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See inside:

Hustling honestly for IV a living ► Page

‘Totally Moulding’ the lives of Linden youth for over three decades ► Page V Mellicia Susan Da Silva

Life is a blessing no matter what! – Take it from Susan Da Silva

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Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

Smartphone photography? Stephanie Persaud tells us how GUYANA THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY Besides her love for the art, photography has also given Stephanie the opportunity to capture Guyana in photographs. Born to Guyanese immigrant parents and raised in New York, she has been living here for the past several years. She explained that photographs allow her to capture moments in the present that will become a part of Guyana’s history in the future. “It’s being able to capture an emotion or a feeling within a photo and tell a story without having to say a word,” she said. NEW YORK BEGINNINGS

Stephanie Persaud

By Gibron Rahim THERE is an art to photography. One of the impressions of the art form that tends to emerge is that it always requires the most advanced equipment and extensive technical skills. While true in quite a few instances, this is not always necessarily the case. As Stephanie Persaud has discovered, sometimes all that is required to take an unforgettable photograph is a good eye and a smartphone with a high-quality camera. Speaking to the Pepperpot Magazine, Stephanie revealed that she has no technical photography training. She has a background in marketing and a love for capturing images that tell a story. It was combining that love of narration through images with the easy availability of her iPhone that led her to photography. “It kind of happened organically,” she explained. “I would see the world in a frame of a photo.” The resulting images that she first captured came out looking great. She related that many of her friends who were photography majors would comment on how well those photos were framed. Stephanie recalled studying fashion magazines when she was younger. This is one of the reasons she cited for her talent at taking photographs. As she became interested in marketing at a young age, she would spend quite a bit of time looking at the ads and photoshoot spreads in those publications. “I feel [that] me looking at all of those things subconsciously trained me to understand how to take a photo,” she said. Stephanie noted that many of us have a tendency to look at professionals and think that we need elaborate equipment or a degree to achieve the same success. “But no amount of schooling can teach you talent; if you’re talented, you’re talented,” she emphasised. “A degree doesn’t define talent, it just shows that you have technical skills.” And those technical skills, she said, can be learned using the many resources we have available to us today. One of the advantages of smartphone photography is accessibility, in that, almost everyone has a phone with a camera. Stephanie related too that her phone, an iPhone 6, is not that new. The model of a phone, then, does not need to be the most important determining factor in taking quality photographs. “It’s about understanding the lighting and knowing what you’re trying to capture and how you’re trying to capture it,” she said. “Proper editing also makes a huge difference.” It makes all the difference once someone gets out of their own head and stops trying to define themselves as something. “I don’t call myself a photographer, I take photos,” Stephanie said in that regard, “Once you stop trying to define yourself as one thing it allows you to be fluid and be more than one thing.” Humans are not one-dimensional beings she said.

capture as they are so beautiful and vast that a photograph could not do them justice. THE UPS AND DOWNS The use of an iPhone in photography has both benefits and drawbacks. Stephanie strongly feels that there are more benefits to using the iPhone to capture photos. Among these are the portability and accessibility of the device. “It’s easier to edit because you can edit on your phone within your spare time,” she added. One of the greatest benefits though is not missing out on photographic opportunities as they arise. “It allows you to capture the moment instead of you lugging around heavy equipment looking for it,” explained Stephanie. She elaborated that the experience of taking the photographs is not as organic and the equipment can be more of a hindrance. She did concede though that the photo quality and editing options are greater with the more traditional route. Smartphone photography also has to contend with space and battery limitations but Stephanie noted that those drawbacks can be dealt with. Drawbacks notwithstanding, using her iPhone remains Stephanie’s preferred way to take photographs. Many of her photos, which are available for purchase, have been shot from moving vehicles, including boats. “Sometimes when I look back at them I’m actually in awe that I took that with an iPhone in a moving car,” she related. “I think it’s more so being able to see the photo and line the shot up in such a way that, not only is it a high-quality image, but it captures it in a unique way.” A photo that she really loves is one she took of two children at the Parika Stelling. The girl in the image is wearing a bright yellow dress and sits next to her younger brother while they are both surrounded by bunches of bananas. “The contrast of her yellow dress with the green bananas and just the angle in which it was shot is so perfectly symmetrical that it makes me

(Photos by Stephanie Persaud)

Stephanie recalled that she began taking photographs around 2011 in New York when she got her first iPhone. The photographs she took in New York were of people but also largely involved landscapes, street photography, architecture and food along with moments happening around her. She noted that the difference between taking photographs in New York and in Guyana is that beauty here is not as glaringly obvious as New York since it’s a more developed city with more subject matter to see and shoot. She explained that the beauty we possess in Guyana is subtler since, she said, it is sometimes the juxtaposition of the old and ugly next to something as small and naturally beautiful as a flower, the way a house curves or the way the light or the sky reflects off the water by the seawall. “It’s little things that people have been so accustomed to seeing that if you’re not looking for beauty as you’re living life you’ll miss it.” Finding that hidden beauty is crucial to Stephanie’s photo capture and indeed to the work of anyone involved in any form of art. “An artist is someone who is able to find the beauty in things that people don’t necessarily consider beautiful,” she observed. She went on to point out that it is important to not overthink when taking photographs since it requires being fluid with one’s movements. “If you try too hard it never works,” she said. There are also some images, such as some mountains and landscapes, which Stephanie does not even attempt to

so happy to see,” Stephanie reflected. “For me, that photo represents Guyana.” Stephanie’s advice to anyone who is considering taking up smartphone photography is to just start. “Don’t think about it, just do it,” she said. If someone can afford classes and would like to learn the technical skills needed traditionally, she said they should, by all means, do so. “Just start shooting because if you’ve already paid for your phone there’s nothing to lose,” she pointed out. She noted the importance of practice, continuing to take photos in different angles, lighting and settings while at the same time reviewing to understand and analyse which captures work and which ones do not. The next showing of Stephanie Persaud’s photos will be this upcoming May at the Roraima Duke Lodge’s gallery. Anyone looking to find out more information about Stephanie’s work or her future showings can contact her at stephaniie.persaud@ gmail.com.


Life is a blessing no matter what! Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

By Telesha Ramnarine

III

– Take it from Susan Da Silva

TO this day, Mellicia Susan Da Silva cannot fathom who would’ve wanted to harm her life and for what reason. All she knows now is that she may never be able to walk again and live the life she once did as an energetic, independent young woman. When she was about 25-years-old, her life took an unpredictable turn when someone followed her in a car during the wee hours of the morning of May 16, 2014, and suddenly began shooting at her. She had gotten up early to drive her parents to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport and had left home alone around 01:30 hrs to pick up her sister in Garnett Street, Kitty, who was also going on the airport trip. Susan later realised that the car which followed her was parked outside her house earlier that morning, but she didn’t pay it any heed as she busied herself taking a shower and getting ready for the trip. She feels that the individual may have planned the attack in front of her house but did not succeed in doing so until she was approaching her sister’s house. “When I turned into Garnett Street I saw this car approaching behind me and I felt to myself I was about to be robbed because we had been robbed so many times before, and I just knew something was about to happen,” Susan recalled during an interview with the Pepperpot Magazine. While expecting to be robbed, Susan saw that the driver of the vehicle exit and began shooting at her, while leaving another person in the car. “I didn’t have the vehicle in park as yet and when I was shot in my spine, I lost control of my leg instantly.” Her vehicle subsequently crashed into a fence on the other side of the road. Susan was hit twice; once to her neck and the other to her spinal cord, resulting in her having to undergo a major surgery and spending several months in the hospital. “I don’t want to make myself believe that someone tried to hurt me but when I’m by myself and think about it, it all amounts to that; because that isn’t the way a robbery happens. They didn’t even try to open the vehicle,” she expressed. WAKING UP TO REALITY About three weeks into her hospital stay, Susan woke up

to find a wheelchair beside her bed. Devastated, she asked: “Mom, what is that doing there?” Her mom, Nesha, mustered up some courage and would only tell her that she may need to use it for a little while. It was when the doctor explained to her that she may never be able to walk again that she understood her new reality. “I didn’t cry that night when I was shot, but when the doctor told me this, I cried. And when you are alone in the hospital in the middle of the night, there are a million questions in your head,” Susan recalled. This period of time was the worst in Susan’s life and as she was pondering what the doctor told her, there was still a part of her that was hoping that he was wrong. “I told myself I can’t live like this. I was in total depression for a couple of months; like in a dark hole. I felt like I had died already but I was still breathing.” Before the injury, Susan was an active young woman who worked six days a week and was studying at the same time. She attended St. Gabriel’s Nursery and Primary and moved on the ‘Business School’ after writing the then ‘Common Entrance’ Examinations. As she continues to recover, But even be- Susan tries to make life as normal as possible

Susan as an energetic, independent young woman before her life changed

With friends at a workshop at Regency Suites Hotel

fore finishing school, she’d help out her parents on the weekends with their businesses. Her mom runs a number of shoe stalls in the Stabroek Market and her dad, Francisco, is into the jewellery business. Susan would spend her time travelling between Guyana and New York and while overseas, started medical studies. She only managed to complete the first semester before the attack. Her new circumstances led to her being in “hospital after hospital” and she eventually left Guyana for treatment in New York. There, she underwent several physiotherapy sessions and received a lot of counselling. But the transformation from a busy, active life to one in a wheelchair was very hard for Susan and she could see nothing good about her new life. Even now, she says she is still trying to recover and understand this new life. “The transformation is very, very hard. If someone is born into a disability, they adopt from young because that’s all they know. But when you have a life like anybody else; Turn to page X ►►►


Hustling IV

– The push-cart operators of Parika By Michel Outridge STRUGGLING against the difficulties of unemployment being faced in their communities, manual push-cart operators at the Parika Junction, East Bank Essequibo have echoed the need to be respected and treated fairly since it is an honest job. The Pepperpot Magazine visited Parika and spoke with several manual push-cart operators about how they use this simple form of manual labour to support themselves and family. RESPECT US Balgobin, also called “Chinee” is unmarried and chooses to support himself by operating a manual push cart to fetch heavy materials from place to place for various customers. He told the Pepperpot Magazine that he is often looked down upon due to his choice of work. He related that many people would view him with a hint of scorn because he is a manual labourer, but stated that his choice to undertake this profession came five years ago when he was unable to get a regular job. This 36-year-old explained that the job is not easy and has its troubles, such as braving the weather and having to put up with people who sometimes do not want to pay for his services. The Parika resident said that there is stiff competition as well because there are others doing the same job and it is the ‘real hustle’. HARD LABOUR Balgobin’s day starts at 06:00hrs and ends at 17:00hrs and he earns enough to feed himself for the day at times,

Lennox Roberts on his push-cart in front of Flat Shop at Parika

while on other days, he doesn’t make much. He confessed that the job can be quite fatiguing because he doesn’t have a donkey or horse to aid him in carrying heavy loads which require some effort to get going. Balgobin said that while he is not ashamed of his job, some people treat him with disdain and that should not be because he is earning honestly and is a law-abiding citizen who is contributing to society.

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

honestly for a living Amarnauth Latchma n and Balgobin liming at Pa rika Junction on their pu sh-carts awaiting customers

STRESS RELIEF Even though he another admits to a bit of a while also navigating the busy stelling “drinking problem” which is filled with minibuses travelling Balgobin explained to and from the Parika Junction. that he is not an alcoholic but because A MAN’S JOB of his frustrations, He said, “This wuk is not for boys, he would indulge at it is a man’s job which is strenuous and times with his felhard because when the sun is out you low push-cart operaget to know how strong you are pushing tors when there is no heavy bags among other things.” work. Roberts of Façade, Parika said there As a result, he reare about 100 push-cart operators in lated that some peothe area and everyone has to fend for ple have since brandthemselves to get customers and that in ed them as itself is an effort. ‘rummies’ A manual push-cart operator doing his job He invested $60,000 to build a which is wooden cart large enough to accommoquite disredate an ample load of goods or whatever needs to be carried. spectful since he believes that having a drink with “This work is nuff fight down among push-cart men and his friends is of no harm to anyone. often there is bickering but at the end of the day, we all does Balgobin added that if he is fortunate to get a sit down and gaff but you got to fight for yourself or you do good job he will take it, but for now he has settled not earn,” Roberts said. “It is a job at the end of the day. We and is holding on to his job until such time. earn like everybody else and it is honest and we don’t thief, so treat us with respect like how you would want people to IT IS WHAT IT IS treat you.” His colleague, Lennox Roberts told the PepperAs for Amarnauth Latchman, the job is so difficult that pot Magazine that he started the job just six months being in the blazing sun caused one of his colleagues to get ago when he suffered a setback as a vegetable ven“strokes”, he collapsed, causing him to not work anymore. dor right at the Parika Junction, near the stelling. Latchman told the Pepperpot Magazine that only when He said that some days, business was so bad the Transport and Harbours Department ferry is working they he had to throw out rotten vegetables because get jobs to carry bags for a small sum. people were not buying any and he decided to do Each push-cart is outfitted with a license number and something else. a name and they each have to pay revenue of $500 every The 49-year-old stated that the job is six months and when they use the stelling they have to ‘back-breaking’ since it is often a difficult task to pay $140 each to traverse for the day as a ‘pass’. manually push the often-heavy cart from one point to

PARKED: Push-carts in the vicinity of Parika Ferry Stelling


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

V

‘Totally Moulding’ the lives of Linden youth for over three decades By Vanessa Braithwaite

UNICEF for help since she was using her personal items for the practical aspect of the classes. The organisation decided to construct a building for the cause but unfortunately, Semple did not get to move the classes into the multipurpose centre and decided to construct her own little building at the front of Block 22. Since the classes are free, the students would bring their supplies from home to practise. Teaching cake decorating “I teach them to be generous and to a group of students to share so [for example] if one short of some essence and the talents, so she decided to other has, they must share with each other start the Totally Mouldbecause I am sharing my talent and skills ing Training Centre where with them for free,” she said. The programme the children would learn

MARVA Semple is the epitome of voluntarism in the mining town of Linden, selflessly giving her time, talent, skills and resources to the youth of Block 22, Wismar, Linden, since the 1980s. Founder of the Totally Moulding Training Centre, this sexagenarian, doesn’t plan on giving up her duty of moulding the lives of the Linden youth toward becoming skilful and responsible assets to society. Over the years, Semple, who received several accolades, including presidential awards for her service various skills such as art to the community, would and craft, decoration, sewhave mentored hundreds ing of pillowcases, cushof youths at the training ions, towels, bags, laundry centre for free. Both boys bags, belts etc. As time and girls and even womprogressed, Semple got en have learnt cake decother persons involved to oration, sewing, catering, fill the gap where she fell art and craft among other short. Teachers, nurses, skills. Reminiscing on how tailors, designers, amongst it all started, Marva said, “I others came on board to Founder of Totally use to work at the Bauxite lend a helping hand. “They Moulding Training Centre company and every day I learned to make candles, would see youths on the soft toys and so forth beroad playing with balls or pitching marbles cause we moulded them in everything hence and I went home and said to my husband, the name of the club. They learned every‘I can do something’ and I decided to start a thing even academics, drama and impromptu Bible Club since my yard had a lot of space. speech.” “I was a Sunday school teacher and choir Later on, other women in the community mistress. I went and buy some strips and I wanting to benefit from the skills being taught, begged for some and we set up the place. The joined in which is why the group now involves whole yard use to full with children, we use to teaching youth and adults valuable skills. get like 38 or 39 children when we started the “The place use to be packed, over 100 and Sunshine Bible Club,” Semple related. something persons, the whole of Block 22 use As the children grew, she knew that Bible to pack up in my yard,” Semple said jovially. lessons were not enough for their development As the programme grew, Semple approached and possessing so many life skills and other

received support from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Social Protection and a nine-month course was instituted. The students were given a certificate at the end of the course so as to be qualified for meaningful employment. Semple said that over the years she has seen the results of the Centre’s motto, ‘Making a change’ and that is what gives her the most satisfaction. Many of her students were able to use their skills to earn a living. She does not plan to stop any time soon and believes this is her life’s purpose. “Every time I give out, is like I learn something new, and I told God I don’t want my talent to be buried inside of me, so until he is ready for me I will share my talent and I don’t think that will be anytime soon because when I am around the youth, I feel I am young just like them,” Semple said.


