Since we touched down in South America we have been doing a little sightseeing. We don’t start work for another 2 weeks and it has been nice to get used to the place first. We aren’t actually doing much sight seeing because the weather is extremely hot and humid. Most of our time has been spent near the snow cone vendor guy or the fans of our hostel.
We spent a few days in the Suriname capital Parimaribo and then headed west into Guyana. The ride took all day to go a few hundred kilometers (2 ferries and several busses). I am not sure if it was worth it or not. Georgetown is definitely one of the ugliest capitals I’ve ever seen. This may be due to the amount of garbage everywhere or maybe the dangerous atmosphere. Or maybe cause I scratched my back with a jack knife last night and cut things up.
Besides all that, we’ve come to realize there isn’t a whole lot to do here in northern South America. Prices are about the same as Canada which makes them the highest in South America (disappointing) – maybe due to their colonial history (the English left Guyana in a fine mess). Everything interesting takes a plane ride into the interior. So we are finding enjoyment taking pictures of funny signs and wandering through markets.
Did meet a guy last night who tried to join the Jonestown people several years ago. The people said the boss (Jim Jones) was away in Georgetown and they needed to ask him. The man we talked to decided to leave – good judgement I presume.
So I'm not sure what we are going to do. We’ll probably make our way back to Suriname and see if there is anything interesting along the way. We are looking forward to settling down, getting to work and meeting our host family. There are 4 others from Canada coming next Thursday which should make things more lively.
Well the adventure deepens in Britsh Guyana. It seems everything the colonial powers laid hands on is scathed and scorched and left in a shambles. We thought the trip to Georgetown, Guyana's capital on the atlantic coast would be a short little voyage…two days later we arrived after bumpy bus rides and ferries. It's kind of a hell hole of a city, a lot more poverty than in Suriname, an awful lot less developed. But it's been fun, everything from finding a place to stay where the mattress is intact, (and where beer bottles aren't scattered all over the floor) to finding food in one of the most multicultural destinations in the world; avoiding tripping into the open sewers and trying to look confident and self-assured so we don’t get robbed.
We’ve seen more of Canada in the past 24 hours than we have in the past few weeks. Scotia bank has a new branch in Georgetown (of all place in the world:) and Canadian mining company Cambior shook hands with the Guyanese government a few years ago, mined all of the “El Dorado” gold, and left only 20 per cent of the royalties to the Guyanese. One Creole man we talked to last night shook his head and said the government thought that was a small price to pay for development. Too bad they didn’t help cover the sewers and get some of the thousands of homeless off the streets.
Really though, it’s not a bad city, though the beauty, we’re told, lies in the interior. And they speak English here! Don't ask me how Suriname got stuck with Dutch and Guyana with English when the rest of South America is Spanish. A little random., but we’ll take it! We’re trying to find a way to get to Jonestown – the place of the infamous Jonestown Massacre – led by psychopath Jim Jones, but the chances are slim with no roads leading to it. Other than that, we’re taking it easy. Eating snowcones, avoiding traffic, and sightseeing.
Take care everyone! Let the adventures continue in Canada or out.