Big Hearts + Cool Firsts = My Kuru KururuShana Jones March 28, 2018
How did I end up spending a night in a small Guyanese village called Kuru Kururu? Simple. My neighbour wanted a tablet sent down for her granddaughter, so I offered to hop on a flight and take it down to her (she feared it would “go missing” if sent by air). A few minutes into the discussion, the offer turned into an invitation to spend the night at her daughter’s house. I’d never been to Guyana, so of course I would! My neighbour warned me of some things I may not be accustomed to (ie. using a latrine), but that was quickly lost in the anticipation of going someplace different; that bridge would be crossed when I got to it!
On my arrival in Guyana, a very grateful daughter and grandchildren met me at the airport. Some quick intros ensued and soon we were packed in the small car flying past bustling Georgetown (the capital) to its sleepy outskirts. At last we turned off the Lyndon-Soesdyke Highway and slowed onto an unpaved road, the gravel crackling under the tires. It felt like we were entering a set for an old western movie, the way the wooden welcome sign beamed in the setting sun. Past a few sparsely located houses and some empty lots of thick green foliage, we pulled up to home: a tiny greenish wooden house with a shop in front. Interesting to me was the fact that beneath my feet lay an uneven foundation of silvery grey sand.
While dinner was being prepared the grandchildren and nephew led me on a guided tour of the area, part of which was done on the back of a motorbike (first for me!). We rode up and down the quiet street, me trying to remain on the bike while posing for amateur videos. At dinner time everyone grabbed a bowl of the best buss’ up shut I’ve ever eaten, claimed a corner, and chowed down silently to the white glow of a single bedroom light.
After a post-dinner drive to meet some family, a quiet night descended on us. My host introduced me to the latrine out back (quite a first experience, due in part to the limited light outside) and the shower station. It wasn’t until I was inside and ready to shower that I casually tilted my head and realized I was gazing at a ceiling of stars! The roof had come off some days before and was yet to be replaced but still, the view of a million bright sparkles on a deep black canvas was perfect.
Next morning’s plan was to drop the kids off at school and do a few errands, one being a visit to a nearby abattoir (another first!). It was shocking and somewhat disheartening to see the end of a chicken’s life: the frantic fluttering of feathers scampering out of the way to avoid being the “chosen one”, the frighteningly crimson blood pouring from slit throats as muscles gave final involuntary jerks, and the transition to the shiny pale-pink headless package being stuffed with giblets before being placed in the customer’s hands.
Thankfully, our next two stops were more uplifting. Splashmins, the local waterpark/weekend liming spot situated right on the highway, was deceptively quiet. Although closed, it conjured up scenes of loud merriment, lively music, and pleasant relaxation. Next, vibrant, bustling Georgetown, teeming with energy: business places guarded by armed officers and crowded bus stands engulfed in the din of shrieking car horns and loud, friendly greetings next to sandwich-tight packed traffic. Nearby, the market overflowed from floor to two-storey ceiling with everything from handmade leather shoes to sparkling yellow gold jewellery to clothes and curries of every hue. Things galore grabbed for a glance as we shifted sideways to negotiate the aisles. Finally we squeezed through the exit and on to the vendor-lined sidewalk where a pair of black leather slippers called my name!
Now we were making our way to the airport and snapshots of the last 24 hours were reeling in my mind. What an experience! And you know what stood out the most? How some really big hearts in little Kuru Kururu opened up to embrace me and graciously share all they had with me. They reminded me that you don’t have to have a lot to give a lot and that gratitude for the simple things is the best way to live. I was already looking forward to the next trip: my neighbour had promised me a trip into the Amazon forest near the Guyana/Brazil border…..amusement parks