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Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

VII

The Saga of the restoration of Bourda Street By Francis Quamina Farrier THE complete rehabilitation of the two northern blocks of Bourda Street, in Georgetown, was completed two months ago - February 2018 - and it has been a win-win project for all the stakeholders. But it was not easy and swift in happening. For many citizens, it was a saga of trust and distrust; of whether the weather would work with the workers when they wanted to “get on with it”. This is my second feature article dealing with the two northern blocks of Bourda Street in Georgetown; the first article which had the Headline “Will City Hall and the Vendors ever Cooperate for Guyana?”, was published in the Pepperpot of November 12, 2016.  The deterioration of the two northern blocks of the much-traversed Bourda Street, located at the western side of the Bourda Market, began over two decades ago, and without any attempt at maintenance, it went from being bad to being worse. Small potholes got larger and deeper. The street looked uglier and uglier. It reached the stage of becoming dangerous for the throngs of pedestrians who use it on a daily basis. There were many instances when pedestrians, especially the elderly, tripped and fell. In some instances

This was the condition of the two northern blocks of Bourda Street in Georgetown for many years

the elderly sustained such serious injuries, that they had to be rushed to the hospital for immediate medical attention. Many complaints were made to City Hall to effect repairs to this street which is, to some degree, a pedestrian street; for while a few vehicles crawl through the narrow corridor allowed by the many shoppers, this street is almost totally used by pedestrians who are also shoppers for the greens, fruits, fish, chicken and haberdashery being sold by vendors occupying shacks on both sides of the street. With the massive clean-up of the City of Georgetown during the latter months of 2015, an impressive programme of rehabilitation of streets in the city was put in place by the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, and citizens took notice. Many streets in need of repairs for years were resurfaced for the first time in over two decades, and citizens began to enjoy a better standard of commuting. Then the time came when City Hall turned its attention to Bourda Street with the plan to effect repairs “as soon as possible.” However, there were hurdles to surmount; the cooperation of the vendors being a principal one. Many of the vendors expressed mistrust. In many surveys which I took of the vendors over a two-year period, many of the vendors expressed concern that they will not get back their ‘spots’ should they move. Later, there was the weather which proved

Rehabilitation works commenced in January 2018

location, some of the vendors were in disagreement. That scenario played out repeatedly, and the street remained in a deplorable state. From 2016, I kept surveying the mood and willingness of the vendors to move to facilitate the work. I also spoke with Mayor Patricia Chase-Green on a few occasions about the condition of Bourda Street. I even kept updates of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, even as I continued to give publicity to other completed rehabilitation works of streets in other areas of Georgetown in my journalistic outlets. On one occasion, I posed the question to Minister David

Vendors closed up their stalls to allow the road works to proceed

to be equally challenging. AT LOGGERHEADS The work was in the capable hands of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure, headed by Minister David Patterson. That Ministry was ready to do the work from day one. However, City Hall and the vendors were finding it very difficult to make it possible for the works to commence, since a mutually agreeable temporary relocation of the vendors was proving a great challenge. After identifying an alternative

After over 20 years the Bourda Street is like brand new (Photos by Francis Quamina Farrier) Turn to page VIII ►►►


VIII ◄◄◄ From page VII

Patterson, who along with Vice President and Minister of Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs, Sydney Allicock and Minister of Finance, Winston Jordan, were at a ‘meet-and-greet’ gathering at the Guyana Embassy in Washington, DC. In posing my question to the minister, I mentioned that about 70 per cent of the vendors were willing to move to a temporary location to allow the road repair work to be done. The minister’s response was “It’s that 30 per cent who will not cooperate that can cause the problem.” However, frustration, although knocking at the doors

of the Ministry of Public Infrastructure and City Hall, did not prevail. SOME PROGRESS Indeed, it did take some doing on the part of the City Hall to have all the vendors to agree to a short secession of their vending and allow for the roadworks to begin. That came about in November 2017, and the hope was that the works would have been completed before Christmas; a Christmas gift for vendors and shoppers alike, if you will. Then up came another challenge in the saga; the uncooperative weatherman; well Noah, didn’t it rain! And so the planned

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

commencement of the works had to be put on hold. Christmas 2017 came and went with the street was still in its horrible condition. WORK AT LAST Fortunately, during late January 2018, the opportunity presented itself and the road construction team from the Ministry of Public Infrastructure commenced their long-awaited task. During the operation, I spent long periods observing the work-inprogress, taking photographs and listening to the remarks of vendors and shoppers alike. “We been waitin’ long for this street to get fix,” one vendor told me. Most of those with whom I spoke, were over-joyed that at last, after so many years of having to endure the terrible condition of the two blocks of Bourda Street, there is now a great improvement; and that really matters. “Is long we did waitin’ for this to happen,”

one of the vendors told me with a joyous tone of voice. There was another wendor who just kept walking up and down the street and saying, “Oh, lawd, ah really feelin’ good”. Posing the question to another about what he would say to him, if Minister David Patterson went by, his response was, “I would tell the Minister, ‘thanks a million’.” RELIEF While this project is just the much-needed repairs to two short blocks of a city street, it must be taken into consideration that it has brought relief to many vendors and countless shoppers, whose lives have been impacted in a positive way. After over two decades, “The Saga of the restoration of Bourda Street”, finally came to an end, and all the stakeholders can now say, “All’s well, that ends well”.


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

IX

Repositioning the coconut industry

in nine Caribbean countries By M Margaret Burke

identified: (i) enhancing the range of value-added products, particularly higher valued products and growing business and entrepreneurial activities and (ii) improving production, productivity and efficiency.

THE International Trade Centre (ITC) and the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) are diligently working to increase food availability and reinforce incomes of small-scale farmers in Guyana, as well as other Caribbean countries such as Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, and Suriname. ITC Coordinator for the Coconut Industry Development for the Caribbean (CIDC), Guyana’s Raymond Trotz, told the Pepperpot Magazine that the timeline of the CIDC project, which commenced in 2015, will be up to the end of this year (2018). He explained that the beneficiaries of the project are small coconut farmers, plantation operators, owners and workers, coconut producing and processing communities, young people and women in coconut and coconut product processing and marketing, also SME coconut products manufacturers. CARIBBEAN WEEK OF AGRICULTURE Trotz said that this CIDC project has its genesis in a series of efforts arising from a study presented at the 12th Caribbean Week of Agriculture (CWA) held in Guyana from October 7 – 12, 2013. The study, he noted, was funded by the European Commission on behalf of African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat and the Caribbean Forum (Cari-Forum). It may be seen in the context of Economic Partnership Agreements (EPA) following the withdrawal of preferential treatment for traditional plantation crops in European markets. He reported that two priority interventions were

AWAKENING A SLEEPING GIANT Trotz, in reporting on the activities of CIDC, said that in pursuit of developing a regional roadmap, a workshop was held in Trinidad and Tobago in November 2014. It was hosted by CARDI in collaboration with the International Trade Centre (ITC) and was attended by stakeholders from Belize, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Dominica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and Suriname. At that meeting the European Commission (EC) representatives announced a preliminary funding of €3.5 million to prepare the industry for resuscitation. Additionally, in early 2015, a five-member Caribbean delegation attended the 51st APCC conference held in Cochin, Kerala, South India. The opportunity was taken to tour the Indian coconut industry in Kerala and Tamil Nadu and to visit the Indian Coconut board.

Coconut Development Training with NAREI Coconut Technician, Adrian Mangar. Some farmers of Regions Four and Five at NAREI’s coconut nursery

WORKSHOPS WITH STAKEHOLDERS By the second quarter of 2015, the ITC and CARDI had held a series of workshops with stakeholders in participating countries. These meetings demonstrated a policy of participatory approaches aimed at ensuring that stakeholders become intimately involved in the development and implementation of plans to develop their industry. The emphasis Turn to page XVI ►►►


X ◄◄◄ From page III

get up in the morning and do your chores, [are] walking independently and doing everything for yourself- I had a time where I didn’t think I could do it,” Susan expressed. Seeing her parents grieve didn’t make things any easier for her. TURNING A NEW PAGE No amount of counselling could change how Susan was feeling after hearing what the doctor had to say. But while at the ‘Push to Walk Rehabilitation Centre’ in New York one afternoon, Susan was part of a group and was listening as others with similar circumstances shared their story. She especially took note of one man (whose name she cannot remember) who had a car accident about six months before

her injury and who couldn’t move any part of his body besides his head. “He couldn’t even move his arms, feed himself, or hug his children,” Susan recalled and that’s the first time she saw something positive about her situation. “I couldn’t imagine living like that. That’s the first time, I wouldn’t say I felt lucky living like this, but I felt I was way better and should thank God,” she said, while also thinking, “If he can find the courage to live, then I can too.” Susan still has days when she feels depressed. “But hey, you have to try again. I always tell myself now that I could be worse,” she says, and she is also thankful that she has great support from her parents and two sisters and can afford to pay for certain things that make life easier for her. “I try to make life as normal as possible. There is nothing cheap about this disability

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

so I feel for the people who have a spinal cord injury and can’t afford a good quality of life. It is hard as it is if you have the money and facilities; more so, without,” she said. Susan applied for the $8,000 ‘public assistance’ that the government gives to persons in her situation, but she was denied. This was a few years ago when the officer conducted an interview at her home and subsequently told her that the ‘board’ didn’t think that she needed it. “I asked him if he knew the expenses of living in a wheelchair. When you become a pensioner, do they look at your standard of living? He couldn’t give me an answer.” She is thinking about re-applying for it. ‘LIFE IS A BLESSING’ The question of who wanted to harm her still lingers in Susan’s mind,

but she chooses not to think too much about it anymore. “I don’t like to blame anyone, especially how I can’t back it up. And it doesn’t matter now because that time is past. You want to have peace of mind.” “Even though I don’t know the exact persons, I’ll forgive them because it makes no sense holding on to it. I try not to think about it too much because it wouldn’t make any difference to me and even if he is in prison, it wouldn’t change my struggles,” she added. Susan now feels that waking up and seeing life is a blessing. “I’m still thankful. You have to create your own happiness.” She wants to get her own business going and is also in the process of writing a book about her life story.


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

XI

Stepping up the game – Remigrant poised to take hand line fishing to a new level in Guyana By Zena Henry THE IDEA of hand line fishing is not one too common in the Guyanese fishing industry. In fact, it may sound ridiculous to some if they were told that hand line fishing on a commercial scale and even for export, is less time consuming and to some extent, an easier method of particular fish. That, however, is exactly what the bulk of Lennox Johnson’s Canaan Fisheries will entail. The Lot 8 Public Road, Land of Canaan establishment, has been in the making since 2000. But in the first week of April, Johnson expects to see all his hard work start paying off with the commencement of operation. Altogether, the former United States resident has invested some $150 million in the construction of a massive wharf at his East Bank Demerara location, a processing plant, sales outlet and administrative building among other structures. What makes Johnson’s establishment unique, however, is the commitment he is putting into hand line fishing for the red snapper species; the majority of which will be exported to the United States under the company’s “fresh and nice” brand. Johnson explained that the $90 million, 175 by 30 foot ‘T’ wharf recently constructed aback his four-acre compound, has the capacity to hold some 30 to 40 fishing vessels that will be working exclusively for Canaan Fisheries. He said these boats will arrive from the Caribbean and Venezuela and will engage mainly in the hand line process. Johnson

Lennox Johnson

explained that Venezuelans are very well known for hand line fishing. The fishermen use basically a hook, line and bait. Through this method, Johnson continued, a better quality of fish is caught and surprisingly, a boat will spend less time at sea hand fishing for the red snapper than if nets or traps are used. The benefit, he went on, is that the price of fish using the hand line method is almost twice the cost of the trapped or netted fish. Eight to 10 men are going to be on the boats, many of whom will specialise in this type of fishing. An added bonus, the businessman noted is that the boats will be at sea and the plant will be in direct communication with them allowing, for the vessel to dock with its

