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“Garbage City?”

Eastern End of Bourda Market

Recently some friends and I were out and around Georgetown to complete a good deed. The deed required us to go near to the Bourda Market, Stabroek Market, La Penitence Market and the Water Street area. What we saw and smelled could curdle milk instantly. The city, yes this once beautiful city of ours, was littered (to put lightly) with garbage of all sorts. There were large piles not far from vendors’ stalls and eating places. There were mountains of rubbish next to large stores and other iconic buildings in the downtown area. Now we at understand that there is an issue with the Mayor and City Councilors Office and private waste disposal contractors over payments for services rendered. We also understand that these sorts of issues are not always easily dealt with or are always within the sole control of the parties involved. Still, have these officials in higher places ever heard of the greater good?

Frankly speaking, Guyanese do not really care about how the job gets done, just as long as it gets done. If we are to be involved somehow then let us know, otherwise, clean the place! Imagine your child (yes you, the top government and private people) walking along these streets, inhaling the rancid fumes that permeate from the heaps of refuse that clutter our drains. Imagine them buying food items from our historic market places only to be later rendered ill by those very same consumer products. Doesn’t seem pretty, does it? Then imagine other persons who cannot afford (for various reasons) to go elsewhere to purchase their food or to seek proper medical attention. Is this what you want for your future? We lay blame at no one’s feet, but instead at everyone’s feet. Every time you litter, dispose of rubbish in an unethical and unsanitary manner, you are responsible. Let us put pride aside and get this place clean for the greater good of all Guyanese, and even those who are not from this blessed land. Don’t ask how to get it done, just get it done. Where there is a will, there is a way.

By - Patrice Wishart


Road Carnage on Homestretch Avenue

Now where do Guyanese drivers get off killing others?! It absolutely sickens us here at to see the brash consequences of senseless driving, administrative duties and policing on our small and few roadways.

Let us take this most recent accident (though it should not be called an accident if the driver is consciously reckless), into consideration. The media says that five persons have died so far and about 7 others are injured severely. The details are that a Route 48 (Stabroek to Sophia) minibus was speeding west along Homestretch Avenue, when a tire blew out upon its attempt to overtake another vehicle heading in the same direction. The minibus catapulted, toppled and skidded several times, viciously throwing glass, metal and humans around, before coming to a halt, pinning a few patrons under its mangled shell. Now we see quite a few things completely wrong with this story.

  • It is a fact that Homestretch Avenue makes little provision for overtaking unless the vehicle attempting to do so remains entirely within its lane, since there are double solid lines imprinted throughout the carriageway. Anyone who successfully completed the Driver’s License Theoretical Examination should know and remember this, but it seems we do not care.
  • It is our knowledge that any driver should have at least three years of driving experience before embarking to take control of a public minibus (or taxi) for daily use. If that is so, how are 20 year olds becoming drivers of minibuses when we in Guyana acquire our Driver’s License at 18 years of age? Absurd is the only word we can summon!
  • That previous point makes us think (with disgust) at our Police Force and Administrative bodies. How can one sleep at night with the full knowledge that they have awarded a driver’s license to someone who is incompetent? Does money really outweigh the many lives that have been snuffed from local beings? Additionally, when the Traffic Police stops someone on the roadways who they think has committed an infraction; they should be penalized to the fullest extent of the law every time. Yes, we do agree that the bribes are attractive at times, but know this traffic officers; every time you take a bribe or ask for one you sell a bit of your soul! That may be why some of you are so cold and arrogant.
  • Patrons and commuters, this last point is for you and we at ask that you implement and maintain two very important things. First, if you are traveling in a minibus (or taxi) and you feel uncomfortable because of the loud and offensive music, speeding or daring roadway tricks, please demand that the driver cease with immediate effect. If he or she declines then disembark the vehicle at once. If they refuse to stop, you are being kidnapped and you can file a formal police report (even though the police may do nothing); this is an appeal to everyone, young or old, male or female, affluent or struggling. Then, to those of us who are drivers, we ask that you abide by the traffic laws of this majestic country of ours. We at will be the first to say that we occasionally were caught up and influenced into acting reckless or stupid on the roadways, but that will no longer happen. We urge you to stay in your correct lane, wait for the traffic lights and look out for pedestrians and cyclists. Imagine rushing to a million dollar meeting but never making it because you were arrogant enough to think that speeding will make things better. We were never a naïve and dense nation, please let that remain.


