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Times December 1, 2013

Star Times Hollywood:

Justin Bieber helps build school in Guatemala See story on page 12

Magazine Designer Holiday Wear Page 10

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Fighting Attitudes towards Autism

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Children’s art competition campaigns against abuse


2 Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Feature

Fighting Attitudes towards Autism A

Debunking myths of autism, the Guyana Greenheart Autistic Society strives to bring a hidden issue to the forefront

utism is one of a group of serious developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders that appear in early childhood. While there is no cure for autism, intensive, early intervention can make a big difference in the lives of many children with the disorder. This is the goal of the Guyana Greenheart Autistic Society. The organisation is a registered non-governmental, non-profit charitable organisation that addresses Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). It was registered on September 12,

toms and supporting development and learning. With that in mind, the Guyana Greenheart Autistic Society’s objectives are to enhance the educational, behavioural and therapeutic well-being of people living with autism in Guyana, and to ensure those autistic individuals and their families/caregivers in Guyana benefit from the work of the organisation. It also aims to motivate its membership and the general public to participate in activities designed and formulated to enhance the self-help skills, educational attainment and participation in society to

Putting together a puzzle

2010 and is located at 252 Quamina Street, South Cummingsburg. As no cure yet exists for autism, the goal of treatment is to maximize the child's ability to function by reducing autism symp-

their fullest individual potential of all autistic persons in Guyana. Additionally, the organisation helps to develop and enhance educational and therapeutic opportunities for children and young

Students and teachers spreading awareness about autism

adults through the establishment and management of the Guyana Greenheart Autistic Society. The society provides individualised targets based on professional assessment and develops appropriate strategies in order to access all types of resources to improve, facilitate and raise the profile of the organization and also the potential of autistic persons in Guyana. Speaking with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, headmistress and autism special needs educator Andrea Hutson, said through the society they educate and improve the awareness of all families of children and adults with autism, of all aspects of intervention strategies which have proven beneficial in enhancing their potential.

They also actively promote awareness of autism among policy makers, the medical and health professions, and the wider public, through media and lectures, workshops, facts sheet, interviews and outreach throughout Guyana. Hutson said that the society was formed by two parents, Karen Williams and her husband, whose daughter, Sorsha, is autistic. Sorsha was diagnosed with autism after her father, while watching the Oprah Winfrey Show, recognised she was displaying some of the symptoms associated with the condition. Sorsha’s parents noticed that she had excellent retention skills and ability to grasp concepts, and so worked with her to channel her energies in the right direction. By means of this, Karen and her husband decided to open the society and school to help autistic chil-

children can grow up to be successful individuals,” the headmistress explained. Currently, the school has 14 children from ages 4 to 17. Hutson pointed out that the children are not grouped

Learning to type on the computer

according to age but by their learning abilities. The school uses puzzles and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) tools to help autistic children as they are

Headmistress Andrea Hutson, center, with two teachers and a student at the school

dren and their parents. “The society and the school are housed at one building. Dealing with autism requires a lot of manpower. Being autistic is not a disability, it is a gifted ability. A lot of parents do not realise this and so they live in denial, keeping their autistic children at home. This is wrong because with early intervention these

are slow learners. With early developmental intervention these children can be helped. There is mild to severe autism. In the severe case there is nothing much you can do for them except teaching them motor skills like combing their hair, brushing their teeth and bathing. With mild autism, which has different levels, early intervention is crucial. These ones start off slow but develop quickly. I have worked with Sorsha who, at first, was adamant in following instructions. However, with the support of her parents and teachers, she is excelling so wonderfully. She loves writing, although autistic children don’t like writing. We have had many

visual learners and will follow what they see. Hutson also pointed out that there is also the “stringing” technique, where the children are taught how to insert strings in buttons or beads, which helps with the children’s coordination and motor skills. “Some people say that these children are retarded, but that’s not the case. They

success stories with the other children,” she disclosed. Of note, the teachers at the school are all trained by overseas professionals to care for autistic children. For instance, Hutson is qualified in childcare management and has worked with the Ptolemy Reid Rehabilitation Centre. She is also a mother of five. As a non-profit organisation, Hutson mentioned that they largely depend on donations from kind-hearted citizens and fundraising activities. The children are also required to pay a small monthly fee. “For us at the society, our love working with these children has motivated us to keep on doing it. If you don’t love what you do you will never be motivated to give your all in making it successful. Also, I want parents who may be keeping their autistic children home and are afraid to bring them out, to see that we are not only trained but we are willing to help. There are many famous persons who are autistic. What we need in Guyana is for more funding to be invested to help care for autistic persons. Guyana Greenheart Autistic Society is happy to accept more children so I’m encouraging parents to visit us and we will guide them through the process,” she pleaded. For more information on this organisation call 2258935.

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine

Times Focus

A Pioneering Spirit


Motivated by his passion and talent, Warren Douglas White returns to Guyana to open a unique winery


hen Warren Douglas decided he wanted to produce wines on a broad scale, he chose his homeland Guyana because of the lush fruits here. That is when he started the Pandama Retreat and Winery, which is said to be Guyana’s first winery manufacturing quality wines using only local fruits. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Douglas recalled sitting in his in Charlotte, North Carolina backyard with his wife Tracy, a fashion designer and artist, when a very interesting conversation ensued. Tracy indicated she wanted to start making soap again. She had manufactured her own soap for several years. “I remember indicating to her that I always wanted to make my own wine, and I was going to start researching the process. I read everything that I could get my hands on about wine making and decided to invest in the equipment. My first batch of wine was made from North Carolina peaches, and it was a hit with friends and family all across the United States. I continued to make wines and we gave bottles as gifts at parties and gatherings. When Tracy and I decided to move to Guyana to live, I knew that wine making would be a major part of

Pg 4

Chapel on a Hill

tlemen alike. Of note is the boulanger, also known as eggplant or aubergine, wine. Douglas mentioned that according to his research, eggplant is low in fat, protein, and carbohydrates. A 1998 study at the Institute of Biology of São Paulo State University, Brazil, found eggplant juice to significantly reduce weight, plasma cholesterol levels, and aortic cholesterol content. Douglas has masterfully used Cecile Nobrega eggplant to create a rich white wine. Pg 6 (1919 – 2013) He recommends it to be enjoyed with chicken and other white meats. The connoisseur added that Pandama Winery creates exotic fruit wines of extraordinary elegance and sophistication, and celebrates the tropical flavours of Guyana. The difPg 7 ferent types of wines are also said to help with many diseases because of the fruits they are made with. Wines enthusiasts have a choice of enjoying a glass of their favourite flavours in dry or semi-sweet. The winery recently introduced a line of naturally fermented red and white wine gourmet vinegars. These amazing products, he said, are mariPg 14 nades and tenderizers for all types of meat, fish and tofu. “Our motivation is stimulated by our passions and our talents. My wife has lived her life as a creative being, using her talents to generate income; combining spirit and prosperity. When we met, she encouraged me to do the same. So here I am making wine with fruits, barks, peppers, herbs and grains. Every day I get to either make, bottle, sell or have Pg 23 a glass of my passion: wine,” he declared. Douglas revealed that the local response has been outstanding. Many local and overseas-based Guyanese, The wines are sold at GMC (Guyana who visit regularly, would visit the retreat centre to relax, drink wine and eat Shop), Bounty, DSL Cash and Carry, Geeta Kings (in Bourda Market) and at Pandama. fabulous food. To assist with the Christmas rush, “Our focus is not mass production, but rather providing a quality product that is Douglas stated that they have joined with satisfying to all of our customers. There is a seven artists to host a Caribbean Christmas real need for quality local wines in Guyana, sale at Moray House, December 11-15 from both for Guyanese here and in the diaspora. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. “Through our recent line of gourmet vinPandama Wines has made it to many tables in the United States and the UK during the egars, we would like to educate the comholiday season, and we intend to keep things munity about the importance of natural moving. Our focus is not mass production, vinegars for their medicinal, cosmetic and but rather providing a quality product that culinary uses. We will always gently expand is satisfying to all of our customers. We are our product lines because we are always now poised to introduce Pandama Wines to growing. In the future we are planning to the rest of the world. We are pursuing the launch a line of sacred herbal beers,” he renecessary export certifications to allow the vealed. For information on Pandama Winery company to reach as many wine lovers as we visit can,” he disclosed.

The Loss of a Literary Luminary

Star of the Week

Connoisseur Warren Douglas

for Pandama Wines to come into being. Pandama Retreat Winery was established in 2009. It is located in Madewini, off the Soesdyke/Linden highway.

Juhi Chawla to star in Steven Spielberg film

Experience Jordan Falls

The Pandama Retreat

the Pandama Retreat experience,” he reminisced. With the proliferation of exotic fruits in Guyana, it did not take much time

Douglas showcasing his wines

Now, the winery offers several fruit wines that include pineapple, jamoon, aunty desmond, noni, cherry, malacca pear, duka, carambola and sorrel. Pandama Wines also offers “Pulse”- a libido enhancement tonic wine made from barks native to Guyana and the Amazon. It is a real treat and has received rave reviews from ladies and gen-


A serene location in the retreat where the wines are enjoyed


Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Feature


n Santa Rosa stands the well-known Santa Rosa Mission, also known as “White Chapel on a Hill”. It serves, for more than 100 years, not only as a religious building but as a significant part of the Santa Rosa community, keeping it together. In an interview with Jean Rodrigues, a resident of Santa Rosa who has since migrated but continues to contribute largely to the community, she said that according to her research, the history of the Catholic mission to the Amerindians of Guyana actually began in Venezuela.

find the church and presbytery in poor repair. He stayed less than a month before returning to Georgetown. Fr de Bentham, based at Abram’s Zuil took on the care of the Moruca community, continuing the practice of making periodic visits. Negri, Baldini, Casano and Mesini, all of whom were at various times based at Abram’s Zuil, continued these visits to Santa Rosa. In November 1876, Marco Mesini was able to increase the frequency of these visits to Santa Rosa, and in 1878 built a new church there. When Fr Thomas Barker arrived to take over Abram’s Zuil in 1888, Marco Mesini was finally free to move permanently to Santa Rosa, which had struggled for 35 years without a resident priest. Etheridge did not live


Throughout the 18th century, Spanish Franciscans ministered to the indigenous people of territories around the Orinoco. Their mission however came to an abrupt and tragic end when on May 3, 1817, Simon Bolivar’s forces put to death 26 priests and two lay brothers. The Amerindians fled from the destroyed mission, some seeking refuge in the British held territory around the Moruca River. The research continues to show that when the Arawaks of Moruca made their appeal for a priest, Providence had provided John Hynes to respond. In a letter written to a Dominican friend on June 6, 1830, Hynes expressed his concern for all the indigenous people of Guiana, saying, “Since my arrival in the colony I deeply lamented the condition of our much neglected Indian population, and sincerely wished to have the power and means of con-

The renovated 'White Chapel on a Hill'

veying to them the blessings of religion.” He went on to recount how the Arawaks “hearing that a priest was in the colony, sent a white man (called Hilhouse) to me to say that they were Catholics, ever so long without any spiritual guide, and entreating me to afford them, if it be in my power, an occasional opportunity of assisting at the Divine Mysteries and getting their children bap-

tised.” Hynes welcomed this invitation with joy, and made arrangements to visit Moruca, setting aside 15 days for the round trip from Georgetown. Hilhouse describes the historic encounter: “On the eve of the feast of Saint John (June 24, 1830) Mr Hynes reached their settlement in the dark woods and was received by them with many demonstrations of joy The church before renovation

and affection. Muskets were fired as he approached, and on his landing, men, women and children flocked to kiss his hand in token of respect. It being night, the forest was illuminated with wax lights of their own manufacture.” During a 3-day visit, Hynes baptized 75 children and married two couples. From this beginning, a mission was developed to other Amerindian communities in the North West. Another mission centre was opened at Morawhanna, closer to the Venezuelan border, thus expanding the range of communities served by the priests of the North-West district.