Porridge for seniors SENIOR citizens waiting at the Bourda Post Office to receive their monthly Old Age Pensions, on April 2, came in for a surprise and a pleasant treat, when they were ushered to comfortable seats under tents on the lawns of the Post Office and graciously invited to make their pick from hot porridge made from a variety of tasty breakfast cereals. The initiative was organised by the Guyana Marketing Corporation, in partnership with the National Milling Company of Guyana Inc. (NAMILCO) Braf’s Manufacturing Co. and South American Cocoa Company. General Manager of the Guyana Marketing Corporation, Ida Sealy-Adams, who described the initiative as a promotional activity, said that the corporation recognises that flours, porridge mixes, plantain/cassava flours produced by the companies engaged, have taken the market well, and are in ‘great demand’, but with greater demand among the elderly. Moreover, Marketing Officer, Omalita Balgobin said that seniors would trek all the way to the Guyana Shop on Regent and Alexander Streets on pension days, in search of these same cereals. As such, ‘Guyana Shop’ through the GMC, extended invitations to the businesses to participate in what the corporation refers to

as a “session of tasting and sampling.” But for the seniors, it was more than just tasting and sampling. For many it was a treat well received and an opportunity to register their appreciation for products rated as being among the best, and the packets for sale offered at affordable prices. Porridge served at NAMILCO’s booth was made from Maid Marian Wheat-Up, a breakfast cereal specially selected from a stream of farinha containing chunks of wheat, endosperm and edible wheat bran, to make for a hot nutritious breakfast cereal; Creamed Wheat-Up - Nutritious, smooth, creamy and a great way to start babies on semi-solid foods, but relished by many senior citizens as well; Wheat Germ – one of the top 10 healthiest foods with a nutty and slightly sweet flavour, it is delicious sprinkled over foods such as cereals, yogurt, salads, soups, vegetables and desserts. Meanwhile, Braf’s Manufacturing served instant porridge in a variety of flavours; and had for sale plantain flour, barley flour, tamarind balls and an amazing ‘quick relief’ for arthritis pains. The initiative was promoted by the Guyana Marketing Corporation’s ‘Guyana Shop’ which coordinates and facilitates the development of quality non-traditional agricultural products and their by-products.

catch just as the plant would need it. This, he exclaimed, allows for, ”very nice, very fresh fish” to be exported. “So when the boats come in, the only thing we have to do is wash the fish, ice it and straight to the airport.” The fish will already be gutted at sea and will never see a freezer on the Guyana end. Johnson explained that when fish is frozen before export, it requires a completely different process that entails, scaling the fish, filleting it among other practices. Exporting frozen fish is among the other services Canaan Fisheries will provide. While a significant part of the operation will be based on the “fresh and nice” brand, the establishment is expected to prepare smoked fish and salted fish using a solar dryer. A special facility will, however, be built to standard and close to the wharf to ensure the freshest and hygienic conditions for the red snapper. This was highlighted by Johnson since he said he is very keen on sanitation regulations and recognises the need for a quality product if it is to be exported. Johnson said that he also has his eyes on the European market and their regulations, he noted, are even stricter than the US market. When dealing with “nice and fresh, “you can’t have one scale missing, not a scratch, nothing, that is why this fish is so pricey,” the businessman said.

Johnson noted that boats are already falling into play for the commencement of the operation. He said he will start at a smaller capacity, but he expects that as the business grows, a total of 100,000 to 120,000 pounds of fish will be exported per week. He said his cold storage has a capacity of some 200,000 lbs of fish and the processing plant itself is about 4,000 sq. ft. The compound has on it living quarters that will house some 12 employees. Johnson sees in the near future that about 25 to 30 staff will be working at the fisheries and he has made it a duty to seek employment for mainly young persons. He said they will operate in the capacity of fish processors, labourers, and administrative staff, among others. “I wanted to invest in Guyana but I was unsure as to what I wanted to do,” Johnson told the Pepperpot Magazine. He said it was friends who encouraged him to get into the fishing industry. “So I started out by investing in a fishing vessel. I moved from that to processing and exporting using someone’s facility. Then I got my own facility and we are here now.” Johnson said he would encourage anyone to come invest in Guyana. He said there are great opportunities here and his venture, for instance, is just one very promising area.


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Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

XIII

‘Strong Hope’ for Coconut Oil Reaping the benefits from one of Region Two’s By Lisa Hamilton

best natural resources

DESPITE living in the remote areas of Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) a group of women have decided to become business entrepreneurs making use of the natural resources in their environment. The group, Strong Hope Success Enterprise was approached by Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson who was in the community of Martindale listening to the concerns of the residents Chairperson of the Strong Hope Success last Wednesday. When the minister came Enterprise group assists Junior Minister of Public Infrastructure, Annette Ferguson in removing the upon the women they were in milk from the shredded coconut the process of squeezing the milk out of some 300 coconuts can be scooped off leaving the on the wharf of the Martindale Primary School. virgin oil behind. Most of the women learned how to make coconut oil inThey then put the oil in dividually in their households for personal purposes but later containers and set them out in decided to use their skills to help push their joint business. the sun to cure for a few days Chairperson of the group, Yolanda Ashby said the group and later bottle the oil for sale of over 12 members came together in an effort to generate while the remaining oil in the additional income into their homes apart from the farming of drums can be boiled to make cash crops. regular cooking oil. “We were trying with the coconut water business but it Seeing their efforts, Minseemed like we wouldn’t get through with it so we decided to ister Ferguson encouraged switch to making virgin coconut oil and normal coconut oil,” the women to join the GovAshby told the Pepperpot Magazine. ernment’s Sustainable LiveThe women grind and grate the coconut with a mill and lihood and Entrepreneurial then squeeze the milk out of the shredded portion into tall Development (SLED) prodrums where it sits for some time until the top layer of fat gramme through which start-

up businesses are funded to support businesses expansion in communities. The programme is being implemented through the Ministry of Communities headed by Minister Ronald Bulkan. As she was invited to try squeezing the milk out of the shredded coconut, Ferguson commented: “This is to show how people in far-flung areas work hard,the sacrifices they’re making and I’m happy to at least, get a feeling of their experience.” Another woman who is a part of the group is Alyse Blackman, a Peace Corps Volunteer from Pennsylvania in the United States living and teaching in the community at the Martindale Nursery and Primary School for three years. “It’s a nice community. I love it here. Everyone’s so willing just to help and to do what they can to help everybody else in their community,” the woman said. She is scheduled to leave this August but adds that she has many experiences to share with her friends back home. Minister Ferguson encouraged Blackman on her efforts and wished her the very best of success for her future ventures. The Strong Hope Success Enterprise group also creates jewellery from the remains of the coconut shells and Awarra/Owara seed which are sold at the Marriott Hotel and other places. In addition, the group has acPeace Corps Education Volunteer, quired a plot of land where they Alyse Blackman meets Junior Minister hope to eventually construct a Ferguson in Martindale, Pomeroon building to better facilitate their (Photos by Andrew Weekes) projects.


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Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

Farmers Field School (PT3)

How does FFS help Development Agencies? THE following are some of the reasons for development agencies to incorporate FFS into extension services: Structured implementation process: FFS provides a structured extension platform, which makes implementation and M&E easier as listed below: Regular meeting days: Regular group meeting days make FFS easier to monitor. The management team knows when and where FFSs are carried out. This allows random checking by managers, whose visits are not announced in advance; Fixed timetable and planned programme: Every FFS session is conducted according to a fixed timetable and each activity planned during the previous group meeting and agreed among members. This simple standard session format simplifies planning and preparation for future sessions; Fixed annual and event schedule: The annual FFS programme must be fully synchronised with rainfall and other environmental patterns, with clear benchmarks and key events including exchange visits, field days and graduation; and Standardized FFS inputs and budget: Inputs for FFS including learning materials, costs for events and allowances for facilitators can be standardised under a project. The budget for

each FFS will vary depending on the length of the FFS implementation period, material to be provided, travel distance of facilitators, and reporting required from farmers. Facilitating inter-sectoral collaboration: FFS requires collaboration among various government ministries for the delivery of “special topics,� which cover not only agriculture, livestock and agroforestry related issues, but also life skills such as prevention of HIV/AIDS, cooking, nutrition, and other requests according to demand from the FFS participants. Special topics, which deal with multisectoral issues, are a crucial element to keep the group interested and active. This arrangement requires FFS facilitators to actively search for help from other government agencies or NGOs which, as a result, makes FFS a multisectoral platform. Empowering extension officers: FFS empowers both farmers and extension officers. Through FFS implementation extension officers must adapt

their normal role of lecturers to become facilitators. An equal communication platform requires them to change their attitude to listen more to the farmers. Clearly identified working targets and a structured approach ensures they are better prepared and more disciplined. Frequent communication socialises them to become local coordinators. Expanding results effectively: An overview of the expansion strategy of the FFS approach is illustrated in Figure 1. FFS employs two types of facilitators; (i) extension facilitators, who are recruited by the government or projects and have received the required training as facilitators, and (ii) farmer facilitators (FFs), who are FFS graduates.


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DON’T MESS WITH REDS By Abdool A. Aziz

HE WAS a ‘star’ of the creole sugar estate. Born mixed race, his name was Theophilus Hinckson and they called him ‘Caffy’. He was tall, strapping, handsome and wore a copper-tone complexion- a ‘dougla’. He didn’t have much schooling but had a great deal of common-sense and humour. But one weakness lay in his lust for the fairer sex. And many women loved to flirt with him as he was popular and held a lofty job on the plantation; field supervisor. He was a bachelor and known as the ‘stud’ and ‘sweet-man’. Caffy ruled the roost. But, as every rope has an end, his reign came to an end in the prime of his life. He would commit suicide rather than face shame

and die in his lover’s arms, all because he messed with Reds. `Caffy’ didn’t care about the love and many ladies fell victim to his charms. But one dougla girl named Avril pulled at his heartstrings. He fell for her. Big mistake! This fair damsel was the lover of Reds and she would not lose her coveted paramour. He messed with the wrong woman. Reds was born and raised at Isanno in the Mazaruni. Spent a few years in Bartica. Reds was in love with Avril and decided to end the ‘sweet man’s’ career for good. Reds travelled to Isanno to ancestors and brought back a ‘Devil’s poison. One night as the ‘sweet boy’ romanced Avril, Reds poured this concoction into his ‘drink. The ‘stud’ emptied his glass and left, well spent.

A few days later, he felt weak. His nerves got agitated. He went to the estate, Diagnosis? Nervous Breakdown. He was told to get lots of rest and diazepam. Caffy grew weaker and weaker. The handsome ‘star’ stopped blinking. His body felt numb. The evil potion did him in, he spent his fortune to get medical help, to no avail. His manhood was lost forever. Just as the departed bee sting kills the bee, impotence ‘murdered’ Caffy. He locked himself away. The rooster stopped crowing. The ladies knocked on his door but he gave no answer. His world is one of shame. He couldn’t live with that. He took one last rendezvous with

the lady of his heart, Avril and in her arms he expired, from rat poison. The macho-man committed suicide. He was a kind man in many ways. Always laughing with his mouth full of gold. He loved children. I was his favourite. I still miss uncle Caffy. Yes, there were more ladies than men at his funeral and lots of tears. But, Reds and Avril were not there while he was laid to rest. His epigraph reads: Caffy – the loverboy’s memories preserved. Poor Caffy chose death over shame, what an ego! While I visit his grave from time to time, I hold him dear in my heart as he was a dear friend.


XVI ◄◄◄ From page IX

was that ownership of, and consequently, responsibility for the development of the industry must reside with its stakeholders. Stakeholders included not only producers of primary and value-added products but also providers of support services such as banking, marketing, suppliers of inputs, regulatory agencies, and technical service providers. This, Trotz said, led to the development of a project aimed at four desirable outcomes, namely: market opportunities identified; competitiveness and sustainability; access to information and advisory services on finance, trade, agriculture, management, and markets facilitated for small producers; and small producers having greater access to risk management instruments, particularly for climate and market risks. Trotz said that at the end of Guyana’s stakeholders meeting held at the Grand Coastal Hotel in May 2015, a decision was taken to form a National Stakeholders Platform to drive the development of the industry. The platform was initiated in June 2015 with a core of stakeholders from production, processing, and support agencies such as NAREI, GMC and IICA and work has continued ever since. A synopsis of the roadmap of Guyana’s coconut industry was presented at the first Coconut Festival held in October 2016 where a six-point strategy was outlined: to develop a business plan for the sector and profitability studies to sup-

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

better farming practices and extension services to increase productivity and improve pest and disease management; and improve organisation of coconut supply through an industry alliance between value-chain stakeholders by promoting organisation, planning, information flows and policy support. In pursuit of this strategy, focus on strengthening value chains began with training in lean management practices in factories – starting with existing value chains in coconut water and coconut oil. An Veteran Coconut Technician, Chandrika Persaud, introducing his knowledge and initial six facilities were experience in coconut husbandry practices to outdoor training evaluated between April and July 2016 and recomport commercially driven development and value addition; to consolidate a sector demand and supply plan; improve access mendations made for improvements in collaboration with to finance and promote innovative schemes that respond to their owners. In addition to this, the NSP joined an initiathe needs of the sector; improve research for availability of tive taken by the Ministry of Tourism to host Guyana’s first and multiplication of right varieties for planting; promote Coconut Festival in October 2016. The theme “Awakening a Sleeping Giant” was a huge success and saw an influx of investors’ interest, both local and foreign. Trotz reported that as several more prospective value chains were identified (and enquiries continue), a baseline study was conducted in 2017 to characterise Guyana’s coconut farmers. He said that an assessment was done through the characterisation study and identified strengths and weaknesses and endorsed the need for Alliances for Action (A4As) in a participatory approach as identified in the roadmap. He added that the value-chain approach has been recognised as an appropriate organising principle for development, focusing on improving the production base to service the Chain through training stakeholders in specific areas. The methodology being adopted, he said, is to identify and select lead farmers and second ring farmers with the intention of disseminating improved practices in commercial coconut cultivation. Lead farmers, Trotz explained, are identified through collaborative efforts with NAREI and community leaders, using a system of rankings. Each lead farmer is offered a menu of training to select from and is required to include an initial 10 – 20-second ring farmers, with a choice to voluntarily participate in the programme and make various in-kind contributions. Training is based on the needs of the value chain, namely: coconut production development; extension support; business training; value-adding; food safety; and marketing. PILOT ZONES The three Pilot Zones identified are Regions Two, Four, Five and Region 10. The zone areas are to be expanded as the project is adopted and gains more support, according to Trotz. So far, 16 training sessions are being organised in the three pilot zones. Some have already concluded in subjects such as food safety in the production of coconut water conducted by the Government Analyst- Food & Drug Department; integrated pest management, which was organised and conducted by CARDI with lead farmers from Regions Two, Four and Five, and NAREI field staff from Region 10. Business training was conducted by the Institute of Private Enterprise Development (IPED) for Lead Farmers from Regions Four and Five, including participation from Fellowship, Mahaicony; Bygeval and Helena in Mahaica; Victoria and Buxton. Training in Coconut Selection and Best Husbandry Practices was also conducted by NAREI and a veteran coconut field technician, Chandrika Persaud. Other sessions will commence soon in making value-added products from coconuts and preparing to meet international market standards. Trotz, at the same time, emphasised that all the sessions are geared towards providing essential knowledge-based and will be followed by the establishment of demonstration plots and facilities to be established in joint efforts among A4A members consisting of farmers, coconut processors, and various support agencies. (mercilinburke2017@gmail. com)


