Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I am getting back into blogging about my new life and personal observation in the middle east...
on a new blog site
The Guyana was very popular with my peculiar scrutiny so I was asked to create a new one for this job/adventure for my family and friends and whoever interested.  This will be quite different from the CUSO VSO experience since I am actually getting paid to live there and more protection from my company.   At the same time the current world state of affairs adds a danger element to this one as I never been to a country where there is active war going on so not sure how I feel about the Americans pulling out of Iraq and not helping that someone is threatening to burn the Qur'an. I am starting my training for my November departure and the home base will be in Al Khobar , Dammam but every second month there will be trips to Erbil, Sulamaniya and Abu Dhabi and Dubai.  On my days off most likely I will be in Europe spending some quality family time it's been four years again that I have seen them so I am very excited for that too.  Expect my real first overseas blogs to come around November December but I might post some interesting material in the mean time....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

CUSO-VSO event/RV reunion and potluck dinner

Been a while planning to go to Saudi UAE and Iraq.  Just to let everyone know there is an invitation by Umeeda Switlo as the Public Engagement Officer for the CUSO-VSO in the West. Did you know that there are over 800 known Returned Volunteers in Alberta?

I am pleased to be coming to Calgary on September 22 and Edmonton on September 23 for a Meet CUSO-VSO event/RV reunion and potluck dinner. I would love for you to join me.
Calgary: Wednesday September 22 Venue: TBA
5-6pm: Meet CUSO-VSO (for the public and RVs interested in learning about he current application process and sharing their volunteer experience- please invite anyone you think may be interested)
6-8pm: Returned Volunteer Potluck Dinner and Reunion: Please join us for a potluck dinner to meet other RVs and learn about the work CUSO-VSO is now doing. Please bring something to share for the dinner.

Does anyone have any 10 year Eldorado Demerara Rum left?  I am coming =)

Guyana minister: Rum may be fun, but don't glorify
(AP) – 3 days ago GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Guyana's top health official is urging popular singers to stop soaking their lyrics in rum.Health Minister Leslie Ramsammy says recent radio hits such as "Bring De Rum" and "Rum Till I Die" are undermining efforts to reduce alcohol abuse in Guyana.The health ministry is conducting surveys to evaluate alcohol's influence on popular culture, including chutney, a style of dance music laced with Caribbean and East Indian rhythms.Ramsammy said Saturday that he was not suggesting a ban on rum-drinking songs but called for artists to focus more on positive messages.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Dear Boldizsar Fachet, In spite of the obstacles facing them people in every corner of the developing world are building better futures for their communities. Our volunteers work side-by-side with these committed citizens to make this positive change happen. Lasting change requires not just a financial investment, but also a human investment. That’s why CUSO-VSO shares skills and perspectives, that make such a positive contribution towards a better life. Thank you for all you have done to support international development as a volunteer and as a global citizen. Please consider making a special gift towards our holiday appeal this year. As a returned volunteer, you know the value of the work you did across the world. We recognize you have already given much to our programs through your time and by sharing your skills, so if you are not in a position to give financially to help meet demand for more international volunteers please help by sending this email to your networks and friends encouraging them to consider supporting our work. CUSO-VSO is experiencing many additional demands from around the world for skilled professionals who can make a lasting difference in the lives of so many striving to overcome poverty.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Welcome to my Blog

If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried. I find It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