Santa Rosa

Moruca had always been especially dear to Bishop John Hynes, and from 1840 until 1853 it had been well served by a much loved and respected resident Irish priest, Fr John Cullen. With Moruca as his base, this intrepid missionary had made numerous visits to outlying villages, even as far as the Orinoco.

Under his direction a new church had been built in Moruca, which was solemnly dedicated and opened by Bishop Hynes on October 27, 1844. The saint selected as patroness for this church was St Rose of Lima. From that day to the present, Catholics have referred to the Moruca community as “Santa Rosa”. It is worth recording that in 1847 when the poor of Ireland were suffering the ravages of the potato famine, the Amerindian Catholics of Santa Rosa took up a collection on their behalf, sending $44.88 to the Irish and Scotch Relief Society. On Cullen’s retirement through ill health in 1853, no resident replacement could be found. For a while the community received periodic visits from Fr. Francis Hayden and Fr. Joseph Fitzgerald OP, based at Abram’s Zuil on the Essequibo coast. When James Etheridge arrived in 1857 he initially sent Benedict Schembri to Santa Rosa. Schembri arrived in December 1857 to

to see the new church built in Santa Rosa. After celebrating mass on Christmas morning in 1877, he set sail for Barbados. On the evening of December 31, while the ship was still at sea, he died. His body was committed to the deep in the early hours of New Years day in 1878. Rodrigues mentioned with such rich history, the church continues to play a major role in the community of Santa Rosa. She pointed out that complete restoration of the church took place last year and in September 2012 a commemorative mass was held to celebrate the opening of the renovated “White Chapel on a Hill”. One of its current leaders is Fr. Wilian Montalvo. She also noted that famous poet A.J. Seymour referred to it in his poem “Names” as “Santa RosaWhite Chapel on a Hill” and that is how it got its name “White Chapel on a Hill”. For more information on early church history in Guyana visit

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 5

Times Women

Singer, arranger and composer, U.S.-based Guyanese Radha Singh is a music maestro who, embracing many heritages, also stays true to her own


adha Singh was born into the world of theatre. She began performing at just three years old, and was a member of the Messenger Group, a music, poetry and drama organization in Guyana founded by her mother Rajkumari Singh. Rajkumari was a notable writer, political activist, educator, and distinguished cultural leader who received national honours such as the Golden Arrowhead of Achievement. Under her tutelage, Radha studied diction and performance and won first place in many national competitions for verse speaking and drama. An accomplished dancer, Radha studied kathak and ballet with her brother, Sri Gora Singh. In 1978, Radha migrated to New York where she continued dramatic studies

NY Times, Associate Press, and magazines such as India Abroad and mainstream contemporary journals. Her theatre credits include: “The Seagull”, “A View from the Bridge”, “Antigone”, “Karna & Kunti”, Sullivan Walker's “Caribbean Woman” and “Godspell”. She also wrote original works and performed in Kitchrie 1998–2002. Kitchrie ‘03 drama, “Chaykay”, marked her directorial debut. She received a composers’ commission from the New York Council on the Arts for a collaborative, original sound score for a new work by Pritha Singh, “Women of the Mahabharata” and was director for that production. In 2006-2009, Radha conceptualized and spearheaded “Art Interpreted”- a collage of artistic expression, and a weekly event showcased in New York forums, providing

A notable accomplishment, according to the musician, was at Guyana Festival of the Arts (Guyfesta) in 1975 where she was the youngest to receive the certificate of excellence in verse speaking and dance interpretation of her mother's poem “Per Agie”. This was when Radha realised she wanted to pursue the arts. “I still write, arrange, sing, produce, record and collaborate with many incredible artists. I released three singles with various producers. I was commissioned by the Rockefeller Foundation to compose a full sound score for the play and screenplay “Women of The Mahabharata”. I’ve performed in U.S. cities, Europe and the Caribbean and in the NY tri-state at venues such as the Lincoln Center to museums, theatres, CBGB's, Bowery Ballroom, NYC. I Radha on her guitar

at Herbert Berghof Studios, Sullivan Walker and Pace University. She then went on to specialise in voice at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music. She studied under renowned vocal teachers, Andrew Frierson and Bonnie Kirk. Though her musical emphasis has been on rhythm and blues, Radha infuses traditional Indian motifs into her music compositions, utilising Indian drums and Vedic hymns with riveting Latin percussion and primordial sounds. Her recording, “You're The One”, was a hit at the Lincoln Centre’s Out-Of-Doors IndoCaribbean Festival of Music Dance in Damrosch Park. The artiste’s recorded works were rated and reviewed by DJ record pools across the U.S. She has also performed live in popular New York clubs. As a solo singer and bandleader, she received rave reviews from Village Voice, Daily News,

a space and giving opportunities for diverse, multi-disciplinary of artists to performed their original works. Additionally, she has performed in series of concerts with a Jazz and Blues ensemble in New York metro and tri-state, as well as producing and collaborating on a Vedic chants CD with wellknown author, Ayurvedic teacher and spiritual motivator Maya Tiwari. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, Radha stated that both her parents were artists and scholars. “My siblings and I had the good fortune of hearing music, poetry, theatre, and dance from incredible artists who were mentored by my mother. My mother was my inspiration and my siblings were very supportive and contributed to help develop my artistic expressions. My first performance was spoken word and drama at age 3,” she recalled.

love performing live,” Radha disclosed. Of East Indian descent, Radha pointed out that she embraces all genre of music. In New York, she worked with amazing international musicians while developing her own brand - a blend of rock, funk and reggae. The music was well received, which resulted in music management and recording contracts. However, Radha continued to preserve her ancestral music genres such as bhajans, mantras and Caribbean folk songs. “Technology has changed the arts arena and has opened music collaborations and recordings into an international cyber experience. It’s just amazing! Today, I can work with several writers, composers, musicians and engineers across the globe. I’m about to release a single in collaboration with other artists. I'm presently preparing the release of 2 albums: “Raag to

U.S.-Guyanese singer and songwriter Radha Singh

Rock”-original songs in collaboration with my sister, Chitra Singh and writer/ composer/producer Bonnie Kirk and “The Blue One”consisting of original songs and cover songs of mantras and bhajans with new music. I'm currently involved in Rajkumari Centre’s upcoming dance-drama production in December 2013. As well as securing performance

venues for my band,” Radha outlined. She continues to serve at the Rajkumari Cultural Center, an art centre dedicated to her mother, as drama coach, choreographer, and music director, as well as sound and lighting technician on festival, theatre and concert presentations. She also funds development and marketing projects, and

teaches and mentors upcoming artists. Additionally, she enjoys teaching yoga and meditation. “Music is my life. It does for me what it does for everyone. It's food for the soul. From the maverick to the pauper, music is ear candy after a long day. My days and nights are filled with harmonic frequency. It fulfils me,” she declared.

6 Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Book World

The Shaping of Guyanese Literature

Cecile Nobrega (1919 – 2013) By Petamber Persaud


n November 19, 2013, Guyana lost another literary luminary – Cecile Nobrega. She died at age 94; five years after the Bronze Woman statue was unveiled in Stockwell Memorial Gardens, South London, and four decades after the poem that inspired the statue was written by Nobrega in Guyana. The poem, “Bronze Woman”, was published in Nobrega’s first book of verses, “Soliloquies”. It is the first poem in the book, and talks about the “stalwart woman-man/strength in your heart/and love in your limbs” who prevailed and continues to achieve against great odds. The Bronze Woman monument, a seven-foot statue of a woman holding a young child aloft, is the physical manifestation of that poem, paying tribute to women of Guyana and the Caribbean who suffered massa-day. The effects of massa-day were still wrecking havoc

Cecile Nobrega in front of the Bronze Woman statue at its October 2008 unveiling

when Cecile Nobrega was born in 1919 in Georgetown, British Guiana. Born to Imelda and Canon W. G.

Burgan, they managed on a “limited stipend”. Her father used to write articles on life in the country-

side for the Argosy newspaper under the pseudonym, Rusticious. Her mother, who learnt music while attending St. Rose’s, was a popular singer of her day and a hit at music festivals. The influence of music on the life of young Cecile goes a generation back to her maternal grandmother, Husbands, who used to import classical gramophone records through Pradasco Bros. in Hinck Street, Georgetown. Nobrega talked about one of the records her grandmother brought for her because she was named after the singer of the song “Autumn” – Cecile Chaminade. Nobrega went on to write and compose songs, winning a few awards along the way. Her most popular song is “Twilight”, which opens: “I dance upon the brink of day/And try to keep the night away”. Nobrega has covered much ground leading to her twilight years; making a name for herself as poet, playwright, composer, potter, social worker, textbook writer and educator. Formally educated at Bishops’ High School, British Guiana, Hockerill College of Education, UK, the Institute of Education, and London University, and informally through one of her hobbies, which was travelling. As past member of the Women’s League of Social Service, she represented this country at the Conference of Caribbean Women’s Association held in Trinidad. Incidentally, she was married in Trinidad (1943) to Romeo Anthony Nobrega, a Guyanese

who was attached to the Caribbean Forces during the Second World War. She was a member of the International Alliance of Women, UK, and was a member the Guyana Women Artists Association, UK. As a writer, Cecile Nobrega falls within that first wave of Guyanese women writers which included Sheila King, Syble Douglas, Rajkumari Singh, Celeste Dolphin, B. Zorina Ishmael, Jacqueline DeWeever, Joy Allsopp, Margaret E. Bayley, Edwina Melville, Evadne D’Oliveria and Doris Harper-Wills. Some of those women were active in the very robust Guyana Writers’ Group. Many of them were talented in more than one genre of writing, but importantly, most of them produced children’s literature, and quite a few were playwrights. The Guyana Writers’ Group produced “Voices Of Guyana”, a collection of poems edited by Donald Trotman in commemoration of International Human Rights Year 1968. Nobrega was also featured in the first Guyanese anthology of stories, “Stories From Guyana”. While she was a member of the Guyana Chapter of International PEN, Nobrega represented this country at the PEN Congress in Oslo, Norway. She was also a good ambassador of Guyana on other occasions, including representing the country at the International Children’s Theatre Conference held in London, 1964.