FILES E S A C COURT

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XVII

1967 robbery accused convicted, freed by judge’s misdirection

Appellate court freed appellant on trial judge’s misdirection IN 1967 robbery accused Mintra Chand was sentenced to two years and 18 months for robbery with violence but was freed by Appellate Court on the trial judge’s misdirection. The Appellate Court headed by Chancellor E.V. Luckhoo with Justices of Appeal Guya Persaud and Cummings quashed the conviction following critical comments by trial judge about bare denial made by the accused after being cautioned in presence of victim. The appellant was cautioned by a policeman in the presence of the victim, Mahadeo Sukdeo, whom it was alleged he and another man had robbed two days previously . After the appellant was cautioned he said “I don’t know anything about that.” In his statement to the police, the appellant alleged that at the relevant date and time he was at a nearby cinema with another man and denied robbing ‘B’, the victim. In his statement from the dock at his trial in the High Court, the appellant said that himself and ‘B’ had a fight in front of the cinema which his friend had parted. The trial judge failed to remind the jury that when a person is cautioned he is not obliged to say anything, and he told the jury that one would have expected that the appellant would have told the police about the fight which the jury were hearing for the first time and that such an incident might have been a motive why ‘B’ had made a false allegation against him. The Appellate Court held – (1) it is not always that “silence is golden”; a judge may properly , in certain circumstances , invite a jury to consider an accused person’s silence as a relevant factor in determining what weight should be given to any defence which he may subsequently raise, but it would amount to a misdirection were he to invite them to treat the accused’s silence as evidence against him; (ii) to avoid the danger of depriving an accused person of the protection which he has a right to expect from the implication of the words That he is not obliged to say anything not contained in the caution, it may well be that when an accused person makes no answer at all or makes some observation which in itself is not in the nature of an explanation, then the trial Judge should make no observation on it ; (iii) here the trial judge’s directions clearly offended these principles and the result of his drastic and destructive comments, made it difficult for the jury to resist coming to the conclusion that because the story of the fight was not told at the first opportunity it could not be true: was not in fact true, ought not to be believed and should be discarded. Such comments could not be described as fair and proper and did not take cognisance of the paramount importance of not allowing the usual police caution to become a trap to the unwary. Appeal allowed - Conviction and sentence quashed. K. Zaman Ali for the appellant. G.A. G. Pompey. Senior Counsel for the respondent. LUCKHOO, J. A : We have already allowed this appeal, quashing the conviction and setting the sentence aside. We now give our reasons for so doing. The appellant and another man, Mahadeo Sukdeo were convicted on the 12th January, 1967 ,for the offence of robbery with violence, Contrary to Section 222 (a) of the Criminal Law (Offences) Ordinance, Cap. 10, for which they

were sentenced to two years and 18 months, respectively, and from which they both appealed, but the latter, somewhat unfortunately (in view of the conclusion at which we have arrived ) chose to abandon his appeal before hearing .

By George Barclay

No doubt, his position will be reviewed by those charged with the responsibility to allow him to have, in justice, the benefit of what the appellant herein has derived from this decision.


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UNIVERSAL HEALTH - EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE

ONE OF the greatest concerns not only of consumers but of the public at large and of governments as well is health. Good health fosters greater life expectancy not only for adults but for children, since it reduces infant mortality. It protects individuals and countries from epidemics and in the words of Dr Adu-Krow, PAHO/WHO representative in Guyana “... it reduces poverty and the risk of hunger, creates jobs, drives

economic growth and promotes gender equality”. There is, therefore, an indivisible mixture of humanitarian and economic reasons for good health in any country or society. To illustrate this mixture, we will take one example, the relationship between health and economic development: If a country’s population is unhealthy, numerous man-hours of fruitful economic activity will be lost, thus

inhibiting economic progress and growth. Such would result in fewer job opportunities, greater unemployment and greater poverty and greater human suffering. The State would also have to expend more money on healthcare. Accordingly, all modern governments have adopted a policy of universal health for their populations and had done so when they agreed to the United Nations Sustainable Development goals in 2015. Universal Health is defined by PAHO/WHO as “ensuring that everyone, everywhere, has access to quality health services, without facing financial hardship. But universal health could only be achieved when political will is strong”. Every year, on World Health Day, PAHO/ WHO promotes a theme which is meant to

guide and inspire the public and politicians for the rest of the year. This year’s theme “Universal Health, Everyone, Everywhere” encapsulates the totality of health programs, both public and private. In promoting this theme, PAHO/WHO in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health held an exhibition and fair at D’Urban Park. The exhibition was quite informative and displayed the offerings of the Ministry of Public Health. The ancient Roman adage “Mens sana in corpore sano” (a healthy mind in a healthy body) covers the aspirations in any programme of public or personal health. Mental health is as important, if not more important, than physical health. In achieving mental health, one has to learn the art of exorcising Turn to page XIX ►►►


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018 ◄◄◄ From page XVIII

tensions and stress. Belief in God gives the mind focus and strength in meeting the challenges of life and with a healthy mind one enjoys a better quality of life. Clarity of mind is necessary for productive activity and for one’s general well-being. Though not enough is known how to prevent mental degeneration leading to loss of memory or dementia in its various forms such as Alzheimer’s disease and no fully effective treatment has been discovered for such diseases, there are some treatments, mostly from Alternative Medicine, which could be usefully tried. For example, the daily intake of turmeric powder could be used as a preventative and as a treatment for dementia and could gradually reverse the condition. The wide use of turmeric comes from ancient Ayurvedic medicine.

The body, equally, needs to be healthycorpus sanum. All religious traditions enjoin believers to cultivate a healthy body. The body houses the mind and spirit and it is through the senses of the body that we enjoy the material world. It is also through the body that we could embark upon the process of Enlightenment. In maintaining the body in good health, it has to be cared for in a number of ways. First, there is the intake of food. Food is essential to good health and a balanced diet would consist of adequate proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins. There are some intakes which are dangerous to health and these would include “fast foods” commonly called “junk food”, excessive alcohol and tobacco products. A healthy balanced diet is essential for a healthy body. Regular exercise of the body is essential

to strengthen it and make it healthier. There are many regimes of exercises available such as jogging, weight lifting, free-hand exercises and yoga. Yoga has elements of mind and spiritual development. The most authentic yoga training in Georgetown is offered at the Indian Cultural Centre. The physical sports such as cricket, football, squash, badminton and so on help to keep the body healthy. In the modern world, the State has the responsibility of maintaining the health of the nation. This is so because the success of the State is ultimately bound up with the health of the people. With a healthy population, the State’s military would be more effective, the Economy would be more productive, there would be less crime and greater social concord. In Guyana, the State invests in hospitals and health institutions countrywide which of-

XIX fer primary health care with the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) being the main referral hospital. The GPH has modern equipment and complicated and difficult procedures are done there. Free basic drugs are available to patients at all institutions. The Ministry of Health carries regular inoculation programmes which are generally successful, an example of such success being Guyana recently becoming a measles-free country. The Ministry also has a vector control unit which leads the countrywide efforts to eliminate mosquitoes and other insect pests. There are also regular programmes of health education. The Environmental Department is also playing an increasingly important role in cultivating a healthier population. Though Guyana is still some distance away from Universal Health, there is steady progress towards that goal.


folklore THREE FOR DINNER XX

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

By Neil Primus

THE village of Bounty lay along the sea coast. It was a fishing village and most of its inhabitants depended on the sea for their daily bread. Most of the men were either fishermen or boat captains. Many

of the women sold fish in the small marketplace. A few were expert weavers of the seine nets used to catch fish. With a population of just over 75, Bounty was tiny compared to the adjoining villages

which were agriculture settlements. Trade between them was an important factor in their continued existence. As in every village, there were a few odd characters. Austin was the village drunk. It didn’t matter what time of day you ran into him, you could be sure of one thing, he would have quite a few drinks under his belt. Then there was Balram the bellow. He was loud and often hilarious. He knew and understood only one tone: very, very loud. The truth was that he was half deaf and just didn’t hear how loud he sounded. Then there was Sybil the local gossip. If she stopped to chat with you, watch out, by the next day some ugly rumour would be circulating about you. Last but not least was Mr. Stephenson. He was 70 years old, bald and had no natural teeth. He had dentures which he only wore for special occasions. At all other times, he could be seen smiling with a mouth that looked like that of a Yuman Snub Nose Monkey. Old Stephenson had gained notoriety because of a confrontation with his neighbour Mr. Kallicharan. They both quarrelled over the ownership of a duck. Both advanced towards each other ready to do battle. At ages 70 and 75, the fight was brief. Halfway through the scuffle, Kallicharran bit Stephenson “Aaaaahh!: It was not a serious bite because ol’ Kallicharran had most of his teeth missing except two way down to the back of his mouth. In agony, Stephenson shouted to his wife. “Beryl! Beryl! Run quick and bring me teeth. Kallicharran just bite me an a wan fo bite he back.” The neighbours parted the warring, exhausted parties before any lethal damage could be done. After that incident, the two old guys resumed their strong friendship. This was sealed over plates of duck curry. Yes, you guessed it: That same pesky duck. They were both fishermen and often pooled their resources to make a catch. Fish was scarce and the catches got smaller and smaller. One day the two decided to join forces and go fishing. After an entire two days at sea, they returned to shore with only three fishes. Two small ones and one big one. They were very disappointed and exhausted. It was late at night when they made their way home They were both tired and their old bones ached. They sat in the bushes on the side of the road and rested. Both were well within the shadow of a large tree.

Along this dark stretch of road came three brothers. They were very wayward and were often guilty of cruel pranks and mischievous acts. Their father was unknown, their mother had died and they were left with their grandmother who was too old to control them. They had now become delinquent. There was Victor the fifteen-year-old and Ron and Nicholas the 10-year-old twin. They could be heard from a distance shouting and cursing. All three were sharing a cigarette. This noisy bunch stopped to smoke. They were accustomed to prowling at night. Very often they had helped themselves to anything left lying around carelessly. Just then the two old fellows decided to discuss the sharing of their small catch. “We got three a dem, not too bad.” The trio froze. “Well we gon tek one each a de smallies.” “Ok.” The twins were quaking in their boots. “We go gat fo split de big one in half!” It was Victor’s turn to break out in cold sweat. “De big one gon taste better dan de rest.” “All does taste same way.” The three small figures clung to each other looking wildly around. They expected some kind of demon or jumbie to exit the bushes and gobble them up. “All right partner. You tek de head. We gon bus he down and tek out de guts before we divide he in two.” The three are too petrified to run. Knees were knocking and tears flowing. “Wat about de small ones? We gon save dem fo later. We can’t get too greedy.” “Leh we start now.” “Na! Later. We got plenty time!” That’s what they thought. Three terrorfilled pairs of eyes totally disagreed with them. With howls and shrieks, three speedy travellers took off. They made good use of the next 15 minutes and got home earlier than usual leaving two bewildered senior citizens gawking at each other in fright. Crying, shouting and praying, they ran like the wind and reached home safely much to the surprise of their grandma. At dinner, that night granny placed a large dish on the table. Guess what it contained? Three fish. One big and two smaller ones. The boys immediately lost their appetite; they just could not remove a bizarre picture from their mind, ‘Three For Dinner.’ They fled to the safety of their rooms leaving granny mighty puzzled.


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XXI

Revolutionising the fast food industry By M Margaret Burke

occurs at peak times: around break-

Sumptuous fried chicken with fast, lunch, and dinner meals, many fries, ketchup for dipping and people depend heavily on the foods a glass of beverage

FAST food restaurants are continually springing up all over they will receive from the fast food Guyana. Food is in demand restaurants. However, unlike the and it would seem that more home, the menus do not change daiand more people – at all agesly, but instead, they mostly remain prefer not to prepare their the same – though there is usually a own meals to take with them to variety that may meet the pocket or schools, workplaces and elsethe desire for the day or both. where. So these restaurants – Fast food restaurants must begin most of them having their base to rethink their approach toward through reputable internationgood and healthy al agencies- are doing well and meals and not just a this is good. ‘belly full’. This is However, studies continue to confirm that it not an attack on these is crucial for these fast food restaurants to strive restaurants; they are to accomplish high-level customer satisfaction, fulfilling a role and which can only be achieved through superior many people are encustomer services. The success of a restaurant joying themselves. business should depend on high-class service Then many of the to customers and true value for the satisfaction franchise owners of of the customers. these restaurants are The fact is that good customer service proalready established duces satisfied customers; it creates experiences businessmen of good that can meet customer expectations. And such standing in their line good customer service consists of developing of product and sergood bonding with customers, which would vices. Beharry Group hopefully lead to good and long-term relationof Companies (the This burger decked with fried chicken and ships. It creates advantages for both customers KFC franchise holdcheese is garnished with lettuce, served with and the business alike. Customers benefit beer) for example, has potato fries and a glass of beverage cause the business is providing a service that been in the products meets their needs – the business benefits beand services industries for many years and continue to stand cause the customer is happy and wants to continue spending. as one of the top producers in Guyana. However, many people – both children and adults are MENU FOR HEALTHIER MEALS often the victims of bad eating habits, added to sedentary In Guyana today, people are becoming more and more lifestyles. Studies have shown that children are often the conscious of healthy lifestyles; paying attention to their primary victims. Increasingly, many of these children are health and nutrition, food safety, hygiene, regular exercise driven to school, eat fast food or junk food on the move, and and the likes. And with the demand for food which spend far more time in front of screens than playing.