me and a baby lion

Comrads who are still in Africa not doing well

Kristin Anderson Project Facilitator c'Dabra Foundation : human values ... tools of goodness 076 472 6415 Dear all my Canadians I know I always start these emails by apologizing for sending a group email, but I am sorry. This time I really need your help. This isn't a forwarded, fake email, Im quite serious. I don't know if many of you have been watching the news and have seen the situation that is going on here in South Africa. Foreigners, alot refugees are being killed and chased out of their homes by South Africans. The attacks started about two weeks ago in Johhanesburg and has since spread all over the country. As of yesterday 10, 000 people in Cape Town (where I live) were displaced from their homes. Im not sure how many were killed. One of the pictures on the front pages of the news paper was a man knealing begging for his life while he was light on fire, he died. Things are really bad. You can go to the site and search xenophobia for some of the stories. Or simply google it. I tried to attach the stories but hotmail wouldn't let me. About six blocks from my house is the police station. now, hundreds and hundreds of people sleep outside hoping that the police will protect them from the angry mobs ready to kill them. They are comparing this to Rwanda..the army has been deployed to calm things down. Canada has issued travel advisories!I have been working with refugees since I came to South Africa. There is no harder life, then a refugee's life. Most have barely escaped their country barely with their lives, a lot have watched their families die, their homes destroyed..Tortured in ways that no Canadian could ever imagine. One woman I worked with was held captive in the jungle congo for three years chained, and repeatly raped..luckily she was bought by a peace keeper and was able to flee to South Africa, where she now is in fear for her life. These people have no home to go to. They did not do anything wrong at all, in fact a lot are fighting for basic freedoms we take for granted in Canada. We forget exactly how lucky we are to be Canadian. If someone attacks me here, the Canadian government will protect me, pay for things fly me home etc. We take for granted that we don't have to worry about a lot of terrible things. For the most part we are safe. We are incredibly lucky.The South African government has not been very quick to respond to this situation. For the most part it has been local churches and citizens that have been trying to find people and children a safe place to less eat...It is so bad that people want to go home to face the war father then stay is unimaginable. Please for a moment, think about what you would do, if you country was at war, devastated, you were being hunted and your entire family was killed....One lady shouted at a meeting I was at once.."we go home if we could" I am writing my thesis on the human rights abuses of home affairs and refugees. I donated all my extra cloths, and food...and at the beginning of the month ill give as much money as I can.. I am going out to protest tomorrow... Treatment Action Campaign. there's their web page. Go to the refugee crisis . They have all the info on how to donate. They are the ones doing all the work, especially in Cape Town and they are a really good reliable organization. Quite Famous actually, so Im sure you have heard of it , they normally work with victims of HIV and aids. Red Cross is also good so if you like donate there... Anyway, Again, please please help!!You have no idea how bad the situation is for some people. I just came from a rally..and people were crying and screaming to be sent back to their homes, their war torn Somali, DRC, Cong-Brazaville, Zimbabwae, Angola, Sudan, etc.Anyway for those of you that have or are going to chose to help, I am eternally grateful! Ill stop harassing you all now! Thanks Kristin Anderson

Friday, February 02, 2007

European Winter Road Trip

Because my European Road trip was December and January I can't go to Africa yet but I will keep you posted . Here are some Pictures for friends and family. I am starting a another Blog for my other travels ...

Monday, October 23, 2006

Humanitarian Aid workers of Alberta

Contact me for gatherings for international development in Alberta. I will be in Ireland and Hungary for December but anyone going South Africa contact me as I will be going in February. thanks Boldi
Here is an invitation from a volunteer, Alana, who is going overseas soon. She is planning a fantastic event in Edmonton (see below). We've sent info to Edmonton-based RVs and are now sending it to Alberta-based RVs, in case you can get involved.
If you are able to support her or get involved in any way, please feel free to contact her directly.
with warm regards,
PS - Here is a link to the brochure for the event:[2].pdf
Heidi Lasi
VSO Canada
806 - 151 Slater Street
Ottawa, ON K1P 5H3
(613) 234-1364, ext. 238

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Adopted love

Hello Since my sweet puppy died in guyana that I loved I knew that I want to have another one when I come back. So I will introduce to you my little jack russel puppy called Tiki. I named her Tiki because when she runs around fast it sounds like tikitikitikitikitiki...........haha

Sunday, February 26, 2006

La Mashramani Carnivale

Happy Mashramani to all my friends! The carnival is really neat I will bring my documentary video and whoever interested

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sunlight on Sweet Black Water

