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Guyana’s Premier Guide to Entertainment, Culture, Fashion, Beauty, Sports & Sexy Monarchs

GOING GREEN Protecting and Conserving Mangrove Ecosystems GY$1,100 | US$5.99 | BD$12 | CN$7

ICON Sir Shridath “Sonny” Ramphal

Miss India Worldwide (Guyana 2011)

Exclusive! Two-Time Queen of Chutney

Fiona Singh Phenomenal Woman A Celebration of International Women’s Day 2011

Mashramani 2011 Highlights

Smoking Nipping this Deadly Habit in the Bud

10 More things to do when planning a wedding CORBIN MEDIA GROUP

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APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 5

6 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Contents GEM

20 LETTERS TO GEM What readers have to say about the last edition

Guyana's Premier Entertainment & Lifestyle Magazine April/May 2011 | Issue 44

46 11

PUBLISHER’S NOTES Welcome to the 44th Edition of GEM


BIRTHDAYS Personality milestone


FOUR 20-Somethings Ready to Lead the Country



Mashramani 2011 Highlights

Two-Time Chutney Queen

Fiona Singh



PERSONALITY Major Mike Charles (Ret.), Pilot / Documentary Producer / Photographer


Phenomenal Woman A Celebration of International Day 2011


National Sports Commission 20 2010 Awards 8 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011


The photo of Fiona Singh was taken exclusively for GEM by Obrey James

Contents II GEM

40 Icon Sir Shridath ‘Sonny’ Ramphal Miss India Worldwide (Guyana) 2011 Roshini Boodhoo wins the crown The Guyana Classics Library Five books published HEALTH BEAT Smoking: Nipping this Deadly Habit in the Bud RECIPES Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Bars and Mittai / Mitai Clash of the Titans A Chutney Mega Show GEM BEAUTY Meet Gisselle, a 23–year-old model and student 10 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Guyana's Premier Entertainment & Lifestyle Magazine April/May 2011 | Issue 44



SAVVY SISTER Women’s Health 101: Getting Prepared & What to expect at Your Gynecological Exam



The Wedding Planner 10 more things to know when planning a wedding



FASHION National Dress Competition



TRAVEL Adel’s Rainforest Resort on the Pomeroon



GOING GREEN Protecting and Conserving Mangrove Ecosystems



LAST SEEN HERE Random pictures of people and events. Were you there?





Issue 44 | April / May 2011 FOUNDER & PUBLISHER Simeon L Corbin EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Pamela Corbin MANAGING EDITOR Coretta Corbin-Rival ADMINISTRATION MANAGER Tiya Peterkin LAYOUT AND DESIGN Mark James INTERNATIONAL OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Pamela Corbin INTERNATIONAL SALES & MARKETING Director Coretta Corbin-Rival INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION Director Michelle Corbin CONTRIBUTORS Pamela Corbin • Coretta Corbin-Rival • Michelle Corbin • Carl Croker • Naomi Wright • Allan Fenty • Tiya Peterkin • Petamber Persaud • Rawle Welch • Colin Sulker • Donna Shortt-Gill GUYANA AND THE CARIBBEAN GEM | P.O. Box 12396 | Georgetown | Guyana P: 011.592.225.1738, 011592.226.0540 or 011.592.624.2751 E: W: F: SUBSCRIPTION Guyana GYD5,500 Caribbean & North America USD40 Rest of the World USD45 DISTRIBUTION To sell GEM at your business, please email sales at INTERNATIONAL SALES AND MARKETING Corbin Media Group P.O. Box 255906 Boston, MA 02125 USA Phone: 617.833.7482 Email: MEMBER Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) Guyana Press Association (GPA) Tourism Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) ISSN 181-2019 Six times a year, GEM delivers the latest trends in business, charity, art, interior design, real estate, culture, cuisine, sports, entertainment, parties, fashion, events, beauty, weddings and travel. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited. The publisher and editors are not responsible for unsolicited material and it will be treated as unconditionally assigned for publication subject to GEM’s rights to edit.


12 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Letters to type, so I took a stab at the recipe. Even though the results wasn’t my best work, it tasted pretty good and no one got sick……lol. Keep up the good work. – Jennifer Jones Love the article and images in “Guyana in Focus – Behind the Advisories” travel feature. Even though not all Guyanese make it their duty to positively promote our country, GEM seems determined to do so even when things don’t look too positive. That is what being a true Guyanese should be all about. Of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. Nevertheless, your magazine is the epitome of beauty, and it reflects the true diversity of our nation. Can’t wait for next month’s issue! - Ralph Seebarran

We don’t ever get Guyanese being at the top of the world in sport, except for a few times in cricket and boxing, but when we do, we must celebrate to the fullest. I am proud of Hugh Ross and his accomplishments and I am also proud of GEM for putting him on the cover. At first glance of this edition, it looked like a foreign body building magazine, but with a closer look, I realized that it was our own GEM. Great job! – Errol Chase

We welcome comments, criticisms and ideas from you. Let us know what you think about this edition. Send comments to Letters may be edited for space and clarity.

Kudos are definitely in order for your Savvy Sister article “Women’s Health 101: Taking Control of Your Health This Year.” It is so refreshing to read something that is targeted at Guyanese women and explaining in simple terms the importance of having a healthy body and mind and the effects of having an unhealthy system. Quite often, we spend many hours doing physical exercises and never focusing on making sure the mind is healthy too. Women have learnt to deal with everyday stresses and never really think we can actually eliminate some or most of them. To set the mind right, we must first start by controlling the stresses brought on by work, relationships or even reading bad news on the front pages of our newspapers first thing in the morning. – Althea Parsram, Miami, FL. via G’Town It was great to see an article on making whole wheat carrot cake in your magazine (issue 41, page 58). I try to be health conscious most of the time when I bake, but I had never tried a carrot cake let alone using whole wheat flour. When it comes to cooking, I am the adventurous APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 13

Publisher's Notes Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. - Martin Luther King, Jr. Dear Valued Reader, When it comes to mixing work and entertainment, Guyanese are the best. It is amazing that the whole country does not shut down because people are having trouble functioning the day after an event. For this edition, we spent a lot of time on the road and lots of late nights and early mornings event-hopping. From the Mashramani events, to the Clash of the Titans Chutney show to the Miss India Worldwide Guyana 2011 pageant to the National Sports awards. The list just goes on and on. Of course, you will have to browse the pages to get a good idea of what we are talking about. Our features include a Q&A with two-time chutney queen Fiona Singh and statesman Sir Shirdat Ramphal. Not often do magazines like ours get a chance to do a story on people of that caliber, so it is definitely an honour to have this opportunity. Extensive coverage of our social scenes will continue as GEM continues to align itself with people, events, organizations and companies in ways that will promote your needs. Enjoy yourself, Founder & Publisher GEM

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A birthday is just the first day of another 365-day journey around the sun. Enjoy the trip.

Michelle Corbin


APRIL GEM’s Director Michelle Corbin (1) Guyana and West Indies cricketer Sewnarine Chattergoon (3) Singer Camille aka Meagan Vieira (4) Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Youth & Sport Steve Ninvalle (5) Designer Michelle Cole-Rose (12) TV personality / actor Ron Robinson (16) GEM’s Editor-in-Chief Pamela Corbin (20) Singer Melissa Roberts aka Vanilla (28)

Fiona Singh


MAY Singer Ossie Nedd (9) Former Guyana and West Indies cricketer Leonard Baichan (12) Chutney singer Fiona Singh (23) GEM’s Director Coretta Corbin-Rival (23) Guyana Independence Day (26)



20-somethings I

You Should Know


I t r Pa

n an ongoing series, GEM highlights some of the 20 year olds making a difference in their communities as established leaders or as rising stars. Some of these young people are already making waves in media, sports, entertainment, business, politics, music, medicine and other career choices.

