I spent last Saturday at the funeral of one of my wife’s cousins (my wife has more relatives than hurricane-hit Dominica) in the island of Leguan. I haven’t been to Leguan in twenty years. And honestly, the place looks the same as back then. I am glad I went, and I am sorry it took me so long to visit again. I spoke to the villagers and I am convinced that we, in sophisticated political societies, think that those types of folks do not have the same kind of understanding of politics, as we do.
Leguan, since this country had competitive election from 1957 onwards, like the sister island Wakenaam, has returned in an overwhelming majority to the PPP. But this is where the problem lies for Leguaners – the PPP over the long years neglected them because their votes were assured. Everywhere I went in Leguan, I met plaintive complaints of a rough economy that is hurting them badly. They told me that rice and cattle are the fulcrums of existence and both are in trouble.
I didn’t like my stay in Leguan because at my age, I don’t want to hear the maudlin cry of poor farmers who are in dire straits. You just feel for these people when you listen to their complaints. There were only three happy moments in Leguan – I got to know more of my wife’s relatives; I went into a yard where a ginger tabby cat had four ginger tabby kittens and it was one of the most enjoyable sights a human could behold when the kittens played with their mother; and thirdly, the 18th century architecture of St. Peter’s Anglican Church which is 190 years old. This is beautiful architecture. Please pay a visit to that landmark. It is only seven minutes ride from Parika to Leguan with speed boat. The surrounding vegetation complements the aesthetic pulchritude of the church.
I detected three types of sentiments in those I grounded with – they deeply and angrily feel that the present government has not done anything positive for the people of Leguan; they admit that the PPP failed them; and thirdly, they are disillusioned with the AFC and would welcome a third political party. But it is clear to me that such a party must have Indian leadership.
I rose with many of them, the failure of the PPP to enhance the economy of Leguan. While there was a decent acknowledgement of that fact, they felt that the APNU+AFC have not tried to politically romance them in the least. They feel the APNU+AFC are not interested in Leguan.
I promised one of the teachers that I would highlight a problem they have. In 2015, the PPP Government rebuilt Eastern Leguan Primary School but left it without electricity. In fact, there is no wiring. The teacher told me you cannot even take in your own fan because there is no wiring. I listened in amazement.
In 2015, in the 21st century, the government of one of the Caribbean countries built a school and left it without electrical wiring. It was obvious to then Education Minister, Priya Manickchand, and then President, Donald Ramotar that the building would not be inhabited by humans. I left Leguan, a sad person but I was not surprised. This is the way successive governments have treated our fellow Guyanese who live in far flung areas.
There was one dimension of my visit that I was curious about. It took place off of Leguan. I drove into a paid parking entity named Big Kiss Parking Lot at Parika in the street before the stelling. I know there are three areas in Guyana with the word big – Big Fall (Mazaruni River), Big Pond (Abary River) and Big Scorpion (Pomeroon River). The area couldn’t name Big Kiss, since we were in the heart of Parika.
Why would someone name their business Big Kiss Parking Lot? Why not Sunny Side Parking, or Parika Parking or Horizon Parking or Mary and Susan Parking Comfort or Singh and Son’s Parking Company etc? Why Big Kiss? I asked the attendant. She didn’t know, thentold me that I have to ask the owner. Next time I go there, I will.
On our way home, when we passed the Ruimzeight Cremation Site, I mentioned to my wife that in less than a month, I’ve been to two cremations there. However, right next to the site, I saw the sign, ‘Wallerby’s Delight’.
It appeared to me that what we think is Ruimzeight, may very well be the village of ‘Wallerby’s Delight’. Next week, I will take my wife jogging at Wallerby’s Delight; it should be delightful!
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