Sunlight on Sweet Black Water

The sea breeze gently rolls over the seawall as I take my steps and I look across the Atlantic Ocean measuring up the distance, the brownish Amazon treated splashing waves retreated into the distance. However this will not prevent the locals to gather later on for some chat or gaffing or share a romantic moment. Then just I had to question the romantic flavor when the winds gently carried some dog’s misfortune smell making it unbearable but hey this is way too common along these city roads as only the strong survive around here. I pause for a minute then I decide to bike on along the sea walls that was probably original built by the Dutch as I have some distance to put behind me so I can get to our gathering fancy La Meridian Hotel swimming pool retreat where some of my fate mates also joined the club... later as the sun blush pink on the horizon, I make it home but excited to go play with puppy who has grown since but ever so cute still and by now he got really attached to me. Partly given that puppy fits through my door security grills so I get visits that are inevitable at most times. Puppy comes dancing molding through the bars to hang around us every afternoon and even drinks some beer with us from a baby tea cup with me so after a while he managed to become one of the troops when friends were over. I decided I will take him with me to Canada as soon as I get an open eyed profile puppy passport photo. Believe it or not but the passport photo place has a sign here that customers responsibility to keep their eyes open otherwise charged accordingly. So when I usually get home around 6pm and just like that the phone ringing would begin as my newly assembled crew of friends making plans for the long hot nights ….well heck sometimes they just show up at my door without a warning. Sometimes I feel like Jerry Seinfeld how his quirky friends just dropped by all the time and using his apartment as a gathering social ring circus. Well the nights might start out at one place but usually moves from place to place... This usually involves nicely folded pre treated boozed up friends in a taxi or someone’s car, then party last until we lost enough partners that no more party troopers or perhaps even our driver gets lost in translation.

This weekend Christmas music squeeze the street noise out of the stores as the poor black Santa has to sweat fully dressed in winter red robes equipped with fake white hair and cozy hot beard as his glowing black cheeks sparkle with sweat in the no air-conditioned store entrance, even the plastic blowup snowman decided to melt in the December heat. Ok Just a few more thoughts, so I was watching on TV these Guyanese commercials for cute Christmas toys and I took some moment when all the Caucasian dolls and Barbie’s are really white and blonde .... Next screen was a little black girls playing with all these newest blonde Caucasian dolls quite happily so I was wondering what type of image it creates at early age about what a pretty girl should look like... So I asked a Guyanese girl and she said well...the thing is there were no black dolls made before but even now when she bought one for her little niece a black Barbie kind of doll ....she just didn't like it... I mean most of the toys don't resemble them at all but maybe television has something got to do with it...most TV programming is pirated from US satellites….

Yesterday on a hot nauseating day when nothing goes right, I left work for some peace and quiet and that’s when you just get opposite effect as I was arrested by a tall giant police man for biking on sidewalk, which quite hard as sidewalk are so rear and few in this city everyone forced to walk on dangerous roads, I guess I was at a busy part of town so I tried to shortcut from one corner to the other as cars conduct honking chorus angry while traffic halts. Then this odd tall army looking black man riches out like inspector gadget and grabs me off the bike and calmly tells me that it is an offense riding bicycle here and follow him now to the police station to register for a court date, at first I thought it was a joke, so I expressed amusement but his eyes went under his eyebrows deep so I realized he is not just some crazy but possibly corrupt maybe as I am white and not letting me go until some bribe money funnels into his pocket. Coincidentally this woman comes up yelling at Mr. law enforcement that this guy just assaulted her and trying to get his attention to follow this up now but to my shock he blocked my getaway routes and conveyed to the lady to have to wait until he deals with this perpetrator, aka “me” and kept repeating about some 15000$ penalty, ok now this was freaking me out how is my cycle offence outweighs her assault case. But she kept coming back to my luck and intensifying the irritation level for both of us even as I was sneaky trying to waste time by wanting to see all his ID’s asking questions while showing tremendous potential that I will be a really good boy and never do such terrible things in the future ….like bike on sidewalk …ever again wishing he would just disappear and take care some assault victim… eventually woman won him over so no money was squeezed out of me just a warning with a straight index finger straight up and then left but sure made me feel I committed worse crime then an assault. I tell you priorities here are something else.