By - Patrice Wishart


Guyanese Artistes take the lead in HIV test

In being role models to young people in Guyana and in the wider Caribbean, several Guyanese entertainers took the bold step in being tested for HIV/AIDS at the National AIDS Programme Secretariat (NAPS) on Wednesday.

Leading by example were Melissa Roberts (Vanilla), Michelle King (Big Red), Adrian Dutchin, Roger Hinds (Young Bill Rogers), Jessica Xavier, Desiree Edghill, Wilbeur Levons (Lil Man) and Tenneisha.

All of the artistes agreed with the fact that their music and lifestyles do have an impact on youths in society, and as such they have a responsible role to play.

The artistes decided to take the test in support of the upcoming National Week of Testing being organized by the Ministry of Health and NAPS.

For Director of Artiste in Direct Support, Desiree Edghill, she still loves to have ‘lots of sex’ at the age of 54 and it is in this context she encourages the older population who are still sexually active to get tested and know their status.

But for Vanilla, since young people happens to be the biggest fans for Kross Kolor Records, she wants to ‘take the lead’ in getting tested for HIV although she has a phobia for needles.

“When young people approach you, from age 13 and up, they are having sex and little do we know they are…and they are our biggest fans and young people are our future and we need to look out for them.”

Being the youngest to take the test among the group, singer Tenneisha said that she has no fear of taking the test, something which many young people dread to do in today’s society.

“I just want Guyanese to know that as young as I am I am brave enough to take this step and young people can do it also.”

For Lil Man, he reiterated the importance of not only young people to know their status, but for the wider population as well.

“It is not the end of your life if you are tested positive for the virus because people could live a long time with a particular virus.”

But Jessica Xavier expressed the fact that entertainers are also human beings who are no different from anyone in society.

“What we are doing here basically indicates to young people that although we have our lives to live, we are getting tested and they should too.”

Young Bill Rogers commended the bold step taken by NAPS in their effort to make young people more aware about the dangers associated with the virus.

“If we as artistes take a step forward to know our status, then young people will do so too.”

Urging husbands and wives to make HIV testing a common thing in their lives was Big Red, who pointed out that children look up to their parents as leaders and as such, they should lead by example.


Horse Cart Racing on the line top – Only in GUYANA

Crapaud Leads Tight Close Up Finish Crowd Babylon

The crowd gathered was getting pretty impatient, including us, Guyana’s dedicated entertainment team… and me. Being late for an event, we considered missing this side show, but it’s been a while since any of us saw a horse-cart race, we just couldn’t miss it. The first try was a false start… and so was the second and third. By now quite a number of people had gathered on the railway embankment, others were watching from the security of their homes.

I was considering taking bets but figured that bookie was not one of my strong suits. Without warning they were off, “Black Horse” on the left and “Crapaud” (kra-po) on the right. Shackles jingling, hooves thudding, they made their way to the finish line. At first, it seemed like a tight race with Black Horse holding on to a slim lead.

Mid way through the race, that lead expanded and Crapaud found himself a horse-cart length behind Black Horse. He made one final push but it just wasn’t enough, Black Horse crossed the finish line in style much to the delight of the crowd gathered. As quickly as it started the sideshow ended leaving you wanting for more action. As the crowd began dispersing, a Police Officer arrived on the scene, in what is now a custom, showing up after everything done.

By Hubert Forrester


What Really Counts

For as much of my Primary School and the early part of my High School life as I can remember, I was always quite competitive. The aim was always to be the best academically. There was enormous, but not necessarily blatant pressure on me, from teachers, parents and even myself to be first place at the end of every term. Whenever I did not deliver as was expected I was frantic. I remember bringing home a report card with a 63% grade for French while I was in high school. Before I could hand the report over to my mother I blacked out. Yes, it was that bad. I simply did not know how to handle that. My parents were always so proud when I did well, and I felt good as well, but when the grades were not that high, the smiles were not that bright.

There were times when, in the spirit of competition, I would refuse to assist someone who did not understand something or the other. If I helped them that put them at least on the same level with me, which increased their chances of being better than I was at that specific thing. We couldn't have that now could we?

