I am not your average visito to Guyana, but ny 7th trip to Guyana was certainly an eventful one, as it was my first trip where I experienced the full everyday of Guyana – traffic, police, hospital, aggression on the roadways.

While what I am about to write, as a foreigner, might be critical of aspects of the country, let it be known that I love the country with a passion. My wife is from there. I got married there and I am always trying to go there to visit and would live there if the right opportunity came along. I write this as a person from the outside looking in, in hopes that some in the country might use it for some introspection. Yes, I am from the U.S Virgin Islands and I hate to see when someone visits a travel site to put my islands on blast, right or wrong, so I know I might get some clap back for daring to be an outsider having an opinion about the country.

The first thing I want to talk about it the aggression on the road. I am not sure, as yet, if what I see on the road permeates the entire society or it is just that when Guyanese people get behind the wheel, they take on a new identity. OF course, I saw the same think Jamaica during my 20 or so visits to that island and we have a few loose cases in the Virgin Islands, but our islands are so small with less roads so not too much space to really be aggressive, considering our hairpin curves and hillside roads.

So, there I was, on the roads, being all careful because I thought my Guyanese passengers would have freaked out if I was driving like other Guyanese drivers. After all, I am not Guyanese, not do I drive the roads daily so it stands to reason I would not “know” the roads like the local folks (I actually do know the roads). I thought that driving the speed limit, not overtaking everything in sight, not weaving in and out of traffic and not bullying every other driver I came across would have been a comforting thing. Well, to my surprise, occupants in the car were pushing me to drive faster, be more aggressive and be more nasty, meaning, not allowing anyone to squeeze in front of me or even stop to allow others a spot in front of me. Some of these occupants were the same ones lamenting all the accidents, from minor to tragic (like the little 7-year old girl who was cut in half by a truck at Agricola, while I was there), but in the next breath, encouraging me to engage in driving behaviors that lead to such accidents. This was indeed perplexing to me, even more disheartening when the vehicle I was driving was not even mine. As a result, after some back and forth, we had to come to an agreement that I had a wife and child to live for, I did not want to die or end up in a hospital because of some ego driven desire to make a point on the road.

While in Guyana, a situation came up where I had to visit Georgetown hospital. I understand the hospital has some fine doctors, but I have to admit, the hospital’s emergency room and the male ward left a lot to be desired. I am saying this even though on St. Thomas, where I am from, it is not like our hospital looks like an inviting palace either. The beds were rusty (heaven forbid a scrape), had no tables next to them where occupants could sit up and eat and no curtains between beds to provide some semblance of privacy. I certainly can understand employees there might be desensitized, but after speaking to one of my wife’s friends who is a local doctor, he pointed out that while there are certainly knowledgeable nurses and doctors at that hospital, empathy is lacking. From what I saw, the “Caribbean curse” (lack of customer service skills) is also generally absent in this sector also. Doctors and nurses were short and seemingly impatient. Admittedly, their plates were full and someone pointed out to me many seem to think they really don’t get paid enough to deal with the madness to which, on person countered by saying, “they knew this going into the profession, working in Guyana.” What would my experience not be if I was not pulled over by the police. It happened on a day when I had to rush to the Georgetown hospital with one of my wife’s relatives, followed by me falling through a wooden plank across from the hospital, with one foot submerging into a running drain, while holding my son in one hand. It was also later on that day I was stuck in traffic for 3-hours after the 7-year old child was tragically killed in that accident. Yes, it was that kind of a day when “Officer I need to make a few dollars” pulled me over and tried to first catch me on a tint charge, then worked his way down to paperwork to find some technicality. He found one based on my ignorance and escorted me to the station after he realized I was not reaching for my wallet. A few phone calls, one from his boss, ended his venture and that was that, as I walked out of the station.

Now, as in Jamaica and a few other places, this is really disheartening as it is a well-known part of the police culture in such places. It is because it suggests that the local police can be bought for pennies to keep them off your back or to entice them to do dirty deeds. Granted, they may not also be making much money for such a demanding and dangerous job, but again, they knew this before they signed up, I would want to believe.

Traffic was another huge issue. Heading to Diamond from Bourda Market one evening, I expected to encounter traffic, but not as far back as the back road at South Ruimveldt, nearly back to the La Penitence police station. Certainly there much have been an accident, right? Turns out there was one some 2 hours earlier, however, as I edged all the way from South Ruimveldt to the Harbor Bridge, there was not one accident to be found. Seems like the back up was all about traffic to the bridge.

Apart from my first item of criticism here, I keep telling myself that I hope Guyana plays its cards right with this oil discovery and take care of foundations and infrastructure first. Build new and more roads to ease traffic congestion. Build new hospitals and equip them with the latest state of the art equipment as well as refurbish and build new schools with the latest equipment filling the class rooms. Better bigger and better nursing homes and stock the social coffer with enough money to take care of less fortunate citizens. Just the building up of infrastructure would put so many people to work to build and to provide services to the builders and ease the employment crunch AND it would also be a great time to lift the wages to well above a living wage. A happy, well paid, well fed, well taken care of people, makes for a stable, peaceful, low crime society, I would think.