December 22nd - for Christmas Holidays seven of us eco adventurous fate mates decided to brave the deep Amazonian jungles close to Brazil border some 350 km from Georgetown. The road was not really finished but neither was for any great explores, only paved first one third after that humanitarian aid money ran out so after the bus still didn't slow down and let me tell you sometimes the bus seat felt like ready to eject into space. The bus left about 11pm and trip takes about 8 to 10 hours from turtle speeds to 140km/h. The bus was 3rd worldly over packed incredible full of people and luggage, boxes, even stuffed between seats like this folded wheelchair that made it beside me of course rattled and skid around, then slide by innocent travelers by surprise….. But I was more concerned about the many ready to plunge suicidal luggage above our heads. So we shake it all the way to Iwokrama ECO research field station which is in a protected piece of the Amazon tropical rain forest sponsored by major eco support money. It was clean modern and beautiful, and for a big change it was jungle quiet at once with some birds and monkeys only echo some hello to us. First day we walked around learned about the trees and some species around our area but later on we got on the motor boats to track the great essequibo river. Next day early afternoon we climbed Turtle mountain where we hoped to see some wild life and unpredictably the first animal we saw climbing the mountain was a turtle... now I wonder how long will it take for the turtle to climb a mountain...definitely not worth waiting for so later on as we didn't see any wild monkeys my group of vso comrades and a medical student made up for my camera by hanging off of a long swinging vine that that throw you out above a steep slope proved to be a whack load of monkeying around fun. On the summit thanks to a sharp cliff we had a spectacular view of the Amazonian forests and rivers and mountains. I saw vast lands of forests and rivers and rolling hills through the distance. Also a faint white curtain of rain was approaching our observation point so we decided to head back down on the mountain which proved more challenging on slippery leaves and moist clay like soil, and that's when we all stopped as we heard something very unusual and scary.... the sound grew from a near deep distance and eerily echoed amongst the trees. At first I thought whirlwind approaching from the storm but our guide reassured us that this was our first time hearing the great Howler monkeys. It was the most interesting perfect horror movie noise like hunting lions roaring…… some scary sound I ever heard. The guide told us; Howler monkeys are named and known for the loud, guttural howls that they routinely use at the beginning and end of the day. They are the loudest animal in the New World and while their howl is not a piercing sound, it can travel for three miles through dense forest. Black howler monkeys are inhabitants of Latin American rainforests, ranging through eastern Bolivia, southern Brazil and Paraguay, and northern Argentina. They are the largest monkey in Latin American rainforests; they grow to be about two to four feet tall and weigh from eight to twenty-two pounds. They have big necks and lower jaws, where their super-sized vocal cords are housed. Male howler monkeys use their big voices to defend their turf. Howls by one troop are answered by other males within earshot. Every-one starts and ends the day by checking out where their nearest competitors are. In this way, they protect the food in their territory. It's an important job because their diet is made up mostly of leaves—not a particularly nutritious food. Finding young, nutritious leaves is a priority. Fruit and flowers are also valued so it's crucial that the troop stakes its claim on these treasures when they are found. Despite the volume of their howl, it's disorienting to try to find a troop of loud howler monkeys in the wild. They hang out in the treetops where younger, greener leaves are abundant. However, if you do find yourself in the rainforest and it seems that an unusually large amount of fruit is falling from above or a fine spray of urine rains down on your head, you will know you are close!

Well we figured the fine spray is the rain catching up rather than any monkey business so we marched on heading back to the bottom of the mountain then to our field station. Next day 5:30am early morning we boated out to see some wild life but not much other than a few bright colored macaws with lot’s of attitude as they turned around and each let out a long poop you would not want to be under of… we decided to switch to night hunt so our guide “Gary” took the boat out again for some black Cayman crocodile hunt.....

Caiman is a Spanish term for "alligator" or any crocodilian > crocodilus means "a crocodile" (Latin) > "Spectacled" refers to the intra-orbital (between the eyes) bridge of bone that lends a bespectacled appearance….

Our boat rips into the sweet black waters as the jungle night swallows us up and there is a faint click! as “G” switch on his spotlight, and a white beam lances over my shoulder and punches a hole in the black gullet. It nods right, left, we are looking for the eyes.