OBESITY AND DIABETES The rates of obesity are soaring even in children, but far too many adults suffer the same fate as well; in addition, there is the real health problem of diabetes which organisations such as PAHO/WHO, the Ministry of Health, the Guyana Diabetic Association and others have been expressing great concerns about. This is not to place blame on fast foods alone, but they must care about what they share. Studies have also revealed that there is a real chance that the next generation may experience an unprecedented decline in longevity due to chronic health conditions related to poor diet and inactivity. Donna Finelli, director of brand marking, said that it is no coincident that eating trends have begun to shift perceptibly. Gone are the days when a burger and fries were the only choices. She notes that customer surveys in the past three years indicate people want ‘options that help them eat well on the go.’ VEGETABLES, FRUITS AND LOCALLY GROWN Served with some fried chicken, chips and drink, some vegetables, and or even a piece of fruit would make a difference. Then instead of some creamed potatoes, some other creamed ground provision would suffice. These can be good starters. No one should expect the fast food restaurants to make a sudden dash for change because Guyanese need and really should change their approach to this regular eating that they do; it will not be fair; it will not be economical, and it could not be a radical easy change-over; too much may be at stake. However, there is the need for urgent considerations; dialogue around the round, oblong or square-table so that a fast food change will visit Guyana with some sense of earnestness. Despite all this, however, there is still hope as many fast food restaurants have now started offering healthy alternatives; some major chains like Wendy’s, McDonald’s and KFC have even started focusing exclusively on providing healthy fast food.

Roann Pierre Perfecting her art

ANY artists would use their angst to fuel their creativity and at one time, 20-year-old Roann Pierre was no different. As time passed, however, she found happiness in her art and worked on perfecting her craft. Pierre has been steadily making a name for herself. She is a full-time artist working diligently to purchase her own studio. “My ultimate goal is to master realism and become an inspiration to other artists coming up,” she told the Pepperpot Magazine. But she likes being alone when she draws because people can be a distraction. And drawing late at night into the morning is where she finds her comfort. This perhaps attributes to her being a bit of an introvert but she’s

working hard to improve her ‘people’ skills. Most importantly, however, is that her art must be perfect; there is absolutely no room for error. “I’m kind of something of a perfectionist when it comes to drawing,” Pierre highlighted. And this is not just with her but with the work of others as well. “If I go to an exhibition and I see another artist’s work, I would think to myself that I can do it too.” She also explained that she is more inclined to draw ‘realism’, which is the drawing of detailed real and factual descriptions. Realism became her speciality and she actually garnered huge motivation from patrons and other artists who would egg her on. “Honestly, I was into art all my life, [it’s] just that I didn’t know,” Roann said. Since her tender nursery school days, she would be the best at drawing. Then in primary

school, her teachers noticed she would pay keen attention to drawing diagrams exactly from the textbooks but it wasn’t until Fourth Form, in secondary school, when she really started to get pushed by her art teacher. As a result of that, she chose art as one of the subjects she wrote for her Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations. “She [her art teacher] taught me the basics, which back then was a huge deal for me,” Pierre related. And she thought about furthering her studies in art but according to her, “life got in the way.” For a while too she was without her art, but she found her back to it since it helped her go through troubling times. It was her escape, as she says, “My own little world away from reality.” Getting back into art was surprisingly easy. She actually tried out drawing architecture and noted that she was surprised that she was capable of doing that.

Perfecting her craft was always on her agenda however and she never stopped learning, even if it meant being glued to YouTube learning all day. “Around last year June I was at the national drawing competition and I met an old Guyanese artist,” she recalled. “He told me don’t

let negative energy fuel your art because your art will always depend on being depressed for you to perform.” So despite using it as an escape from her troubling times, she decided to change her mindset. Roann said that whether she was happy or sad, she just draws. Also, she knows that her art makes other people happy and that of itself makes her happy. And the support from her family and friends has been overwhelming with her dad actually making the tables she uses to draw on and her friends always sharing her work on social media. But for the people who do not know the young Pierre, words of discouragement are many. Exasperatedly she explained, that people do not know the amount of work artists put into their pieces. Pierre says, however, “I don’t lose hope, hopefully, one day my work will be in most households locally and internationally.”


XXII

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

Making Guyana a better place

Social Cohesion at work SOCIAL Cohesion could be described as the willingness of all sections of society to work together to create a sense of belonging and to ensure every person has equal access to resources, in an effort to realise a good life for all. Equity in the delivery of public services and access to the country’s resources is a part of the process of achieving social cohesion and this continues to be a key focus of the current administration, with Government emphasising empowerment, equality, employment, access to social services and education as the key means of ensuring the good life for all Guyanese. From the recent re-establishment of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC), to the revival of local democracy through Local Government elections, which allows citizens to take the lead in the decision making process within their communities, to the introduction of several initiatives that encourage education and entrepreneurship, to the completion of several infrastructural projects aimed at equitably improving the lives of citizens across the country, regardless of ethnicity, geographic location, gender, political affiliation or sexual orientation, this administration continues to work to ensure that every Guyanese has an equal stake in the nation’s development. It was upon the longing of a nation to eschew divisions for once and for all and the need for national unity, harmony and a unified destiny that the coalition Government was founded. Since its assumption of office, a critical area of focus for the government has been building a socially cohesive society where every Guyanese has a sense of belonging. The pursuit of national unity and inclusivity gave birth to the Department of Social Cohesion, housed in the Ministry of the Presidency, which is dedicated to changing the social landscape of Guyana. President David Granger understands only too well the history of Guyana, which has resulted in certain social, ethnic, religious and political constructs, which have been used to create divisions among the six peoples of this country. At the launch of the Ministry of Social Cohesion’s Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, at the Marriott Hotel on March 17, 2017, the Head of State said that social cohesion is the thread that will

President David Granger commissions a 'David G' bus for the students of Fyrish, Corentyne in January of this year

bring the various groups together in pursuance of national development. “We believe that there is a way to harmonise relations and to reduce conflict among social groups. We believe that social cohesion is the thread that will bind these various groups together. Guyana, today, still needs to stanch the sort of social erosion that degenerated into civil violence of the ‘Troubles’ in the recent past. We still see how easily the ranting of a few

Minister of Social Cohesion, with responsibility for Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr. George Norton greets a visitor to Harmony Village as he conducts a walk-through

rancorous persons can rekindle racial animosity, a retrograde step, which has no place in modern society… Our nation has been scarred by violence, which left a lingering legacy of distrust with the threat of disorder… We have to work together to repair that damage, restore trust and rebuild the bases of a ‘moral community’ which enable us to trust each other,” he said. HARMONY VILLAGE The Department of Social Cohesion on Thursday last hosted its second annual ‘Harmony Village’, an event aimed at promoting Guyana’s racial and cultural diversity with over 100 exhibitors, which Coordinator of the Department, Ms. Sharon Patterson says is a testimony of the groundwork, community and stakeholder engagements that the Ministry has been undertaking over the last year. The event, which was held under the theme, “Building Partnerships: Promoting Community and National Cohesion saw the showcasing of cultural performances, food, art and craft and cultural wear, among other displays. In his address to the gathering, Minister of Social Cohesion, Dr. George Norton said that it is events like these that will help to promote exposure to the various cultures, which will in turn help to build tolerance and respect. “We all are Guyanese; proud and patriotic. I do firmly believe that unity does not necessarily lie in uniformity. Unity is all about variety… We deserve to be exposed to different perspectives and ways of life… We must understand and respect the belief and customs of our fellow brothers and sisters. If we all are to look the same, if we should have the same thoughts, the same knowledge and beliefs, then we would all be guilty of being narrow-minded and that will rob us of our growth and fulfilment and reduce our curiosity as a people… For us to become truly united… we must first be


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018 cognizant and fully comfortable and aware of who we are as individuals. The key to us embracing diversity and promoting tolerance is to be proud of ourselves, our culture… traditions, ethnicities, religions, and all the things that make us who we are as individuals. Let us celebrate ourselves and those who came before us, for we all are one people living in one nation, treading on one destiny,” he said. Ms. Patterson noted that the Ministry does not see the event as a one-off activity, but rather one, which seeks to bring all stakeholders together in an effort to boost networking, appreciation and respect for each other’s backgrounds as the Ministry seeks to bridge the dividing gaps. “Harmony Village is designed to bring a myriad of stakeholders together to co-exist in a small space to share their differences and give each other an opportunity to respect our differences. It is an opportunity for networking because beyond Harmony Village, we like to ensure our stakeholders have an opportunity to meet and strengthen partnerships,” Ms. Patterson said. In his 2018 Budget presentation, Minister of Finance, Mr. Winston Jordan said that the Government is resolute in its commitment to creating a harmonious society, based on the principles of mutual respect and tolerance for one another, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or sexuality. “Admittedly, this is a mammoth task, given the distrust that has been sown among brothers and sisters of our Nation or the lack of tolerance for persons who are seen as being different. We will not let such divisions and intolerance continue to hinder our development. The Government will continue to work to rebuild trust and cohesiveness in our society. In 2018, we will continue to engage civil society groups and local and central Government agencies, through our sensitisation and information sharing initiative, to ensure that they are aware of their roles in achieving social cohesion,” he said.

These two initiatives of the President are complimented by the First Lady, Mrs. Sandra Granger’s ‘Shoes that grow’ programme, which is aimed at providing footwear to students, particularly in the hinterland areas. The First Lady has also spearheaded the Buxton Information and Communication Technology (ICT) workshop, the Buxton Youth Development remedial programme and the Lusignan Youth Development Initiative (LYDI) remedial programme, which are held under the auspices of the Office of the First Lady. The ICT workshop is certified by the Board of Industrial Training (BIT) and equips graduates with basic ICT skills. These students, in the past, would be required to walk to and from school barefooted. Over 5000 students have benefitted from that initiative. At the handing over of three buses at the Durban Park in August 2017 to Georgetown to serve the students of the North and South areas of Georgetown of , the Head of State said that the Government is committed to ensuring that every Guyanese child has access to an education as it is only through education that they can gain employment and become empowered and enjoy an equal stake in the resources of the nation. “We see education as the gateway to the good life. We see that by providing these buses, boats and bicycles that we will improve access to schools; we will improve attendance and in so doing, we see improved achievement. We want to see ‘A’ students and those are the ‘A’s we are working

THE ETHNIC RELATIONS COMMISSION Critical to the achievement of social cohesion and a harmonious society is the Ethnic Relations Commission. In January 2018, after six years of not being in operation, the National Assembly approved the appointment of Mr. Barrington Braithwaite, Ms. Ruth Howard, Mr. Roshan Khan, Major General (Ret’d) Norman McLean, Pandit Deodat Persaud, Mr. Ashton Simon, Ms. Rajkumarie Singh, Bishop John Smith, Mr. Neaz Subhan and Mr. Norris Witter as members of the Commission. On February 22, President Granger sworeThis picture shows the before and after of the stelling at Ykinipa in the 10 members to the ERC, urging them Village, Pomeroon River (Pomerto discharge their duties without cowardice, oon-Supenaam). The$21M stelling malice and prejudice. He reminded that Conwas commissioned by President stitutional Service Commissions are enshrined, David Granger in December 2017 established and empowered by the Constitution after residents were forced to and noted that they serve to insulate citizens traverse makeshift boards along a and institutions against influence and interfertreacherous path for years under ence by the Executive. “The ERC is intended, the previous administration even inter alia, to promote good relations, harmony, as a similar stelling was constructpeace, tolerance and understanding between ed further up the creek our peoples; provide equal opportunity between persons of different ethnic groups, and proscribe ethnic discrimination,” he said on that occasion. towards today [access, attendance and achievement]. We Mr. Roshan Khan, in a brief comment just after being have made transportation easier for children and we want sworn in, said that the ERC will endeavour to create national to create an equal society so that the children in Mabaruma, cohesion and goodwill amongst the various religious faiths Jawalla and Aishalton would have an equal opportunity to and the ethnic groups. “Once you become a member of the education as the children in Sophia, Industry or Cummings Commission, insularity ends. You become a person working Lodge,” he said. for national ethos, national goodwill,” he said. The President noted that investment in a child’s education Similar sentiments were expressed by Pandit Persaud, is an investment in a nation and it is up to the Government who is representing the youth constituency on the ERC. and all other stakeholders to ensure that they are equipped He said, “As a person who comes from the background of and provided with equal opportunities, which can help them fairness, transparency and impartiality, these are the things I to create a bright future for themselves, their families and will use as the benchmark in the execution of my functions… their country. The Head of State said that the buses will not At the end of the day, this is our country and everyone must just be transporting school children, but the future engineers, get a piece of the pie. There must always be fairness. People scientists, entrepreneurs and pioneers who will take Guyana must …not feel discriminated.” forward in the years to come. Out of school youth across Guyana are also benefiting EQUAL ACCESS TO EDUCATION from a number of initiatives aimed and empowering them President Granger has set as a primary policy position to improve their own livelihoods and contribute to nation that requirement that every child must have access to a building. On January 1, 2018, the Guyana National Youth quality education as it is through education that poverty can Corps, an organisation, which seeks to provide employment be overcome. The President’s Every Child in School policy and other opportunities for youth, particularly those, who guides education delivery and his push toward ensuring have dropped out of school, was re-established. The President equal access to education is clearly seen through his flag- has urged parents, teachers, community leaders and civil ship Boats, Buses, Bicycles plus Breakfast and Books (Five society bodies to assist the Government in identifying youth, B’s) Initiative and the National Endowment for Science and who are in need of jobs, particularly those who may not have Technology (NEST). completed school so that they can be enrolled in the Youth

