploring Stabroek Market in Georgetown. I’m following our group, lead by Denroy Tudor who works for the Ministry of Public Health, taking in the crowded and packed market. It soon becomes clear that Tudor is working on gaining us access to the clock tower that stands high above the market.
In my head, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, what an experience! We’re going to get to do something that not even all the locals do.’
It never occurred to me, that we would have to climb to the top …
… on winding staircases that aren’t completely closed off…
…that you can see straight through.
Back in Texas, my mom can’t even get me up more than one ladder step because of my fear of heights. Now, here in Guyana, I’m hurriedly following my group and trying not to get lost in the throng of people and products.
Before I know it, before I can process it, I’m ascending the steps.
I grip the handrail as my heart pounds against my chest and I’m trying to keep my emotions in control.
‘I want my mom. Right now. I need her,’ plays on repeat in my mind.
I make it half way, I’m told.
There’s only one more winding staircase between me and the top of this clock tower. I mindlessly trudge on, determined to take step after step and only think about that.
I can’t turn around, not really, because there’s the rest of my group behind me on this tiny, winding, hole-filled staircase. I shift my gaze from the market below me when sunlight begins to infiltrate my peripheral vision.
I emerge onto a patio of sorts, with a 360 degree view of the market. Bright buildings, cars and umbrellas are visible in every direction, except for the side with a gorgeous view of the Demerara River.
For a moment, I forget about the internal struggle I faced to get myself up the clock tower. I forget about the fact that I will have to go back down the tiny, winding, hole-filled staircases.
I look around at the city that has been my home for the past four days. The city that has welcomed me with open arms. This beautiful city filled with beautiful souls.
Before I came to Guyana, I was filled with so much anxiety about being away from my mom, my lack of respiratory therapy knowledge and my skills as a reporter.
As I’m staring at the people and cars below me, I’m also taking in the people surrounding me. My instructor who brought me here, my teammates who never fail to make me laugh and the respiratory therapy students who happily teach me about their work.
I’m realizing that I have it within myself to try new things, to accomplish things no matter how much they scare me. And, just as importantly, I have people in my life to help me along the way.
I go down the stairs with an adrenaline high. I don’t see the holes below me, I don’t trip over myself as much on the tiny steps and this time…
While it may not seem like a spot for tourism, Guyana has lots of natural beauty along with historical sites and landmarks that have a deep meaning to the people that live there.
A group of Texas State students visited Guyana on a study abroad trip and in their downtime were able to visit many of these spots. Guyana is ethnically, racially, and culturally diverse with many groups being represented throughout the country. Watch below for some clips of the places the students saw as they traveled.
For more information on tourism in Guyana please visit http://www.guyana-tourism.com/
Study abroad students dedicated a day to touring in Guyana in between their time working in hospitals and schools.
The Texas State respiratory care students and Global News Team visited a museum, church and historical landmarks in and near Georgetown, Guyana on Jan. 6, the 5th day of their trip. The students traveled by van to markets for souvenir shopping and views from a clock tower.
Claudette Heyliger-Thomas, medical director of Bridges Global Medical Missions, first visited Sophia Care Center in September 2016 to administer general medical examinations on the children.
After seeing some of the center’s other needs, she decided to go back in January 2018. Along with donations, she brought with her 10 Texas State students who had been in Guyana for two weeks working with Bridges in a study abroad program.
The Texas State team left Guyana the following day, returning to Texas to start their spring 2018 semester.
Photos and videos by Skyler Jennings/Global News Team.
An immersive study abroad program in the School of Journalism & Mass Communication