As one of the few women playwrights at the time, her play, “Stabroek Fantasy”, was quite an achievement. It would be useful to bear in mind that theatre was always struggling, despite the exploits of the British Guiana Dramatic Society, the Georgetown Dramatic Club, and the feats of N. E. Cameron. As an educator, Nobrega was president of the kindergarten section of the Guyana Teachers’ Union and editor of You magazine for the Parish of St. Sidwell’s in Lodge. She also taught music and language. Apart from her first collection published in Guyana, Nobrega had published other books of poetry including, “Japan, The Butterfly”, an ode to that country with which she fell in love through one of her hobbies, which was studying the history of Japan. Nobrega revealed that was another of her visions: “in the light of what we know today of Japan, the ode can be regarded as a prophesy, written, as it was, over 25 years ago”! Nobrega was a member of the Japan Society, London. When she migrated to London in 1969, she took with her a solid foundation in various fields of endeavour on which to build. But it wasn’t easy; not that she ever had it easy. Her philosophy can be found in her poem, “Right to Life”, where she points out: “however great the hurricane/ the smiling grass/bobs up its head again.” The poem, “Bronze Woman” contributes to the shaping of our literature and the Bronze Woman statue is a monumental way in preserving our literary heritage. Rest in Peace Cecile. Responses to this author telephone (592) 226-0065 or email: oraltradition2002@ What’s happening: • “An Introduction to Guyanese Literature” is now available from the above contacts and at the National Library. This book is an up-to-date guide featuring significant literary landmarks from the 16th century to the new millennium. This 150-page book including over 100 photographs is an attempt at bringing to the fore little known facts about lesser known aspects of our literature. The big books, the big authors and the big success stories in Guyanese Literature are also featured.

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 7

Times Feature

Star of the week


Accountant and Model By Vahnu Manikchand


aving a family with everything did not make life any easier for Stacy Ramcharan as she pushed hard in her studies and worked even harder to fulfil her dreams. At the age of 23, Ramcharan is living her dreams as both an accountant and model. The second of three children and the only girl, she spent her early childhood days in LBI. However, her family relocated to Bel Air Springs, where she currently resides. Ramcharan attended Mae’s primary and secondary schools where she wrote her CXC exams in 2005 and gained passes in seven subjects. She then continued her studies at the sixth form level where she wrote two subjects. She then began working at her father’s business part-time as an accountant in 2008 as she began to pursue her studies. Ramcharan went onto further her studies in CAT (Certified Accounting Technician) at the Accountancy Training Centre, which she is on the verge of completing. The 23-year-old says her next move will be to study for the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) from January. “I have always had an interest in accounting, and that is why my tertiary academics are geared in that field. I used to work part-time with my dad as an accounting clerk so I developed a liking for it and made up my mind about making it a career choice.” Growing up with two brothers was a challenging but an adventurous experience for Ramcharan. “They (her brothers) were a bit tough on me and so I was like a tom-boy growing up. I was into sports and did a lot of ‘guy stuff’ with my brothers. We are very close as siblings and as a family too. My parents were always strict with me because I was the only girl, but we are very close-knit.” As she grew older, Ramcharan began to outgrow the tom-boy lifestyle and quickly got in touch with her feminine side, marking the beginning of her modelling career. “I became interested in fashion and wanted to model, but my father didn’t like the idea because I was young…but I have always had a passion for it deep down as a child and when I got older – after school – my father eventually agreed.” In her now two-year modelling career, Ramcharan has presented on both local and international catwalks. Her ambition now is to participate in the Miss Guyana Universe competition sometime in the future. “I always wanted to represent my country and be an ambassador for Guyana, and because fashion plays a big part in my life I want to explore all possible avenues in it.” Apart from the glitz and glamour, Ramcharan also recognizes her social responsibility. She became involved in charitable work while in sixth form and continues to do so. “I make donations to difference orphanages every month. I like doing this because it gives me a sort of fulfilment that, for someone who has a lot, at least I can give back to those who are less fortunate.” Ramcharan believes that anything can be done with hard work and determination. “If you want to achieve something in life, you have to put your mind and heart into it because hard work and determination always pays off.”

Ashley Marie DeGroot


oung pro-athlete Ashley Marie DeGroot is well known for her strategic footwork on the hockey field, both locally and internationally. Ashley started playing hockey in 2007 after being motivated by her brothers, cousins and close friends – all hockey players. She got tired of being an observer in the stands and wanted to get involved. Now 19 years old, Ashley has won many tournaments in both junior and senior levels. She has competed in Guyana, Trinidad, Argentina, Brazil and Canada, and in the U.S. Ashley is also part of her club’s U21 team which competed in Magnolias U21 club tournament in Trinidad, winning four straight years from 20082011. To be a star player, Ashley invests time and effort. Through the game, she has built character and team spirit while having lots of fun with her fellow teammates. The athlete views her hockey team as her second family and enjoys the team spirit among her teammates. Her plan for her hockey career is to continue to compete with her club, wherever that may take her. Academically, she is currently studying accounts and aspires to be a successful accountant. Her advice for youths is to get involved in a sport that will help them to keep fit, healthy and out of trouble – as hockey did for her.

8 Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Kids Page

Did you know?


he glass lizard (Ophisaurus) is also known as the glass snake and the jointed snake. Ophisaurus is a group of reptiles that resemble snakes, but are actually lizards. Glass lizards are found in Europe and Asia. At least one species comes from North Africa, and several species live in parts of the United States. They reach lengths of up to 4 ft (1.2 m), but about two-thirds of this is the tail. Their common name of ‘glass lizard’ comes from the fact that their tails, which can break into several pieces, like glass, are easily broken. Like many lizards, they have the ability to deter predation by dropping off part of the tail. The tail remains mobile, while the lizard becomes motionless, distracting the predator, and allowing eventual escape. Glass lizards are primarily nocturnal carnivorous predators that feed mainly on insects. They also prey upon small mammals such as rodents, frogs, birds and eggs, and snails and slugs in wetter regions.


lthough most species have no legs, their head shapes, movable eyelids, and external ear openings identify them as lizards. The loss of the tail is a serious loss of body mass that requires a considerable effort to replace, and the new tail is usually smaller in size than the original. It is not capable of breaking off a second time. Legless lizards still retain free-floating remnants of a hipbone and tiny tips of hind legs.

EXAMS TIME WORD SEARCH The objective of the game is to fill all the blank squares in a game with the correct numbers. Every row of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every column of 9 numbers must include all digits 1 through 9 in any order. Every 3 by 3 subsection of the 9 by 9 square must include all digits 1 through 9.

please see solution on page 22





Water can move up narrow tubes against the force of gravity in what is known as capillary action. While most people know that water boils at 100 °C (212 °F), this is at the normal conditions of sea level. The boiling point of water actually changes relative to the barometric pressure. For example, water boils at just 68 °C (154 °F) on the top of Mount Everest while water deep in the ocean near geothermal vents can remain in liquid form at temperatures much higher than 100 °C (212 °F).

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 9 The nose print of a puppy is unique, just like human fingerprints.

English bulldog puppies need a lot of love and attention. They are temperature sensitive and need to be kept cool in summer and warm in winter.

Dogs have been the companions of humans for 10,000 years, maybe longer. Puppies come in many shapes and sizes, but one thing is for sure: These big-eyed, affectionate and fun babies can provide lots of love and adventure. Adopting and raising a puppy is a lot of work and a lifelong commitment — one that should not be taken lightly. A female dog is called a bitch. Litter sizes vary greatly, from a single pup to more than 14. By Laurie Triefeldt

Poodles are very smart animals originally bred as water dogs. This puppy’s name is Lady.

In the womb

Newborn puppies spend 90 percent of their time sleeping and 10 percent of their time nursing.

This mother spaniel has given birth to four puppies. Her maternal instincts help her bond with the babies. The puppies are born helpless and entirely dependent on mom for the first three weeks of life. She will keep them warm, feed, clean and, if necessary, defend them.

Way back when Dogs are thought to be the descendants of a carnivorous, weasel-like animal called the Miacis that lived about 50 million years ago. This animal was also the ancestor of cats, bears, raccoons, civets, weasels and skunks.

Just 12 hours after fertilization, the embryonic cells begin to divide. A canine pregnancy is usually between 56 and 66 days, the average being 63 days, or nine weeks. About three weeks into the gestation period, the eyes, head and limbs are developing.


Did you know?

18 days

Human contact is very important when the puppy is between the ages of 1 month to 3 months. This is when they learn to be social. If your puppy nips at you, make a loud “ouch” noise. Yelping is what a littermate does when play gets too rough.

The major organs develop at 20 to 34 days. By week four, the eyes, face and spinal cord take shape.

The new pack

By the end of week six, the fetus is about 1.75 inches (45 mm) long, and has some skin pigment. After 60 days, the puppy’s lungs and other organs should be developed enough to survive outside the womb.

A puppy cries when you first bring him or her home because it misses its mother and littermates. Don't worry — he or she will feel at home in about a week.

23-28 days

32-38 days

The puppy can be born safely at week eight.

Please spay and neuter Animal shelters have millions of dogs and puppies that never find good homes. Puppies should be spayed or neutered by 5 or 6 months of age. Dogs that are spayed or neutered make healthier, happier pets.

Puppies are born blind, deaf and toothless, but they instinctively know how to nurse. They will huddle together for warmth and security. The puppies’ unique coloring and markings will become more pronounced as they grow.

Week six

The puppies become stronger and more independent. Playing reinforces being part of a pack.

48-60 days

Although mobile, the puppies’ co-ordination and eyesight are not yet fully developed.

Two weeks Puppies open their eyes at about 9 to 12 days old. Their ear canals open at 2 to 3 weeks. They start walking shortly after 2 weeks. It is around this time that they will also begin to bark and wag their tails.

Eight weeks The best time to adopt a puppy is between 8 and 16 weeks. As soon as you bring a puppy home, you should schedule a vet visit for a health checkup and vaccinations.

A dog’s sense of smell is more than 100,000 times stronger than that of a human. A puppy is born without teeth. It gets its milk teeth at about 4 weeks of age. Permanent teeth begin to develop around 3 months old. At this time, the urge to chew is extreme. Offer lots of doggie toys so that they do not chew on your things. Puppies need to eat three times a day, until they are about 8 months old, then they should be fed twice a day. Puppies will have a bowel movement 15 to 20 minutes after eating. A 2-month-old puppy can only hold its bathroom needs for about two hours. Shedding is the dog’s body getting rid of old hairs to make room for new hairs. Large puppy paws can sometimes indicate a large adult dog.

The English cocker spaniel is a sporting dog. They make excellent house pets, but require daily exercise and need regular brushing and trimming to keep their coats in good condition.

Some foods that are bad for dogs: Avocado, grapes and chocolate.

10 Times Sunday Magazine Times Fashion


irst Resort, a new line by Sonia Noel, depicts the easy, carefree and outgoing nature of Caribbean lifestyle, presented in breathing, ecofriendly and caressing textiles that capture the attitude of leisure. The collection intends to provide ease when choosing an elegant outfit for the upcoming holiday season. Noel fashionably infuses her signature latticing, kaftan silhouettes and versatile wraps, to come up with this irresistible collection for a winning look. “First Resort is a sophisticated, elegantly casual line, and is perfect for your wardrobe during the Christmas holidays. It includes breathing fabrics

in caftans, ponchos, free-flowing skirts, jumpers and lots more, in various colours, for all body types. I am now offering these stylish, bespoke pieces at a special discount from December 1-15. When you think holiday, think Sonia Noel as your ‘first resort’,” Noel said in an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine. Notably, Noel’s collection was a huge hit at a fashion event in Suriname last week and at the annual ‘Strut for a Cause’ fashion show at Sandals Grande in St Lucia. For more information visit Noel’s showroom at 176 Barr Street, Kitty or call 226-3099.

december 1, 2013

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 11

Star Times Hollywood


ristin Mays, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, is an American actress. She has appeared in a number of television series most notably as Shaina in the Nickelodeon series “Gullah Gullah Island” and as Robin Dixon, the daughter of Marcus Dixon, Carl Lumbly's character in “Alias”. Her other television credits include “Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide”, “Everybody Hates Chris”, “True Jackson”, “VP”, “Zeke and Luther”, “Big Time Rush” and “Victorious”. In 1997, she was cast as Nala in “The Lion King” on Broadway. In 2011, she starred in the internet sitcom “FAIL”. In 2012, she was a leading actress in the movie “Thunderstruck” which also starred basketball legend Kevin Durant. Tristin’s next big gig is an upcoming comedy, “House Party: Tonight's the Night”.