Such encounters are rare, but running afoul of a black caiman isn't the only reason I'm hesitant about patrolling so close to shore. Between the gnarled roots of mangroves and rotting Huarmo trunks, lurks perhaps the most dangerous of the laguna's dwellers - El Boa, the anaconda. Then our guide silently points towards the shore in the water "Caiman." Near its lower gates, locked in silent vigil, are the red eyes of an ogre. The caiman's sit atop a bony ridge just behind his powerful jaws seen in the glare of artificial light they appear as pulsing red orbs, the eyes of the Devil. The caiman reappears a few meters from my left elbow, then dissolves into the inky depths. Besides the gray piranha that inhabit the river by the thousands, he's the next best reason to erect a "no swimming" sign. We were only fortunate to get close to only one black caiman and after some adrenaline rush we loop around in a rumbling fishtail, and we dive back along the narrow tributary towards station. The canoe careens around another bend and as I catch sight of light and we are back to our station then as we walk up from the boat Sarah had the opportunity to grab on to the rail and also a beautiful hairy tarantula spider that was resting on top of rail. Thanks to quickness of the large poisonous beast she just barely missed it, but we still had a good photo shot from underneath the rail. I mean some of us like spider hunting so I organized every night around midnight a creepy crawler spider hunt in the jungle.. I have to say only 3 guys was in our group including me the other two were from England teaching sign language here for deaf community as they are also hearing-impaired and the rest where girls, one of them admitted to severe arachnophobia. So my little jungle tours were not that admired as I had thought it would be so the exploration was conducted by myself for the first 3-4 days, so I was pretty comfy tracking the paths in the darkness but, really I can’t believe those girls as it was incredible I was in many legs spider haven, my headlight equipped with spread blue light LED’s made amazing sparkles as it bounced back from the spiders eyes…it was like twinkling little green diamond sparkle and it grew bigger with the size of the spider, but at night with this perfect pursue light you could see 100’s of them in different shapes and sizes. I even brought a 2 way radio with me so I can leave it in my room in case I get lost in the jungle….but my luck ….the only 2 guys in my house was deaf…One of them Steve at first seemed game for the idea but later admitted he didn’t know what to say when radio vibrated. Oh well you know soon enough you will find partners in crime and before long I met a young adventurous couple from Quebec moved into the last house in our row. They braved the night with me and we scored! We found the ugliest mother loving beast hugging an entire tree width up… it looked like more of an alien movie star than a everyday accepted spider but hey maybe we just discovered a new species. So once one braved to come with me the next night almost all the girls came with us on our jungle night creepy crawler hunt…. Well nothing like exploring the unknown world after a few banks beers, the spine-chilling night comes alive as we noisy white people dare to stalk the forest or vice versa …well as I said after couple of smooth Banks Guyana beers it’s the same experience anyways. My favorite part of our trip came the next day as Gerry took us to an Amerindian hidden village somewhere on the upper Essequibo River. First we examined some unimpressive rocks that’s suppose to bear 6000 year old carvings, but come on…. it fades after such a long time, but it took on a new meaning as we barged on the villagers living space and seeing it really didn’t change much since the last 6000 years, I mean the rock probably changed more. The villagers seemed rather elusive like we just brought some new plague on them but shy and friendly at the same time. Then our attention got captured as this cute baby animal that seemed like a cross between a raccoon and an ant eater, but still adorable …we were told it’s a Hibidi…and as cute as it was when climbed into the hammock where a little girl was hiding from us….well one of our snooping girl could not stay back and not pad the cute little furry creature, and that’s when I heard the crunching sound of a bite… She jumped back but it was already lesson learned for all of us…yes…and next generations too as I got some of that on video yeeeaahhh. maybe we hoped to find the lost city of El Dorado but we sure found something lost in time……. The village seemed like frozen in fairy land with large sized pretty bell flowers and large dense palms and cultivated gardens, very basic shelters thatch roofed compartments and all seemed peaceful. Next day we attempted to see the jungle from monkey birdie tree top point of view so we headed in a back of a truck to the tree canopy walks which is bunch of suspension bridges connecting a few really tall trees. Only a five of these around the world exist and not for people who scared of height either as it’s 30meters high. Despite the cool views we didn’t really see any wild life as they were not interested to entertain white folks. The next day we tempted to find turtle eggs on Turtle Island, and turned out to be quite easy as our guide showed how to know where to dig. We boated around hours in the December heat not realizing the sun here has retina wrecking roasting 90 degree angle and dehydrating us, Garry wanted to take us for a swim to cool off so we brought our swim clothes except we didn’t expect our destination was a large area filled with bare sand dunes in the middle of the river….. ok girls panicked ….where do they change….? Then my next dim-witted thinking was that I don’t need suns cream therefore now I remember December 28th as sunstroke day, there is a first for everything.