Original Post

His observations are spot on. And yes, the callousness on the roads reflect the general society, politicians and all.  

Lack of empathy has always been there!  Much of this attitude has been transferred within the diaspora community!

I made that comment on a politician FB recently.

skeldon_man posted:
Prashad posted:

The man should visit Mexico if he want to see bad drivers.

Do white skin Arabs exhibit this behavior too?

Many White skin Arabs believe that us brown South Asians were created to serve them. The brown paki is trying his best to pretend that he is a white Arab. Pakis are even growing and eating olives and dates now.

 Racist white Arabs can kiss my brown behind.

Prashad posted:
skeldon_man posted:
Prashad posted:

The man should visit Mexico if he want to see bad drivers.

Do white skin Arabs exhibit this behavior too?

Many White skin Arabs believe that us brown South Asians were created to serve them. The brown paki is trying his best to pretend that he is a white Arab. Pakis are even growing and eating olives and dates now.

 Racist white Arabs can kiss my brown behind.

This is a post about Guyana, what Arabs, South Asians and Paki have to do with Makari's article. There are many other subjects you can write about. The poster forget to mention that many Guyanese are Pagalee, he didn't have to visit Guyana, he just have to read GNI.

Baseman posted:

His observations are spot on. And yes, the callousness on the roads reflect the general society, politicians and all.  

Lack of empathy has always been there!  Much of this attitude has been transferred within the diaspora community!

I made that comment on a politician FB recently.

Everything will change when oil money starts flowing. Guyana will become a paradise.

Thanks for the replies, all. No, I do NOT, by a long shot, consider Guyana a "shit hole." Man,  see sooooooooooo much potentential in that country. If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No, I don't mean militarily, but on par with a Denmark or Iceland, for its size. Even better, it's current small population, in relaton to land, would make it even easier to get EVERYONE to share a piece of the pie.  

As for the Putagee joke, interestingly enough, like my [Guyanese] wife, we are both descedants of, though we come from two different ends of the "Caribbean." My paternal great, great, grandmother (de Jesus) was from Madeira and my maternal great, great, grandfather (da Costa) was also from Madeira. My wife's maternal great grandfather (Texeira-Doria).

Ok, be aware that I am a person who, upon landing in ANY new place and even my own home (St. Thomas), I immediately begin observing and taking in the place. I am not necessarily first interested in the clubs, bars, drinking, the beach. I start observing the vibe, the people, the everyday, the missing things, the things that could be better, done better. I look at the existence and state of the children. I read the local news and, as I do with Jamaica's (a place I've visited many times and at length, at times), St. Kitts-Nevis' (my roots), St. Thomas' (my birthplace) and now Guyana's. I am interested. I am, at least for now, emotionallly and mentally invested in these places. I try to be as educated as I can possibly be when it comes to places I visit which is one of the reasons people (from these countries) often joke that I know about the country than many o fthe people living in the country. LOL....

Interestingly enough, my wife and I have a son and his middle name, a name of an Amerindian village on the upper Essequibo and it is the name I use here for my alias/handle. I scoured the Guyanese map for a name for him and Makari it was.

Anyway, I truly love Guyana and its people. I love my Caribbean people, no matter where you are from. I know of our problems, our tensions and our issues, but I REFUSE to let them define ANY of us. This is mo repressing to me now that I know "vultures" loom to gentrify the hell out of our countries so we can sit and fight, argue and mill one another and take our lands for granted or get together as a unified wall and defend against the Wight Walkers. 

If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No,

 

Totally in agreement with you BUT the current Govt is not capable of building a progressive Guyana. They simply does not possess the necessary Tools to do so. They are totally CORRUPT, their corruption is aggressive and in your face. They destroyed Guyana for 28 years( This you can research), was given a second chance, what happened? They became worst that the first time!!

seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

See now if I was a bad putagee I would tell you to, haul you ass.

Nehru posted:

If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No,

 

Totally in agreement with you BUT the current Govt is not capable of building a progressive Guyana. They simply does not possess the necessary Tools to do so. They are totally CORRUPT, their corruption is aggressive and in your face. They destroyed Guyana for 28 years( This you can research), was given a second chance, what happened? They became worst that the first time!!

Ouuuuu and the Previous govt did ohhhh so much eh bai?

Makari, you will see in the coming years that ONLY Govt officials living large and the majority fighting for a meal. And you do not have to be a genius to make such a prediction, you just have to know the ways of this Govt!!

I agree with you that people need to be unified and take the fight to the mighty Exxon and others. The British have raped our Countries of its wealth and human Capital and now are about to do so again with our new found resources(OIL)

cain posted:
Nehru posted:

If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No,

 

Totally in agreement with you BUT the current Govt is not capable of building a progressive Guyana. They simply does not possess the necessary Tools to do so. They are totally CORRUPT, their corruption is aggressive and in your face. They destroyed Guyana for 28 years( This you can research), was given a second chance, what happened? They became worst that the first time!!