XXIII Corps. The Head of State believes education is the ultimate equaliser and this forms the basis of programmes designed to qualify in and out of school youth with the necessary skills to ensure their gainful employment. The Government has also pushed entrepreneurship as the key toward generating wealth and ensuring that people are able to provide an income for themselves using skills and resources that are available to them. Government’s push toward entrepreneurship can be seen in the establishment of initiatives such as the Sustainable Livelihood and Entrepreneurial Development (SLED) Initiative; the Hinterland Employment and Youth Service (HEYS) Programme; and the Linden Enterprise Network (LEN). These programmes, since their establishment, have sought to equip young people with the requisite skills, knowledge and finance needed to become entrepreneurs. INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT While resources are limited, the Government has committed itself to improving the infrastructural landscape of the country. Decisions on infrastructural development work are not based on perceived political affiliation in various communities but on Government’s policy aimed at linking the Hinterland to the Coastland and the development of a work class road and bridge network to spur economic activity. In order for residents to function effectively in their communities, it is important that each community is equipped with basic services. These services include the required infrastructure to provide ease of access to and from the communities as well as access to health, education and other facilities that aid in improving one’s quality of living. In the three years since this administration has taken up Office, millions of dollars have been plugged into infrastructural development with an aim to provide equal access, particularly in previously overlooked areas. The President has said that ensuring that residents have access to these facilities is part of ensuring that Guyanese enjoy the good life. “We do not believe that your roads should be inferior, [that] your transportation should be inferior, that your schools should be inferior. That is why we are spending millions of dollars on sea defence and improving transportation on this island so that you must be able to move about so that you must be able to get your paddy from the farms. You must be able to sell your produce in other parts of the island, the Region and the country. And we will continue working for you because every Guyanese is entitled to equal access to education, equal access to employment, equal access to good infrastructure,” he said. As the Government bolsters its effort to bridge the gap between the hinterland and the coastland, it announced in the 2018 National Budget that the terms of reference for the design and feasibility of the Linden-Mabura Road Upgrade, the River Crossing at Kurupukari, and the Coastal River and Infrastructure Project have been granted approval while $250 million has been set aside to improve airstrips and aerodromes across the country, of which $140 million will be used to commence the rehabilitation of airstrips at Bemichi and Kamana. Another 12 airstrips across the hinterland regions will be rehabilitated at a cost of $110.3 million. Government is also in negotiation with a multilateral donor to secure a US$15 million loan, to finance a project for further aerodrome and airstrip development across the hinterland. Under that programme, the Lethem airstrip will be upgraded into a regional hub and international aerodrome, in order to receive flights originating from Brazil and other Latin American neighbours. In addition to this, social services such as health, water, electricity, citizenship services, and others are being decentralised to ensure that citizens can access these right in their own regions. The tenets of equity, equal access, education, entrepreneurship, infrastructural development and access to services are all interlinked and relevant to the concept of social cohesion and therefore remain a constant in the President’s message. The Head of State believes that once these practices are adopted, the country will be well on its way toward becoming a nation where every citizen can indeed enjoy the good life in keeping with the country’s motto: “One people, One nation, One destiny.”


XXIV

Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

Dennis ‘Dark Horse’ Medford

From growing up in an orphanage to becoming a top cyclist By Frederick Halley

his first racing cycle, obtained from D.M Fernandes, compliments of Bonny Fernandes. THE thought of being one of the top cyclists ever to emerge Up until then, Medford’s intention was to pursue a career from his country of birth, Guyana, wasn’t even a dream in track and field or boxing but on the advice of Fernandes, when Dennis Medford’s mother was forced to take him made the tough decision to stick to cycling. According to him, to the Plaisance Orphanage at the age of five. She sim- Fernandes’ explanation was, as an athlete, you weren’t guarply could not have afforded his anteed many tours in that era while upkeep and those of his other in boxing there’s every possibility siblings. “you could get punch drunk.” It’s Born in Alexander Village, a decision, Medford assured, he Greater Georgetown, Medford’s hasn’t regretted one minute. school, St John’s Primary, was a Medford was soon a promistone’s throw away from the ornent member of the Continental phanage and by the age of 14, he Cycle Club, whose president was called it quits from the educational Fernandes. He started out in the institution in search of a job. ‘C’ Class and by the end of the The now-69-year-old Medfirst year, graduated with flying ford, who migrated to Canada in colours to the ‘B’ Class. It wasn’t 1974, recalled walking from the long after, when he made his ‘A’ orphanage in Plaisance to the John Class debut, at the world famous Fernandes Wharf in Georgetown, Bourda sward. armed with a job recommendation He put on an impressive perwhich he was advised to hand over formance on the first day of a to the now-late Bonny Fernandes. three-day meeting at Bourda where Obviously impressed with his he won three of five races – 3000, stature, Fernandes immediately 5000 and the Devil Takes The employed the youthful Medford Hindmost and placed second in who made a pledge to his mother two other ‘A’ Class events. Medthat he would assist her to provide ford was Dennis “Dark Horse” Medford for his other brothers and sisters, promoted Medford, all decked out in during the interview at his home being the eldest of five. to repreracing gear, poses for a It wasn’t the type of job Medsent Guypicture shortly after returning from his daily routine ford had envisaged since, according to him, it was very boring. ana in the International events on the To offset the boredom, the effervescent lad said he started second day of the meeting, which Despite this seeming infraction, to run behind the trollies in the building instead of standing featured riders from Barbados, TriniMedford was still selected to represent on them and saw this as a form of exercise and a means of dad & Tobago, Venezuela, England, Guyana at the 1976 Olympic Games training. Suriname and Colombia. in Montreal. However, his dream of Medford recalled winning the showing off his wares disappeared CHANCE ENCOUNTER 5000 metres but was eliminated in when Guyana joined 28 other counDuring those days, Fernandes was a top cycling official the match sprint by top T&T cyclist, tries to boycott the games when the and one of the main sponsors of cycling in Guyana and at one Roger Gibbon and Barbadian, KingInternational Olympic Committee of the meetings, held at the Georgetown Cricket Club (GCC) sley Reece. (IOC) refused to ban New Zealand, ground, Bourda, Medford was invited to assist in placing the after the New Zealand national rugby pegs around the circumference of the ground. MOVING ON UP union team had toured South Africa So confident in what he had seen, the then 16-year-old In what he considered to be one of earlier in 1976 in defiance of the boasted to Fernandes that he felt capable of beating all the his most outstanding performances, United Nations' calls for a sporting cyclists on show, even telling the popular businessman that Medford romped to a stunning win embargo. “it was a piece of cake.” in the day’s (third day) curtain-raiser, DARK HORSE Fernandes subsequently agreed to fulfill his wishes, al- the 25 000 metres event, which also Medford, who said he got the alias lowing the "upstart" to participate in the day’s closing event, saw local riders occupying the first “Dark Horse” because of his unanthe 3000 metres on a borrowed cycle. Medford grasped the four places. In the process, he ended Mr and Mrs Medford on their nounced and sudden style of “burstopportunity and shot to the front in the initial stages of the up lapping the entire field. wedding day in February, 1997 ing” to the front, only competed for race. However, it wasn’t the dream ending he had hoped for, Medford, who disclosed that he another year in Canada before calling as he was pulled in by his more experienced counterparts and didn’t have a preference for track or placed last in the event. road races, subsequently represented Guyana in Barbados it quits competitively. Nevertheless, he has never been out of An obviously confused Medford eventually rode the same and Trinidad & Tobago with huge success before venturing a racing cycle since then and finds time to do daily chores, all cycle home without the consent of the owner and Fernandes to the Commonwealth Games in Edingburgh, Scotland in decked out in his racing outfit. Among the big names to feature during his reign as one of on that Saturday evening but took it back to work on Monday, 1970, where he described the competition as extremely stiff. explaining to the latter that he was sorry for any embarrass- According to him, he was also forced to compete in the road the best cyclists to emerge from Guyana were: Neville Hunte, ment caused. races despite the fact that he was equipped with a track bike. Archie Britton, David De Freitas, Aubrey Bryce, Bruce CamaFernandes promptly enquired of him if he really wanted to Onto the World Championships in Montreal, Canada cho, Mike Rogers, Victor Rutherford and Kenneth Joseph. Medford, who still bemoans the fact that Guyana is still take up cycling and after answering in the affirmative, offered in 1974, Medford was pitted against then-world champion him his brother's (Chris) cycle to commence training with the France’s Daniel Morelon in his first match sprint and followed to have a banked track, showered praises on the late Bonny firm promise that’s once he wins his first race, the bike will this up by facing another stalwart rider in Denmark’s Fred Fernandes who he said was totally responsible for his development in the sport. be his for the keeping. Pieterson. Needless to say, he lost to both riders. Medford, who spent 33 years as a millwright/mechanic Medford seized the opportunity to stay in Canada and acFAST LEARNER cording to him, his main reason was, he had made a promise at Upjohns Pharmaceutical Company and boasted he nevMedford soon achieved that feat and based on another to his mother to play a major role in his siblings’ future and er missed a day from work, is anxiously looking forward to his 70th birth anniversary on August 31. promise, this time on winning four races, was the recipient of felt this was an opening.


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

XXV

#SupportCreativity

By Subraj Singh

Backstage at the National Drama School’s Performance 9: “Ahwe Cultcha” THE National School of Theatre Arts and Drama (NSTAD) is hosting its ninth performance. It is five minutes to show-time and they are not yet ready. I sit in a corner and smirk, realising that we will be starting late. Being backstage, but not being in the production, I realise, sometimes feels like what sitting in the eye of a storm must feel like. I myself am breathing deeply, sitting still, waiting for the time I am needed. However, all around me, there is a frenzy of activity, trying to outrace the clock that has already run past the finish line. I see actors dragging set pieces on to the stage. Men and women, beads of sweat trickling down their dark skin, as the lights go out backstage and a semi-darkness floods the stage. The thick black curtain hides everyone from the audience. The eyes of the audience are only meant to view perfection. They should not see the set pieces being dragged into position, the props placed at strategic points on the stage, the half-naked actors fumbling to get into their costumes lined with sequins or bolts of coloured cloth or paint. The audience, regardless of the fact that there is not a great number of them present, or perhaps because of this fact, is our most precious asset, and the thespians give to them their best. How they arrive at their best is not important to the audience. They say they are ready, and the National Anthem plays. People are introduced, speeches are made. Then it is time. The first play, tying into the night’s theme of culture, is based on Wordsworth McAndrew’s famous poem, “Ole Higue.” The voice of the narrator is too low and I hurry to tell the Stage Manager to lower the microphones some more. I say the words to him “The Official Flier for the NSTAD’s and he says it to the walkie-talkie and the ma- Performance 9, which was held on April chine transfers it to the Sound Technician, and 10th at the National Cultural Centre” then the microphones come down some more. its international flavour, as The girls awkwardly change their costumes on stage – rather sirens are not really native to than giving us the neat, ritualistic flow that is required. But the Caribbean. The actors lift I know the audience enjoyed the beating of the ole higue. their boat on to the stage and The licks come quick, sharp and real-looking. Applause. began the story of a doomed We wait again as the cast members get into costumes for group of sailors who ignore “Baccoo”, written by Sonia Yarde. This play has live drum- the warnings of their captain ming and it adds to the whimsical folklore-like qualities of and are lured to their deaths the performance. The baccoos are more human than baccoo, by the beautiful sirens. The in voice and movement, but the costuming manages to sell sirens tear their masks away the act. I wonder what the audience felt when they saw those from their faces and leap on creatures from Guyanese culture strolling and dancing on the to the men – but the act is not stage? Was it nostalgia, sorrow, joy? Everyone knows folk- sexual as the sailors expected. lore is dying. Who is doing anything about it? The National This is the moment when the School of Theatre Arts and Drama for sure, as seen in the sirens bare their fangs and way they built their entire production around this theme. But tear into the men. The captain who was there to see it? Who was there in the audience to hurries away, and the sirens help preserve folklore at least in local theatre? Besides ev- bested at their own game by eryone attached to the play – there were only two handfuls of the one soul that slips through audience members. What are Guyanese theatre-goers really their fingers, kill themselves. looking for these days? I stand at the peephole looking out at Rich, intense stuff – with very the empty seats and I think of the students behind me, rolling little people there to enjoy it. out the sets they designed, painting on the face makeup they Applause. Intermission. bought and rehearsing the lines for scripts that they had been African drumming plays practising for weeks. My heart grows heavy. Applause. as “Celebration of Life” be“Sirens”, written by Tashandra Inniss gives the night gins. It showcases the birth of

an African princess in a tribal village setting. The dance pieces of rhythmically, beautifully choreographed and the girls are decked out in African wear that seems lifted directly all the way from Africa itself. Everything is going well until there is silence on the stage. The actors are not doing anything. Then the realisation hits me, someone has forgotten their lines! Everyone waits with bated breaths, and then, finally, it comes. I let out a sigh of relief as I watch the performance from the wings. It ends on an anti-climactic note, but at least the dancing and costume were memorable. They need time to change into their elaborate saris and jewellery for “Maticore” – the last play of the night written by Steven Seepersaud. There is dance and Tassa drumming and cross-dressing in this one. The Creole spoken is thick and raw, and true to some sections of the rural Indian communities. The female family and friends of the bride dance in suggestive/sexual ways, teaching her what she must do on her wedding night. How scandalous and wonderful it was, to have a hidden part of the Hindu wedding tradition exposed for the entire world to see. It reminded me a bit of the African quehqueh tradition. Similarities exposed. The entire play was as strange as seeing folklore on the stage to see a section from the Indian experience in a play. It is indeed a rare phenomenon to associate Indian culture with theatre in Guyana, despite the many influences of the genre that has helped to shape what is now known as Caribbean theatre. The cross-dressers are revealed to be women, and hilarity takes over.