Despite the frequent talk of “brain drain” in Guyana and disillusioned youths, these young leaders are sticking around and aggressively pursuing their various fields of endeavor. They are intelligent, creative, self-assured and patriotic, and you won’t find them sitting around and complaining about what’s wrong with Guyana. This list is just a sample of the calibre of talent that is moving to the forefront of our society, ready to takeover and lead the country into a bright future.

Petal DeSantos Age: 29 Hometown: Georgetown High School: St. Joseph High School Occupation: Proof reader with Guyana Times, and News Presenter/Anchor with the Evening News Claim to fame: Candidate Miss Guyana Universe Pageant in 2002. I coanchored the six o' clock news magazine on NCN (channel 11). VCT (channel 28) news anchor and now TVG news anchor. Hobbies: I do enjoy community service work (was a member of the Leo Club of Bel Air), volunteering generally where I can; in whatever way possible. I love playing games and doing outdoor stuff with my son. He is my little sunshine, my pride and my joy. Relationship Status: Single Idols: My mother, Mya Angelou and Eva Peron Politics is (stress, interesting, huh!): Personally, I'd much rather stay on the beach, than get my feet wet in politics waters. Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Hopefully, married and settled with my family.

Alonzo Greaves Age: 22 Hometown: Georgetown (Kitty) High school: The business school Occupation: sales rep & cycling Claim to fame: National cyclist National championship road race 2007(won), National 5 stage road race 2007(won), "3 stage” 2009(won) Hobbies: Cycling, listing to music and browsing the net Relationship status: In a relationship Idols: Mark Cavendish & Lance Armstrong Where do you see yourself in 10 years: In ten years time I see myself as a pro-cyclist representing Guyana at big events, married and having a wonderful family

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Gowkaran Persaud aka Ravi aka DJ Mr G Age: 28 Hometown: Republic Park High School: School of the Nations (class of 99) Occupation: Manager at King's, Director at Cloud Nine Inc & Movietown DVD Club Claim to fame: Social entertainer and leader of everything Hobbies: Dee Jay, Bartending, Construction, Online Research (google, wikipedia, youtube), Cooking, Classic Car Rebuild (owns a 1964 Ford Mustang). Relationship Status: Married Idols: Johnny Depp, Paul Oakenfold, Chip Foose, Steve Jobs, Trent Reznor. Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Owning Guyana's best restaurant, night club, bar and construction company.

Tamika Affia Henry Age: 23 yrs (29th August, 1987) Hometown: Tucville, Georgetown High School: Queen’s College Occupation: Forensic Technologist, Criminal Investigations Department Claim to fame: - Miss Guyana Universe (2010), - Guyana National Scholar (2007) - CSEC & A-Levels Top Student (2004 & 2006) Hobbies: Photography, theatre, public speaking/emceeing, modelling and promotional work Relationship Status: In a relationship Idol: I’ve never quite had an idol but I do look up to my parents for their strength and determination. We struggled a lot in my childhood. I also have a fascination with the character House on television and would hope to be as brilliant and as gifted as he is in his field. And of course, my main driving force in life remains my faith in God. Politics is (stress, interesting, huh!): …a necessary evil. Where do you see yourself in 10 years: Within 10 years, I would hope to have started my family, having a husband with at least one child. Professionally, I would like to have completed my masters in Forensic Science with enough time to have started work on my doctorate degree. It’s safe to say that I plan to study all my life and learn as much as possible about the world we live in. But even so, by that time I’d like to be within a senior management position in a crime lab and still working hard to exonerate the innocent and seal the fate of the guilty. And who knows, in 10 years maybe I’ll be well on my way to a budding career in politics too. But whatever the case may be, it would great to still look as young and feel as fit a decade from now ha ha!

APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 17


Major Mike Charles (Ret.) Photography: Dwayne Hackett

Job: Pilot / Documentary Producer / Photographer Favorite Television programs: National Geographic Explorers, BBC television documentaries. Favourite entertainer: George Lopez GEM: What is your middle name? Mike Charles: I don’t have any middle names. GEM: When did you decide that being a pilot was what you wanted to do? MC: I live a stone’s throw away from our main airport at Timehri my entire life. Every departing aircraft passes over my home and that had a huge influence on wanting to become a pilot sometime during my adolescent years. GEM: Which aeronautical school(s) did you attend and what was the training like? MC: I attended Flight Safety International, Vero Beach, Florida, USA where I obtained my commercial pilot licenses (CPL) for airplane and helicopter. I further completed my airline transport pilot license (ATPL) and Certified Flight Instructor ratings (CFI-CFII) at Lunsford Air Inc., of Ormond Beach, Florida. I also attended Bell Flight Training Academy in Arlington, Texas and Bell Flight Safety, Fort Worth, Texas to complete recurrent training on the Bell 206 and the Bell 412 respectively. The professional level of aviation training I have received over the years has instilled in me the discipline and confidence to effectively function as a pilot. There is 18 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

absolutely no substitute for this type of specialized training. GEM: What is the experience like being a pilot? MC: Amazing, exciting and wonderful. Flying low level at high speeds in a helicopter is intriguing. I have spent most of my adult life doing just that. You see life in a way people normally don't, it does change your perspective on everyday things in life. GEM: Have you had any scary moments as a pilot? MC: Aviation has an inherent element of risk attached. I have been in daunting situations on numerous occasions but as a pilot your training and experience automatically and instantaneously goes to work whenever there is danger to flight safety. GEM: Do you perform any special rituals before you take-off? MC: LOL. Apart from making sure my aircraft is fit for flight - no. GEM: Qualified pilots are in high demand overseas, how come you chose to remain in Guyana? MC: The question is why should I leave a beautiful place like Guyana? Life is not always about making more money as such... my life here is comfortable. I enjoy doing what I do, especially life saving mercy missions. My front seat view also gives me the opportunity to enjoy some of the spectacular flora and fauna of our intact rainforest. I am honored, humbled and privileged that I have been given

such an opportunity to serve this glorious country of ours. I am a proud Guyanese dedicated to the development of our nation. GEM: You seem to have a never ending love affair with the Bell 412 helicopter. Why is that? MC: LOL, what is there not to love? It is an amazing piece of equipment. This technologically advanced helicopter is fully automated and can fly day or night in any weather except in icing conditions. It is a robust and extremely reliable aircraft. This is very important to the peace of mind of any pilot. GEM: What advice do you have for a youth interested in becoming a pilot? MC: Aviation is serious business and requires the attention it deserves. First you must be sure it is what you truly desire and be focused and meticulous about it. I am confident that anyone can be successful in becoming a pilot. There is not much tolerance for error in this profession. GEM: Thirty years in the Guyana Defence Force, what has that experience taught you? MC: Professionalism, discipline and humility. This experience gave me a sense of personal fulfillment to duty and country. It also taught me to expect the unexpected and give 100% to whatever you have to do. GEM: Where did you spend your youth and what was life like growing up? MC: Here in Soesdyke , nothing really special - just the normal life of any child growing up in this part of the world. GEM: So far you have produced Guyana: Yours to discover; Parts I and II, Wild Guyana and Pictures of Guyana, what’s next, if any, you plan to add to your list of DVDs? MC: Always I have something planned. Right now I am working on a movie project, which I hope will be out by

next year. I am also working on a new nature based DVD captioned “Land of giants”. The world will love it. GEM: Where is the most spectacular view of Guyana you have ever seen? MC: It must be the majestic Kaieteur Falls. GEM: You were the recipient of the Best Tourism Destination Promotion award from the Tourism Ministry and a Guyana Cultural Association of New York award. What did those recognitions mean to you? MC: Every recognition, however big or small is important to me, both were memorable awards. GEM: When you are not out exploring by air, land or sea, what other activity commands your spare time? MC: I love fishing, photography and reading when I can and spending time with my family and close friends. GEM: You’re at an event with a glass in your hand. What is most likely to be in it; beer, wine, water or a cocktail mix? MC: Water! Water! and more water. GEM: Are you saying water, water and more water because the idea of a pilot with alcohol won’t sit well with the flying public? MC: No! Because of my Christian upbringing, I have stayed away from alcohol and smoking all my life. GEM: Twenty five years as pilot - means you have spent many hours in the sky and had lots of time to think. What’s your take on life? MC: After all of those years I have developed a serious passion for flying. Flying helicopters at high speed and at low level, apart from enjoying the changing scenery you are constantly ensuring the safety of flight but on land - I think life is wonderful - I live a very simple lifestyle, nothing fancy, nothing flashy but I enjoy every minute of it. As they say: Life is what you make it - I do my best to keep it simple. Just remember your attitude determines your altitude.

