To me Guyana was seen as the poor relation in the Caribbean. This provokes a fierce pride and despair. The blame game is easy, born of history and ruthless calculation of divide and rule. Heads say we are all Guyanese, but same heads go to loggerheads when hearts go to the fore and all the bad and exasperation is taken out on the other.
In 1988 I left a different Guyana and came back in 2015 to one that seemed more stable, comfortable, thriving and economically reasonably well off. Stores are stocked, hotels are good, transportation is easy. Water is plentiful and on tap, although visitors are advised to drink bottled filtered water. We only experienced one black out at a private house, that had its own generator anyway, and apparently there was something wrong that day with the power as there had been two other outages which was unusual.
Schooling continues to be reasonable, work is available and there is free access to foreign exchange and travel abroad. Inward investment appears to have ensured roads, housing and industry are able to flourish, if a bit patchy at times.Access to oil drilling may help.
Elections have been pretty free and fair, although people are waiting to see what will happen with the new government. But changes have happened peacefully.
There are still broken down houses, vehicles and trenches that aren’t cleared in a regular manner. It feels as though no one wants to do it. Rubbish – garbage/trash – seems to be a huge problem, especially in the capital Georgetown. No one seems to know what to do with plastic bottles and bags. There is obviously an opening for an entrepreneur there. Apparently in Botswana they make roof tiles with the discarded bottles.
But the infrastructure seems to be kept going, mainly. Loos flush, showers work using water drums at height from each house, any thing can be bought and sold on the regulated open market.
Yes it is dusty, the vegetation grows so quickly, wood and metal deteriorate on exposure to such warm salt air and rain, tropical rains flood and dry up speedily. You have to live at a different pace, it is too hot not too…and that is a delight.
I would go back, if someone near and dear wanted to. But perhaps I am too used to the NHS and pensions already paid in. Holidays are one thing, living there again would, possibly, be another.