GUYANA – LAND OF SURPRISES!!!
In just under a month of accepting the Presidency of the Guyana-St. Lucia Association, I visited Guyana and got a first hand impression of the position on the ground. The business and social life of Guyana is alive and well. Crime is again under control and the people are once again having real fun. Many will be surprised when the facts on the ground are exposed to them. I was amazed at the mood of the people.
I arrived in Guyana on Friday, 16/7/04 with Liat which was one hour late. However, I was just in time for my first appointment and have lunch with my host. I discussed with one of Guyana’s top Entrepreneurs what was going on in the business world and noted that his company was involved in a five billion Guyana dollar expansion. We also discussed his involvement in a Small Business Development Finance Trust which was training and lending money to micro and small businesses. Later that evening I attended a dinner reception which hosted three hundred guests including President Bharrat Jagdeo and President Janet Jagan at the Meridien Hotel. It was an evening to remember. The ladies as usual were outstanding in their gowns and fashion outfits of the day.
Saturday 17/7/04 saw me in the streets of Georgetown checking out the bargains that are only possible in Guyana. There were many and the stores are doing good business. The restaurants are fabulous and cheap. By mid afternoon I was back with my daughter and grand children, getting in a frame of mind to undertake a daybreak fete. I left my daughter’s home at 1.30 am Sunday, 18/7/04 and was back at 6.30 am. That was an achievement as I didn’t for one moment felt the effects of lack of sleep. I was in great company as my escorts were a Funeral Director and one of the most beautiful women in Guyana. We went to the Nite Flight Disco housed in the former Russian Embassy building and ended up on Sheriff Street at 5.30 am having a final drink and some food.
Sheriff Street never sleeps. There are several top nightspots to choose from.
Rain washed out play on Sunday, 18/7/04 and I was only able to meet with a few businesspersons and rush back home to catch up on lost sleep. As a result of the weather I was forced to cancel a trip to the village of my birth where I planned to meet old friends who happened to be still in Guyana, most of them left many years ago. Today, I have more friends in New York than in Guyana. Inspite of the set back in my itinerary, I really enjoyed myself as my daughter entertained me with the best in Reggae and Soul music. This weekend a Jamaican Reggae Team will be in Guyana with such greats as Keith Lyn, Boris Gardener and others. You can imagine the rest.
Monday, 19/7/04 I was back on the streets of Georgetown where I had an early meeting with a dynamic young entrepreneur who has an investment in St. Lucia and plans major construction shortly. Immediately after the meeting I was on the phone to my very special friend who insisted that we have lunch and again I had the opportunity to drive around Georgetown and looked at both positive and negative developments before going to a sumptuous buffet lunch which afforded us a great opportunity to exchange notes on Guyana and St. Lucia. My friend lived in St. Lucia in the late 70’s and maintains an interest in developments. He dropped me off and my daughter and grand children accompanied me to Beterverwagting, the village of my birth where we met with old friends and had a good time reminiscing on the good old days. On our return, it was time to pack my bags for my departure the following day but the party was not over. It was time for me to finally catch up with my former business partner so it was on the road again for a late night. I had another escort as well who is now a manager of a major distribution business. So together we went to as many clubs as we could cover which ended about 1.30 am bearing in mind it was not a weekend and the next day had challenges to overcome.
Then came time to say goodbye, it was Tuesday, 20/7/04 and after a late morning wake up call from my daughter and grand children I was able to take my time and get ready for my flight back to St. Lucia. On my way towards the airport I stopped of at a factory to look at some new equipment installed by the company.
I had the pleasure of traveling on BWIA newest aircraft Airbus A340 which is a dream aircraft. It makes first class flying a real luxury. I am looking forward to travel with this aircraft on a long flight.
You do not have to belong to Guyana to enjoy your stay and mix business with pleasure. It might be of interest to note that Guyana is a Caricom country where manufacturers can produce a wide variety of products competitively.
It is my hope that the Guyana – St. Lucia Association will fulfill its promise to take excursions to Guyana so that many persons will get an opportunity to be pleasantly surprised. Guyana is truly a country of opportunities and is a Caricom country that will rise again.
Join the MSN Group of the Guyana – St. Lucia Association and keep abreast of developments taking place in Guyana. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/guylucian
Keep the Faith – God is in Charge!