Feel the Comfort, Buy for the quality... ‘K’ New Road, Vreed-En-Hoop, West Coast Demerara Tel: 254-1800 / 1801 Email: APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 19

Phenomenal Woman

L-r: Gail Teixeira, Patrice La Fleur, Aleema Naseer, Ayanna Mc Almon and Prithima Kissoon

Photography: Lloyd Thorne and Carl Croker

A Celebration of the International Day for Women O

n March 7, 2011, the Ministry of Labour, Human Services and Social Security in collaboration with the United Nations in Guyana and the Theatre Guild held a celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day at the Theater Guild Playhouse in Kingston. The evening’s program included brief remarks by the Minister of Labour, Human Services and Social Security, Priya Manickchand and a representative from the UN. There were also performances by an artistic group who entertained the audience with their dramatic poetry, song and dance. Later in the evening, there was a panel discussion where women from different generations compared both negative and positive experiences each may have had growing up and today. Some of the topics visited were working in a male dominated environment, relationships and stereotypes just to name a few. 20 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

L-r: Presidential Advisor Gail Teixeira and Ministers of the government Priya Manikchan, Jennifer Webster and Pauline Sukhai

Top: Jovinski onstage Right: A section of the audience Below: The artistic group pose backstage

APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 21

National Sports Commission 2010 Awards Ceremony

Photography: Carl Croker

L-r: Minister of Sport, Dr Frank Anthony, Shondell Alfred, President Bharrat Jagdeo and Hugh Ross


n March 4, 2011, the National Sports Commission’s (NSC) held their annual awards ceremony at the National Cultural Centre to recognize the top athletes, teams and personalities in Guyana . These awardees were selected by a panel of judges who announced their decisions weeks before the actual presentation ceremony. This year the top male and female individuals were bodybuilder and Mr Universe 2010, Hugh Ross and boxing champion Shondell “Mystery Lady” Alfred. Left: Chelsea Edghill received her award from Dr Frank Anthony 22 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

2010 AWARDEES Senior Sportsman-of-the- Year Mr Universe 2010, Hugh Arlington Ross Senior Sportswoman- of- the-Year World boxing champion Shondell “Mystery Lady” Alfred Runner-up Senior Sportsman-of-the- Year Leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo Runner-up Senior Sportswoman- of- the-Year Commonwealth Games medalist Aliann Pompey Ashley Khalil accepts her trophy from Dr Frank Anthony

Left: Orlando Charles receives his recognition from Permanent Secretary Alfred King

Junior Sportsman- of-the-Year Sprinter Chavez Ageday Runner-up Junior Sportsman- of-the-Year National youth cricketer Amir Khan Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year Table tennis player Chelsea Edghill Runner-up Junior Sportswoman-of-the-Year Squash player Ashley Khalil Team-of- the-Year The ‘Lady Jags’– Guyana’s senior national female football team Runner-up Team-of- the-Year Powerlifting team Coach-of-the-Year Boxing coach Seibert Blake Most Improved Association The Guyana Table Tennis Association Female Sport Personality Dr. Karen Pilgrim Male Sport Personality Peter Greene The Photo-Journalist award Stabroek News’ Orlando Charles The Non-Print Journalist award NCN’s Jermaine Carter.

Right: Dr. Karen Pilgrim accepts her trophy from Parliamentary Secretary of Sport Steve Ninval

Persons with Disability award Cyclist Walter Grant-Stuart APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 23

Two-Time Queen of Chutney Photography: Obrey James


iona Singh’s stock went up last February 2011 when she beat 17 other contenders at the Anna Regina Multilateral Ground including 4-time champion Haresh Singh to win the 2010 Chutney crown. In front of a sizable crowd, Fiona, just back from a two-year hiatas was able to fend off stiff competition from many veterans to emerge on top. Her song “Money” was a crowd favorite and eventually got the judges nod. Fiona’s story in music began about ten years ago when she was quite comfortable to settle as a back-up dancer. However, her producer had other ideas and asked her to try singing. And as the saying goes, the rest is history. Fiona placed third at the Guyana Soca Chutney Monarch completion in 2004, second at the National Chutney competition in 2007 before taking the crowns in 2010 and 2011. E v e n though she is pursuing a solo career, Fiona still maintains her position as part of the famous girl group “The Sugarcake Girls.” Fiona is one of the most sought after chutney artiste by promoters looking for a “live wire” to spice up their shows. Her songs which include mostly her life’s experiences and observations are very witty. In addition, her sexy choices of clothing add to her dynamic stage presents that leave fans

24 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

screaming for more. We sat down with this mother of two to find out what’s her next move. GEM: Congratulations on winning your second chutney crown. Fiona Singh: Thank you! GEM: Were you surprised when your name was announced as the winner? FS: Yes! It was a nice surprise. GEM: How did you feel to beat out four-time king Haresh Singh and others? FS: I felt that I deserve to win because my song was original and my performance was well choreographed. GEM: Your winning song “Money” was composed in only a day, how was that possible? FS: I got my inspiration from different women that I had interacted with. GEM: The song seems to be urging women to be independent. Why do you think that it is important? FS: That is important because some men in our society are not reliable, so women should be encouraged to be independent . GEM: You seem to be the only active

female on the local chutney scene. FS: I work very hard and take my career very serious and I am happy to get the recognition. GEM: Where do you get your inspiration to write your music? FS: I like to write about things that occur in my everyday life.

Simeon Corbin Photo

Fiona at the 2007 National Chutney Competition

GEM: Singers complain all the time about not getting enough airtime from the local media and djs; do you think the quality of local music deserves more attention? FS: Of course, the local artistes should be a bit more professional and do their best to produce good music; in addition, the media should give more airtime to artistes that do produce good music. GEM: Seems like to make it big, you need to sing something about “rum”, what do you have to say about that? FS: A lot of songs about rum did make it big, but a lot of other songs did well also. GEM: How and when did you get started in singing, and before that, did you ever imagine being onstage performing in front of a crowd? FS: I started as a dancer and became interested in singing. It became my dream to perform in front of a big crowd. GEM: Your fashion on stage are always well put together and edgy, who designs your clothes? FS: I usually put together my outfits GEM: Offstage, you seem to be very shy and reserved, but onstage a whole new personality emerges. What is the trigger that gets you going? FS: My love for music. GEM: Why should music fans pay to see Fiona perform? FS: I like to believe it’s my music and my performance. GEM: Is The Sugar Cake Girls band still together? FS: Yes. GEM: You are holding two chutney crowns now, what’s your ultimate goal in the music industry? FS: Yes. I am taking it one day at a time. APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 25

Banks DIH Revellers

2011 Highlights C

olour, glitz, glamour”. “Picnicking, festivity, camaraderie.” These were just some of the rave reviews Mashramani 2011 received when after days of heavy downpour, the sun came out and thousands flocked to the street to participate in the loud, colourful, joyous festival that has become woven in our cultural tapestry. Hosted under the theme “Showcasing our Culture, Sustaining our Pride” Mashramani kicked off just after 11:00 travelling along its usual Church Street to Irving Street route. As usual, Mashramani highlighted a number of topical issues in the medium of individual costumes, floats and music with subjects ranging from serious issues like domestic violence and mental health to the cute little garden populated by bees and colourful butterflies, which Minister of Public Service Dr. Westford designed.

