On Wednesday morning, our family was leaving to go out. My daughter and I were in the yard ready to drive out. My wife coming out the door yelled down to me; “I’m turning off the fridge,” to which I responded, “Why? We have ice-cream, yogurt and meat.”
She explained that with the daily blackouts we get at Turkeyen, she doesn’t want to take any chances leaving the fridge on while we are out because the resumption of electricity can come in a burst and damage the fridge.
When we leave home, we turn off all switches except the fridge but my wife has included that now. I was pensively silent for a brief moment as my wife joined us in the yard. Those words of my wife tell the sadness of at least one citizen in this land – me.
Here in the 21st century, I, a product of the 20th century, have to turn off the fridge whenever I leave my home because of daily electricity disruptions. As a young unmarried man studying at UG, I endured blackouts and those interruptions have followed me since then into my mid-sixties. If such a country has not failed then, there are no longer any yardsticks to use to measure development.
I am not going to continue this column on blackouts; I did too many. But one incident, Sunday, needs mentioning. There is a lady in Eccles that has been an avid read of this page over the years. She would call from time to time to tell me about stupid and heartless things taking place.
She called on Sunday afternoon to inform me about blackouts where she lived for the entire day. I was laughing as we chatted because she was complaining about something we at Turkeyen were in the middle of right there and then. We had electricity withdrawal the entire Sunday.
So what is new about blackouts? Well, nothing. But here is the thing. In the midst of this abysmal failure of Guyana to provide electricity to its citizens, I have to endure the energy of a political party that ruled my country for twenty-three years and wants to control it again. In case you don’t know, twenty-three years is just a year short of six consecutive terms for many presidents and prime ministers.
How can one particular organization administer a country for twenty-three years and could not dissolve the electricity difficulties? I have to see the faces of these past leaders in the newspapers telling Guyanese about their abilities and capacities to run Guyana after 2020 when they ran it for twenty-three years and left us without electricity. David Hinds constantly reminds us that this terrible party that ruined Guyana is on a media rampage.
After a political rampage for twenty-three years that stopped the flow of electricity they are now on a media blitz to inform us of their presence and intention to rule Guyana again. So let’s assume they get back in. All Guyanese from age sixty and up will end up in their eighties and die and not have electricity in their homes because if they couldn’t fix it in twenty-three years why assume that they will overcome it in another twenty-three years?
I honestly doubt Guyana will survive in twenty-three years’ time. There are souls in this country that truly believe salvation has arrived at last because oil money will make us rich. Reminds one of the hackneyed, worn out expression – live in hope, die in despair. But seriously I doubt anyone in Guyana these past sixty years has really lived in hope.
So I have to turn off my fridge when I leave my home but all is not lost. The Government of Guyana has announced that it has accepted funding from the British Government to landscape three waterfront sites for recreational purposes. The adjective, “recreational” was the word in the press release.
The places are Stabroek Square, Vreed-en-Hoop stelling and the Georgetown seawall from Kingston to Ogle.
After that refurbished architecture, Guyana then becomes a country for old men because the older folks can take their spouses to Vreed-en-Hoop and have a rebirth of nocturnal romance. I will definitely take Janet Kissoon to Vreed-en-Hoop to see how the moonlight illuminates the Demerara River. But I have a personal dilemma. I love ice-cream terribly. I use non-sugar and not fat ice cream daily. It is always in the fridge. After coming home from Vreed-en-Hoop, I won’t have ice cream. Remember I have to switch off the fridge each time I leave home.
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