Tristin Mays

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Times Hollywood

Justin Bieber helps build school in Guatemala


here's no question that Justin Bieber has had his share of controversy this year, but giving back is what ultimately matters most to the pop star. On Oct. 27, the 19-year-old traveled to a remote village in Guatemala with the organization Pencils of Promise, a charity he's long supported that builds primary schools in developing countries like Nicaragua, Laos, Guatemala and Ghana. And he didn't just watch: He helped sift concrete, lay down cinder blocks, and spent time playing with the children who will one day attend the school. "He developed a genuine connection with the kids there," says Adam Braun, the charity's founder and brother of Bieber's manager, Scooter Braun. "The children didn't even know who he was which was part of the beauty of the experience. He got to be himself." The photographer and videographer Nick Onken who documented the trip adds: "The kid loves people and deep inside, wants to help make the world a better place." One school costs US$25,000 to build and Pencils of Promise has raised US$10 million since being founded in 2008.

"This experience changed my life forever," Bieber says of the trip. "It isn't about me, it’s about the kids, plain and simple. I'm sharing this story in hopes that the world will help me end the education crisis. I hope I can use my reach to change these kids' lives in return." (People)

Miley Cyrus beats the Pope in Time’s VIP list


hat awkward moment when Miley Cyrus is considered a better person by the general public than the Pope and Edward Snowden. Yes, the “Wrecking Ball” star is currently in the lead in Time's annual reader poll for ‘Person Of The Year’. The actual winner of the prize, awarded to the individual who has had the most influence over the news, is decided by the magazine's editor, but the star is well ahead on the online survey, leading her next nearest rival by mammoth 29 percent.

'Rude' Beyoncé banned from the pyramids?

Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher are finally divorced


t's officially over. Nearly two years after announcing their separation around Thanksgiving 2011, the di-

vorce between Demi Moore, 51, and Ashton Kutcher, 35, has been finalized. "Judgment of dissolution is entered," reads a box

marked on the L.A. Superior Court papers filed Tuesday. "The parties are restored to the status of single persons." The end to the marriage, which began in 2005, took so long to finalize as the two were reportedly at odds over how to divide their estimated fortune of over US$300 million. Could this open the door for Kutcher to marry his “That '70s Show” co-star Mila Kunis? Kutcher and Kunis, 30, have been nearly inseparable since they began dating in April 2012. The finalizing of the divorce was first reported by TMZ. (People)

Trailing behind her is NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden with 9.4 percent of the votes, Russian President Vladimir Putin at 4.4 percent (no words) and Pope Francis at 1.1 percent. Other names of note appearing highly include Angelina Jolie, Breaking Bad's Vince Gilligan, baby Prince George and Jimmy Fallon. The winner of the readers' poll will be announced on 6 December, while the magazine's choice will be confirmed on 11 December. (Glamour)


urns out even if you're Beyoncé, you can't keep your tour guide waiting. The singer, who often treats us to extensive Instagram pics from her glamorous holidays abroad, has reportedly been banned from visiting the pyramids by Egypt's answer to Indiana Jones. In an interview with The Independent, Dr Zahi Hawass, controversial archaeolo-

gist, Egypt's former head of antiquities and gatekeeper of the Pyramids, said that he banned Bey from the ancient site due to her rudeness. "Most people I take on tours are very nice and we become friends. But this lady…" Apparently, Beyoncé didn't turn up for her tour on time and didn't apologise. But he also came to blows with the singer over photographing the trip: "I brought a photographer and she also had a photographer and a guard. When my photographer started to shoot, he said 'No, Stop! I am the one who says yes or no, not you.' I said: “In that case since you almost hit my photographer and you are not polite - out! I am not giving you the privilege of having you on my tour. I said Beyoncé was stupid and I left." So was Bey actually banned following the 2009 trip? Absolutely not, according to the singer's rep, who told E! News: "This never happened. The last time she was in Egypt was on tour in 2009. Nothing like this happened. Lies and more lies." Local journalist Summer al-Gamal was also quoted as saying there was a ruckus between Knowles and Hawass, saying he "stopped being diplomatic and said in anger, 'She's a stupid person and she doesn't understand a thing and she doesn't want to understand.'" Despite the rumoured ruckus, Beyoncé and Hawass did manage to pose for a picture in front of the pyramids. (Glamour)

Newlywed Jennifer Love Hewitt gives birth to baby girl


ennifer Love Hewitt had two reasons to celebrate on November 26 when the actress and singer not only gave birth to her first child, but also announced that she secretly tied the knot. "Jennifer Love Hewitt and her husband Brian Hallisay are thrilled to announce the birth of their daughter. Autumn James Hallisay was born on November 26," the actress' reps confirmed to MTV News. A source told Us that the couple "got married recently in private." Previously, Hewitt has said that she was determined to keep the gender of her a child a surprise secret until birth. The seeds of the 34-year-old actress' relationship with Brian Hallisay began when they crossed paths on the set of the NBC's short-lived relationship show "Short Lived." From that, the tryst between the two bloomed when they reacquainted themselves while filming 2012's drama series "The Client List," which itself was a spinoff from a straight-to-TV movie of the same name. The spark on set then blossomed into a full-on relationship. This isn't the first time she's surprised the world with relationship news: Hewitt's onscreen romance with Joe Jonas on "Hot In Cleveland" was also a surprise, and one Jonas talked to MTV News about just last year. "Being back on the show, [my character

Will is] engaged, and I have to be engaged to Jennifer Love Hewitt, which is really nice," he said. "We're both sons and daughters of characters on the show, and we show up and surprise everybody. They don't expect us to be engaged." (MTV)


unal Khemu is an Indian film actor who appears in Bollywood films. He made his acting debut as a child actor in the early 90s and made his comeback as an adult in 2005 with “Kalyug”. He is best known for his pivotal roles in the films “Traffic Signal” (2007), “Golmaal 3” (2010) and “Go Goa Gone” (2013). He made his debut as a child actor appearing in the Doordarshan TV series “Gul Gulshan Gulfaam” (1987). He made his film debut with Mahesh Bhatt's movie “Sir” (1993), starring Naseeruddin Shah and Pooja Bhatt. He went on to star as a child artist in many movies such as “Raja Hindustani”, “Zakhm”, “Bhai” and “Hum Hain Rahi Pyar Ke”. Khemu is currently working on Vikram Bhatt's “Bhaag Johnny”. Directed by Shivam Nair, the film is a thriller, which started filming this year. december 1, 2013

Star Times Bollywood

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Times Bollywood

Saif Ali Khan in confrontation Juhi Chawla to star in Steven Spielberg film with Indian press


aif Ali Khan has reportedly had a confrontation with members of the press in Delhi. The “Bullett Raja” actor arrived three hours late for a Delhi Election Commissionorganised press conference with his costars, IANS reports. When asked by members of the press to apologise, the 43-year-old star said: "I will not apologise because it is not my fault. I was stuck in traffic. I should not be blamed for this chaos and I feel stars should not come to Delhi. "If anybody should apologise it is the election officials as they didn't convey the

right time. "This is my last visit to Delhi and henceforth, I will give interviews from Mumbai." Khan, who was accompanied by Sonakshi Sinha, Jimmy Shergill and director Tigmanshu Dhulia, also cancelled the scheduled press conference. District Election Officer AM More subsequently commented: "[Saif] apologised. We from the district administration also apologised on this issue that he got late. This should be considered by the media. We are coming together for the cause. "Generally stars have other engagements; he must be having some other commitments. He came here to give the message that voters should participate in the election." The actor was later heard making his apologies to several people as he rushed out of the venue. In July 2012, Khan was forced to retract a statement he made to the press stating that he was working on a film with Natalie Portman. The actor said he was getting his revenge on the press as a response to the intrusion into his personal life. Also starring Sonakshi Sinha and Gulshan Grover, “Bullett Raja” releases on November 29. (Digital Spy)


hen an Oscar winning director like Lasse Hallstrom and producer Steven Spielberg join hands for a film it's surely an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and Juhi Chawla didn't want to miss out on that one. The actress has been signed on for their upcoming venture “The Hundred Foot Journey”. The film, which is currently being shot in Mumbai, is based on an Indian family trying to settle down in a small village in France where they own an Indian restaurant right opposite a French one which is run by Madame Mallory played by Helen Mirren. While the film's male lead is Om Puri, Juhi will be seen playing the role of Om Puri's wife. “The Hundred Foot Journey” is based on the Richard C Morais' novel by the same name and is co-produced by Oprah Winfrey and Juliet Blake. (Hindustan Times)

Lara Dutta in awe of Deepika Padukone


fter Shilpa Shetty, now actor Lara Dutta too is all praise for actor Deepika Padukone. The former Miss Universe-turned-actor-

producer feels that Deepika is “one elegant lady around in Bollywood”. “She is an innately graceful person,” says Dutta, who has in the past delivered hits including “No Entry” (2005), “Billu Barber” (2009) and “Housefull” (2010). Talking further about her fondness for the “Ram-Leela” actor, Lara says, “Just like Deepika, I’m also from Bangalore. Yes, I do have a soft corner for her.” Recently, the 35-year-old turned a fashion designer too. Ask her about it and she gets candid. “I have actually wanted to do this for a long

time now... since my modelling days. Then I became an actor and got busy. But once I got pregnant with Saira and got a break from shooting, I got my own time to create something. That’s when the first collection kind of developed. Now I enjoy it so much that I ensure to make time for it,” says the actor, who was in the city to launch her line of saris for Chabra 555. So, is there any Bollywood actor she’d like to see wearing her creations? “Undoubtedly Deepika and Sonam,” she signs off. (Hindustan Times)

Ajay Devgn announces new collaboration


jay Devgn has announced his collaboration with Brillstein Entertainment Partners. The partnership will form the Los Angeles-based Shivalaya Entertainment, whose aim is to make independent films targeting a global audience. "I am coming forth to support the independent film process where we can share important stories that need to be told - global stories that will resonate with international audiences," Devgn told PTI "Our collaboration with Brillstein is an important step in that direction, to ensure we have the best resources from the West to engage a wider audience," he added. "At one end, traditional films continue to entertain and make business sense. At the other, there is a resounding presence of some

new forms and voices making a mark in this ever expanding medium. I am keen to be a part of that growth that changes.” Shivalaya has given the green light to its first film, “Parched”. The film has been written by Teen Patti's Leena Yadav, who will also direct the film. (Digital Spy)

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine


Times Healthy Living

Skin-lightening risks Non-prescription creams that claim to bleach or lighten your skin can be harmful


survey carried out by the British Skin Foundation found that 16 percent of dermatologists believe lightening creams are ‘completely unsafe’ and 80 percent feel they are only safe when prescribed by a dermatologist. “Unfortunately, many skin-lightening creams contain illegal compounds that can damage your health,” says Indy Rihal of the British Skin Foundation. “The most common compounds are high-dose steroids.” Some creams also contain hydroquinone, a bleaching agent that is banned from use in cosmetics (but can be prescribed by doctors for medical reasons).