We had shaken our kidneys back to Georgetown so we can celebrate New Years Eve there or as locals call it old year’s night. I was sad to find out as I got home my puppy dog was feeling very sick but no vet was available for 3 days…..We went to a club called Palm Court that was quite pleasant as it is an outside garden court with a plastic roof only above our heads, good thing as it rained a lot, complete with the noisy band stage. It had rowdy Caribbean atmosphere filled with soka music but later on things got beer goggle blurry anyways. So around three am I went home with two girls who were celebrating with us so they dropped me off, but then decided to walk to each others house as it wasn’t suppose to be far from mine. Well I walked with them as it wasn’t raining anymore, but once we got to one of the girls house we decided on not walking anymore, but no more taxi money… so she took her friends motorbike and I had this great idea that I want to try a type of Guyanese funny transportation method where I see the guys put the girls sitting across front somehow and this way they can fit three or more people. Well it worked smooth for the first two blocks then thanks to Guyana road and safety works a fat pothole was lurking on our way hiding deep and deceiving filled with rain water. My precision maneuver was switched to manual and my first wheel popped off sending us flying then kissing violently the dirt on the road..…. once I regained consciousness we looked at each other both bleeding from our heads and giggle then this man approached us so I am thinking he must want to call ambulance but instead the all too common Guyanese phrase slipped out of his tongue - “hey man do you have 20dollars for me” I just gave him the blood shot eye look……The caring in this country I tell yea….something else… well once we wiped some blood off we wished happy new year to each other, again then chuckle….but I had this lurking thought as this is just a beginning of my new year, what’s next. Then next came soon as morning my puppy left me to go to puppy haven, which made me emotional, shed some tears too which is rare for me but some Demerara rum helped loosen me up but still felt like leaving this harsh world for the first time. Then people calmed me told me at least it can’t get any worse…so I felt better then few days later it got worse as I felt sick dizzy and shaking and ended up in hospital, where a doctor knocking on my head as it is not a good idea to fall sick here, they don’t have a heart machine and the cardiac shocker they have don’t work either. Apparently I was dehydrated, high blood pressure, and anxiety, but no one knew why but all of us had something by now from rabid dog bite to skin problems. My heart showed abnormalities but that turned out because they gave me wrong medication that tend to delay my heart, malpractices seem ordinary here. Another practice that made me want to run for my dear life was that some nurses punch a hole in your IV bag so it drains faster, never mind contamination. And you thought alligators were scary… My new vso friends were great they came to visit me even though I was ok the doc made sure I won’t look it as I was sedated heavily and wasn’t in a chattering state of mind and one Guyanese girl didn’t even allow me to eat hospital food so she brought me fried chicken everyday. Since then I feel better and off of medication but restricted partying and on reduced alcohol diet….

After the holidays back at my work everyone was cheerful asked how my holidays went then changed subject when they saw left side of my face, haha. Well to sum up quickly at work I started teaching new class and building website design at Adult School by now I finished networking the entire school and everyone got some intra/internet connectivity. Right now I am also working on a backup system for the financial computers so I still train employees therefore they can keep it up once I leave. At the YWCA the lab computers were finished for the girls and an internet café was built with net to phones that should provide sustainable funding and development for the organization. Thanks for reading my stories…..I hope everyone still want to keep in contact with me.

January 29th Boldi

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Primacy of the eye in the lost Eldorado…

Primacy of the eye in the lost Eldorado…

The winter sun rises above the horizon slowly as the temperature drops down to +32c …. The days are half hour shorter now then summer time and after my scheduled weekly burn at the public pool I shed some more skin in GTown! Maybe one day I won’t forget my sun lotion.

A lot has happened since I wrote last time, I wrote small notes that are haunted by passionate discovery and tender emotions, but I will only mention a few that I still remember.

One sunny Friday I went for fast food at KFC chicken and I had ordered a nice glass of draft beer with my menu .......sounds uneventful but really you do can have fun at a fast food restaurant here. Ten of us came down on a friday night for what I thought was just a regular quick meal before we go out. Little I knew we are already out and staying for the night so we sat outside as most fast food outlets have more like a cafe like atmosphere patio built around it, well except for the usual cheap plastic yellow seats... next thing we ordered 6 jugs of cold draft beer, yippi and to note this is the only place I see people put ice cubes into their glass of beer..... so next I realize they already set up two gigantic speakers outside that just happens to be taller than the restaurant…

Well have you seen slow dancing at Fast food restaurant?...hmmm well I just did... as the speakers blast away the foam from my beer I sit and enjoy as there is no way to talk anyways so near to the speakers.

