Tag Archives: Guyana – flora and fauna

Visit Guyana – Timeline Photos – Guyana

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Promenade Gardens - Georgetoen Guyana

Promenade Gardens – Georgetown Guyana –  Click to enlarge

Paramakatoi: Through the eyes of a Coastlander

Paramakatoi:  Through the eyes of a Coastlander

By Samantha Balkaran Bipat

I AM a trained Agricultural science teacher originally from the Region Three (West Demerara/Essequibo Islands) district. Presently, I am attached to the Paramakatoi Secondary School, and am proud to have the privilege of sharing my experiences of this unique village.

I am aware that it is not uncommon for teachers from coastal Guyana who are assigned to interior locations to feel misplaced. That has not been my experience.

I arrived at Paramakatoi with a sense of apprehension about the challenges of adjusting to a new environment; a different culture. My assignment to the interior had not been supported by my friends and relatives. They were concerned chiefly about the remoteness of the community. Paramakatoi lies atop of one of the Pakaraima Mountains, and is not easily accessible, except by aircraft.

My decision to accept this challenge was both personal and professional. I am a teacher, and my duty is to share my knowledge. At a personal level, I saw this as an opportunity to work with a community where there was a particular need for my skills.

I sensed, somehow, from the moment I arrived here that I would benefit immensely from this experience. The sense of security that I felt upon reaching Paramakatoi was immediate. What touched me most was the openness with which I was accepted in what is a closely-knit community.

There was a time when I subscribed to the axiom that luxury makes life. I understand now that there is a great deal to be derived from a simple life. When you are able to commune with nature, and to learn the ways of a tribal people — the Patamunas — your life is enhanced in ways that cannot be realised through luxury.

Most of my afternoons are spent admiring the varying green carpets of trees that unfold for miles on far off mountains. The sunsets at Paramakatoi are the best I’ve seen, as the sun faints away slowly behind huge mountains, producing some of the most magnificent rays one can imagine. As night falls, the temperature drops sharply, which causes me to sleep in two pairs of socks and jerseys of the thickest fabric I can find. The beauty of the night sky keeps sleep until late into the night; the well-defined constellations, the far-stretching Milky Way and the rising of a full moon are indescribably beautiful sights. The moon creeps up from behind one of the great Pakaraimas, and, for a moment, sits majestically on its peak. On dark nights, candle-flies can be seen in their thousands, creating magical twinkles.

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