Skin lightening risks

Although steroids can be useful in treating some skin diseases, such as psoriasis and eczema, this must take place under the supervision of a skin specialist. “Unmonitored use of high-dose steroids can lead to many problems,” says Rihal. “Patients are often very distressed by the results of skin-lightening creams.” Skin lightening creams can contribute to premature aging of skin. Long-term use may increase the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure. Always use sunscreen when using a skin lightener and going out in the sun. Steroids in some skin lighteners may increase risk for skin infections, skin thin-

ning, acne, and poor wound healing. Applying steroids to large areas of skin may put you at risk for health problems related to steroids being absorbed by the body. Hydroquinone may cause unwanted and untreatable skin discoloration. Various bleaching agents, including natural ingredients, can cause skin irritation or allergic reaction. If you've used a skin lightening cream and are worried about the effect it has had, see a GP. They may be able to refer you to a dermatologist. “Medically approved preparations prescribed by a GP or a dermatologist are not dangerous, within reason,” says Rihal. A cream that you buy over the counter is not necessarily medically approved and could permanently damage your skin.

What is skin bleaching?

Skin bleaching is a cosmetic treatment to reduce the prominence of skin discolorations and even out the colour of the skin. You can buy bleaching creams over the counter and by prescription. Some people apply skin lightener to their entire body to change their complexion, but this can be very risky. The active ingredient in some skin lighteners is mercury, so bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning. Mercury is a toxic agent that can cause serious psychiatric, neurological, and

Over 40? Extreme sports could lead to extreme injury

kidney problems. Pregnant women who use a skin lightener with mercury can pass the mercury to their unborn child. The use of mercury as an ingredient in skin lighteners is banned in the U.S. However, some skin lighteners produced outside the U.S. may still contain mercury.

How do skin lighteners work?

Skin lighteners contain an active ingredient or a combination of ingredients that reduces the amount of melanin in the skin where it is applied. The most widely used ingredient in skin lighteners sold in the U.S. is hydroquinone. The FDA regulates the use of hydroquinone in the U.S. Over-the-counter skin lighteners can contain up to 2 percent hydroquinone. Dermatologists can write prescriptions for lighteners that contain up to 4 percent hydroquinone. It's important to check with your doctor before using a product with hydroquinone and to follow the doctor's directions exactly. Other skin lighteners use drugs such as steroids and retinoic acid, which comes from vitamin A, as active ingredients. And some skin lighteners use natural ingredients such as kojic acid -- a compound that comes from a fungus -- and arbutin, a compound found in various plants.

Allison Ross used creams for years to lighten her skin. She developed several severe side effects. After months of twice-a-day applications, her skin was not only fairer; it had become so thin that a touch would bruise her face. Her capillaries became visible, and she developed stubborn acne. A doctor told her that all three were side effects of prescription-strength steroids in some of the creams, which she had bought over the counter in beauty supply stores. Mrs. Ross, 45, who lives in Brooklyn, also said that she used the lightening creams “to be more accepted in society.” “I never read the labels,” Mrs. Ross said. Instead, she took her cues from friends, many of them, like her, from the West Indies. “Once somebody told me Fair & White was the one they were using, I’d go to the Korean store and ask for it,” she said. Fair & White, from France, normally contains no steroids, but counterfeit versions with undisclosed ingredients have turned up in stores. (New York Times 2010)


xtreme workouts are definitely the hot new trend in fitness these days. But those pulse-pounding pursuits might be too much for men of a certain age. Scores of guys 40 and beyond are stubbornly sticking to hardcore exercise regimens and gruelling, distance events that they manhandled at 25. And some are getting injured -- or far worse. A 46-year-old man died from an apparent heart attack recently while swimming in San Francisco Bay during a triathlon, the most recent casualty from this ever-increasingly popular and challenging sport. Dr. Michael F. Bergeron, executive director of the National Youth Sports Health & Safety Institute, says ultrarugged "Tough Mudder" runs are a gritty fitness hit attracting some middle-aged men. Other greying guys are leaping into extreme conditioning programs like P90X, Gym Jones, and Insanity. "If you are able to survive them, without question, they will elevate your fitness," says Bergeron. "I don't want to just slam anything. There are a lot of positive aspects to any kind of conditioning program. Those must be acknowledged," he says. "But if you go at it too fast, do too much, too soon, too often, it's not a matter of if you get hurt, it's a question of when." Typically, such high-intensity routines preach maximal effort with brief rests between intervals. But as some people wear down, their exercise form deteriorates, leaving them vulnerable to injuries, Bergeron says.

And before launching any rigorous, DVD-based programs or strenuous group endeavours like marathons or triathlons, older guys should spend years, not weeks, ramping up their fitness levels. "The reality is there are people who die from this," he says. "If you break down muscle to the extreme -- and that can come from push-ups or from lifting bulldozer tires -- some of those proteins that reside in the muscles get into the blood and get into the kidneys. That can cause kidney failure and heart arrhythmias. So if you get into a demanding program and you're doing too much and you're not ready for that, you're rolling the dice on a dangerous situation." There are low-risk ways to tackle an extreme workout once you’re out of your thirties. Dr. Mark Schickendantz, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic Sports Health Centre says after 40, male fitness buffs -- or guys simply seeking to slice pounds and add years -- should consider crafting and following smart, individualized plans that are long on recovery and variety, mixing yoga or tai chi with cardio and strength training. Ditch your 90-minute weight-room grinds for shorter sessions. Don't stress muscles to the point of failure. And protect your shoulders by using dumbbells versus straight bars, he advises. "We shouldn't work out with the same ferocity as we did when we're 25," says Schickendantz. "You don't want to be the biggest guy in the gym any more. You want to be the oldest guy in the gym."

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Times Home & Cooking

2013 Christmas Colour Trends

Approaching the festive season, it’s that time when homeowners decide how to decorate for the occasion. As happens every year, certain trends are introduced or repeated, and it’s up to you to decide if you’ll follow the trends or stick to the traditional. Here’s a peek at a few of HGTV’s 2013 holiday colour trends...

White + Gold: Since the days when frankincense and myrrh were acceptable holiday gifts, gold has been commonly paired with silver and/ or violet. To put a contemporary spin on this classic colour, consider pairing gold with white. The juxtaposition of gold's warm undertones and white's coolness strikes the perfect balance.

Green + Brown: Colours seen together in nature always work well in decorating, so don't be afraid to take a cue from Mother Nature. This is especially true when pairing brown and green, two of the most-popular earth tones used in home decor. For sophisticated simplicity, try decorating a green tree using only brown ornaments. Consider using several different shades of green for a layered, multi-toned look when decorating walls and hallways.

Little Crab Sandwiches Ingredients: 400g fresh crabmeat 1/2 cup (150g) whole-egg mayonnaise 2 tbs crème fraiche or sour cream

Grated zest of 1/2 lemon 2 tbs chopped chives 24 slices white bread 2 punnets mustard cress or parsley

Method: Drain the crabmeat well, squeezing out any excess water. Place the crabmeat in a bowl with the mayonnaise, crème fraiche, lemon zest and chives. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper; stir to combine. Spread the crab mixture over 12 slices of bread, then top with the remaining bread. Use a 5cm round cookie cutter to cut rounds from the sandwiches (you should be able to make 2 rounds per sandwich). Serve the little crab sandwiches garnished with mustard cress. (Makes 24)

Ferrero Rocher cake with toffee shards Ingredients: Olive oil, to grease 215g (1 cup) caster sugar 125ml (1/2 cup) water

1 x 200g pkt Ferrero Rocher 1 x 350g pkt frozen Sara Lee Chocolate Cake, thawed following packet directions Method: Brush a baking tray with oil to lightly grease; line with non-stick baking paper. Place sugar and water in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and bring to the boil. Boil, without stirring, brushing down the side of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, for 12 minutes or until golden. Set aside until the bubbles subside. Use an oven mitt to hold the lined tray. Carefully pour over the toffee, tilting the tray to evenly coat. Set aside for 10 minutes or until set. Break into shards. Arrange the Ferrero Rocher, in a single layer, over the cake and press down firmly into the icing. Top with toffee shards. Serve with ice-cream.

Greatest Cooking Tips Always use separate chopping boards to prepare raw meat, cooked meat and vegetables. Raw meats can cause contamination. The raw meat board should be plastic. Duck cracklings can be easily made by cutting duck skin into thin strips and frying them until they are crisp. They are great on duck dishes or salads. Rubbing the skin of a raw duck with paprika helps to create a golden, crispy skin when roasting.

Home Help Toothpaste will remove tarnish, but here's the catch: It's more abrasive than silver polish, so you should use it only in a pinch and only on a small area. Follow these steps: Moisten the silver, gently rub on a little paste with your finger, rinse the spot thoroughly with warm water, and dry with a soft, clean cloth. What you should not use: toothpaste that contains tartar-control substances or whiteners.

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 17

Times Sunday Puzzle

When you curtail a word, you remove the last letter and still have a valid word. You will be given clues for the two words, longer word first. Example: Begin -> Heavenly body –Answer: Start and Star. 1. Bend out of shape -> Armed conflict 2. Muscle contraction -> Pack to capacity 3. Pass over; omit -> Glide on snow 4. Wet -> Large water barrier 5. Marsh; bog -> Moved through water 6. Waterproof canvas -> Pitch; oily residue 7. Cry; shed tears -> Very small 8. Assume a slouching posture; decrease suddenly -> Run-down part of a city see solution on page 22

see solution on page 22

see solution on page 22

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december 1, 2013

Times Creative Writing

Essays of Life

Part II


resently he heard a grunt and a crash and a scramble, and the Ethiopian called out, “I've caught a thing that I can't see. It smells like Giraffe, and it kicks like Giraffe, but it hasn't any form.” “Don't you trust it,” said the Leopard. “Sit on

its head till the morning -same as me. They haven't any form -- any of 'em.” So they sat down on them hard till bright morning-time, and then Leopard said, “What have you at your end of the table, Brother?” The Ethiopian scratched his head and said, “It ought to be 'sclusively a rich fulvous orange-tawny from head to heel, and it ought to be Giraffe; but it is covered all over with chestnut blotches. What have you at your end of the table, Brother?” And the Leopard scratched his head and said, “It ought to be 'sclusively a delicate greyish-fawn, and it ought to be Zebra; but it is covered all over with black and purple stripes. What in the world have you been doing to yourself, Zebra? Don't you know that if you were on the High Veldt I could see you ten miles off? You haven't any form.” “Yes,” said the Zebra, “but this isn't the High Veldt. Can't you see?” “I can now,” said the