OK let me see what were some of the highlight of the last few weeks…. oh yea... during one twisted night I partied with Miss Guyana before she left to her Miss World Pageant to China. Well it turns out to be she was dating one of my good friends brother here so naturally I was invited, I even got an interview with her for my video camera. Well you certainly end up here at some strange parties as there is plenty going around, like this last one I ended up at an American party at someone’s beautiful Villa ... That starry hot night I was mingling on the back patio and I ran into my American co-worker who I build internet café at the YWCA with. We ended up chatting as the music filled the clean white villa with soft music. Then this spanish lady dances up to us with a bright twinkle in her eyes as the alcohol content probably reached its upper limit in her pupils..... she went to the point offering some wild entertainment for us tonight because she loves to entertain the US Marines... so I politely tell her that look I was Canadian last time I checked and definitely not the US marine but I swear gold fish got longer memory as 2 minutes later just keeps asking about when do we sail out... So I decided to sail out to the patio bar where I figured maybe would meet other people, but then there I was confronted by her again. A bit later I was rescued by another sexy red dressed girl and let's just call her Andrea. She got more class tucked in and decided to rescue me from the cocktail mix Latina breath. That lasted until the latina confronting me as to “so what's this now? so do you like Andrea now?” Then she changed tactics as loudly offering a 3 way fun for us... wheeeeel talking about uncomfortable situations. Nevertheless she managed to get carried away enough and got nicely kicked out by the Yankees. To make things more bizarre for me after the party night I run into Andrea next day as she turn out to be living right beside my work and invited me to the state house fair that the leading political party puts on yearly. So I navigate through the crowds with her and her friends, and I see some important political figures and body guards takes a good look at me… I should be used to getting stared at by now, but still sometimes makes you feel maybe you are being watched…The next day while I sit at a café across my work Andrea comes in and as she chats with me she gets a phone call from a very important political figure about who was the tall white men with her the other night. Well I wasn’t happy over my new found fame as it dawned on me she probably has some sort of relationship with one high political figure so I scaled down our friendship so my life insurance doesn’t go up..

The other day I realized certain things you learn only when you are in the most how to use the toilet system here...

During those days when you really have to run to the bathroom like at work, and soon you find out afterwards the water company decided to take away your water privileges... so how do you flush now?.... first you panic as you don't want to leave things behind... and that's when I stumbled upon the wonders of bucketing system. The 3 big different colored buckets outside one for filling up your tank... one for reserve and one for washing your hands with a measure cup... The kitchen maid actually gave me a crash course on the how to ...

Couple weekends ago our little group decided to crave some adventure getaway to one of the places called shanklands. It is truly a tropical paradise up on the Essequibo river which spans across 37 kilometers by the time it reaches the ocean and makes it the largest river in Guyana. When you look across of it many parts seems much smaller but that’s visual deception as it’s not the other side you see but one of the 365 islands that are in the river. So we packed up our necessaries which made our backpacks considerably heavier as those damn liqueur bottles are just heavy here. As there are no roads to most places here but plenty of river ways naturally you catch jet boats… They are very fast but the only scary thing is that a lot of them built from wood and no top but on the way there we got lucky and got the comfier bigger boat.

Shankland was beautiful and some of the pictures will be uploaded soon for that, but just imagine a gentle rolling hills looking down to the might river with sandy beaches and dense forest all around the compounds. As the night descended on us the incredible jungle sounds were calling me to the jungle… so I invited a few less intoxicated friends to check out the nearest forest around us. As we found a path into the deep moist but never sleeping darkness the amphibians greeted us with loud singing and the reptiles and birds all orchestrating a wonderfull concert for the Canadians. So we picked a quaint clearing where a little creek was making its way to a less dense field and the moon gave characteristics to the whole visual experience so it became our spot to sit and enjoy what the nightlife has to offer… the amazing thing was that after midnight I could see my breath just like during winter in Canada but here it was plus 24Celsius. I guess the only explanation to this is that the dew point is incredible high here. A little background Dew points indicate the amount moisture in the air. The higher the dew points, the higher the moisture content of the air at a given temperature. Dew point temperature is defined as the temperature to which the air would have to cool (at constant pressure and constant water vapor content) in order to reach saturation. A state of saturation exists when the air is holding the maximum amount of water vapor possible at the existing temperature and pressure. This is when you see water on your car windows, grass and feels quite bit cooler than it is.