26 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Text: Naomi Wright Photography: Simeon Corbin, Colin Sulker, Carl Croker, Donna Shortt-Gill

The Ministry of Tourism choose to celebrate our Guyana with their “Flora, Fauna and Culture-Our Pride” float which depicted the crocodile, Harpy eagle, Heliconia, Victoria Amazon, jaguar and other local plant and animal species. Drawing attention to the importance of education, the Ministry of Education depicted “Active Education” with their “Literacy in flight via interactive communication technology” float which depicted a revolving globe. Guyana’s indigenous people were beautifully highlighted by the Ministry of Amerindian Affairs who focused on the livelihood of the Amerindians this year, perhaps in a reference to last Amerindian Heritage month’s theme “Promoting Sustainable Livelihood and Cultural Heritage while transforming our Village Economies”. Linden, the home of Mashramani was well represented with “Beauty of Bauxite” a float designed by local artist

Trevor Rose which showed the different uses of bauxite. Very importantly, the Hebrew Group of Guyana represented for the United Nation Year of People of African Descent with their float titled “People of African Descent: Recognition, "Justice and Equality.” A sixteen member contingent of Jukkas from Suriname, who looked as if they were having a great time, thrilled the audience with their energetic cultural drumming. We were reminded to vote by a band of revelers in white t-shirts with the spray painted orange message “Leh we X it." The Carib Beer float, always a big presence in the parade, aptly came out with “Fun in the Sun”, a band that was designed by local designers Jermaine Brooms and Nielson Nurse (see designer profiles).Proving that religious organisations need not be excluded from the festivity the Body of Christ attracted attention with MASH (May all see him). As usual as with any Mashramani celebration, food was everywhere with vendors selling barbecue, fried rice, cook-up, black and white pudding and other Guyanese favourites. Forget Daiquiris, Margaritas and Martinis, The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs

Designer Carlos 'Lucky B' Williams

Dr. Shanti Singh-Anthony

L-r: Tandika Johnson, Shonette Moore and Jackie James

28 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Shakers cocktail bar was on the scene with drinks tailored to the Guyanese public with names like “Kiskadee” and “Skettel”. And where would Mashramani be without Guyanese born singer John “Slingshot” Drepaul who has now become a staple of Mashramani celebrations. Careful to avoid a reoccurrence of his memorable fall off his donkey cart, Drepaul came in a colourfully decorated - and well barricaded horse cart. The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs

Digicel's King of the Band entry

Calypso Monarch D' Professor

The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs Amanda Mangra with the Ministry of Tourism float APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 29

Even dogs were not excluded from the fun as there was one reveler who brought his dog “Mama” to the parade. Dressed in her girly pink costume she paid tribute to her masters other dog Princess who died.

High School students at the Children's parade

Of course all this merriment was just the culmination of a month long stretch of activities of which the children’s Mashramani competition and the junior and adult calypso competitions played a major part. Mashramani would not be the same without the children’s Mashramani competitions, a day-long event that is held at the National Culture Centre every year. Then there is the grand road parade finale which ends the competition. This year Lester “The Professor” Charles secured the Mash 2011 Calypso Monarch with “Is dem Banks DIH revellers

Young Bill Rogers

Fiona Singh 30 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Junior Calypso Monarch Diana Chapman on stage

Mashramani 2011 Highlights got we suh” beating out veterans such as Malcolm “Canary” Corrica, Kendall “Sweet Kendingo” Rudolph and Pearl “Precious Pearl” Lewis.

North Ruimveldt on their way to winning the school's steel pan category

In the Junior Calypso Monarch competition Dianne Chapman won with her “Nancy Story”, where she explored life in Guyana in the past. Of course Mashramani wasn’t limited to the capital. In Linden celebrations continued until February 27 where some Georgetown revelers went to get a Mash double dip. Even though the parade was not as large as

Slingshot and Ingrid


Carib Beer revellers

Minister of Health, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy (C) 32 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Gloria Tiwari on the BK International float

APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 33

Mashramani 2011 Highlights Georgetown, the revelers had lots of fun. Bands in the parade included Banks DIH, Digicel, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport and the Linden technical institute. In Berbice, some 50,000 people lined the parade route making it Berbice’s biggest Mashramani ever. The nine floats included the Regional Democratic Council, The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development, Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the Peoples Progressive Party which had the largest contingent. L-r: Casual, Jumo and Adrian

Minister of Housing and Water, Irfaan Ali (L)

Bryan Mackintosh

Revellers from the Chinese Association of Guyana and the Carib Beer band.


Troy Cadogan with Carib Beer Kean Andrews 34 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Carib Beer revellers

In Mahdia, seven costume bands and scores of followers danced their way in the streets from Cambeltown Mahdia to music supplied by the Calistro Brothers Band and Popular stereo. Guyanese are hard working people and true to the meaning of the word Mashramani, they celebrated after hard work. Dramatic poetry at NCC

DJ Rawle (L)

A Banks DIH reveller

PS Alfred King and Minister of Culture, Dr. Frank Anthony

Children wait their turn to perform at the Sports Hall

GT&T band APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 35

Mashramani 2011 Highlights

Digicel revellers with fitness trainer Curtis leading the way

Burch Simon Don Gomes

Michelle Abraham-Ali (L) and Minister of Education Shaik Baksh Minister of Public Service, Dr Jennifer Westford (R)

Top designer Olympia Small-Sonaram (L)

36 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Junior Calypso Monarch Diana Chapman(R) receives her trophy from Banks DIH's Troy Peters

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Sir Shridath


A Whirl of Achievements

Text: Petamber Persaud Captions: Shridath Ramphal - The Commonwealth and the World The 1983 award was not his first. In 1966, he was awarded the Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG) by the UK. That was soon followed by a Knight Bachelor (Kt) in 1970 from the same government. Three years later, the Arab Republic of Egypt awarded him the Order of the Republic. In 1974, the Government of Peru awarded him Grand Cross, Order of the Sun. In the same year, another South American government, Ecuador, awarded him Grand Cross, Order of Merit. Then came the 1983 recognition by his own country. By which time, Ramphal had already built a firm reputation in the legal circle. In the year 1951, he was installed as a Barrister-at-Law, Gray’s Inn London. The following year, he gained his LL. M from King’s College, London, and copped the Gray’s Inn, Arden and Atkin Prize. He also benefited from a Guggenheim Fellow in 1962. After his return to Guyana, he was made Queen’s Counsel in 1965 and the following year he was made Senior Counsel. Other national, regional and international offices he held during this time include Minister of State for External Affairs, First Legal Draftsman of the West Indies and Vice-President, UN General Assembly.


o list his achievements, honours and awards is a daunting assignment but also a motivating responsibility.

Shridath Ramphal has been making significant contributions to affair for so long that his achievements could easily be taken for granted – a proper reason for timely aide memoires of which this is one. This essay of a remarkable international personality is but a snapshot and must be so viewed. The list of his achievements, honours and awards stretches from Guyana, his birthplace, to India, his ancestral home, touching almost all the lands in between. In 1983, Ramphal was honoured by the country of his birth with its highest national award, Order of Excellence (OR). By that time, Ramphal had already come to world prominence.

