Saturday, December 04, 2021

Guyana Trip Wrap Up

While Dillon was no longer being paid to babysit me, we were pretty much best friends now so he invited me to watch his presentation at a Guyanese tourism event. Lucky for me it was being held in a unique building just across the street from the Marriott, which must be the most expensive hotel in Guyana. I don't like to brag but 

"Umana Yana

The word 'Umana Yana' is an indigenous term used by the Wai Wai Amerindians to describe the huge benabs they use as meeting places. The first Umana Yana was built in 1972 and was designed by Guyanese architect Mr. George Henry. It took 80 days and 60 Wai Wai Amerindians from Konashen, Rupununi, under the leadership of Chief Elka to be completed. On August 9, 1972, the flags of over 80 nations lined the eastern boundary as the building became operational.

Unfortunately this benab collapsed in 1993 under high winds, but was later reconstructed circa 1995. Disaster struck again, this time it was razed by fire on September 9, 2014.

Reconstruction of the third and present Umana Yana started in later 2015 and was completed in 2016. A group of 35 Wai Wai men from Deep South Rupununi along with Toshao Paul Chekema, were contracted to complete the roof of the Umana Yana. The men used a combination of modern and traditional Indigenous techniques, materials and tools."

The program was a bunch of different tour operators from around the country giving little presentations on their tours. Parts of this were a bit annoying because they were reminding me of all the beauties of Guyana that I would never see now that my journey was almost at an end.

Blackwater Adventures is Dillon's company.

Watching Dillon's clip show was like some sort of magical montage of my own trip. He has a few different tours but I pretty much did them all.

There were a couple of food tour operators that provided local bites once the presenting was over. I think the white lumps were metemgee make out of sweet potato and coconut milk. The banana leaf thing was conkie which was kind of like a tamale made from plantains maybe? The rice and beans mess was called "cookup rice" and was made with coconut milk as well. That seemed to be a common ingredient in a lot of things.

Mutts in Guyana are called "cookup dogs" since they are also a random mix of stuff. Shakira is cookup 4 lyfe. She was a street dog that they adopted, and had a lot of funny street dog unique personality quirks. For example I think she maybe hated other dogs? Like they had another dog but Shakira didn't play nice with it when left alone.

She was down to eat people food on the regular.

I watched a bit of cricket in the hotel lobby while waiting for my car to the airport.

I've never paid for this plastic wrap machine thing at the airport but today it was a necessity because I had a giant sword sticking out of the side of my luggage. I prayed that I would still be rocking my dangerous cutlass in the land of freedom.

I love obscure countries' airport lounges. You never know what you're going to witness inside. This one had classy wooden doors.

The doors were probably the best part but they did have tiny bottles of Banks beer. One for the road!

Covid has added another layer of annoyance and bureaucracy onto what was already sometimes unpleasant international travel experience.


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