Well I recorded some of the sounds with my camera and our pleasure ended as I wiggled my feet above the creek and I saw something twinkle as it slowly moved towards my feet in the faint blue moonlight. By the time I realized it was a cayman crocodile I almost become a part of the scene from the movie Crocodile Dundee… except I had no huge knife to put through its brain and I doubt a beer bottle would do the same trick so I jumped back as far as I could, turned our lights on and quickly headed back to our exploration snoring base camp. Heading back with a slight hangover the next day coupled with a less fortunate looking wooden jet boat didn’t make us happy. To make things worse it started raining and the rain started like pellets flying at our bodies hard feeling it will pierce my skin at any given moment as the captain of the boat chubakka switched to light speed and riding rather rough on the white waves. The next day naturally we all just slept hopefully recharging for another working week.

Guyana has a large hindu population as they were brought in by the English during 18th century to work on the sugar cane fields from a one of the province right after the slavery was abolished. My Landlord’s family is one of those families who don’t really speak hindi anymore but full fledged indo Guyanese. One Sunday I decided to go with them to this hindu function outside of Gtown into a small temple. I have to say I felt time traveling as my world got transferred from the west Indies into somewhere more of ancient India as here the migrants brought some of the old culture that lives on still here hidden in the jungle. I was able to enter the temple behind the altar as I didn’t eat any meats for the last 9 days and I got the white mark on my forehead as the symbol… well except for me not by religious choice but I could not afford the expensive meat until next allowance cheque. I took some interesting images with the smoke filled crowded small church churn out the beats of the religious drums and instruments. One of the best most interesting part was eating from the giant leaf that gives an extra taste to the different sorts of wonderful curry meats and rice dish/leaf and of course you eat with your hands.

Recently one of the largest hindu celebration ended called the Diwali, I was looking forward to it as my landlady told me so much of how they will decorate the house with full of lights. Every Year On the dark nights of Diwali the sound of firecrackers announces the celebration of the favourite festival of Indians. Homes are decorated, sweets are distributed by everyone and thousands of lamps lit to create a world of fantasy. Of all the festivals celebrated in Diwali is by far the most glamorous and important. Enthusiastically enjoyed by people of every religion, its magical and radiant touch creates an atmosphere of joy and festivity. If I would not known about the festive loudness already it would have seemed war just broke out. I woke up from my afternoon nap with a loud bang that made my Venetian window glass fall out. So naturally it was time to get up and went to join the industrious kids to help put out the hundreds of little terracotta cups field with oil and a fuse to light. It’s quite dangerous transporting 50 cups of explosives on a tray but hey this is my Diwali. Some reason like with everything here but this time the weather did not seem to cooperate as much as the gods started whispering loud and blew our candles out and only on my side of the street…. Getting angry at the winds my pyromaniac instinct kicked in and took a torch and tried other means to light the night up. I took to the night to see what the street has to offer for visual pleasure and soon my eyes were filled with the many wonders of the festive lights… There was a row of cars and trucks decorated with thousands of brilliant lights of the Indian culture has to offer and the parade has began. Music and dances shook the ground while the fire crackers and fireworks complement the many activities of the night.

One of the thing that struck me the so many swastikas painted on the grounds and on different things… For those of you who are unfamiliar with the swastika. It is an ancient symbol of peace and good luck, used extensively in the Indian subcontinent and throughout Asia (Japan, KoreaChina) for thousands years to this present day. The swastika can be found in many older cultures all over the world. From the Navajo native Americans, to the Goths, to runic Danish stones. All of which predates Nazism by hundreds and in other cultures by thousands of years. The symbol of the swastika is a part of the Hindu/Buddhist and


In my picture section I will post some of the wonders of these festivities.

Also in my picture section you will also see some images of the Toucan Guest house where VSO took us for a weekend and the house was built by a Portuguese man who loves Guyana and rather interesting architecture incorporated filled with historical Guyanese artifacts from all around the world.

By the way everyone seems to learn new languages while away around the world so I decided to sign up for Spanish classes at the Venezuelan embassy that should make Jorge happy. I think I will stop here for now as most of you were waiting for some updates for a quite a while now.