Sunday, 22 February 2009
The last week went fairly quickly - oraganising, dismantling, saying goodbyes and packing. Just like when we left England we ate out a lot in the last week - one final trip to the Brazilian Restaurant with Mira, Michaela and her Mum who was visiting. On Tuesday we went to the Good Thriving Chinese with Nicholas and Jenelle and then on Wednesday, having cleaned out the fridge and freezer, Mary and I went for one last trip to Odyssey Roof Top Garden and saw the biggest moon ever. Our final night was spent at Nicolette and Martin's with the 13th Club (celebrating our arrival in Guyana on 13th of every month). We had a wonderful Guyanese meal cooked by Cecelia with Pepperpot, dumplings, fish balls and metagee - an excellent end to Guyanese cuisine.
We had a leisurely departure on the Friday. Jente was just arriving in Guyana for a two week holiday and she came to see us and we had breakfast together at home. A great treat because we hadn't seen her since she left nearly 18 months before. So the time came and our favourite taxi driver, Rahim, took us to the airport with Meg in a separate car and before you knew it, we were on the plane and flying over the rain forest and Guyana was history. We were on our way to New York and then to Las Vegas for a holiday before returning home on 2nd March 2009.
Tuesday, 10 February 2009
- Quality of pineapple jam filling
- Quality of pastry - somewhere between puff and short crust
- The colour of the egg wash - not too yellow
- The taste
- The size
- The ability to stay fresh overnight
I had to make a decision and time was getting close when I would never eat another pine tart again unless I made it myself. And then, lo and behold, at the party Nichola and Richard turned up with a box full made by their neighbour baker in Corriverton Region 6. I had to try several during the course of the evening and then have another for breakfast to judge point 6 above.
Nichola and Richard arrived the next day with bated breath whilst I gave my report. I could see Nichola was nervous but it was really important to be impartial about this.
Any way, all in all and taking everything into consideration, I declared the Corriverton Pine Tart the official definitive one of all time.
A fitting end to an enormous and onerous task for me over the last two years.
Of course, Nichola and Richard and Cheryl were there to witness this momentous occasion.
Now it's important to say one last thing before I close. When we arrived in Guyana we were taken to Corriverton for our Home Stay with Cheryl. She gave us a wonderful weekend. It was only fitting therefore that Cheryl stayed with us on our last weekend.
These were the words of Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) volunteers Ms Meg Caton, Mr. Stephen Harding, and his wife Ms. Mary Harding; three individuals who, after meeting for the first time two years ago, have found fulfillment, fun and friends for life, as they served as volunteers based at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).The three, who supported the Education Sector here with their various talents, are bound for the United Kingdom (UK) and will be leaving next Saturday as they set off to reunite with family, and experience new things.“I am going home to two grandchildren expected over the next few weeks,” Meg Caton said, bitter-sweet emotions emanating from her words.She described her experience here as everything from exciting, rewarding and amazing to challenging and new.
Working with Mary Harding in Curriculum Development, Meg conveyed the feeling of satisfaction that came from visiting schools all across Guyana and seeing children being happy to read.
“Seeing them use the materials we helped develop, and the joy they got from reading was extremely rewarding,” she said.However, besides the rewards of her professional stint in Guyana, Meg said she was delighted at being a part of the Guyanese culture, and the many major events that occurred during her stay here.
“Everything that could have gone wrong on the trip to Shell Beach went wrong, but we were laughing the entire time,” he said.Smiling too, Mary’s memories traced back to the trip, as she reminded her husband of the boat breaking down in the middle of nowhere but added that the experience was worth so much.“
We were whisked off in 4 X 4s to a private boat yard were a Jet Boat met us to take us down the Essequibo, passed Eddie Grant's private island to the Mazaruni near Itabali. We were to visit a granite quarry. Now, that doesn't sound too exciting but the way we did it, it surely was. The boat went twice as fast as a normal speedboat so that was a treat in itself. there were 7 of us and we were treated like VIPs the whole day.
On arrival at the quarry, a brand new bus, a real rarity in Guyana, took us 200 yards to an open air breakfast where we broke our fast Guyanese style with three different types of salt fish and bake and every different type of bun / cake imaginable, washed down with coffee and fruit juice. We were the guests of the owners, Brian and Gloria who had been working this quarry for three years and in that short time provided the granite for practically all the roads in Guyana and the extensive sea defenses.
Then we set off for the tour and the bus followed us all the way in case any of us got tired. We ended up in the Board room where we were forced to drink wine for two hours or so whilst we watched the whole operation from huge picture windows. The bus then took us into the rain forest where, lo and behold, was laid out a table with white cloth and crystal ready for lunch. This consisted, after drinks and appetizers, of Duck Curry, Mutton Curry, Mountain Fish and the biggest prawns you ever did see. All are Guyanese delicacies and were delicious. The bus then took us along the trail to Bartica where we were met by the boat which took us to Parika where the cars met us again and took us all the way home, where we arrived for our party at 7-26pm for a 7-30pm start.
What a day, what a treat and what an end to our time in Guyana!!
Waiting for the boat back to Parika after a superb day
Monday, 9 February 2009
Mary receives plaque from Andrew Kartick
Murray presents Meg with her ear rings
We will certainly miss NCERD after two years there!
Stephen showing off the plaque of appreciation
Emily was born at 8lbs 1oz on the evening of 23rd January 2009
Miss P and her "live-wire" sister in law!