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Break up, not break down Over the past few weeks, I have sadly seen many patients with emotional heartache due to a break-up in their personal relationships. This can definitely affect both our mental and physical health and therefore, I hope this piece can bring peace to anyone who may be experiencing the same at this time. I’m sure that many if not all of you readers have experienced the pain of a breakup. Did it cause stress? Low self-esteem? Self- hatred or self-pity? Yes. Was it the end of your overall happiness? No. To those of you who are hurting, I want you to know that there are things that can be done to make the grieving process bearable and shorter. I truly believe that everything is relative and mostly incomparable. Every person and their experiences are unique. I believe it doesn’t make a difference if the relationship lasted for 15 years or 15 months- what was felt is real and the pain of losing it is the same. The end of a relationship can actually cause serious mental and physical issues. Some symptoms even mimic the signs of depression and anxiety such as stress, trouble sleeping, loss of appetite, overthinking, loneliness, high levels of anger, low levels of concentration, and irritability. A loss of interest in things that were once enjoyable and suicidal thoughts are also

common. In Guyana, one of the most common symptoms is an increase in alcohol and drug use which automatically increases the possibility of hangovers- headaches, nausea, high blood pressure and even the possibility of addiction. The symptoms are of course worsened if the individual is already suffering from a mental illness. There is also stressed- induced cardiomyopathy, which is commonly referred to as "broken heart syndrome". This actually isn’t a joke as research shows that serious heartache can cause areas of your heart to temporarily enlarge which restricts blood from pumping normally. Extreme cases of this can result in short-term muscle failure. The only good news? It’s very rare. So we know the effects of heartache. The problem is, life still has to go on. We still have to go to work, school, and take care of our dependents –whatever our regular responsibilities. So how do we do this? The death of a relationship causes similar stages of grief that an actual death may cause. These are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. To overcome a breakup, one typically goes through each phase. As examples, you might not want to accept that the relationship is over, you will become angry when you realise it actually might be, you may plead with your partner for it not be over, they may not accept which then causes a mix of emotions. However, after some time passes, you may accept the situation and start the process of moving on. Acceptance is typically the last stage but I’d advise that it’s also needed in the first stage. That is, you accept the hurt that you are feeling. It is normal to feel hurt, betrayed, hopeless and helpless after a breakup. Allow yourself the appropriate amount of time to grieve. The longer you fight it, the longer you will feel it. The first thing friends do is try to push you to go out after a break-up but it’s okay to sit at home and cry, scream or whatever you feel you need to do. Secondly, it is advised that you keep your distance from your ex. Cutting all communication is very difficult but usually the best approach. Reinvent yourself and your surroundings. In the movies, after a breakup, we always see a transformation – this could be a haircut or new wardrobe. This isn’t to make the storyline more exciting. There are actual studies that show a change, especially a physical one, that signifies a new beginning and helps one to faster transition to the acceptance phase. Having said that, the next

step would be to remove any trigger. We all tend to have little trinkets or pictures around that remind us of our relationship. I’m not saying you have to throw everything away but put them out of sight for now- you don’t need a reminder every day. Reflect well, realistically and accurately on your relationship. This is very important, especially in Guyana. People stay together or they want their relationship to work for all the wrong reasons. They might feel there is no one left to meet or that they don’t want to see their ex with someone else. Reflecting on what you had and whether it’s what you really needed will be a big help. Remind yourself daily of the reality of the situation- especially if it was an unhealthy relationship. It might sound childish but remember their bad traits. Don’t focus on the good. What did they do to annoy, anger, hurt or frustrate you? Maybe they were always late or rude to you for no reason. Feeling better already aren’t you? Even more importantly, what can you learn about your own behaviour? Are there things you can improve on for your future relationships to be healthier? A common saying I hear is “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else.” Completely inappropriate I know, but I didn’t make it up! This is called a rebound relationship and in my opinion, a bad idea. It feels better and exciting, yes, but it is a way of masking the pain of the previous relationship. If the rebound ends quickly and badly, one then has to technically emotionally deal with two breakups now instead of one. Remain single until you have gotten over the first breakup. However, get out and do new things. You have all the time now to discover yourself and things you might like. Use your good support system around you right now – maybe you now have time to build a stronger one. I asked a few of my colleagues about their last breakup – how long they took to overcome the pain, what they did to do so etc. Here is what one had to say. “I was with my last boyfriend for 3 years and it took me 5 months to fully get over him- where nothing bothers me. I had cut off all contact, unfollowed him on social media and thought of all his bad traits often. What helped me was new activities that I liked such as reading, dancing and going out more with my friends. If I had to cry, I let it out and then went back on with my day- I chose not to lie down and mope all day. I reminded myself that I didn’t deserve the treatment I was getting and that I could do better.” If your relationship has just ended, many of us feel for you as your more than likely experiencing a wide range of emotions such as sadness, anger, embarrassment – feelings that we all know too well. Well, I’ve got good news and I’ve got bad news. The bad news is that you will feel this way for some time- maybe longer than you’ll like. The good news is that this is the normal grieving process and as the saying goes ‘time heals all wounds’. Thank you for reading and please send in any topics to caitlinvieira@gmail.com. Also please remember when you can come see me. Georgetown Public Hospital, Psychiatric Department: Monday- Friday –08:00hrs- 12:00hrs Suicide Prevention Helpline Numbers – 223-0001, 2230009, 623-4444 or 600-7896 Say Yes to Life and No to Drugs! Always!


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Earth Day, Every day “End Plastic Pollution”

AS YOU take a walk down the streets, relax on the Georgetown seawall, travel in a minibus or taxi, step into a store, or go shopping at our markets, just take some time to observe and you would notice something common in all these places: Plastics. Plastic pollution is, in fact, one of the most complex environmental problems we face today which impacts our health and wellbeing. This year Earth Day celebrations will send a strong message

to ‘End plastic pollution.’ EARTH DAY, A GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT Years ago, the world’s attention was on enjoying the benefits of industrialisation – large-scale production of goods at cheaper prices; saving of time and labour; wider choices of goods; improved standard of living; and new modes of transport, rather than the harms that would later plague the environment. Around the world and particularly in the US, evidence was growing for the

declines in biodiversity and the gradual disappearance of many natural resources, pollution of air, water and land, and the increase of diseases. With this evidence, environmental awareness also grew and on April 22, 1970, millions of Americans protested the negative impacts of industrial development. The US quickly responded by forming their Environmental Protection Agency, as well as, laws for clean water and endangered species. The day has since been observed as ‘Earth

Day’ and was also adopted by the UN in 2009 as International Mother Earth Day and celebrated by over 192 countries around the world. The Earth Day Network, the organisation which leads Earth Day worldwide, will be using the platform of

Earth Day as we approach the 50th anniversary as a catalyst for global action against plastic pollution. WHAT IS THE GLOBAL CAMPAIGN ABOUT? ● Leading a grassroots movement to support the

adoption of a global framework to regulate plastic pollution; ● Educating, mobilising and activating citizens across the globe to demand that governments and corporations control and clean Turn to page XXX ►►►


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Thrift Shopping for Dummies Getting the ‘Champagne’ look on a ‘Lemonade’ budget By Clinton Duncan SO, TODAY we’re going to talk about one of my favourite things: thrift stores. I consider myself a true patron of the

thrift; a master connoisseur of the bargain. I didn’t really set out to become such a person, but when I realised that it was going to cost me thousands of dollars to dress the way I envisioned myself

and coupled that with my student budget, I was caught between a place of “I can’t take a photo at this event because I want to wear this blazer two days from now” and figuring out whether or not “repeat wear” really is a sign of ownership, or just a lack of options, creativity and budget. Nonetheless, I decided to make the best of the situation. So, my exposition of thrifting began. At first it was difficult because I

could never find anything I thought was fashionable enough to match the budget I wanted to spend, or rather, the budget I had available to me. But, just like Dory in Finding Nemo I “Just kept swimming” and eventually got the hang of it. And now, my closet is full of an eclectic mix of vintage, authentically branded thrift store finds. How did I do it? Well, I learned from my mistakes and discovered a few tricks and Turn to page XXXII ►►►


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We enjoyed de shine rice and fish THANK you for all the positive messages I received for ‘My First Muslim Wedding Experience’ article. It seems all my weeks are purposeful and I am thankful. I visited my favourite preschool Kiskadee Kids again for the hat show. These children are so adorable and I also enjoyed interacting with the moms and dads. It is always wonderful to see dads at school functions because it is perceived as a mom thing. Then I had lunch with my friend Phillipa who is visiting from the US. It felt great to kick back in the reclining chair and enjoy the fresh breeze coming through the patio door. Rebecca is a fantastic cook and never fails to impress. We had corilla, fried fish, dhal and rice with some local drink. Phillipa and I chatted for hours because we had so much to catch up on. She is such a precious soul like her deceased husband, Larry, and I truly believe they were soul mates. I see the sadness in her eyes because she misses him so much. I mentioned him in

LIVING WITH INTENTION because he was truly a servant of humanity. My friend Michelle was also visiting from New Jersey and she is one of the crazy ones! A few of my Sundays from last summer were spent in her backyard unwinding. She told me she wanted something simple to eat and that I must surprise her. I decided on shine rice, fried fish, steam callaloo with mango chutney. Some people may not be familiar with shine rice. When you have very little to make a meal just not to be hungry it has to be creative. It is rice boiled in coconut milk with seasoning, salt and onion and garlic if you have. No shrimp, saltfish, meat or vegetables. I don’t eat a lot of rice but I asked for another portion of shine rice. It tastes different when you eat it by choice instead of necessity. Michelle was thrilled how delicious it was and wanted the recipe. We had a bottle of wine and chatted about things that made us both laugh and played with the dogs because she is also a dog lover. She finally got her copy of Living with Intention.

She is one authentic sister and I love her. Genuine friendship is PRICELESS. These are moments I treasure dearly. I am anticipating another empowering weekend because the Living with Intention Motivation Tour goes to Linden, God’s willing. I will be at Major Banquet Hall on Sunday from 16:00-18:00hrs for an Evening of Inspiration and book signing, Admission is FREE. On Monday, I will be with the young people who are the future of this great nation. We all owe it to society to chip in and make it a priority to do. One of the questions I constantly ask myself is, how would the person I would like to be, do the things I am about to do? Don’t forget that, in the doing, we become. I will give you all the details in next week’s column on my trip there. Keep sending your messages to beyondtherunway1@gmail.com and leave a comment on our FB page as we continue to celebrate this journey call life BEYOND THE RUNWAY.

Beyond the Runway with Dr. Sonia Noel

... Inspiring lives through fashion


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up plastic pollution; ● Educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics, and ● Promoting local government regulatory and other efforts to tackle plastic pollution. WHY IS PLASTIC POLLUTION A PROBLEM? According to BBC, “Plastic as we know it, has only really existed for the last 60-70 years, but in that time it has transformed everything from clothing, cooking and ca-

tering, to product design, engineering and retailing.” We have all contributed to the problem of plastic pollution, though sometimes unknowingly. As of 2015, human beings have created 6.3bn tons of plastic, of which 79% accumulates in landfills or the environment. It is estimated that if the current production trends continue and waste management trends continue, we can expect about 12bn tons of plastic waste will be in the environment or landfills by 2050. Marine animals like sea birds and turtles face the danger of becoming entangled in plastic bags and other debris or mistaking plastic for food. Ingested plastic bags

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can cause internal blockages and can even result in death. Large pieces of plastic can also damage their digestive systems. As plastic waste breaks down it becomes tiny micro-fragments and can build up in the bodies of organisms. Plastics in food can disrupt human hormones, cause major life-threatening diseases and early puberty. HOW TO JOIN THE GLOBAL CAMPAIGN AGAINST PLASTIC POLLUTION ● Take your own reusable bags when you go shopping or ask for cardboard boxes to pack your items. ● Stop using disposable plastics, especially single-use plastics like bottles, bags and straws. ● Use reusable bottles for water, and reusable mugs for coffee. ● Join a local park, river or beach clean-up. ● Form a “green team” at your office to find cost-effective ways to conserve resources and promote sustainability. ● Volunteer for a local environmental group and/or make a donation. ● Demand that leaders and corporations control and clean up plastic pollution.

LOCAL UPCOMING EVENTS ● Earth Day radio quiz – April 19, 2018, 102.5 FM ● Earth Day Opening Ceremony – April 20, 2018, Baridi Benab, State House ● Single-use Plastic Free Day – April 22, 2018 ● Trash to Fashion Show & Exhibition – April 27, 2018, Main Street, between Middle & Quamina Streets. See our Facebook page for more details. We must assess our consumption of plastics and determine how to lower our plastic pollution footprint. Guyana is moving towards a green state and you are important in this process. Earth day is April 22 but every day should be a step further to taking care of this lovely planet. Remember the change starts with you! You can share your ideas and questions by sending letters to: “Our Earth, Our Environment”, C/O ECEA Programme, Environmental Protection Agency, Ganges Street, Sophia, Georgetown, or email us at eit.epaguyana@ gmail.com or follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


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The worst dental disease ASK ANY dentist what is the worst dental disease and they will tell you that the most dangerous dental illness is gum disease. But many persons I know say, “What’s so bad about gum disease? After all, it is painless.” Most people who have it do not experience any pain whatsoever and so it seems not to be a bother at all. Well, hundreds of studies have looked at different aspects of the gum disease – systemic disease connection, and have found it can be a causative factor in a heart attack or stroke, two of the top three causes of death. It is also the number one cause of people losing their teeth. Studies have shown that gum disease can increase the risk of a heart attack by 200 to 400 per cent, as well as double the risk of stroke. Infant mortality is affected by gum disease sites, mothers can experience premature birth or low birth weight babies. Other studies have shown that gum disease can make arteriosclerosis and diabetes deteriorate, and can even contribute to lung disease caused by breathing in (aspirating) pneumonia-causing organisms. Gum disease is not something you want to have, principally because gum disease inflammation creates circulating substances called proinflammatory cytokines, which the liver modifies into C-reactive protein (CRP), a very hazardous entity. CRP causes clotting and depending on where the clot occurs, can cause a heart attack, a stroke, a deep vein thrombosis in a leg, or even a pulmonary embolus. Since CRP level is increased, and since gum disease is a major producer of inflammation throughout the body, and therefore a major contributor to increased CRP levels in the majority of people, we need to focus our attention on total body inflammation in order to reduce those levels. The medical profession is currently concluding that high CRP levels are as serious a threat to health as high cholesterol (an acknowledged cause of heart attacks and strokes), and doctors are beginning to screen for this blood element as part of regular health checkups. CRP has even made it into Readers’ Digest in a short piece stating that CRP testing “may be getting ready for prime time” because it is a highly predictive marker for signs of inflammation. Since CRP is produced in the liver, and this production is triggered by inflammation anywhere in the body, a high CRP reading would be the result of that person’s total cumulative inflammation. Someone with severe arthritis, prostate inflammation, and healthy gums could have high CRP reading, just as someone with severe periodontal disease and no arthritis or other inflammatory problems could. Regardless of the source, it all adds up, and high CRP is dangerous no matter what disease caused them. But, since gum disease is an inflammation-inducing condition that more people have than don’t, it has to be considered a primary culprit in many disease processes, including that of elevated CRP levels. CRP levels are usually measured in milligrams per litre (mg/L) and, as reported in an article in the San Antonio Express-News, CRP levels of less than 1 mg/L indicate low risk of heart disease, and reading between 1 and 3 mg/L represent an average risk. CRP levels greater than 3 mg/L are at least twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease as those in the low-risk group. The danger of gum disease to overall health is dose-related, which means the worse

the gum disease, the greater the risk. Severe inflammation elsewhere in the body is serious as well. It has been estimated that up to 400 specific types of microorganisms are commonly indigenous to the mouth, so with gum disease, there is the distinct likelihood that several types of those potentially hazardous microorganisms are circulating throughout the entire body, wherever the blood flow takes them. In a study reported in the October 2015 issue of Compendium, a postmortem examination of blood clots taken from arteries in the neck showed several types of disease-causing bacteria in the clots of 72 percent of the recently deceased test subjects (fifty clots from the carotid arteries were evacuated during these autopsies). When the inflammationinduced nature of CRP is considered, other life-threatening aspects should be taken into account. When a person with moderate to severe periodontal disease and elevated CRP levels undergoes a deep cleaning (scaling and root planning), what happens to the CRP levels as the dentists tear the diseased tissues in their normal efforts to treat gum disease? There are a number of unexpected results that may occur in anyone undergoing periodontal procedures, perhaps even ones as innocuous as everyday scaling and root planning. Studies have shown that periodontal cleaning procedures alone can elevate the person’s baseline CRP readings by 300 percent. This rise can be truly life-threatening for anyone who has advanced gum disease since acute infection can elevate CRP levels to 500 to 1000 times already high normal limits. Even extraordinarily

high-risk levels can be prevented or controlled by a wide variety of inflammation-reducing substances. Yet very few people ever receive pretreatment protection from their dentists unless they have a known heart problem, such as mitral valve prolapsed, valvular damage from rheumatic fever, or some other condition, such as hip joint replacement, requiring pretreatment antibiotic coverage. So, gum disease is not a condition to be taken lightly because it can be fatal.


