Thursday, 30 October 2008

Should I be offended or pleased?

At lunchtime today I went to pay my telephone and internet bill. I went to GT&T, was searched on entry and saw two queues - one with around 20 people and another with 3. I joined the one with three. Then I looked up and saw "Senior citizen's only". So resigned to a long wait I went over and joined the long queue.

Lo and behold, the guard came up to me and said "This is your queue". Well, I know my hair may be a little speckled with grey but I don't see myself as a senior citizen. But I didn't argue. You never argue with a man with a gun! Well, that's my excuse for joining the pensioners' line and being out in two minutes.

But in Guyana, I would be a senior citizen at 55 so "what the heck? If you can't beat 'em, join 'em."

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Diwali Celebrations

Today was a national holiday for Deepavali - Hindu Festival of Light. We were invited along to the home of a sister of one of the master trainers that I work with. We were provided with the most wonderful spread. It is amazing how some people can make meatless food so tasty. There were so many traditional dishes both savoury and sweet - never seen so many deserts. We had our fill and they must have cooked enough for 50 and it was packed into boxes and given to neighbours. What a lovely idea and celebration.

These are the things we will miss when we leave Guyana.

Deepavali 2008

When you are here for more than a year, things come round for a second time and you fall into a pattern. Well, it's Diwali time -Indian festival of light at the darkest time of the year.There's a motorcade in Georgetown and several others all over the country. So like last year we went along to see it with all of the crowds.

It was bigger than last year and more people with more floats all lit up in their multicoloured lights, large Lilly leaves with young girls sitting in them and tributes to the Gods. All in all it was a very colourful affair and was great to watch and be a part of. Except for one thing. Some silly people threw firecrackers and one went right by us, jumped up and hit our VSO friend who took the brunt of it, burning her bag, her jeans and, worst of all, her skin. Had to go to hospital but is recovering with a nasty burn which will heal but put a sour taste to the evening. She's fine though, very brave and up and moving again.
The floats leave the Shri Krishna Mandir in New Campbellville and go along the East Coast to La Bonne Intention (I love that name - it's what I am full of). It was only an hour late getting to us so that is good timing by Guyana's standards.

Cultural Extravaganza - Guyana Police Force

You know there are some times when you need a lift because life is a little bit samey. Well this weekend was it. Not so much the weekend but from Sunday night onwards. Weekend was the same as always - shopping etc etc. But on Sunday evening we splashed out the $500 each (that's £1.50 since the recession) and went to the National Cultural Centre. For those who know Croydon, it's like a smaller version of Fairfield Halls and very nice.

Despite its title it was a mixture of talent from the Guyana Police Force and friends. It was police and military bands, singers, indian dance, gymnastics and Creole comedy (we're starting to understand some of it now). It's not just about the words but the culture. It was great and really uplifting. There was such talent it was surprising they ever find time to do their shooting practice with the automatic weapons they carry around with them. As usual, I digress. One even played a rifle like a trumpet. We really enjoyed it.

Thankyou Guyana Police Force!

Sunday, 26 October 2008

Canadian Thanksgiving

I've never been to a Thanksgiving before, American or Canadian and so it was a great treat when we were invited by Miriam, our Canadian volunteer friend (honoroury VSO - she is with the church volunteering for three years), invited us for the Canadian Thanksgiving on 13th October. It fully lived up to expectations!

Not easy to get a turkey in Guyana but she did it and our VSO friends Nicolette and Martin regalled us with a magnificant Pumkin Pie (never had that before either) which was really delicious. Actually the food was superb and the company even better. Pity Mary and Meg had to miss it, being on their way to Mahdia. Turkey, all the trimmings. What a treat.

Thanks Miriam! I wasn't the only non Canadian because Peace Corps American Chase was there. They certainly do it in style even in Guyana.
Nicolette and Martin's Pumpkin Pie

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Latest news for October

Just to let you know that the latest news for the month of October has been updated. So just look at the sidebar on the right.