April 3, 2014

this strange place

I’ve been MIA on the blog for a while. We’ve been busy. You know, the same old excuse.

Today I’d like to share more about this unique place we call home.

The Guyanese people are an interesting mix. The three dominate people groups are descendants of African slaves and East-Indian slaves, and the Amerindians. Then you also have people here from many other countries. And a mix of everything in between. I’ve heard the Guyanese call Guyana more than once an international country.

With such a large mixture of people there is a large mixture of religion and beliefs. The largest religious groups are Christians, Hindu, and Muslims. I think I’ve seen almost every known religion represented here.

Georgetown is a very diverse place.

I talk to a lot of people. Taxi drivers, shop keepers, church members, and people I meet in the market. We’ve gotten to know people at the airport, the hospital, the conference office, and our neighbors. We are a part of a weekly outreach in Sophia Village (a part of Georgetown) and sometimes help with Sabbath School.

Almost everywhere I go, people are curious about the “white girl” as I’m often referred to. People want to know what I’m doing here. And once they learn we live here, their next question is always, “How do you find Guyana?”

“I love it here.”

I really have come to love this strange place.

Just like everywhere else in the world, there are kind people and rude people. There are trustworthy people and untrustworthy people. There are rich and there are poor. There are people who want to harm and people who want to help.

This is a harsh place. It’s rare to see a costlander (the term for those living in Georgetown, who are very different from the Amerindians of the interior) crying or vulnerable. People here learn to be tough early in life. They have to be strong to survive here. People have learned that they need to take care of themselves because no one else is looking out for them. They can’t rely on their own government for income during the hard seasons of life. This is a poor country. Stealing isn’t the worst thing a person can do - survival is everyone’s mission. Everyone is trying to get ahead and catch a break.

On the other hand, it seems someone will always stop to let a waiting car go ahead. If someone in the back of the line only has an item or two, they will be ushered to the front of the line. More than once I’ve seen vendors give people extra potatoes, bananas, or bora.

Often times the coastlanders’ tempers are as hot as the noonday sun (thanks to clouds it’s only 82º at the moment). The Guyanese can be loud. Really loud. They’re often aggressive in their pursuit for their own justice, and they don’t hide it.

On the other hand, I’ve seen more grace here in the last year than I can count. I tell you these people have real, living grace. And true humility. In the midst of this crazy rat-race of Georgetown, there are these gems living amongst us that quietly remind us that love always wins. Love is louder than any protest. Love is living and abundant.

Guyana is just like anywhere else, really. You’ll always find exactly what you’re looking for.


Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you there!

cas anderson (2016) . Powered by Blogger.