I think that too many times parents put way too much pressure on their children to be the best in school and otherwise. There is nothing wrong with being ambitious and wanting to achieve great things, but if one aspires to have such achievements only to gain the approval of others, or for the sake of being recognized one soon realizes the barrenness of such pursuits. Parents need to instill in their children an attitude of hard work regardless. They should not be working towards a goal simply because they want to please someone else, and it should be taught that once one's heart is put into something, and one does his or her best, one will be successful, happy and feel a true sense of fulfillment. A child should not be afraid to come to his or her parents with a failed attempt at something. He or she should want to do well, but not at the cost of his or her sanity, self worth and sense of security.

Somewhere along the line, though, I lost that competitive drive. I became satisfied with just doing my best, even if I wasn't the best. It was no longer important for me to be number one. What was important is that I knew that I put my all into what I did. I also decided that it makes no sense to acquire knowledge, about whatever, and do nothing with that knowledge but receive awards for doing well in tests. It makes no sense to live a life where you do nothing to help another person succeed. And besides, we learn better as we teach. It is when we attempt to teach someone that we learn whether we really do know what we claim to. Do I remember how I felt when I was"the best?" No, I do not. I would assume that I felt good, and proud. What I do remember is how satisfying it was to know that I helped someone understand some missing concept in one class or another. I remember just feeling good that I helped someone do that much better at an exam because I explained something just before the exam.

In this whole Christmas cleaning frenzy that seems to have gripped most if not all of us, I came across various awards, certificates and the like for my academic achievements. The majority of them I had completely forgotten about, and this really made me come to terms with a very important fact. Though it is great to be successful and be recognized for those successes, it is not what defines me. The successes are not who I am. In the future, I may still be remembered by some as a"bright" person. It would be more meaningful, however, to be remembered as someone who made a positive impact in at least one life.

When it all comes down to it, regardless of how many certificates, diplomas, and awards you have hung in your office if you do not use whatever gift you have to make the life of at least one person a little bit easier, you have led a meaningless life. It is important that my friends know that they can depend on me. It is important that I make children, especially those who have been emotionally or otherwise hurt, feel loved and valued. It is important that I use whatever talents God has blessed me with to identify my true purpose, and to fulfill that purpose. What do you want to be remembered for? What are you doing to ensure that this happens? What is really important to you?


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Things That Do Not Make Sense (Part 2)

There is a Broadband ad which features a young lady walking up or down, whichever, an alley in lingerie and a lab coat. Now that ad's been on for quite a while and I still don't understand what on God's green earth she has to do with broadband. So Broadband is fast. By including her in the ad, dressed as she is, are they implying that she is "fast" as well? Believe me, I am not trying to be disrespectful, but the ad makes no sense. I know that "sex sells" but honestly!

'Creative Jewellery and Pawn Shop' has an ad in which Linden Jones is having a meal with a young lady at the Original Dairy Bar. At some point he realizes that he doesn't have enough money to pay for the meal and tries to leave to go get money to pay. He is stopped by one of the employees of the establishment and told that he cannot simply leave and come back without paying. After being reminded that he is wearing a big gold chain and several gold rings, and enlightened on the fact that 'Creative Jewellery and Pawn Shop' is right up the road he is seen going to the pawn shop to get the necessary cash to pay for the meal. It seems just a little senseless to me that someone would forbid me from leaving to get money initially, but then because I claim I'm just going up the road to the pawn shop to get the money, I'm allowed to go. Rubbish!

If you've ever been to the National Cultural Centre then you've heard the rules and regulations read once the show is about to begin-about the use of cell phones, and taking photographs, etc. What I do not understand though, is why they include the dress code in that announcement. If I am sitting in the auditorium, listening to the message, isn't it that I don't need to be told what the dress code is? Isn't it that I am dressed in accordance with the dress code and that if I am not dressed appropriately, but am hearing this message from the comfort of my seat, that the staff simply failed to do their job? I just think it's a very unnecessary inclusion.