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Back to the list of his achievements, honours and awards: In 1989, Ramphal was conferred with the Order of Nishaan Izzuddeen by the Maldives. In 1990, the UK conferred on him the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (GCMG). By which time he was completing an unprecedented 15-year stint as SecretaryGeneral of the Commonwealth of Nations. No, this is not the story of a super human being. This is the story of a man who loved cooking and dining on fine foods. This is the story of a man whose interests include cricket, fishing and dancing. This is also the story of a man who loved shopping. 1990 was a year of awards for Ramphal. Adding to the GCMG from the UK, he was awarded Order of New Zealand, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger by Nigeria, Grand Commander of the Order of the Companion of Freedom by Zambia, the Nishan-e-Quaidi-Azam by Pakistan, and the Order of Merit by Jamaica. Following the award by the Jamaican Government,

Ramphal was honoured by the Caribbean with its highest award, Order of the Caribbean Community (1991). By this time, Ramphal had already acted as Visiting Professor to numerous universities and was conferred with numerous honorary degrees. He was Visiting Professor at Exeter University, University of Windsor, University of Toronto Law School, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University. Ramphal also held the Chancellorship of the University of Guyana, University of the West Indies, and the University of Warwick. His contribution to education was recognised by a number of universities around the world including universities in India, Canada, West Indies, Ghana, UK and the USA. Shridath Ramphal was born in 1928 in New Amsterdam in the country of Berbice, in the colony of British Guiana, a country which was affected by decisions emanating from Marlborough House, a House which Ramphal eventually occupied for fifteen years as Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, a House from which he effected changes that would influence the way the world turns in the near and not to distance future. Some of the changes he brought relate to economic wellbeing, trade balances,

Escorting the Queen, head of the Commonwealth, at Ramphal's first Commonwealth Day reception in May 1976. the Queen has made tiime to attend these receptions every year.

On Nelson Mandela's first visit to London after his release from prison, Ramphal gathered Mandela's friends, may of them exiles, to meet him and Mrs Mandela at the Secretary-General's official residence in Mayfair: Muddleston far L, Mrs Ramphal far R APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 39

Sir Shridath A Whirl of Achievements


Apartheid, education environment.



During his lobbying and deliberations, Ramphal would come into contact with some of the most influential persons of his time including Nelson Mandela, Indira Gandhi, Julius Nyerere, Pierre Trudeau, Fidel Castro, Michael Manley, Errol Barrow, Mohamed Mahathir (Malaysia), Lee Kuan Yew (Singapore), Robert Mugabe, Desmond Tutu, Willy Brant, Margaret Thatcher, among others. No, this is not the story of a super human being. This is the story of a man who came from humble but promising beginnings. His great grandmother came to Guyana from Bihar, India, as an indentured worker who brought perseverance and industry to the equation. His grandfather was a teacher. Shridath Ramphal was born in 1928 to James and Grace Ramphal. James

Ramphal and compatriot Clive Lloyd, former West Indies Cricket Captain, receive honorary degrees from Hull University in 1984 on the 150th anniversary of the abolition of slavery

Sonny and his wife Lois with their grandchildren, Lucas (front), Sebastian and India (second row), Kira (between her grandparents) and Issac back row 40 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Ramphal was an educator who founded and operated one of the more prestigious private secondary schools in the country. In 1951, Ramphal married Lois King and the union produced two daughters and two sons. He continues his work into the new millennium gaining more credits on his already lengthy list of awards and honours. In the new millennium, he was awarded the Medal of Friendship from Cuba (2001), the Indira Gandhi Prize for Peace (2002), the Order of Belize (2003) and the Order of the Supreme Companions of O. R. Tambo – Gold from South Africa (2007). And the letters behind his name would run into several lines namely GCMG, AC, ONZ, OE, OM, QC, FRSA…. No, this is not the story of a super human being. This is the story of a man who still feels the bitterness of two major failures in his life. Ramphal still talks about the failed West Indian Federation (1961 – 62) and the failed attempt to be elected as United Nations Secretary General in 1981. To flesh out all his achievements, awards and honours would be quite an undertaking, running into several hefty tomes. But this snapshot will no doubt develop into something substantial in the mind of the reader.

A young Sonny Ramphal

Without a doubt

Heart Warming Goodness... 8 New Market Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown. Tel: (592) 227-0079

open on sundays APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 41

Miss India Worldwide

(GUYANA) 2011 Photography: Carl Croker

The delegates line-up on stage


n March 12, 2011, beauty Roshini Boodhoo was crowned Miss India Worldwide Guyana 2011 at the National Cultural Centre. The event, organized by the Apsara Group had ten beauties vying for the top prize and to represent Guyana at the Miss India Worldwide pageant, slated for May 2011 in Dubai. Roshini 24, an aspiring biologist and dancer with the Guyana Hindu Dharmic Sabha, won the crown and was also selected by her fellow contestants for the Miss Congeniality prize. The first runner- up was Shivanie Latchman and the second runner-up spot went to Divya Sieudarsan. Other special prizes were handed out to Stephanie Singh for Best Smile, Trisha Persaud Miss Photogenic and Shivanie Latchman for Best Talent. Candidates were judged by a panel that awarded points based on presentations made in the evening gown, talent, Indian wear and the final question segments. The final question this year for the del-

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Miss Indian Worldwide 2009 Nikitasha Marwaha, Shivanie Latchman, Roshini Boodhoo and Divya Sieudarsan egates was “how would you convince Guyanese to stay in Guyana rather than migrate.� Other entertainment was provided with dance performances from Miss Indian Worldwide 2009 Nikitasha Marwaha with her classical Indian dance fusion and the Apsara Dance Troupe. Miss India Worldwide (Guyana) 2010, Lucria Rambalak was on hand to crown this year's top three.

1 2



5 1. Attorney K Juma Yassin and his wife Bernadette pose with the new queen 2. Minister of Labour Manzoor Nadir with his wife Marie (C) and daughter Marissa 3. Emcees Padmini Rambalak, Kiran Mattai and Gavin Ramnarain 4. A congratulatory kiss from mom and dad 5. The Apsara Dancers

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The Guyana Classics Library Text: Petamber Persaud


nation that celebrates its literature is a nation on its way to realising its full potential. Guyana is not lacking in this respect. Down the ages, the custodians of Guyanese literature were mindful of its development. Guyanese literature still in its formative years is in a relatively healthy state. This will be further enhanced with the establishment of an indigenous publishing house - The Caribbean Press of which David Dabydeen is the general editor, Ian McDonald the consulting editor and Letizia Gramaglia the director of research. The idea of The Caribbean Press surfaced during Guyana’s hosting of the highly successful Carifesta X in 2008. The idea was later fleshed out by President Bharrat Jagdeo and Professor David Dabydeen. The idea is now manifested in the printing of sixteen of an initial projected target of thirty six titles. The first eleven titles were launched in January 2010 and a second set of titles numbering five was launched in December 2010. The first set of titles of The Guyana Classics Library include ‘The Discovery of Guiana’ by Sir Walter Ralegh first published in 1595, ‘The Coolie, his right and wrongs’ by John Edward Jenkins, ‘Canoe and Camp Life in British Guiana’ by Charles Barrington Brown, ‘The Chinese in British Guiana’ by Sir Cecil Clementi, ‘The Asylum Journal’ by Robert Grieve, ‘Guianese Poetry: covering the hundred years’ period, 1831-1931’ by N. E. Cameron and a novel, ‘The Shadow Bride’ by Roy Heath. The second set of titles of The Guyana Classics Library include ‘The Demerara Martyr’ by Edwin Angel Wallbridge, ‘Indian Notices’ by William Hilhouse, ‘The Portuguese of Guyana’ by Sister Menezes, a collection of poems, ‘Mercy Ward’, by Ian McDonald and a novel, ‘The Intended’ by David Dabydeen. Each title comes with a series preface and its own scholarly introduction written by a panel of international academics. The introduction of the first book on Guyana, ‘The Discovery of Guyana’, was done by Jonathan Morley. His opening gambit coincides with and extends the opening pitch of the series preface. Compare those specific words of the preface, ‘Modern Guyana came into being, in the