Leopard, “But I couldn't all yesterday. How is it done?” “Let us up,” said the Zebra, “and we will show you.” They let the Zebra and the Giraffe get up; and Zebra moved away to some little thorn-bushes where the sunlight fell all stripy, and the Giraffe moved off to some tallish trees where

the shadows fell all blotchy. “Now watch,” said the Zebra and the Giraffe. “This is the way it's done. One -two -- three! And where's your breakfast?” Leopard stared, and Ethiopian stared, but all they could see were stripy shadows and blotched shadows in the forest, but never a sign of Zebra and Giraffe. They had just walked off and hidden themselves in the shadowy forest. “Hi! Hi!” said the Ethiopian. “That's a trick worth learning. Take a lesson by it, Leopard. You show up in this dark place like a bar of soap in a coalscuttle.” “Ho! Ho!” said the Leopard. “Would it surprise you very much to know that you show up in this dark place like a mustard-plaster on a sack of coals?” “Well, calling names won't catch dinner,” said the Ethiopian. “The long and the little of it is that we don't match our backgrounds. I'm going to take Baviaan's advice. He told me I ought to change: and

as I've nothing to change except my skin I'm going to change that.” “What to?” said the Leopard, tremendously excited. “To a nice, working blackish-brownish colour with a little purple in it and touches of slaty-blue. It will be the very thing for hiding in hollows and behind

trees.” So he changed his skin then and there, and the Leopard was more excited than ever: he had never seen a man change his skin before. “But what about me?” she said, when the Ethiopian had worked his last little finger into his fine new black skin. “You take Baviaan's advice too. He told you to go into spots.” “So I did,” said the Leopard. “I went into other spots as fast as I could. I went into this spot with you, and a lot of good it has done me.” “Oh,” said the Ethiopian. “Baviaan didn't mean spots in South Africa. He meant spots on your skin.” “What's the use of that?” said the Leopard. “Think of Giraffe,” said the Ethiopian. “Or if you prefer stripes, think of Zebra. They find their spots and stripes give them perfect satisfaction.” “Umm,” said the Leopard. “I wouldn't look like Zebra -- not for ever

so.” “Well, make up your mind,” said the Ethiopian, “because I'd hate to go hunting without you, but I must if you insist on looking like a sunflower against a tarred fence.” “I'll take spots, then,” said the Leopard; “but don't make 'em too vulgar-big. I wouldn't look like Giraffe -not for ever so.” “I'll make 'em with the tips of my fingers,” said the Ethiopian. “There's plenty of black left on my skin still. Stand over!” Then the Ethiopian put his five fingers close together (there was plenty of black left on his new skin still) and pressed them all over the Leopard, and wherever the five fingers touched they left five little black marks, all close together. You can see them on any Leopard's skin you like, Best Beloved. Sometimes the fingers slipped and the marks got a little blurred; but if you look closely at any Leopard now you will see that there are always five spots -- off five black finger-tips. “Now you are a beauty!” said the Ethiopian. “You can lie out on the bare ground and look like a heap of pebbles. You can lie out on the naked rocks and look like a piece of pudding-stone. You can lie out on a leafy branch and look like sunshine sifting through the leaves; and you can lie right across the centre of a path and look like nothing in particular. Think of that and purr!” “But if I'm all this,” said the Leopard, “why didn't you go spotty too?” “Oh, plain black's best,” said the Ethiopian. “Now come along and we'll see if we can't get even with Mr One-Two-Three-Where'syour-Breakfast!” So they went away and lived happily ever afterwards, Best Beloved. That is all. Oh, now and then you will hear grown-ups say, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard his spots?” I don't think even grown-ups would keep on saying such a silly thing if the Leopard and the Ethiopian hadn't done it once -- do you? But they will never do it again, Best Beloved. They are quite contented as they are. (By Rudyard Kipling)

Children Are Like Flowers

By Sr. Shamane Hassad


ew places, new habits. Every morning between 5- 6.30 am, I have to listen to my alarm and wake up and get myself and 8-year-old ready to walk two corners before the school bus comes. As we dodge rain-filled potholes and wait on the edge of a neighbour’s lawn, I watch my baby girl as she stands in my shade complaining about how much less sleep she gets since we moved. I hug her to me and look around the four street intersections in the neighbourhood and to the flowers rousing themselves to the morning sun in each neighbour’s yard. Cascading bougainvilleas in yellow and wine, flay their fragile frivolous flamboyants to the teasing morning air; rolling parapets of pink jump-andkiss and colourful sturdy red ixora stand guard over velvety yellow bright buttercups…Beautiful royal roses amidst overflowing healthy ferns and resilient cacti of all kinds… How like flowers our children are! The little face I playfully pinch looks like one of those buttercups: bright and eager to face the world but fragile in heavy wind and rain. Like tightly rolled rose buds, some take their time to grow up into vibrant, resilient, beautiful blooms, showing off to the world, holding their own on their stems and giving their worth to the last petal. The bus came, I watched her get on and waited as the bus turned around and began the long drive to school. Her buttercup face smiled and waved. I took my time walking back, thinking about other children I know at the

school and in my family. Some are like stately lilies and smooth sweet roses. Some are like confident ixora and others like free flowing fern: happy to be alive and learn. I smiled to myself. I could almost liken each child to a different flower. What a bouquet a household would make! Our children give us purpose and pattern in life. Whatever our values, for some time we have to use our wealth, energy and experience to care and mould them. It is why they are given to us to be nurtured, supported and loved. I got home and looked around my own yard. A field of a foot-high rich green grass after the recent rains waves to me. I admire my neighbours’ gardens. I sit back in my rocking chair and look out to the hanging purple orchids bobbing at me from the opposite balcony. I respect those who tend their gardens. They work the earth with tools and bare hands to arrange and plant seeds and stems and then to nourish and maintain them through hot sun, rain and wind for them to flourish for all who walk pass to see and smile. Flowers make the world pretty and positive and full of hope. We should all plant flowers. If each one planted a seed or stem, what a beautiful garden the world can become. I thought of my little buttercup and her heavy school bag… The world is already a beautiful garden! There are blooms of all textures, colors, sizes and patterns – all over. Each one is Special. Let us take time to recognize and understand the flowers we have, and tend our gardens with patience, prayer, love and hope.

Send your creative writing to

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine19

Times World

The Myth of Shangri-La rain soon became hostile, but Andrade did eventually find an impressive and wealthy kingdom - although no Christians lived there - and his account of his adventurous journey was rediscovered in Calcutta in the 19th century. It was republished in 1926 under the title “Discovery of Tibet”, and Hilton's “Lost Horizon” obviously owes much to this work.

Artist’s impression of Shangri-La



he tale of an earthly paradise is among the most enduring myths in the world. From Sumerian epic to the 'islands of the blest' in Celtic literature, it has been a recurring theme through many bodies of literature and for thousands of years. Not surprisingly, then, modern people have also been drawn to the dream of a lost paradise where the ravages of time and history have been held back, where human beings live in harmony with nature, and where the wisdom of the planet is saved for future generations. In other words, to a Shangri-La.

Origins of Shangri-La

The story of ShangriLa itself is a modern one, told by the English novelist James Hilton in his novel “Lost Horizon” (1933). Set in the troubled years before World War Two, the book tells of a community in a lamasery (a monastery for Tibetan lamas), in the lost Tibetan valley of ShangriLa, cut off from the world and from time. All the wisdom of the human race is contained in this place, in the cultural treasures stored, and in the minds of the people who have gathered here in the face of an imminent catastrophe. Hilton's tale struck a chord. The book enjoyed great popularity, and even the retreat of the US president at Camp David was called Shangri-La, after the paradise described in it. And when the novel was turned into a Hollywood movie by Frank Capra, it was an instant success. These days, the name is part of the language, used

This idea of a lost kingdom somewhere in the Himalayas has also circulated in Tibetan Buddhist teaching for centuries, and may well itself have been told at the court of Akbar. The name Shambala first appears in a text known as the Kalachakra tantra - or Wheel of Time teaching. The Kalachakra doctrine belongs to the highest level of Buddhist Mahayana teaching, and those who follow it can reach enlightenment in just a number of years rather than a whole lifetime. In this doctrine, the place named Shambala appears everywhere from Nepali airlines and Chinese hotel chains to holiday cottages in Florida and Torquay. “Lost Horizon” was a tale for its times. In the increasingly pessimistic 1930s, when Western civilisation seemed bent on a path to self-destruction - and when, as Carl Jung put it, 'the smell of burning was in the air' - the story of a kind of earthly paradise had an irresistible appeal. And Tibet in the 1930s was still a land of mystery, one of the last unmapped places, a forbidden and insular country. Nowadays, of course, the choice of the location of the tale seems all the more poignant, given what happened in Tibet some years after the book was published, with the Chinese invasion of 1949, and the Cultural Revolution of the 1960s. But on what older tale was this exotic story based? Did Hilton have an actual place in mind? Was there indeed a real Shangri-La? And why does the myth of an earthly paradise seem to have such a hold on the human imagination?

Andrade's tale

The tale of a lost kingdom in the region of the Tibetan mountains first came to Western attention nearly four centuries ago. And like many a tale of hidden treasure, it starts with a mysterious map – this one lost, then rediscovered a hundred years ago in Calcutta. It was part of a remarkable manuscript that contained the autobiography of a 16th-century Western missionary at the court of the Moghul emperor Akbar. At Akbar's time, India still reigned glorious at the centre of the civilised world,

but the winds were changing and the great power of Asian lands was just beginning to reduce, under pressure from the modernity of Europe. In partial response to this shifting world, Akbar gathered scholars of all races around him, hoping to find the common basis of all religions, in order to remove the sources of religious conflict for the good of humankind. Thus in his court congregated Hindus, Yogis and Sadhus from all corners of his empire, as well as visiting Christian monks and pilgrims from western lands. This was the moment when Westerners first heard accounts of what lay beyond the Himalayan Mountains, the very first time that Tibet entered the consciousness of Europeans. One visiting Jesuit priest summarised the strange stories he heard at the court of Akbar in an essay, and sketched an accompanying map. On his map the area of Tibet is depicted as a great white blank, except for one place, labelled 'Manasarovar lacus' (Lake Manasarovar), with next to it a tantalising scribbled note saying, 'Here it is said Christians live'. The priest who penned the map was old, and incapable of undertaking a dangerous mission across high mountain passes in search of an obscure community of Christians. But his successor, a Portuguese Jesuit missionary named Antonio Andrade, was galvanised by the tale, and determined to go in search of these people. Andrade set out from Akbar's court, armed with the map, and at first followed yogis and wandering pilgrims on the road across the mountains. The ter-

as a mystical conception, a spiritual rather than a geographical goal. Shambala is a magic land, unlike any place on earth, and rests in the shadow of a magnificent white mountain.

