Saturday, August 20, 2011

Overseas based Guyanese reflects on his most recent visit home

Georgetown, Guyana

Kenneth Hernandez: BOARDING the Caribbean Airlines plane, several weeks ago, to return home to Canada, I could not but reflect on the past decade, wherein six trips to Guyana changed my mindset of a country I once called home. Leaving Guyana as a young person, 40 years ago, I never thought that I would put so much effort and time into returning so often. My last article, 10 years earlier, described the cultural shock experienced after living abroad for over 30 years. Reading newspapers and researching how Guyana was progressing were not enough to prepare me for that first return visit. However, after a warm reception wherever we went, and numerous interactions with Guyanese from all walks of life, there was no longer hesitation to contact local travel agencies for reserving flights home! Here is the link to my first article with details on that initial trip to Guyana 40 years ago:
Due to these trips to Guyana, my knowledge of the present state and ongoing development of the country has increased. As the plane took off for destination Canada, I had mixed thoughts of returning to my present world of advanced technology, more stable politics, four seasons, the rest of my family and my favourite sport of hockey! You see, during the past 10 years, a love for this only English-speaking country in South America was being rekindled! Although we have to accept reality when our vacation period ends, I was being drawn to returning, investing in Guyana and building my own vacation home for future visits!
This last trip home, we spent more time in Georgetown on business matters, but my main interest was geared towards community and social activities in Region 2, Essequibo Coast, especially in the Charity/Pomeroon area. Visitors, going directly to the capital, rarely visit the Essequibo region and don’t realize what they are missing out on; the amicable living environment, receptive residents, beautiful resorts, enjoyable nightlife and healthy countryside living with lots of fruits and vegetables!
Although my schedule was quite packed with events and activities, I was always flexible for visiting Charity and Anna Regina markets on market day. It amazes me to see so many locals coming from various villages on the coast and at the side of the Pomeroon River, heading to the markets, competing with others to sell their produce and other products. Afterwards, nothing is more relaxing than having a cold one at Purpleheart, the main club scene in the Charity area.
During my most recent visits to Guyana, I had the opportunity to attend a regional council meeting at Anna Regina. This was quite interesting as it gave me an insight into local politics. Also, this year, I was fortunate to participate and speak at a memorial for 17- year-old Ballramnauth Kandhai, who was shot and killed at a political event. This was a touching time for all. Parents should never be in the position of outliving their children. My deepest condolences go out to his family.

Also, at last year’s Regatta at Mainstay Resort, I met Guyana’s President Bharrat Jagdeo. Although he was busy meeting the masses, he did take the time to welcome me warmly. This was my sixth visit to Mainstay, a resort worth mentioning! While many overseas-based Guyanese head south to other resorts for vacation, they should, at least once, spend some time here. Mainstay can compete with other resorts, as a location for family entertainment and business meetings.
Unfortunately, due to other family activities, there was no opportune time to take a Roraima Travel tour to Kaieteur Falls or to relax at the Arrowpoint Resort. After researching the present tour package, I am eager to pay a visit. You can guess where I will be on my next trip. Look out, Gerry Gouveia, here I come! Read more.......

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