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Western imagination, through the travelogue of Sir Walter Ralegh, ‘The Discoverie of Guiana’ (1595). Ralegh was as beguiled by Guiana’s landscape as he was by the prospect of plunder’ with those in the introduction, ‘Sir Walter Ralegh, soldier, sea-captain, courtier and poet, was not alone in his dreams of El Dorado,

for the idea of the Americas gripped the Elizabethan imaginary’. The series preface written by the President of Guyana, H. E. Bharrat Jagdeo and is instructive and informative, obviously giving an insight into the publication of The Guyana Classics Library. This preface fittingly discusses the first book on Guyana, going on to give an outline of Guyanese Literature to present day. This preface reveals that ‘The Guyana Classics Library will republish outof-print poetry, novels and travelogues so as to remind us of our literary heritage, and it will also remind us of our reputation for scholarship in the fields of history, anthropology, sociology and politics, through the reprinting of seminal works in these subjects. The Series builds upon previous Guyanese endeavours, like the institution of CARIFESTA, and the Guyana Prize. I am delighted that my government has originated the project and has pledged that every library in the land will be furnished with titles from the Series, so that all Guyanese can appreciate our monumental achievement in moving from Exploitation to Expression…’ ‘Moving from Exploitation to Expression’ is captured in this series of carefully selected books, a series of publications that would foster pride of place and would inspire further development in Guyanese Literature and further development of the state of Guyana.

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Smoking: Nipping this Deadly Habit in the Bud Text: Coretta Corbin-Rival


n a boat cruise several weeks ago, the pungent fumes from cigarette smoke forced a group of us to retreat to the lower decks where cigarette smoking was not allowed. After exiting the cruise, my hair and clothes held the strong odor of cigarette. Since the 1960s, many researches have found links between cigarette smoking, a variety of cancers, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) tells us that cigarette smoking is estimated to increase the risk of heart disease by 4 times, lung cancer in men 23 times, and in women by 13 times. In an effort to reduce smoking, many countries across the world have made it mandatory that cigarette manufactures place health warnings on cigarette packets. More recently, many restaurants and bars have banned smoking while others have divided their facilities into smoking and nonsmoking sections. Cigarette is an addictive product which has been found to contain harmful chemicals such as nicotine, arsenic, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, methane and butane. People who pick up the habit of smoking find it hard to quit because of the toxic substance in nicotine which has addictive properties. Nicotine causes smokers to crave cigarettes. All the chemicals found in cigarette and tobacco products are toxic. Arsenic is a deadly poison used in rat poison. Carbon monoxide is an odorless substance which when inhaled in large dose could poison the system and cause comas. Formaldehyde is used in funeral homes to help preserve the dead. Ammonia is a poisonous substance found in some cleaning products. Hydrogen cyanide is also a poison. Methane and butane are flammable gases which could cause asphyxiation when inhaled in large quantities.

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Did you know that smoking is detrimental to your health and that even the second- hand smoke inhaled by non-smokers can be deadly? Every time you smoke or breathe in the secondhand smoke from cigarettes, you inhale small amounts of these poisonous chemicals which cause tar buildup and damage the lungs. Lung damage usually range from blackened tissues to emphysema which is a lung disease that causes the lungs to lose elasticity and makes it difficult to breathe. Smoking also causes cancer in the lungs, throat, mouth, kidneys, pancreas, bladder and cervix. Smoking does not only affect those who smoke but also nonsmokers such as children who inhale the secondhand smoke from smokers. This includes the fetus of pregnant women who smoke during pregnancy or breathe in smoke from a spouse who smoke. Approximately 30% of babies born to mothers who smoke during pregnancy are said to be premature and have low birth weight. A report by the CDC tells us that infants exposed to secondhand smoke from their mothers or other adults who smoke around them are more likely to have bronchitis, pneumonia, ear infections, severe asthma and respiratory problems. Kicking the habit of smoking is a challenge for those addicted to tobacco because of the withdrawal symptoms and nicotine cravings they experience. In recent years, a variety of products have been put on the market to help smokers kick the habit. Many of them include nonprescription nicotine replacement aids like, the patch, nicotine lozenges and gum. You should check with your doctor regarding the prescription medicine that is best for you in your fight against smoking.

Mittai or Mitai

INGREDIENTS Photography: Simeon Corbin

• 1½ cups of flour • 1 tsp baking powder • ½ tsp salt • 1 cup yellow crystal sugar • Water • Vegetable oil


• Mix the flour, baking powder, salt and just enough water to make a dough. • Cut the dough into small pieces, and roll into strings about ¼ inch in diameter and about 4 inches long. • Deep fry the dough strings in vegetable oil until golden brown, and place on paper towels or brown paper to soak up the excess oil. Place in a separate bowl when the excess oil has been drained. • Boil the sugar with some water to make a syrup, then pour the syrup over the fried dough. • Shake/stir to get an even spread of the syrup, and allow to cool. As it cools, it hardens and the syrup changes to crystals, giving the mittai the crusty sugary outside appearance.

Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Bars Text & photography: NAMILCO


• 2/3 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, walnuts or pecans • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened • 2 medium eggs • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract • 3/4 cup Maid Marian Whole Wheat Flour • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder


• Preheat oven to 350°F. • Brush or spray a 9 inch square pan with butter or Pam. • In a food processor or mixer, combine sugar, peanut butter, butter, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in baking powder and Maid Marian Whole Wheat Flour. • Mix or pulse only until combined. The dough should be stiff. • Transfer mixture into buttered pan, spreading evenly to corners; smooth the top. • Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. • Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes; then run a butter knife along outer edge. Cut into serving size portions. Let cool completely before wrapping individually in plastic wrap. Store in an airtight container or freezer if storing for more than 3 days. APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 47

Clash of the Titans

L-r: Terry G, Mahendra Ramkellawan and Ravi B of Karma Band

@ the Guyana National Stadium

March 12, 2011 was the date when local, regional and international chutney artistes converged at the National Stadium to give fans a night to remember. The line-up included: Wave Band, Melobugs Music Machine, Artie Boothkoon, Rikki Jai, Adesh Samaroo, Karma Band, Dax New Generation, Clarity Crossover Band, Avi & Shakti Strings Int’l., Mahendra Ramkellawan and Adrian Dutchin Artie Butkoon from the Melobugz Band

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Avinash Maharaj Gregory of Karma Band Emcee WR Reaz Nisha B of Karma Band

Chutney fans

Dancing Girls

Mahendra Ramkellawan, granny and back-up dancers

Ki Persad from the Jmc Tr3veni band backstage

Adesh Samaroo

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Age: 23 Occupation: Student / model Sign: Pisces Favourite colors: Gold and white Favourite foods: pepper pot, pizza and roti Hobbies: Reading, swimming and traveling Location: Miami, USA via Georgetown

Think you have what it takes to be a GEM Beauty? Then send us a professional quality photo of yourself with the required information to Please include a phone number so we can contact you. YOU MUST BE 18 YEARS OR OLDER. 50 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011