Shangri-La today

As we have seen, the tale of Shangri-La is a modern tale, with a powerful appeal for today's world - but its roots lie deep in much older times. We live in a period when global problems threaten to overwhelm us, and instil us with fear. The appeal of the tales of Shambala and Shangri-La lies in their connection with this fear – both recognising it and alleviating it – and this appeal is universal. The stories reflect our desire that something of our world will survive, and that our connection with our past will not be entirely erased, even as we move faster and faster into an uncertain future. These are tales that we still need to believe in today. (Excerpted from ShangriLa, by Michael Wood, BBC History, 2011)

20 Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Tech

Which iPad is right for you? lular networking? Well, if you’re somewhere that doesn’t have Wi-Fi and you desperately need to check your email; cellular networking is your best friend. These days, cellular networks offer far broader access than Wi-Fi. If you’re a frequent international traveller, there’s another benefit to adding cellular networking capability. The SIM slot on the iPad is unlocked, meaning that you if you can find a compatible carrier while you’re travelling abroad; you can pop in a SIM card and get access to data on the local network. There’s actually a benefit to unlocked SIMs; it means that you can effectively switch back and forth between carriers. Part II

iPad 2 (continued from Nov 24)

But there is one case in which the iPad 2 might be attractive: If you have a big investment in accessories that require the 30-pin dockconnector port, this is the iPad for you. Or if you’re looking for an extremely bare-bones iPad to serve as something like a point-of-sale terminal. Or if you really need the biggest screen for the smallest price possible. In almost every other scenario, though, the iPad mini is a better choice sheerly for the price.


If you’ve figured out which model of iPad to pick up, then you’ve already done the hard part. But now you have to answer another question: How much storage do you need? In general, there’s no downside to getting as much storage as you

Tech Byte


can afford. Every time you double the capacity, however, it’s going to cost you, so though a 128GB iPad Air may pale in comparison to the storage you used to get on that 250GB iPod classic, its price tag may not be the best use of your money. That said, unless your needs are truly minimal, it’s hard to recommend the 16GB capacity these days. If you maintain any sort of digital media library—and before you say “no,” keep in mind that includes photos—then you’re quickly going to have to think about what items you do and don’t want on your iPad. And that’s way less fun than actually using an iPad. On the flip side, that 128GB capacity probably isn’t necessary unless your iPad is your sole device. If it’s responsible for storing all of your photos, music, movies, documents, and every app you need for your personal and work life, then you’ll probably be looking for as much capacity as you can get. If

you’re a particularly heavy user of games or video, two things that can consume a lot of storage space, extra capacity might be a worthwhile investment. But most users will probably be happy with either the 32GB or 64GB models. It’s worth looking at your iTunes library, video collection, and photos to get an idea of what kind of space you really need. And remember, there are options for offloading some of those items—photos to your Mac, using Photo Stream; iTunes Match for your music; and iTunes in the Cloud for those video purchases. Consider those and other services if you’re looking to save a little bit of cash.


Okay, there’s one more choice: Do you want a black iPad or a white one? On everything except the iPad 2, a white front also means a silver back; on the black model you’ll get Apple’s new “space gray” colour. You’ll probably want the white iPad if you—oh, who are we kidding? This one’s totally up to you. Just pick something that you’ll be happy with for a while to come. (Information by Global Tech)

To cellular or not?

You’re almost ready to click through to checkout. First, though, you have to decide whether you want to add cellular networking capabilities to your iPad. What’s the advantage of cel-

Sphero 2.0 rolls out faster, brighter than original

ith the launch of the original Sphero, Orbotix gave the humble ball a technological upgrade. It was a smartphone-controllable robotic toy which could be driven around like an RC car via Bluetooth, or even used to play augmented reality games. Now the Sphero 2.0 has been revealed, which is capable of rolling faster, shining

As with more storage, cellular networking can be a good investment if you can afford the premium. In particular, it may be useful

if you travel a lot with your iPad, or if your iPad is your sole device. It can also be handy as a backup: If you opt for a different provider than on your smartphone, you may be able to get network access in even more places. If you’re on the fence, consider an alternative: Most phone providers these days offer tethering options for smartphones. So instead of using the cellular functionality of an iPad, you may simply be able to share your Smartphone’s data connection with your iPad, thus saving some cash up front and down the road.

brighter, and is generally said to be much smarter. While Sphero 2.0 looks identical to its predecessor (well, it's always going to look like a ball), its makers say it has been completely reconfigured under that polycarbonate shell. Working with iOS and Android devices, it features a more efficient transmission and a low centre of gravity which means it can now roll along at an impressive 7 ft (2 m) per second. That's twice the speed of the original, and fast enough to mean you might break a sweat keeping up with it at full pelt. Suggesting that the Sphero 2.0 is targeted more at kids than the original, it will ship bundled with two small jump ramps for catching air and pulling stunts. Orbotix is also promoting the educational value of the device, pointing out that by programming the Sphero to perform tasks like rolling in a square shape on the ground, youngsters learn about things like angles, velocity and percentages. Check out sphero-2-faster-brighter/28715/ for a video showing the Sphero 2.0 in all its glory … and jumping through the odd flaming hoop. (Gizmag)

Tech news


Microsoft suspends Xbox gamers in cursing crackdown

ome gamers uploading R-rated videos of themselves playing on the new Xbox One are learning the hard way that Microsoft is trying to crack down on cursing. Over the past few days, gamers using the Upload Studio on Xbox Live to share videos online have reported being banned from the network, at least temporarily, after using salty language. On Monday, Microsoft confirmed it's trying to clean up language in its online community. "(W) e take Code of Conduct moderation via Upload Studio very seriously. We want a clean, safe and fun environment for all users," the company said in a statement. "Excessive profanity as well as other Code of Conduct violations will be enforced upon and result in suspension of some or all privileges on Xbox Live. We remain committed to preserving and promoting a safe, secure and enjoyable experience for all of our Xbox Live members." The statement did, however, quell a rumour that Microsoft was also monitoring direct communications such as Skype chats among players using the network. Not surprisingly, the announcement isn't going over well with some in the gaming community. "Saying that swearing is not to be tolerated (at least partially) in this one area of gaming on top of a platform that is an obscenity cannon just feels squishy," Alex

Wilhelm wrote for TechCrunch. "Also, it's inconsistent. And as I don't think that language deemed by some as 'foul' should be banned while playing games, I don't think that it should be banned in uploaded videos of games being played." Many online were echoing Wilhelm's initial point: How can a company crack down on profanity while at the same time promoting video games filled with the stuff? "Xbox Live is suspending accounts for (foul) language. They don't want kids hearing four letter words as they go on a virtual killing spree," said Mike Frankovich on Twitter. Microsoft said players who run afoul of its rules are being temporarily suspended from using certain apps, not banned from Xbox Live indefinitely. (CNN)

december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 21

Times Art

Children’s art competition campaigns against abuse A

iming to spread awareness of the horrific effects of abuse, especially child abuse, Comforting Hearts recently held an art competition encouraging youths to join their voices and talents to campaign against abuse. A non-governmental organisation located in Region Six, Comforting Hearts has been in existence for more than 12 years, and is considered the first established group in the county of Berbice to address the issue of HIV/AIDS.

sponsored by the Berbice Bridge Company Inc. In an interview with Guyana Times Sunday Magazine, the organisation’s executive director Simmone Bailey-Hoyte said that children between the ages of 8-11 were asked to submit drawings depicting the prevention of violence and abuse against children. The competition was won by St. Aloysius Primary, located in New Amsterdam. “Talent recognized from the submission indicat-

two-part project, the other a quiz segment, which was exclusively sponsored by Scotia Bank (Berbice branch). Copping the winner’s trophy was New Amsterdam Secondary School (NAMS). The student scoring the highest points also emerged from NAMS. In second place was a student from Berbice High School and placing third was a student from Canje Secondary School. In the quiz competition, 12 students from six schools competed. Winners received monetary prizes and also trophies. Schools, according to Bailey-Hoyte, were given a tool kit to prepare for the competition as questions were drawn from the booklet. She added that Scotia Bank has pledged their support towards making the quiz competition an annual event. “The main theme for the quiz segment was,

Some of the children's drawings against domestic violence and child abuse

The idea of forming this organisation came about when 19 persons, who were trained as counsellors by the National AIDS Program Secretariat, decided they wanted to do more in the area of awareness/education and counselling for Berbicians either infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS. One of its recent activities is an art competition

ed that the students are very creative and thus were able to use their imaginations and express their view of violence and abuse among children. This is the fifth year Comforting Hearts has participated in this campaign by the Women World Summit Foundation (WWSF). We are a partner with that organisation,” Bailey-Hoyte disclosed. The competition was a

“Prevention of the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography”. This theme was chosen by WWSF and not Comforting Hearts. The name of the campaign in which the art segment focused on was, “Prevention of Abuse and Violence against Children and Youth”,” Bailey-Hoyte explained. Comforting Hearts is also currently implementing the Care and Support Project, Bailey-Hoyte revealed, for people living with HIV. It is funded by the Advancing Partners and Community which is funded by John Snow Inc. (JSI)/USAID. Additionally, the organisation is also implementing the Peace Corps Vast Grant

Young students campaigning against child and sexual abuse

Staff and volunteers of Comforting Hearts, representatives from Scotia Bank (Berbice Branch) and participants of the competition

to build staff capacity, gender based violence counselling for children and youths, and life skills training for youths through Comforting Hearts’ youth arm. Some of its future projects include skills training for the community and construction of a craft shop. Bailey-Hoyte added that Comforting Hearts continues to provide services in the areas of voluntary counselling and testing, home-based and palliative care, orphans and vulnerable children support (Nutritional enhancement, psychosocial, protection and legal, shelter and Care, Child Care Counselling, health care and education and vocational training), care for persons with other chronically ill conditions such as diabetes and cancer, and care

for persons living with HIV and their families (nutritional enhancement, bedside care, health care, economic strengthening opportunities, psychosocial support, psychological support) among many others. Over the years, the organisation has presented educational television programmes on HIV/AIDS awareness, held ‘street theatres’ (HIV education through the arts), walk-a-thon and bike-a-thon fundraising activities, child abuse campaigns, school HIV and AIDS quizzes and debates and many other activities to spread awareness and help those affected by HIV/AIDS. “From time to time the organisation faces challenges relating to finances. The reason is that the needs of

clients are so great, and the projects somehow restrict the organisation from providing many of these needs. Additionally, as funding for projects end, finances in sustaining these programmes are inadequate. The organisation welcomes any contribution from the public and will like the private sector to be more involved in supporting the various programmes of the organization. There is also need for skilled persons in the area of governance, finance, public relations and leadership, who can volunteer their services,” BaileyHoyte pleaded. For more information visit Comforting Hearts NGO on Facebook. (Cover photo: Winners of the art competition from St. Aloysius Primary)

22 Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Heritage


t. Peter’s Church was originally constructed December 9, 1827. However, it was replaced by the present structure on June 29, 1855, St. Peter’s Day. Prior to the erection of the first church, services were held under a clump of bamboo trees. On November 25, 1826 as recorded by the pencil minute of foolscap in the vestry book of the parish, a meeting was held in the house of Captain Thierens of Plantation Vissilvalligheid. At this meeting it was decided that a church and parsonage should be built. A site was chosen on the front lands of Plantation Enterprise, Leguan where the church is still functioning today. The first church was built at a cost of £400 over a period of six weeks, and was located at the centre of the island. On December 9, 1827 this church was opened for service. The land for the parsonage and the church was acquired in a rather peculiar manner; through a warrant issued by the Governor: Sir Benjamin D'urban on June 12, 1827, ‘authorizing and requiring in His Majesty's name, John Theirens and Edward G. Boughton, members of the Vestry for the parish of St. Peters, forthwith to enter upon and take possession of the said piece of land and to give notice thereof to the proprietor of the said property and to offer him a fair compensation,’ to be decided by ‘two ap-

praisers and an umpire of the chosen lot’. In September of 1827, Mr John Campbell, proprietor of John Campbell & Co. agreed to sell the six acres of land required for the church. There was one small problem: the removal of a house constructed by Mr Alexander McRae 'for the reception of persons with the most offensive disease, yaws.' Nine years later, on August 8, 1836, the transport for the land of St. Peter’s was at last passed. The sum of 300 guilders per acre was paid by the governor, together with 4,000 guilders for repairs and 350 guilders for the sexton. The church saw bleak times in the 1840s as many residents of the island migrated to urban areas. The cost of maintenance for the first church was enormous and there were calls for the erection of a permanent building. It was under the guardianship of Reverend F. J. Wyatt (who would later be appointed as Rector of St. Paul in October 1853) that the desire for a permanent church gained support. Lieutenant Governor Walker laid the foundation stone for the present church on August 1, 1853. St. Peter's was constructed at a cost of £2,500, of which £1,000 was contributed by the Colonial Legislature, £100 by the Society For The Promotion of Christian Knowledge, and the remaining sum of £1,400

