NO STIGMA, NO SHAME by Ewalt (Waltie) Ainsworth

Ewalt Ainsworth

This article has been written by Guyana-born Ewalt (Waltie) Ainsworth.  He left Guyana in the early 1980’s and now lives in New Jersey. He is now almost totally blind but this impediment has not stopped his academic studies or his ability to craft his interesting and sometimes amusing stories about Guyana, the USA, and life.  E-mail:

We have published a previous articles entitled:

Small Change still on my mind  and  Autobum



By EWALT (Waltie) AINSWORTH              07 18 2011

Ina and her brother, Trevor, made an unannounced visit to Guyana last summer and her own nephews threatened to “reverse her counx” and “back -up the-shit” if they did not exit the family property immediately.  They both expended more than ninety thousand (90,00.00) US dollars to repair, extend and enclose the family property in Jib-Korea, ECD.

Their mother died a few months earlier and even though she was advanced in age, she had all her faculties, went to church by herself, tended a kitchen garden, milked the cows and was even able to cut up wood when she wanted to cook.  She had three children and both Ina and Trevor lived overseas.  They had no children but like every other family in the rural ethnic enclave, the last girl, Daphne, made a set “of concubines” as the mother would say.  They were all basically hustlers and fleeced her of every penny and anything that was not pinned down.  Originally the house should have been completed in six months according to certain preconstruction calculations. But the two boys sold the concrete blocks, sand, and zinc sheets,and they stole the doors.  If they could have found a ready market for the house itself, they would have sold it.              

No amount of money repatriated was enough to satisfy them.  One of them was even brought to Canada but returned pronto.  He went back home because “Toronto don’t have chip sugar-cake.”

The village lore over time has been that the grandmother may have been killed by the boys because she had instituted certain laws and made alternative arrangements to have the house completed by a contractor.  The grandmother arranged,  through an agent overseas, to pay him there and he in turn would do all the work.  When this money stopped coming, they got angry and would shove her, kick her and physically and mentally abuse her in her own home.  And then on Sundays they would go to church all dressed up in jacket and tie, and sing the praises of the Lord.

There is no stigma nor shame attached to abuse in Guyana any longer. Guyana has moved from a cathedral of grace to a cathedral of corruption.  The people that valued values are dead.  There is no moral compass or ethical litmus test.  They need money and they take it irrespective of the means.

Another elderly woman from the community has made it a rule of thumb not to accept visitors in her home or accept letters from the mailbox.  She eats what she produces and produces what she eats and looks good, feels good and smells good.  It is her core value that the country has descended into the lowest low, lower than a tobacco leaf and the sitters still want to cross their legs and shake their feet.

Tobacco has one of the thinnest leaves in the entire rain forest community and when tales can be narrated with tobacco leaves as reference that is real low.

Another woman, had her relatives pick her up at Timheri airport and before she could have gotten to her destination over the river, they faked a puncture, asked everyone to exit so that they can fix the wheels and took off.  She was able to hit “911’ and the call was re-routed to America and the overseas operator was able to get the police to respond.  When she got to the station an hour oar so later the woman recognized the investigating officer as the driver of the bus.  She was able to get back her suitcases et al.

Another family lost their loved ones and 20 members of the family made the pilgrimage.  One person who was contracted to make roti and curry for the repass, submitted a bill for two million dollars.  The family has asked that she bring in her receipts and recipe for making “the high-end bust-up-shirt.”  They have not heard from her since.

Boysie, the fantabulous Boysie Bishop, former member of parliament, musician extra-ordinaire, leader, conductor, player, arranger and man-in-law, DEMTOCO STEEL ORCHESTRA has learnt his lesson.  He was recently relieved of his money, his diamonds, his gold on a recent pilgrimage to the land that gave him birth.

Preparing to travel is a task.  Some people stuff their money in their crutch while others split their stomachs to conceal their money.  Others still simply do not go and write their families, friends, compatriots and siblings off.  Enough is enough.

Guyanese do not feel pain anymore, for anyone. They do not empathise and simply do not get it. The politicians, the archbishop, the pandit, the clergy, the teachers, the bakers, the businessmen, are all in this thing together.

Rumors abound that the former Bishop in the Episcopalian church has been helping himself and when confronted by 6 of his parishioners, became scriptural.  He cited the chapter and verse which tells “that the lord helps those who help themselves.”  All ahwee a one family……no stigma, no shame.

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  • Annie  On 07/21/2011 at 3:38 pm

    Where did we go wrong? we leave the land of our birth ,work hard in another mans land and in an effort to build ourselves and those we left at home we send barrels boxes and suitecases of all that our family did not have AND may I add not accustom to. What happens next, we cultivate greed and laziness among other virtues vices.That is the thanks we get .Lets see how we can RIGHT THIS WRONG so when we return home for a visit we can GET some LOVE and feel the JOY and the PEACE.

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 07/21/2011 at 4:54 pm

    How disturbing!

  • Marilyn M. Farley-Thompson  On 07/22/2011 at 12:03 am

    Read your article with the utmost humor and enjoyed it tremendously!
    Keep up your good works!
    Marilyn and Cheryl (Ainsworth)

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