The 50 soccer balls donated by Brad Swanson of Swanson’s Home Hardware, was the hottest item that we brought to distribute for all the Guyanese. We had the pleasure of donating several soccer balls and pumps to two local schools in Parika, with the presentation occurring during the Literacy Centre opening. Others were given to three interior villages, several to two schools through the Amerindian hostel and several to the community of Cloudland. Kim Cook will ensure that the remaining footballs get to the neediest schools and communities. Below are pictures of the distribution.
Leaving the country of Guyana, we have learned much from our experiences with the people we met, the adventures upon which we embarked, and the projects we have been involved with. One of the most humbling experiences was going to the Amerindian hostel in Georgetown after the Rotary meeting. Ninety people resided there, all flown out from the far reaches of the Guyana interior for medical reasons. It is safe to say that most of these people had never experienced ‘city’ life before and everything was new to them. Six young pregnant girls were given baby blankets and baby clothes for their babies. We handed out clothing to needy children, and toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap to all the women. Many of the clothes and shoes we had laid out for us to sort through to distribute were left on the table. After we had given out items to the neediest families as determined by the administrator of the hostel, the Amerindians, silently and in an orderly fashion, began to file by us to take what they knew they could use. We watched in silent respect as they carefully chose clothing for families. What struck me was how quiet they all were, even the children. The biggest draw were the soccer(footballs) we had to hide away as the plan was to have the administrator distribute several balls and a pump to two needy schools deep in the interior. Out of respect for these wonderful people, we decided not to take any photos. This was one of the most moving experiences of our trip. KathyAn Amerindian mother paddling with her children. Region 1 Cloudland, Maruka area
This morning we have been resting and reflecting on our trip. Kathy and Trisha have been uploading pictures. It is surreal we have hundreds of pictures and they all tell a story! Kim pointed out a red headed woodpecker this morning. It raps on the widow at the literacy centre every morning. The neighbour has a banana tree next door. the neighbour across the street turned on the stereo for Jack and Trisha at 5 am this morning, and this is the day we had to sleep in.Right now Beno is cooking us a pepper pot, which is a special Guyanese dish. Lincoln and David are watching Caribbean videos and sharing musician stories and tips. Sam is resting Jack is playing blues from his iPod. WE are reading and surfing the net. we are sharing pictures and music and studying the map to see where we’ve been. Cloudland isn’t even on the map. Tonight when it cools down we will walk to the all night market.
Wow, what an amazing 2 days. We flew one hour over the jungle to Kaiteur to see the tallest single drop waterfall in the world, 741 feet, almost five times the height of Niagara Falls. Then to Orinduk falls for a refreshing ‘shower’ under the falls. Feels great after 50+ degree heat. The next day we left shortly after 6am for our boat/ land trip into the northwest where we came upon a black caiman that had been hit on the road-another unique road kill. We traveled across the Essequibo and Pomeroon Rivers, onto the Atlantic ocean and into a small jungle canopied creek. We were amazed at the beauty of the jungle, the many birds, iridescent blue butterflies and warm welcoming Amerindians to their village. We distributed the many clothes, towels, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes and shoes to those who really needed them. The soccer balls were a big hit and little Denzel, whom I had met four years ago when I visited their village, lit up when we handed him one of the soccer balls. Thanks to the many Kitchener Westmount Rotarians who donated the items we had the privilege to distribute.