As Poultry and many of you deduced I have returned from Guyana. No amount of reading
or even conversation with expatriates can prepare one for a journey there. Things that are odd and seem insane make sense only after a trip there.
The Tranquil Sra was well aware of what I packed. I travel very light and take exactly what is needed. I was planning to take a small bag. The Tranquil Sea sent me back for a larger suitacase and stated she was going to pack an extra one as every passenger was allowed two 50lb bags. My clothing was prepared by the clothing store across the street at work. The owner provides an excellent service and if you tell him the destination and the length of stay he prepares an excellent wardrobe. The owner told me to take my August hat.
Going to Guyana is an event and family and neighbors send small items ranging from
personal toiletries to produce items. One person sent 5 lbs of Cherries and in the small costal villages such items are unavailable. The Tranquil Sea repacked my bag so it was just more than half and placed her shoes and other clothing to het close to the 50 lbs as we left it was near 42 lbs. The other bag she assigned to me was
all her clothing and some toiletries, cosmetics and yet more shoes. That bag was just over 50 lbs.My carry on was just a couple of books, my medical kit and had plenty of room. The room got filled with some in laws sending over playstation CDs and some odd nick nacks obviously from tourism in the USA.Every inch of space was utilized and the envelopes of cash for relatives mostly around 200 was taken. I made sure the number was well short of 10,0000.
Arrival at Guyana is an odd experience. The plane went through four banks of clouds
before we could see land and the view is trees as far as the eyes can see. The airport is on a huge hill and is cooler than the costal villages. The airport itself
had a very dreary enterance terminal. In customs I had a few quirks, such as not knowing the exact addressnwhere I was staying. As it was a rather small village it would take little effort to find me.
The situation with crime in Guyana is a very serious problem. The embassy was helpful and my girlfriends family was extreemly cautious.
1) Find a reliable driver and hire him for the day. The driver was invaluable.
2) If you stand out as a foreigner always travel with at least three locals and feign that you do not understand English if approached.
3) Do not throw things away so fast. The Sandwich bags that contained my toiletries
were used for other things. The extra toiletries were apreciated as American quality body wash is expensive and not readily found in the countryside.
4) Let the locals deal with the vendors
5) Money changers will find you quickly. I bought a piece of jewelry and three changers were there in seconds.
6) Do not bother using phones. Internet cafes are all over the place. I would have posted more frequently but I was hampered with shopaholics who inflicted me with a steady diet of relatives and friends who live all over the place.
7) Stay in a locked compound after dark with family or close friends.
It was a good trip but I am not rushing back.