St Peter's Church, Leguan Island, Essequibo today

by private individuals resident on the island. The church was designed by the colonial civil engineer Mr. J. F. Bourne, with contributions by Rev. F. Wyatt and Dr. Boughton. The church, which is built of brick, was originally covered by a roof of wallaba shingles; this was later replaced by metal roofing. At the left of the north western entrance stands a detached

Preserving our heritage through pictures

Fort Zeelandia (south view) - Fort Island (Photo by L. Hernandez)

bell tower, surmounted by an octagonal brick spire. The length of the church is 70 feet, exclusive of the apse. The windows are pointed and are filled with handsome stained glass. The seven in the apse depicts the life of St. Peter, and those in the nave contain flowered quarrels and roses with rich borders. These were imported from England at a cost of £950. On St. Peter's Day, June 29, 1855, His Lordship Bishop William Piercy Austin consecrated the building in the presence of the governor, Mr. P. E. Wodehouse, the governor's secretary, Chief Justice Mr William Walker, members of the Court of Policy and other prominent individuals. With its artistic design and leaning tower, St. Peter’s Church, located on the 10,843 acre island of Leguan is regarded as one of the finest brick structures constructed in Guyana. This church, with its tiled sanctuary, massive brick work, asphalted floor, architectural rafters, and windows portraying events in the life of the patron saint, testifies to the artistry and craftsmanship of Guyanese builders. Today, while it stands as an important part of Guyana’s built heritage, representative of an integral chapter of our social and cultural development, sadly, it has fallen into a state of dilapidation, with a roof that is in dire need of repair among other areas. While the National Trust is charged to promote and safeguard the nation’s heritage, we wish to remind citizens that preservation is a

task which requires the cooperation of all and urge Guyanese to take an active role in ensuring the long term survival of Guyana’s patrimony by assisting in one way or another in preserving this brick heritage building. Contact can be made with the Anglican

Diocese under whose purview it falls. [At this time, congratulations are in order for the church and its parishioners on its 186th anniversary, to be celebrated December 9, 2013.] (Originally published Dec 2010, courtesy National Trust of Guyana)

Brain Teaser Answer 1. Warp -> War 2. Cramp -> Cram 3. Skip -> Ski 4. Damp -> Dam


5. Swamp -> Swam 6. Tarp -> Tar 7. Weep -> Wee 8. Slump -> Slum



december 1, 2013

Times Sunday Magazine 23

Times Travel & Tourism


t some 900 ft, the rarely-visited Jordan Falls is a spectacular sight to see. It is not a single- drop falls but cascades down a series of steep steps. Located some eight miles from the Maipaima Eco-Lodge in Nappi, the falls are not easily accessed. The arduous hike takes roughly five hours; goes up and down many hills, crosses slippery rocks and on many occasions leads through flowing waters. The return journey does not have to be made in one day since a satellite camp has been built at the base; so unless you are incredibly averse to sleeping in hammocks, an overnight next to the falls should not be missed. A more leisurely hike can be enjoyed at the falls, which includes more time for bird watching (including the white bellbird) and wildlife. In the evenings, meals are enjoyed on the open rocks where the stargazing is superb. If you are fit and enjoy a good trek, Jordan Falls is not to be missed. It is definitely one of the most spectacular areas around Nappi – if not in all of Guyana. (Information by Kirk Smock; “Guyana/Bradt Guide”, Second Edition)

Beautiful sunrise at Jordan Falls (Photo by Amanda Castleman)

Cascading waters (Photo by Lynn and Kitch)

Abseiling down the falls

Scenic view at the top of the falls (Photo by Lynn and Kitch)

Jordan Falls is one of the most spectacular areas around Nappi (Photo by Amanda Castleman)


Times Sunday Magazine

december 1, 2013

Times Last Laugh

The Tip Jar of Motel 5 By Melvin Durai


raveen Gupta was sitting in the office of Motel 5, waiting for the next customer to come through the door. Through the corner of his eye, he spotted some movement at the front desk, started to lift himself off his swivel chair, but then heard Vandana’s voice: “Praveen! You got a tip! Come, see!” “How much?” “One dollar!” she shouted, as though they could now sell the motel and retire to India. “Come, see!” He found his middleaged, sari-clad wife smiling broadly and shaking the tip jar, an empty peanut butter container on which he had stuck a paper with the words “Tips very welcomed.” “It’s your first tip,” Vandana said. “You should frame it!” Motel 5Praveen put his fingers inside the tip jar, fished out the dollar and stared at it. “You finally got a tip,” she said. “I told you to be patient. Aren’t you happy?” “Yes, I am happy to see a dollar in the tip jar,” he said. “I would be more happy if it wasn’t the same dollar I put there this morning to show people what to do. You know, the power of suggestion.” The tip jar had been there for almost a week, yet no one had bothered to drop a single penny inside it. Perhaps they found it strange to see a tip jar at the front desk of a motel. But times were changing, the economy was stagnating and tip jars were appearing everywhere. Praveen had seen one at Bunty’s Pizza Parlor, another at the Tim Hortons coffee shop, and a third at the Mercedes-Benz dealership. Even the homeless guy on the street had gotten wise and written “tip jar” on his

Sharing Lunch

mug. Maybe I should do it too, Praveen had thought. After all, the economy was affecting the motel business too. He was lucky if half the rooms were occupied on weekends. Even if he collected $10 a day in the tip jar, it would be enough to pay for the pens he left in rooms, the ones bearing the motel’s slogan: “You’ll survive at Motel 5.” (The motel was on the outskirts of Detroit and Praveen was proud that no one had ever been shot there. Three people had been stabbed, but that was it.) When Vandana first saw the tip jar, she shook her head vigorously. “Look what you’ve written,” she said. “Tips Appreshated.” “Isn’t that right?” “No,” she said. “You can’t have ‘hated’ in ‘appreciated.’” Spelling was important, she reminded him, and he nodded. He had learned his lesson last October when he had changed the electronic sign in front of the motel and tried to attract travellers with “FREE WIFI.” But he had mistakenly displayed “FREE WIFE.” It was only after a dozen truckers showed up in the lobby that he realized his mistake. “How do I get the free wife?” a stout man in overalls asked him. Praveen misunderstood the question and summoned Vandana from the hallway, where she was chatting with a maid. She was surprised to find a roomful of men looking her over. “Is this her?” Praveen nodded. “Yes, this is my wife.” The stout trucker snickered. “Mister, not to be rude or anything, but you’ll have to pay me to take her off your hands.” When he realized what

was going on, Praveen screamed at the trucker. “How dare you insult my wife, you stupid man? You cannot find a wife like this if you drive from here to Ahmedabad.” The trucker was much bigger than him, so to be on the safe side, Praveen screamed in Gujarati. Thankfully, Vandana was a good sport about it. “’Free Wife’ brought in so many customers! Now we should try ‘Free Husband.’” Recalling the incident, Praveen was quick to change the words on the tip jar. But it didn’t seem to help. After three days, only one person had dropped something in the tip jar: a note with a message scrawled in pencil: “Clean your windows.” Praveen wondered what he could do to entice patrons to leave a monetary tip. He tried smiling at them more and saying, “Thank you for staying at Motel 5. Isn’t it great to be alive?” But still no tip. He tried putting a picture of a puppy on the tip jar, the cutest puppy he could find on the Internet. But still no tip. And finally, he tried putting a dollar inside the tip jar, but that didn’t work either. Everyone seemed to ignore the dollar on the first day. And on the second day, someone made off with it. “Praveen, your dollar’s gone!” Vandana shouted. He rushed out of the office. The tip jar was empty. “I should have known,” he said. “It’s risky to have a tip jar without guarding it these days.” “Look at the surveillance tape,” she said. “You can catch the person.” He shook his head. The economy was weak, people were hurting, and if someone needed a dollar so badly, let them have it. At least they hadn’t insulted his wife.


An Antartian named Babbette finds herself in dire trouble. Her business has gone bust and she's in serious financial trouble. She's so desperate that she decides to ask God for help. She begins to pray... "God, please help me. I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well. Please let me win the lotto." Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it. Babbette again prays..."God, please let me win the lotto! I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well." Lotto night comes and Babbette still has no luck. Once again, she prays..."My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house and my car. My children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. PLEASE just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order." Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Babbette is confronted by the voice of God Himself: "Babbette, meet Me halfway on this. Buy a ticket."

The Battle

A 17th century captain was sailing along with his crew when a pirate ship came over the horizon. The captain says, "Cabin boy, get me my red shirt." So, he gets his red shirt and they victoriously battle the pirates. Several days later, they spot another pirate ship off the port bow. "Cabin boy," says the captain "get me my red shirt." They again battle the pirates and are victorious. Later when things had settled down, the cabin boy asks, "Captain, why do you always want your red shirt just prior to battle?" The captain responds, "Well, in case I am inflicted with a wound, I don't want the crew to see my injury and lose spirit." "I see," says the cabin boy. A few days later, they sight 20 pirate ships in the distance; the captain yells out, "Cabin boy, get me my brown pants."


Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Pettry amzanig huh?

Rescue Me

From a passenger ship, everyone can see a bearded man on a small island who is shouting and desperately waving his hands. "Who is it?" a passenger asks the captain. "I've no idea. Every year when we pass, he goes nuts."

The Border

A border patrol officer is patrolling the border between the United States and Canada one night when a man drives up on a motorcycle. The officer stops the man and asks, "What do you have in that backpack there?" The man replies, "Sand." "Sand?" the officer says puzzled, "Please open the bag sir." The man opens the bag and there is sand. "Alright, you may go on your way then,” the officer said with a puzzled look. The man then drives off into the darkness. The next week, the same man on his motorcycle drives up to the same station that he did before. He says that there is sand in the bag and, sure enough, there is. The man drives up on a motorcycle with sand in his bag every week for a couple of months. The officer starts to think, "This guy is trying to smuggle something and I am going to be the one that catches him." The next time the man drives up to the station, the officer says, "I promise, I'm not going to arrest you. But just tell me. Are you trying to smuggle something or not?" "Do you swear you won't take me in?" the man replies. "I promise," says the officer. "Well, I am ashamed to admit it but, I have been smuggling something," the man says. The officer asks curiously, "What have you been smuggling?" The man replies with a grin, "Motorcycles."

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Sunday Magazine December 1, 2013  
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