Women’s Health 101: Getting Prepared & What to expect at Your Gynecological Exam Text: Coretta Corbin-Rival


nowing what to expect at a gynecological exam could help eliminate some of the embarrassment and discomfort you may feel. Sometimes, walking with a trusted friend or having a nurse present during your exam, especially if your doctor is male could help reduce your fears and embarrassment. In order to provide you with the best care, your doctor will need to gather information on your family, sexual and medical history. Prior to your visit, make note of all the bodily changes you have noticed so that you will be able to discuss them with your doctor. This is also the best time to talk with your doctor about the right birth control method for you, and the best way to protect yourself against sexually transmitted diseases. And please do not be afraid to ask questions. After all, it is your health and you should be the one to take the initiative to learn as much as you can about it. Gynecological exams usually involve pelvic exam, Pap smear, and breast screening. Pelvic exam looks for abnormalities in the shape of the vagina, ovaries, bladder, fallopian tube and the rectum. The doctor usually presses on your stomach and inserts two lubricated gloved fingers into the vagina to feel the size, shape and position of the uterus. Pap smear is a screening used to detect cervical cancer, abnormal cells or any discharge that may lead to cancer. During the exam, the doctor also looks for sexually transmitted diseases like Chlamydia, gonorrhea and HPV. Breasts exams, also called mammograms, x-ray the breasts for lumps or abnormal masses in the breasts or under arm. Breast x-rays can detect cancerous lumps at least two years before they are felt by a person. Mammogram screenings could be uncomfortable because of the coldness of the machine and the pressure that is applied to the breasts by the machine. However, the test only lasts 10 to 15 minutes. If you feel pain or discomfort during your exam,

make sure to let the attending technician know. How often should pap smears and pelvic exams be done? Doctors recommend that beginning at age 21 or 3 years after becoming sexually active, all women must receive pap smears every 2 years until the age of 30. At age 30, if 3 consecutive tests are normal, screenings could be done every 3 years instead. However, if test results show abnormal cells and precancerous growths the doctor may ask you to repeat the test in a few weeks. You may also be asked to have screenings done more often. Try not to schedule your exam too close to you menstrual cycle or this could cause false test results. As far as breasts exams, you should also do a self-breast exam on your own at the same time each month after your monthly period. This will help you become more familiar with the way your breasts normally look and feel, and make it more likely for you to notice changes. Remember that the sooner you detect abnormal lumps, thickening or irregular discharge the better chance you will have for surviving cancer. After your exams, discuss with your doctor the results and what any abnormal findings may mean for you. Do your own research to gather information on the various tests and their results. Women’s health issues and information can be found at your health clinics, local libraries and on the internet, especially since there have been a push in recent years by companies like Avon, Estee Lauder and the makers of Dove Beauty Products to promote women’s health. APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 51


to do when planning a wedding in Guyana


ou're about to enter on two amazing adventures - the first, of course, being your life as a wedded couple and the second being the exciting, yet often overwhelming process of planning a wedding. A wedding will probably be the biggest and most involved party or ritual either of you have ever put together. Before you get overwhelmed, take a deep breath, then do these twenty things.


Organize ceremony music and reception music If the ceremony will be in a religious building, be sure to ask if there are any music restrictions. Instrumental music is often performed before the ceremony, during the procession and with the entrance of the bride, and solos are quite popular. No matter what you both select for your song list, take the time to find music that means something to you both and find good musicians. Unlike ceremony musicians, who need to reflect the moment's solemn, heartfelt ambiance, reception music is all about entertainment. It should inspire dancing, joyful singing, and all-around merriment .Some options for reception music are: hiring a DJ, a small band or a local singer. Once you select your reception musicians, create a music schedule to help them play key songs at certain times throughout the reception, such as the first dance and the bouquet toss.


Find a florist You both will most likely be shocked and amazed at the sheer volume of flowers it

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takes to adorn a wedding. Even more amazing is the cost, especially since you're probably only used to buying small bouquets from a local florist. But the right botanical display is a breathtaking addition to a wedding. When interviewing florists, find out how open they are to working within your budget. The best florist is one that can be creative and provide you with unique yet reasonably priced arrangements.


Find a photographer or videographer The wedding photographs preserve forever the magnificence and magic of your wedding day. Your wedding video, on the other hand, tends to capture those precious and often spontaneous moments that defy the limitations of still photography. Take the time to carefully select both the wedding photographer and videographer. Remember, these are the people who are in charge of recording your precious memories.


Write Wedding Vows There was a time when the wedding vows were more or less set in stone. Those days, however, are gone. And while that's good news for those who are looking for another way to express their love, it also means one more thing for the bride and groom to worry about. You can either take the traditional route of religious vows given by the officiant or you can take some time to sit and write your own vows well before the week of the wedding. A few suggestions are to acknowledge the guests and the importance of their presence; explain the qualities you most love about your future spouse or

tell your hopes for the future.


Transportation Some might consider limousine service on your wedding day extravagant, but it is a surprisingly affordable luxury and an appropriate indulgence when you consider the bridal gown. Besides a limousine rental some recent weddings have included carriages or other exotic rentals. It is also customary to use your own transportation dressing it up for the bride and groom.


The Food and drinks There are basically three options for the reception food: self-catered, catered, or included with the total reception package. With the last option, you'll generally work with the food manager from a hotel, restaurant, or club. Within these three categories, you can aim for a formal, semiformal, or casual menu. Make sure your menu caters to the needs of your guests and includes food that you love. You both will probably devote 35 to 40 percent of your wedding budget to the reception. Some ideas for stretching the dollars: • Serve limited alcoholic beverages. By limiting your bar selections you will save a substantial amount of money. • Select a meal option other than dinner. Breakfast, brunch, lunch, high tea, and cocktails are all less expensive than dinner. • Always ask about packages. Many sites offer reception packages, and while these options may give you less room for special requests, they often come with a lower final figure.


Order the Cake The wedding cake should be a work of creative art as well as a delicious dessert. You both first need to select a cake type, size, and style.

The number of tiers is dictated by preference, budget, or the number of guests you need to feed. The traditional Guyanese wedding cake is a black cake or rum cake but recently it can be whatever flavour you desire. Ensure you pick out a good baker and make sure to have your order in early.


Choose Wedding Attire Choosing the bride's gown and groom's attire, and the apparel for the rest of the wedding party, can be a long process. Everything that surrounds the bride should represent nothing less than warmth, love, and beauty. Just remember to use the clothes to reinforce the style of the rest of the wedding. In other words, if the wedding is a formal evening affair in an elaborate setting, don't put the groomsmen in casual sports coats and trousers.


Create the Gift Registry Registering for gifts is fun and functional and can be done in a few household stores right here in Guyana. As for the fun part, what better way to spend an afternoon than jotting down things you both wish you owned. As for functionality, registering ensures that you actually receive things you need. Registering also keeps duplicate gifts at a minimum...unless you both really want four punchbowls. Before heading off to register, think of what you generally need in terms of ware, electronics, furniture, linens, and decorative items and jot them down on a piece of paper.


The Honeymoon The best time to tackle the honeymoon is right from the start of the wedding process. This is when you both want to begin considering honeymoon possibilities while selecting a wedding date that coordinates with your general destination. Begin thinking of the honeymoon specifics; it should be a place the couple can afford and it should provide complete relaxation.

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The winning design

First National Dress Competition

Photography: Carl Croker


n February 12, 2011, Simpli Royal hosted its first National Dress Competition at the National Cultural Centre. Nine designers showcased their work as they attempted win the first prize of $150,000. Young fashionista and winner of other competitions Randy Madray walked away with the top prize. The main objective of the competition was to allow the creative minds of local designers to fashion a national

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dress that can easily be recognized and relates to the diversity of our culture. Madray’s winning entry will be showcased at the “Miss Guyana Earth,” later this year. The other designers who showcased their creations were Vashti Harlequin, Carol Fraser, Quinton Pearson, Kurt Stephenson, Wynette James, Karen Ross, Vinu Mattan and Rollex Scott.

