– The greatest gift of all
By Michael Benjamin
Wow, it’s the Christmas season again!! I’ve waited twelve months—twelve long dreary months for this season to come. When I last checked the calendar it informed me that it was the first of December. It meant that I had another twenty-four days before the arrival of the peaceful day. Ever since then, G/T has been transformed into a hive of activity as Guyanese descended from all parts of this, and other countries to celebrate a Guyanese tradition.
This is indeed a joyous season; when the purse strings of even the most frugal among us slacken and chivalry is extended without compunction. Indeed, this is the season of good cheer when the worst of enemies become good friends and all transgressions are temporarily forgotten; the time of sharing presents and goodwill.
The advent of the Internet has made it much simpler to communicate with loved ones in far places. Only last week I was simultaneously speaking with a friend in Japan; one in the USA and a few in Canada and I have not even left the confines of my office.
In days not so long ago such a feat was unheard of. As a matter of fact it was an ordeal talking to family and friends on the telephone.
One had to book a call with the then Guyana Telecommunications Corporation and wait for another few days before being connected. This is no longer so and one can IMAGINE the big difference that E-MAGINE made. Thanks GT&T for a great Christmas gift!
One would have thought that everyone would have utilized the services of the Internet to communicate their desires to their family and friends overseas like the little girl that climbed onto Santa’s lap, and he asked his usual question, “And what would you like for Christmas?” The child stared at him open mouthed, horrified for a minute and then gasped: “Didn’t you get my E-mail?”
I was having a somewhat mundane season but the Christmas cheer really hit me when the boss called me into the confines of his office and handed me an envelope and a hug in that very order. I hugged him loosely and held the envelope tightly. That envelope represented my bonus after a hard year’s work.
I normally measure the value of my work based on the size of the bonus. With the size of my bonus I could safely say that Mr. Lall has indeed thought highly of my input to the newspapers. Thanks boss for a great Christmas gift!
Someone at Kaieteur News came up marvelous idea to exchange gifts among staff members. Each member of staff that agreed to be a part of the exercise had his/her name placed in the bag and a selection process ensued. I hunted and found what I regarded as a perfect gift for the person who I picked. Today, some eight days after the conclusion of the exercise I am still awaiting my gift. Then I realized that indeed I had unknowingly received a gift; an invaluable lesson that will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life.
Disappointments can come from the most unlikely of places. I do not even know who had picked my name but nevertheless I owe them a token of gratitude. So to that anonymous individual I say to you, thank you for an excellent Christmas gift!
My home is situated just south of the infamous Le Repentir dump site and so every morning just after I rise I am not afforded the luxury of a sweet breath of fresh air. I have never visited the Kaieteur Falls but ironically, have visited the Niagara Falls in Canada on several occasions. I remember admiring the water as it cascaded downwards. Up until recently, nothing had compared to this spectacle.
Then I moved into North East La Penitence and was afforded a breathtaking view of the Le Repentir Dumpsite. To be honest, the first time I enjoyed that picturesque view it literally took my breath away.
Today, the dumpsite has the very effect not only on me but on the entire communities of North East LaPenitence, Lodge, Meadowbrook and several other adjoining communities.
I am still wondering why this important aspect of our eco tourism failed to make the Guinness Book of World Records. Someone just has to make that representation on our behalf. It should either be a Black man called Green or if he fails to get the job done, we would send in more force—the man dressed in a Robe with the hammer in his hand.
If that fails, we then resort to our ace in the hole—Gunlall. I don’t think that the last resort could possibly fail.
I just have a sneaking suspicion that this ‘magnificent site’ might have been the reason why the people from Norway decided to say No-way to the release of funds.
As a patriotic Guyanese it is my duty to ensure that the Le Repentir Dumpsite, which to my mind remains unchallenged as a wonder of the world. Guyana must have its moment in the sun.
I am in the process of petitioning for a place in that august volume—the Guinness Book of World Records. I am sure that if I play my cards right I will somehow manage to unseat the local Champion of the Earth.
And so to the person or persons responsible for this great bit of architecture that assails the nostrils of more than three communities in one fell swoop, I say, thank you for a wonderful Christmas gift.
And to all Guyanese, irrespective of race, creed, colour or class, I may not have a gift as unique and expensive as GT&T; I may not have the resources to construct a modernized dumpsite like the one at Le Repentir nor do I possess the requisite power to dole out inconsequential fines.
However, unlike the run of the mill politician, I promise that whatever I promise will be written in stone. For now all I could give is my best wishes for this glorious Christmas and a prosperous Christ-filled New Year.
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I have been doing columns since 1988. I have been a major columnist with the Catholic Standard, Stabroek News, Kaieteur... more