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The Price We’re Willing To Pay

The parents and I finally made it to the Suarez Family Circus on Tuesday, October 22nd. There was a very small number of persons there, but each artiste executed his or her act as though it was being viewed by thousands. As wonderful as the show was, though, the purpose of this article is not to comment on the performances. I have heard many complaints over the last few weeks concerning the admission fee to the circus. I have also heard complaints about the prices of items at the concession stands. The basic truth, from which this all stems, is that as humans we are hardly, if ever, satisfied. We keep wanting more and more, but at no cost to us. We say we want better, more wholesome entertainment, but are only willing to pay the price of a poorly put together show. To attend the circus anywhere in the world one would pay no less than the equivalent of G$2,600.00-and this is at a discounted price which comes with several restrictions. I do understand that there is a big difference between the price of a drink at the circus and the price one is used to paying on the road, but be fair – the organizers have incurred expenses which they must take care of. They have the several performers and a maintenance crew to pay, equipment to maintain, as well as traveling costs to cover. Apart from these, there is also a giraffe and not one or two, but seven Bengal tigers that need to be fed. Now unless you intend to volunteer your body for the greater good –to allow others to attend the show at a slightly lower cost- your complaints are really unreasonable.Further murmuring stems from the G$2,500.00 price tag put on having one’s photograph taken with the tiger. No, I do not have a job and those who “work hard for their money” will probably say that because I am not spending my own money I do not value it as I should. But let us think this through. Were you to focus on the $2,500.00 and decide that that was just too much to pay to have a photograph taken, tell me when would you get that sort of opportunity again? We have no such creature here, so in order to see this animal again one would have to travel abroad – transportation costs + the possible admission fee to the zoo + whatever miscellaneous expenses. You do the math. Very often, people hastily take things at face value and immediately push them to the side because of cost. But I think it is very important that we all think each situation through and seriously weigh the benefits against the disadvantages. Consider the likelihood of another such opportunity presenting itself, then make a well thought out decision, that was not based solely on finances. The next time you’re tempted to be cheap, remember the French proverb which says that “It is a wise man who lives with money in the bank; it is a fool who dies that way.”
- Bless

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Timing in Nature

When each of us was a baby it was natural for us to "do our business" whenever and wherever. We sensed the call of Nature, and responded as was natural for us. As we got a little older it became natural for us to raise our hand, or tug at our mother’s dress to indicate that Nature was on the line. For most of us, we are now at the stage where it has become natural for us to hear the call of nature and respond accordingly only when it is appropriate; we respond once we have found a clean toilet. There are many males to whom this does not apply, however, as they just find a post, a tree, a wall, anything that’s stationary really, and carry out the task at hand. For the sake this article, we will politely ignore these young men.

During multiple discussions on sex, the recurring argument is that "sex is natural." This is true. We are sexual beings created to feel the urges we feel, but as with the above illustration, what is natural changes as we mature. In the immature stage, we let go whenever we felt that tingle. Likewise, in the immature stage of sexual and emotional development, we may tend to give in to the urges we feel by engaging in sexual activity. However, as we mature we should understand that though the urge is natural, there is a more appropriate way of dealing with it than simply giving in. I mean what would this world be if we all went around urinating and defecating on ourselves? Just as with wanting to use the toilet, we ought to wait where sex is concerned. We owe it to ourselves and our partners to wait until we have gotten to that safe, secure and private place, that place where responding to the urge is truly acceptable and without shame and regret. In the first example, this place is the toilet; in the case of sexuality, this place is marriage. Regardless of the arguments offered, this is the only safe institution. This is the only institution in which sexual activity will come without regret and a sense of empty and momentary pleasure. This is the only institution for which God created sex. He created it. He knew it would be pleasurable, but as with all things there is a time and a place.

I do understand that initially, decisions may have been made in the heat of the moment. But I am one of those who believes in what is known as "secondary virginity." I believe that there is something honorable in a woman wanting to, after having made a previous ill-guided decision, keep herself for that man she plans to spend the rest of her life with, that man who also wants to spend the rest of his life with her, and proves it by making her his wife. It is simply not enough to promise without the ring, that you are "gonna get married anyway." This doesn’t cut it; it just doesn’t. The same goes for males. A major part of a relationship is compromise, but sex is one thing that should not be compromised. If you love someone you will want the best of him or her, you will want to be a part of his or her mental and emotional growth. The only way to help someone grow is to hold his or her hand and politely decline the sexual advances. Let the person know that you too feel what the urges, but that giving in to the strong temptation is not the best decision you can make as a couple. I believe that whatever is meant to be will be, regardless of how long it takes. If at the time your partner decides he or she cannot wait for you, let him or her go. This is easier said than done, I know, but he or she will be back if you are meant to be together.