Designer Randy Mandray (2nd from left) receives his cheque APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 55


Adel’s Rainforest Resort on the Pomeroon

Photography: Simeon Corbin


am always amazed at the size of our beautiful Guyana. From one region to the next is an adventure in itself. Setting off to a little known resort off the Pomeroon River, in the North West District, took up the good part of the fresh early morning. The day started with a 45-minute drive from Georgetown to Parika followed by another 45-minute boat ride on the Essequibo River to Supenaam. On arrival at Supenaam, we were eagerly ‘greeted’ by a number of taxi drivers whose destination was the Charity Stelling on the Pomeroon River. This trip took approximately 40-minutes or so. At the stelling, we boarded a speedboat which took us on a scenic 40-minute ride along the Pomeroon River - waving at the river residents along the way. More or less a three-hour journey from Georgetown took us to the picturesque Adel’s Rainforest Resort, a lodge set on the Akawini Creek – a surprise turn off the 56 | GEM APRIL/MAY 2011

Pomeroon River deep in the Amerindian district and only an eight- hour boat ride from Venezuela. Adel’s, (named after the owner Zena Bruce-Bone’s grandmother) boasts an amazing landscape of exotic flora. It is also the home to an array of several species of birds that pleasantly co-habit with the guests in the lounge. They swoop in to feed and take shade from the sweltering sun. This tranquil ancient lodge is set on 60 acres of virgin rainforest and has the potential for a luxurious, idealistic refuse from the busy city. A sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of your daily routine. The main building has a lounge area for reading and relaxation and where meals and beverages are prepared and served. It leads onto the deck where you can relax and watch the ‘neighbours’ pass by in their row or speed boats. School children, women – young and old, working

men, ‘sporting’ men all pass by with a cheerful greeting. Or, you may choose to take a dip, if you dare, in the black water creek. The back entrance of the lounge leads you onto the farm where local fruits and vegetables are organically grown and cultivated. There is a nature trail which takes you further into the dense jungle as you are carefully guided by a tour guide and the resort’s friendly canines. There are four double guest rooms located in second building a stone’s throw from the lounge which incorporates a reading area which displays a wide selection of engrossing literature from yesteryear. A hammock is set aside if you just want to drift away and take in the cool jungle breeze or you can engage in card or board games. The top level of the building is occupied by the staff that is always on hand. There is also a third building which is used for large gatherings such as conferences, dances and extra camping if necessary. The furniture is all locally made and some have significant historical value. Two such pieces are a well preserved

full wardrobe belonging to the late Adel and an ornate wooden chest. Local cuisine is the order of the day. Home-made bread, fresh fish, curry and roti, pepperpot and cassava bread is enthusiastically served by the pleasant kitchen staff. Sorrel drink, coconut water and lemon grass tea are beverages to savour. All presented with a Guyanese flair. The cool evenings draw in early and are perfect for a final walk and ‘gyaff’ on the breezy deck or just relax in the peaceful, airy lounge. Adel’s Rainforest Resort is a unique getaway and a place to remember for a very long time. Contact info: Agnes Adel's Resort Akawini Creek, Guyana South America 011-592-771-5391 Zena Bone 13500 Creekside Drive Silver Spring, MD 20904 301-384-2396

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Protecting and Conserving Mangrove Ecosystems, while Providing Opportunities for Sustainable Use – Embracing a Mangrove Reserve Concept as a Model for Change!


ebruary 2011 marks one year since the Government of Guyana (GoG), through the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), with funding from the European Union’s Global Climate Change programme, launched the Guyana Mangrove Restoration Project (GMRP). During the year, the project embarked on a community development process which sought to institute vibrant village mangrove action committees (VMACs) and build capacity to successfully manage their mangrove forests. On account of this intervention, the Victoria Mangrove Action Community (MAC), has proven to be one of the more vibrant committees which also has a complementing rich legacy of community enterprise. The committee has been involved in sensitizing their surrounding communities of the protection and conservation of mangroves. Subsequently, the committee expressed interest in the development and declaration of a mangrove reserve which is currently in progress. A “Reserve” in this context can be understood to mean a designated area of importance, that is managed for the protection and conservation of its flora, fauna, geological, biological and aesthetic features, whilst making provisions for research, recreation, and sustainable livelihood opportunities. A healthy stand of mangrove forest stretches across the shoreline of the Victoria, Cove & John and Nabacalis Ian Brierly Photo

Text: GMRP

Villages and is coupled with a wetland area located south of the sea-defense structure. This area is ideal for a reserve, since four mangrove species: button wood, black, white and red mangroves exist here. In addition, the mangrove and wetland ecosystems provide fish stock as subsistence for fishermen in the area. Apiculture, another livelihood activity, is currently practiced producing an excellent quality of honey. While the extent of biodiversity and species richness will not be fully known until the biodiversity assessment is completed, the area supports seemingly healthy populations of birds such as the Flamingo, Scarlet Ibis, Wattled Jacan, Egret and Heron; fishes such as tilapia and patwa. This faunal diversity has the potential for a sustainable community-based eco-tourism initiative. Currently, a tour-guiding course is being developed by

"A mangrove forest can be managed for its value to seadefense, contribution to the abatement of climate change by sequestering carbon, value to flora, fauna and other wildlife communities and it benefits to local communities through research, recreation and sustainable livelihoods."

the GMRP for the preparation of a cadre of community tour guides who will conduct interactive school tours and other special visits to the proposed site. It is envisioned that a half-day tour package for tourists will be offered in the very near future as the Victoria mangrove reserve can be reached by a half hour drive from Georgetown. This tour will compliment the Georgetown City tour which is presently the only half day tour on offer. The creation of a mangrove reserve is expected to have a positive impact on biodiversity conservation,; however the process to achieving this great milestone must be one of inclusivity, simplicity and systematic planning. Effective planning for the proposed reserve was requested by the Victoria residents but would now require the full commitment of local communities, relevant agencies and Corporate Guyana for a system of participatory management. This initiative has already secured the blessing and support of Hon. Robert M. Persaud, MBA, M.P., Minister of Agriculture who has responsibility for Guyana’s forests through the Guyana Forestry Commission (GFC) and all relevant regulatory agencies. As an important start, a corporate sponsor – GUYOIL - has come onboard to support GMRP in making the Victoria Reserve a reality.

Annette Arjune-Martins Photo

The Honey Production team

Ian Brierly Photo

Ian Brierly Photo

APRIL/MAY 2011 GEM | 59

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Sonia Noel’s ‘Theatrical Spectacular’ Launch

Sonia Noel

Photography: Carl Croker


n March, 2011 Sonia Noel and her production team launched their ‘Theatrical Spectacular’ event at the Georgetown Club. According to the promoters, the actual event is planned for April 8 & 9, 2011 at the National Cultural Centre, and they will attempt to tell a story through dance, drama and music by featuring fashion and personalities from the 60′s to present day.

Capts. Debbie and Gerry Gouveia

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Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here


Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here Last seen here


On March14, PM Samuel Hinds, Ministers of the Government, Members of Parliament and the diplomatic community celebrated Commonwealth Day at the Umana Yana in Kingston.

Participants representing 10 of the Commonwealth countries pose after showcasing foods and other items from each country

GT&T 2011 Directory Photography: Carl Croker Telephone giant GT&T unveiled its 2011 directory cover in March, 2011. This year’s cover features the company’s work during its early years.

CEO Yog Mahadeo (R) and cover design winner Jason Harper

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Ansa McAl’s “Carib Domin.Nation” Promotion On March 11, 2011 Ansa McAl launched its biggest promotion so far, by offering the public chances to win a whopping $20M (US$100K) in prizes until May 31, 2011. The promotion is part of their “give back to its customers” plan. To have a chance to win prizes, players must purchase Carib Beer in the specially marked bottles where they have to check under corks to see if they have won. The prizes include one Toyota Allion motor car, one motor scooter, one Laptop, 1 LCD television, one Apple Ipod and five smart phones. $50 of the next Carib beer purchase and free beer giveaways.

Public Relations Officer Darshanie Yussuf (L) and Marketing Officer Nigel Worrell pose in front of the grand prize

GEM Issue 44 April / May 2011  
GEM Issue 44 April / May 2011  

Guyana's premier bi-monthly lifestyle and entertainment magazine since 2004.