It was hard to leave the Iwokrama (“Refuge”) Field Station, it is so beautiful! But Bina Hill is the hub for research in the Rupununi, its close to key communities, and lots of young people who used to be in Wildlife Clubs are going to school there. So it was time to shift from the lovely rainforest to the breezy savannah near Annai (“Corn”). I hitched a ride with the patrol, which picks up garbage along the road and keeps track of what they pick up, as well as what wildlife they spot. So it was a long & sweaty ride, but free and great company!
I arrived, and tried to get oriented in my new digs. Lots of young people and Elders on the North Rupununi District Development Board, a community radio station – the palce is buzzing. The compound has the Bina Hill Institute itself, a secondary school, housing for students and teachers, and a huge two story benab where classes are held. The upper floor was MADE for capoeira, hard wood, gorgeous view, all in a circle. A new tourist attraction perhaps, roda on the Rupununi? So of course I was trying it out, and turns out one student trained capoeira for a few months. This also lead to me being invited to run & exercise the next morning.
It was high time to work off all those bakes I’d been eating, so I eagerly accepted.
“What time?” “5am.” “Pardon, could you tell me what time again, it sounded like you said 5am.” “Yes, 5am” “5am.” “Yes, 5am.” “Really?” “Yes.” “Are you sure?” Laughter.
The students have lots to do before class in the morning, so they run & exercise from 5-6am, then garden or clean until 8am, then classes start at 9am.
So I set my alarm for 4:50am, told them to knock on my window, and went to bed…