Apr 07, 2013 News Comments Off on American globetrotter crashes in Guyana while heading to Suriname
By Rehana Ashley Ahamad
An American citizen who has been traveling the world on a motorcycle since last July was making his way from Guyana to Suriname when he met with an accident in Berbice.
The man, Ben Krijger, said that he was just minutes away from the Ferry Terminal when he slammed into a car which was going to turn, but did not have break lights or any indicator.
Kaieteur News understands that officials at the Ferry service were expecting the explorer for the mid- morning ferry to South Drain Nickerie.
The 34-year-old man, who boarded the last ferry to Guyana, from Brazil, four days ago, became a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), after spending a few hours at the public health institutions in New Amsterdam and Skeldon respectively.
As of yesterday, Krijger was nursing several lacerations about the body. He also underwent a surgery, to remove pieces of glass from his neck.
The US Embassy, he said, has visited him, and he was able to make contact with his family. Krijger told this publication yesterday that GPHC staff members have told him that he could leave, but with the pains he has been experiencing, he prefers to stay hospitalized.
He does not have any relatives in Guyana, and has lost contact with the generous family that afforded him a place in their home. Krijger said that his girlfriend might soon be flying into the country to see him.
Just hours before his accident, Krijger was interviewed by Kaieteur News. During that interview, he said that Guyana was his fifteenth stop, and that he was going to make his way over to the next country inline, Suriname.
Krijger noted that while he caught the flu once, and has had several frightening “runnings” with wild animals, the experience has been generally good.
He was of the same opinion even after his recent accident, stating that as soon as he recovers, he would like to continue his trip; that is of course if his family allows him to.
Although the man seems to be very fond of Guyana and its people, he has not had much luck here. This was Krijger’s second accident within the country’s borders during his short stay. His first was when his bike crashed into the ground while traversing the Lethem Trail on his way down to the city, where he was robbed soon after.
Nevertheless, Krijger said that while his bike “Maggie” did not suffer much damages during the first crash, most of his fingers were dislocated, and had to be pulled back in place; something he did by himself.
“That was such a painful thing to do. I screamed so loud, said some words out of this world after doing that. It was extremely, extremely painful…I guess one can imagine.”
Initially, the Racine, Wisconsin resident told this publication that while he was looking forward for some of the most thrilling experiences, he was mostly interested in learning the different cultures, eat the different foods, and especially, change the mindsets of his peers who especially consider that all North American countries as the same.
“People don’t know the difference, and the thing that I want to do, is travel these countries…I hope I’ll be able to tell people about all these different countries and how different they are…look at Guyana for starters, you guys speak English.”
Relating some of his experiences here on the third day of his stay, Krijger said that after his accident on the Lethem trail, he experienced one of the most beautiful moments of his life.
“I was tired, and my fingers were in pain, and it was also getting really dark, so I set up tent at the side of the road (the Lethem trail), and I was lying there when suddenly I heard this really loud buzzing sound,” Krijger said.
The smiling man added that he did not know where the sound was coming from, but all he could think of was a really scary and oversized bee.
“I honestly, at first, I kept thinking to myself, oh my God, there’s a giant bee outside, but after listening to the sound for a while, I thought that I was being too childish, so, I unzipped the tent and here comes this really beautiful humming bird…it just flew in and right up to my face, I kept staring at it, and it just would not move. I just kinda waited for it to peck my eyes out or something, but soon after, it just flew away…I think that was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I love animals, especially birds, and to have an experience like that, for me, it’s just amazing.
Krijger said that when he came to the city, he was particularly pleased with the hospitality.
This is despite the fact that he was robbed of some cash upon arrival.
Nonetheless, Krijger said that when he came to the city, he met a nice man named “Bernard” who allowed him to stay in his home with his family.
“Bernard’s wife was really nice…they gave me food, I got to shower…they were very nice, and for my short time being here, I realize that Guyana has really nice people.”
Krijger said he has always wanted to travel the world. He recalls being at a party at age 17, not dancing and trying to get with the ladies, but rather, staring at a world map.
He added that after working in Hospital management for a few years, and aging way beyond 17, he finally opted to follow his dreams.
“So, I quit my job, sold my things, and now I’m on this trip…I haven’t seen my girlfriend, or my family since…I call them though. When I get to another country, I call them. And, they also get to see my updates, and my pictures on facebook. I also have a website called www.allpointsouth.com”
Understandably, his family was upset. They all thought it was a bad, and moreso, a dangerous idea, and did not want him to go. But, Krijger was determined.
“Everybody thought that I was crazy. My mom cried. My father said not to do it by myself. My stepdad didn’t say a whole lot. My stepmom said not to. My girlfriend said that she knew I was going to. Her mother said that I’m not allowed to, and her father, my girlfriend’s father said that he wants to come with me. A lot of responses, but generally, they did not want me to go. And after this, I don’t think they will, so I’m not entirely sure,” Krijger pointed out.
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