Ouuuuu and the Previous govt did ohhhh so much eh bai?

More that this Govt can do in 3 life time!!

Nehru posted:
cain posted:
Nehru posted:

If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No,

 

Totally in agreement with you BUT the current Govt is not capable of building a progressive Guyana. They simply does not possess the necessary Tools to do so. They are totally CORRUPT, their corruption is aggressive and in your face. They destroyed Guyana for 28 years( This you can research), was given a second chance, what happened? They became worst that the first time!!

Ouuuuu and the Previous govt did ohhhh so much eh bai?

More that this Govt can do in 3 life time!!

Correct! During their tenure, coke was bringing in some serious dough...way more than now..dem people getting ketch.

Nehru posted:

If cards can be played right and leaders take a deep interest in equity for its citizens, that country can be a power on the world stage. No,

 

Totally in agreement with you BUT the current Govt is not capable of building a progressive Guyana. They simply does not possess the necessary Tools to do so. They are totally CORRUPT, their corruption is aggressive and in your face. They destroyed Guyana for 28 years( This you can research), was given a second chance, what happened? They became worst that the first time!!

Indeed they wrecked havoc on Guyana due to an embrace of the utopianism of Marxism. If Cheddi was there it would not have played out much different than Marxist states of the era. The PPP followed the PNC and they proceeded to project their brand of corrupt practices such that some 6 decades since our independence we are still the second from the bottom poverty wise in the entire western hemisphere. That despite having been blessed with vast mineral potential, vast agricultural expanses and fairly decent climate.

Ray posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

yuh need to chill

Is it a suspendable comment. 

Cain and I have an understanding.

cain posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

See now if I was a bad putagee I would tell you to, haul you ass.

Everytime I write Putagee, I think of you. And I do it juss to provoke. Yuh down the road from me, and we goan meet up someday.

seignet posted:
cain posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

See now if I was a bad putagee I would tell you to, haul you ass.

Everytime I write Putagee, I think of you. And I do it juss to provoke. Yuh down the road from me, and we goan meet up someday.

Aren't u in the west end? You probably two plus hours down de road from me , banna.

 

cain posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

See now if I was a bad putagee I would tell you to, haul you ass.

Everytime I write Putagee, I think of you. And I do it juss to provoke. Yuh down the road from me, and we goan meet up someday.

Aren't u in the west end? You probably two plus hours down de road from me , banna.

 

wid me driving skills more like 3 hour.

seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

I understand that maybe you left GY two generations ago but loads of Indos live in GT and among the aggressive drivers are many Indos as well.

Your usually racism has been noted.

seignet posted:
Ray posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

yuh need to chill

Is it a suspendable comment. 

Cain and I have an understanding.

"He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. "

This is what I am talking about

caribny posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

Thanks for that Makari.

wah, he tellig yuh sumting yuh doan know? He only talking bout the environs of GT, putagee and black ppl living compound. Any wonder it is a shithole. 

I understand that maybe you left GY two generations ago but loads of Indos live in GT and among the aggressive drivers are many Indos as well.

Your usually racism has been noted.

You are wrong, the percentage of Afro driving in GT now, out numbers Indos. 

Every race,  driving in Guyana is equally aggressive.

More blacks drivers display an irresponsible behaviour by playing loud lewd music, with kids sitting on each other to and from school  gyrating against each other. 

Dave posted:
caribny posted:
le. 

I understand that maybe you left GY two generations ago but loads of Indos live in GT and among the aggressive drivers are many Indos as well.

Your usually racism has been noted.

You are wrong, the percentage of Afro driving in GT now, out numbers Indos. 

Every race,  driving in Guyana is equally aggressive.

More blacks drivers display an irresponsible behaviour by playing loud lewd music, with kids sitting on each other to and from school  gyrating against each other. 

Listen I am aware that to be a member of the Indo KKK one has to be an illiterate idiot.  Please pointg out where in my comments did I make any comments about whether there are more Indo than Afro drivers.

1.  Loads of Indos live in GT.  Do you deny this?  Does this imply that there are more Indo drivers than Afros. No it merely states that there are large numbers of Indo drivers.

2. Among the aggressive drivers in Guyana are many Indos. Do you deny this?

Music played wasn't part of my commentary plus loads of that chutney music isnt that pretty.  Condoning drunken behavior in a community already suffering from high rates of alcoholism.  And who knows the content of the Hindi lyrics.

You really need to stop pretending that Indians are innocent virgins who do no wrong.

seignet posted:
cain posted:
seignet posted:
cain posted:

See now if I was a bad putagee I would tell you to, haul you ass.

Everytime I write Putagee, I think of you. And I do it juss to provoke. Yuh down the road from me, and we goan meet up someday.

Aren't u in the west end? You probably two plus hours down de road from me , banna. 

wid me driving skills more like 3 hour.

Get a GPS nuh bai. 

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