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tips along the way. And today, in the words of Oprah Winfrey “You get some tips, you get some tips, he gets some tips, EVERYBODY GETS SOME TIPS!” 1 - Closet – Before thrifting, I examine my closet to note what pieces I haven’t worn yet that I could potentially use as a base to build an entire outfit. I’ll take photos of some on my phone so that when I’m thrifting, I’ll be inspired to pick up a particular item to match the unworn piece — and finally wear it! 2 - Trends – I browse the sites of mainstream brands like Forever 21, H&M and Zara to see what these fast-fashion chains are selling and watch the latest international runway shows on youtube to give me an idea of the top trends to look for when I’m in the thrift store. 3 - Pack – Pack a goodie bag of necessary rations and emergency supplies like tissues, hand sanitiser and stain remover (to test spots) as well as snacks, water and a sports drink as thrifting is very exhausting. 4 - Try on – Wear the equivalent of a “catsuit” while thrifting so that you can try on clothing in the aisle without having to wait in line for a fitting room. I love wearing a vest, loose shorts and flip-flops when I thrift so that it’s easy to slip in and out of items if I want to try them on, and well, most thrift stores for some odd reason are usually hot and humid. 5 - Separate Piles – Always take a “time out” from thrifting to evaluate your goods based on initial gut reactions (yes, no, maybe). Put all of your “nos” back on the rack and decide which “maybes” are truly keepers! Also, to whittle down your purchases before hitting the cash register, ask yourself a few key questions to decide whether you’re making the best buying decisions for you: “Do I own similar pieces already?”, “Can I wear this immediately, or do I need to wait for a special event?” and “Is this something I’d actually wear or just wish I could wear?” Remember, honesty is the best policy — especially to your wallet! 6 – Inspect all angles – Give the surface level of each garment a serious eyeball for stains, tears, snags, pill balls, signs of damage or over-wear and to ensure the surface appliques are intact. Turn your piece inside out to examine its interior for lining tears or stains, loose threading along the hem, missing tags and other hardto-see issues. Is your piece clean? Check pockets for tissues, dirt and grime. Whiff thrift shoes and hand-knitted pieces that tend to reek of musty odours. If the garment smells old or has any sort of smell, pass on it! It’s not worth taking the chance, even if you do have a bottle of Febreze at home, because, like really, ain’t nobody got time for that! 7 - Union Labels – Look for union tags that are marked by a scalloped circle with a threaded needle diagonally behind it. In the centre are the large letters ILGWU crossed with the smaller acronym AFL–CIO. Around the edge is printed “Int’l Ladies Garment Workers Union.” Note whether the piece has a “Made in USA” tag or as text printed on the tag stating where the piece was produced, for example “Boston, Mass.” or “Madison, Wisconsin.” Use google! If you spot a garment that says it’s from Moschino, snap a pic and use google-images and see if it pops up. 8 – Don’ts - Don’t buy makeup because expiration and best-used-by dates aren’t legally required on the bottles, so you’ll never know how old that makeup is! Don’t buy underwear … unless you really don’t mind (In which case, I’m judging you- hard! My personal tip is to buy it new -and cheap!- if you have to versus used and second hand at a thrift store). AND FINALLY 9 – HAVE FUN! Buy pieces you wouldn’t normally but, the more unique it is the more versatile it is because if it isn’t something that belongs nowhere then it belongs anywhere. So, buy those pieces, the ones that will make a memory when you wear them. Until next time!


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English THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Everything flows and nothing stays. HERACLITUS (fl. 513 B.C.) Plato, Cratylus STUDY SUCCESS Dear Student, Today we turn to reading methods. Use rapid reading to advantage when reading a novel or a not too difficult text. Use skipping when reading for specific information. Use skimming to get an overview or survey of a book. Employ slow reading for comprehension and reflection when studying difficult texts. As part of your revision plan, skipping and skimming are useful reading strategies in reviewing, reinforcing, and consolidating material for examination purposes. Be wise. Love you. WRITING GOOD PARGRAPHS Let’s get a step further in writing a good paragraph; of what does it consist? Definition: A paragraph consists of a sentence or sentences that develop a single thought. For good paragraph building you need to meet the following guidelines: 1. Be sure have something to say that is clear in your own mind. 2. Build each paragraph around one clearly recognisable central idea; and especially in expositions you need to have a topic sentence or topic statement. 3. Make sure of unity; that is, that no ideas unrelated to the central idea creep in. 4. Make sure of coherence; that is, arrange the sentences in natural, logical order. Where appropriate, use signal words to and phrases to connect the details in a paragraph. 5. Make sure of emphasis on the central idea. Sometimes you can secure emphasis by ending with a clincher sentence that sums up the paragraph or restates the topic sentence by using other words. 6. Be conscious you are developing the paragraph by use of examples, details,

explanation of cause, contrast, comparison, repetition, definition, or by some combination of those methods. Note: If you examine most paragraphs today in books and magazines, you will notice that they are not developed by any single method. Usually they represent a mixture of several types. Do not make that daunt your efforts now. You need to practise producing paragraphs with regular patterns, for examination purposes, especially in exposition. Something to Do Write three paragraphs on the life of an author, an historical figure, or a character from literature. Use a different type of development in writing each paragraph. Indicate which type is each. Underline your topic sentences. Stay away from trite expressions, and wordiness in any of its forms you can recognise. PINNING THE TOPIC SENTENCE The topic sentence is the central thought, or idea, of a paragraph. Wherever it is found, it should tell two things: what your topic is and what the paragraph will say about it. 1. The topic sentence may be the first sentence in the paragraph. Look at this example: The girl guides felt that their demonstration had been successful. They certainly had not been treated as rebellious underlings; but with the greatest honour and courtesy. .... They had opened the way for friendly talks. Their overseas headquarters sent a favourable answer to their requests. 2. Sometimes the topic sentence is expressed somewhere in the middle of the paragraph. See the following paragraph, the second sentence expresses the central thought. As we look at real glaciers among the mountains, we cannot see them move. But scientists have proved that they do and even have measured their speed. Small glaciers in the Rockies travel …., but big ones among mountains of Alaska move …. The speediest glacier of all … That is as far as “ice streams” of the Rockies go in a whole month! 3. In the paragraph that follows, the last sentence states the central thought. Who first discovered the principle of gravity? Not Newton, for Galileo, who died the year before Newton was born, had measured its force in the descent of falling bodies. Who invented Lavoisierian chemistry? The English say Dr Black, …. Was it Gerbert, the Marquis of Worcester, ….? The fact is that one new idea leads to another, that to a third, and so on through a course of time until someone, with whom no one of these ideas was original, combines them all into what is justly called a new invention. 4. Today we will not dwell on the paragraph that has no topic sentence; it will come at a further date. Something to Do Write a short paragraph in which you develop a topic sentence through the conversation of two people. Compare the group efforts among your study partners and read the best ones to an interested group. SOMETHING YOU SHOULD KNOW Composition in the Examination In your English Language examination, you are required to write a composition, which is called an ‘essay’, and sometimes ‘continuous writing’. Whatever you call it you’ll have adequate time to use your best English prose to answer a chosen question. A timely reminder is that examiners are looking for the following: • correctness of grammar, punctuation, and spelling; • well-made and varied sentences; •A piece of writing that shows management of structure and tidiness. If you manage a lively and imaginative essay you’ll will be given extra marks, but you must have the ability to write well-organised, clear and accurate English that is the examiners’ first concern. [In the short story, you are allowed to let your characters use consistent conversational language in a local vernacular.] LAST WEEK’S SOLUTIONS BETTER SENTENCES: Expressing ideas in effective sentences Main idea: A sentence is not like a train. It must have only one primary thought, and all its parts must relate to that thought. Exercise: You had to break down each of the four given overloaded sentences and recombine the elements into shorter sentences. You had to allow each new sentence to carry one main thought. Now, just for interest, have a sentence count to see how many of each type ere used: compound, complex, or compound complex. EFFECTIVE WRITING: Setting out writing in a clear and sensible sequence. Main idea: Clear thinking and proper sequencing enable effective writing. Exercise: Six randomly placed sentences had to be sorted into a full paragraph to show you appreciate its construction. Tell a study partner how you managed.


Chronicle Pepperpot April 15, 2018

XLIII

Entertainment

'I was scared,' Cosby accuser says of alleged assault aftermath The woman whose accusation brought Bill Cosby to trial in Pennsylvania on sex-assault charges testified on Friday that the comedian drugged and raped her in 2004 and she was terrified to tell anyone for months afterward. It was the second time that accuser Andrea Constand, 45, confronted the 80-year-old entertainer in the suburban Philadelphia courtroom. Cosby stood trial last year on the charges, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict. Constand is one of about 50 women who have accused the man known as the wise patriarch in the TV hit “The Cosby Show” of sexually assaulting them in attacks dating back decades. Hers is the only one recent enough to be the subject of criminal prosecution. Constand, who worked at Cos-

by’s alma mater Temple University at the time of the alleged attack, said she went to Cosby’s house to discuss a potential career change. Cosby gave her three blue pills that he said would relax her. She testified that the pills made her feel woozy. Cosby walked her to a sofa and laid her down. “The next thing I recall, I was kind of jolted awake,” Constand said. “My vagina was being penetrated quite forcefully. I felt my breasts being touched. He put my hand on his penis and masturbated himself with my hand. I was not able to do a thing.” Cosby has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and said that any

sexual encounters he had were consensual. His lawyers have portrayed Constand as a gold-digging con artist. Constand testified that she did not tell anyone of the attack until January 2005, about a year after she

has said it occurred, because she feared coming forward. She ultimately confided in her mother. “I was scared,” Constand said. “I was all over the place in my mind. I didn’t know where to turn.” She said she told her mother, “Mr. Cosby sexually violated me... Gave me three blue pills and sexually violated me without my consent.” With Constand living in her native Canada by this time, they went to the Durham Regional Police in Ontario and later told her brother-in-law, a Toronto police detective. Constand said her mother spoke with Cosby by phone, and he confessed and apologized. That phone call was

not recorded. DECISION NOT TO PROSECUTE Constand testified she was deeply disappointed when then-Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor declined to criminally charge Cosby after she complained to authorities in 2005. She responded by filing a civil suit against Cosby that resulted in a $3,380,000 settlement. She also signed a confidentiality agreement in which she agreed not to again initiate criminal charges against the comedian. To work around that agreement, newly elected Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele initiated the charges in 2015, sending a team of prosecutors to Canada to ask Constand if she would cooperate with the decision to prosecute.

Bollywood news

Actress Sridevi gets posthumous national award Assamese-language drama “Village Rockstars” was named the best film of 2017 at India’s National Film Awards on Friday while Bollywood actress Sridevi got the best actress award two months after her death. Director Rima Das’ “Village Rockstars”, which tells the story of a group of children in the countryside who form a music band, will “move you to tears without actually telling you a dramatic story”, said filmmaker Shekhar Kapur, who headed a 10-member jury for the awards. Sridevi won for her performance as an angry mother who avenges her daughter’s rape in Ravi Udyawar’s “Mom”. It was the 54-year-old’s last film before she died during a trip to Dubai on February 24. “I said don’t give her the award just because she has passed away, because it is unfair to the other girls, but every time it kept coming back to Sridevi,” Kapur said. The award for best actor went to Bengali actor Riddhi Sen for “NagarKirtan” while Malayalam director Jayaraj was adjudged best director for his movie “Bhayanakam”. Vinod Khanna, who died last year, was honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke award for his contribution to cinema. Amit Masurkar’s “Newton”, which was critically acclaimed for its portrayal of an upright election officer in a

Maoist-affected area, won the award for best Hindi film. Pankaj Tripathi won a special mention for his role in the film. “I am absolutely delighted. I had no idea I was even in the running. It feels amazing to know that the whole country thought my role in “Newton” was one of my best,” Tripathi said a statement. India’s highest grossing film in 2017, “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion” was given the award for best popular film and also for best special effects.


Crab curry Made with coconut milk and Curry Sauce. It’s a treat for your tastebuds Ingredients 1/2 cup water 2 limes, juice of 2 tablespoons ginger 2 tablespoons garlic 6 large crabs (cleaned) 1 1/2 cups coconut milk 3 tablespoons cooking oil 3 tablespoons curry powder 1 teaspoon salt, chive, thyme, pepper Instructions Cut the crabs in small pieces and use the lime juice for washing them. Use the ginger, minced chive, garlic, thyme to season the crabs. Pour the oil into a preheated pot. Make a paste by mixing the curry, salt and the pepper and add it to the hot oil. Next add the crab meat along with the coconut milk when the mixture thickens. Next allow the curry crabs to simmer for about 25 minute covered. When the curry crabs are done serve them with cassava dumplings,rice or roti.

Pepperpot 04/15/2018  
Pepperpot 04/15/2018