This article was last updated on the 2nd of November, 2015 by Patrick Carpen.
Berbice is the “ancient Dutch county” – one of the three counties of the country of Guyana. I had lived in Berbice for the most part of my life. Two and a half years ago, I left for Brazil. I spent six months in Brazil and another two in Lethem – the Guyanese city that borders with Brazil.
For the past two years I was working at the Takutu Hotel as a receptionist and doing a small business. My friend, Rayborn Lewis, from Berbice had been inviting me to come back to Berbice for a short holiday. I kept delaying the trip but last week, I had a good reason to return. Some important land documents had been forgotten at my old residence and I felt compelled to go and get them. Nevertheless, I thought, I will only spend one day, get the documents and fly back to Lethem.
Rayborn owned a car parts store and when I left Berbice, he had been working on renovating his house. Turns out he has a knack for austerity and creativity.
On the 10th of October, 2015, after two and a half years of living in the south, my feet finally touched down on Guyana’s coastal soil once again. As the car I was traveling in sped down the highway, my eyes skimmed the houses at the side of the road. There were so many “new buildings” all over. It turns out there has been a lot of “progress” from the time I left to now.
The car finally pulled up to Rayborn’s driveway and I got out. So much had changed. There was so much upliftment to the general appearance of the environment.
But stepping into Rayborn’s house was like taking a leap into a future century. The floor and walls were exquisitely tiled. An aquarium was beautifully nestled into a cavity in wall, and beautiful fishes graced gently about. The hallway and dining room were furnished in austere good taste.
As I entered the kitchen, I had a hard time turning on the faucet. Rayborn had to demonstrate how it works. I also couldn’t figure out where to get detergent, until Rayborn showed me the fountain from which it flowed.
The next morning, I took a shower in the bathroom with glass doors and so many faucets.
“Come back some time soon”, Rayborn told me. “I sure will” I replied.
Indeed, I was pretty impressed with the progress made in two and a half years by most Berbicians, and in particular, this Berbician, Rayborn Lewis.