There is a situation with the diaspora members who come back and offer their service. They let you know that they have expectations of modern life, one that humans in the 21st century are entitled to, and one which they think their homeland should offer if they are coming back with their families to work in.
Many locals take objection to that, including this columnist. But at the essential level, that position of the diaspora is not offensive and unreasonable. If you live outside, where state services and infrastructure are modern, then you expect that of the country you are going to live in.
But the locals, too, have an argument that is of profound moral validity. If you live under primitive conditions in your own country and suffer lack of educational opportunities at the tertiary level, then your country has a profound obligation to recognize your sacrifice. Modern contributions to nationalist goals mean nothing if in turn your country doesn’t pay homage to your sacrifice.
With this long introduction, I am going to tell you what GTT did to me yesterday. The internet went off. I called in my friend who is a technician. His diagnosis revealed that my instruments were functioning and the fault was at the other end – GTT. Allison Parker, GTT’s Public Relations Officer, is someone that has never failed to assist me, and she came through for all the times I have made requests to her. I have a handsome appreciation for her attitude.
Also the CEO, Mr. Justin Nedd. GTT wasn’t fixing my disruption last year. I called him, he acted quickly, and was kind enough to say he was leaving the country the next day and left a number for a technician that I could resort to if the fault reoccurred the next day.
Ms. Parker told me that the inquiry from her side showed I was disconnected. I told her that was literally impossible, since I am a religious payer of my internet service the beginning of each month, though my deadline is the eighth day of each month. I called SurePay. They said they forwarded my August payment to GTT the next hour after I paid. Ms. Parker said the records showed I paid up for August, but was owing $1,800. That came about because there was an increase. I did not know of that increase.
So I said to Ms. Parker that I get at least five text messages each day from GTT about things I consider of no interest to me, therefore why couldn’t I get a text informing me of pending disconnection. These were her exact words’ “That’s a consideration.”
GTT’s database showed I paid up, why disconnect without a notice? I had to leave the comfort of my home, go down to SurePay, and not only pay the outstanding $1800 but a reconnection fee.
These are the things people put up with in Guyana, year in, year out, and they become the norm and they torment your soul. I get blackouts everyday where I live, including twice last Tuesday. When the Chancellor of UG, Professor Nigel Harris referred to the sacrifice Professor Griffith made to come to Guyana to take up the position of Vice Chancellor, I replied immediately to remind him of the ongoing sacrifice of so many of us. If Harris decides to live in Guyana at Turkeyen, he will have to buy a generator.
The things we put up with in Guyana, returnees would not. I jog in the National Park. I know all the security ranks there. Last month, on the Demerara Harbour Bridge, one of these security ranks while going home was knocked off his cycle, fell into a hole that was being repaired, and his bicycle fell into the river. The Harbour Bridge management said their cameras do not cover the entire span of the bridge. That is the end of the matter. Bridge authorities did not return my calls. That poor man’s face was badly damaged. He complained to me and I tried to help. There is nothing more I can do. I am willing to contribute to the purchase of a bicycle for him. I told him so.
This is life in Guyana. The story of the guard here is just one of countless numbers of these sad tales told to me, where the poor and powerless are severely pulverized by a society that is extremely cruel and insensitive. Being in that park daily, I can tell you about the mistreatment of those guards, but really, man, there is only so much one can do in this hell hole.
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