Remember that we grow by learning to control ourselves. We avoid being laughed at in primary school by learning to control the urge to go to the toilet and waiting for permission from our teacher. Gymnasts perfect their skills by learning to control their moves. Swimmers become internationally recognized as champions when they learn to control their bodies and their breathing. We become our best selves by learning to control the urge to do what seems easy at the time, but really is detrimental in the long run.


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Things That Just Do Not Make Sense – To Me

If you have read any of the other articles that I have written, you would have seen that I have ‘a bit’ of an issue with many things in our society that may generally go unnoticed. I have been told that I have a lot of time on my hands, and maybe this is true. Whatever the case may be, I am back to highlight yet another set of thorns I’ve come across.

  • Not too long ago the Guyana Lottery Company produced an advertisement which featured a young man who showed unreciprocated interest in a young lady just after purchasing a lottery ticket. Her reaction was very different, however, after he won and rolled up in his “shiny new ride” adorned in his “bling.” The follow-up to this advertisement featured the same young lady in a club setting with a few friends. She announced to them that she won money through the lottery and upon hearing this, the same young man who had won in the initial advertisement stopped his game of pool and approached her. She responded by showing him the ticket and laughing. What on earth was that supposed to mean? If a different male was used I would have perhaps gotten the point, but it simply made no sense to me. It certainly is no wonder that its life span on television was infinitesimal.
  • I have accurately been called a “Cultural Centre Junkie”, because more than likely, once there is a show I’m there, especially when it pertains to dance. I am seldom late to any production, but am very well-acquainted with the rule that should one arrive late only the side aisles are to be used. The purpose for this, I have been told, is to minimize disturbances to those who have honored the scheduled time. Tell me though, how much sense it makes to make someone use the side aisle when his or her seat is the seat at the centre aisle? Would he or she not disturb more people by excusing him or herself across an entire row? Then again, I may be just a bit daft in this area.
  • The $99.00 store. No further comment.
  • I do not understand why so many people think that it is “cool” to misspell when naming their business. One example—and I am only stating this one because it is the most recent one that I have come across—is the card store in the City Mall called “Kards” something or the other.
  • I was recently at the doctor’s office and while waiting to be attended to I overheard a conversation between two women. They were talking about different ways of preparing the same dish, a conversation which developed into a discussion on healthy eating alternatives. One of the women indicated that she needs to cut down on her oil intake. The other quickly responded: “Yeah girl, especially wit dis cholesterol that goin’ roun’.” I fought so hard to contain my laughter as I thought, “Hmm, so it’s contagious now huh; interesting...”
  • Have you ever been to the doctor’s office and had to take a test which required a urine sample? You are given a clear cup and sent to do your business. This is very likely nothing to fuss about for the majority of the world, but of course I have something to say on the matter. I am always at a loss as to how much is too much, but I do not want to throw away any in case they make some error or simply run out of urine. My suggestion is that the cups be marked with a line indicating the required volume. What do you think?
  • In my opinion one's toilet should be sort of a sanctuary where one can go to relax and accomplish what one has set out to do in peace. It should be a place free from any kind of excitement and work. Nothing that goes on in there should cause any amount of worry or stress. Why then do some people feel the need to install their toilet paper dispener BEHIND the toilet?Maybe it's just me, but that tends to interfere with the smooth flow of things.

I find things that get to me on an almost daily basis, but I only recently started recording them. As I inevitably stumble upon more, they will be added.


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Older, But Still Doing Nonsense

I think it was last year, or may the year before; I do not recall, but I attended one of those AIDS shows at the National Cultural Centre and of course the usual entourage of fashionably-dressed homosexuals presented itself. The majority of the lot was young, but there was an older one. Heavens, you have no idea how annoyed and thoroughly disgusted I was to see him, ah the individual there. One old hard-back cockroach with an earring, a pair of tight pants and a sway in his walk. Here is my take on the matter: homosexuality is wrong; no one is born that way so do not bring that to me. However, if when one is young one experiments, or one has homosexual tendencies because of some abuse one has suffered then alright fine- I believe that with time, counseling and support one can overcome this. But when I see a grown, supposed-to-be “older and wiser” man, walking and swaying with a homosexual entourage, I am most outraged.

Experiment if you must in your young age, but get sense by your winter years.

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