You Can Survive

January 19, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Joanna Chung

I keep thinking that there must be more that I can do to help with the suicide crisis in Guyana even though I am not there and there is. You don’t need a clinical degree to help someone in crisis. You need kindness, empathy, understanding, compassion, patience and time. Don’t ask someone how they are doing if you don’t really have the time to hear their answer. Please don’t judge someone’s behavior because you don’t know what they’ve been through, what they’ve overcome, how much they still have to go through. Until you have walked in the same shoes, under the same circumstances, you don’t have a right to judge anyone. Everyone can play a part; be a good friend, a good parent, a kind partner, spouse, neighbor, teacher, pastor, and employer, whatever the role may be. Pay attention: someone who is depressed will often isolate, be sad most of the time, have no appetite or eat everything in sight, have no energy, is tired all of the time, oversleeps or just can’t sleep, feels hopeless and worthless and thinks “maybe everything would be better if I were dead or even i wish that i can go to sleep and just not wake up”. Haven’t you ever felt this way? If no, then that’s great but a lot of people do. Pay attention to the signs, people thinking about suicide always try to tell you in subtle ways, listen. if you notice a change in someone, reach out, ask them, show concern, let them know that you care; even by asking, you add value to their worth, maybe keep them alive another day. Can you help? All the time, listen, let them talk, hear them, validate their feelings. Don’t tell them how to feel, don’t tell them how you feel, don’t tell them your reasons for living. If someone wants to die, it’s because they can’t find a reason to live. Don’t tell them that it’s foolish or stupid or how much you’ve been through, it’s not about you, it’s about them. Sit with them and listen, hug them, normalize their feelings, connect them with more supports, call them to check in and follow up. Every time I visit Guyana, it’s clear that more and more, everyone values their physical health and being fit, that’s great! People are motivated and they work hard, they look great. Why not nurture your mental health also, feed your soul? Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, if not more. From the news articles, it seems like most of the suicides are a result of broken relationships. I’m sure that everyone has had a broken heart or two, it’s painful, very painful, so painful that sometimes you feel like you’re going to die, you can’t breathe. Does it get better? In time. How long does it take? Sometimes a very long time, it depends on how well you can cope and multiple other factors. The point is that eventually it does get better and you can overtime it, you can survive, choose to survive, be a survivor. Everyone wants to see a change, me too. Let it start with you, be the change. Be honest with yourselves, be open to help and being helped, people who love you will listen. if they don’t, find someone who will. Wanting to die is not a weakness, it just means that you don’t have what you need and need some help. if you have these thoughts, talk to someone, they might have them too. You’re not alone and you never have to face these feelings alone. Please reach out to someone you know who might be sad or hurting, you might end up saving a life.

Guyana secures 2nd CMRC title -Trinidad finishes a ‘bumper close’ second

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Images Right (Top to Bottom): Elliot Vieira and Kristian Jeffrey receiving their awards

Images Right (Top to Bottom): Elliot Vieira and Kristian Jeffrey receiving their awards

Guyana tasted Championship Glory again on November 16th when they were announced winners of the Caribbean Motor Racing Championship’s (CMRC) country title for a second year running.
Coming home to the final leg, the Guyanese sat third in the Championship behind Barbados and Trinidad respectively and Trinidad had seemed to sense an opening, preparing a 9 member team in an attempt to win their first championship since returning to full competition last year.
A proverbial dog fight ensued between the Trini’s and the 592 boys for a title that was so close to each of them, and when the dust settled, a bumper of 8 points gave the locals their second trophy in as many years.
Guyana (936 points) and the ‘Tigers’ team of Trinidad (924) pulled away from the rest of the pack in Barbados (660) and Jamaica 269 while the lone contender for the Cayman Islands Gary Barrett racked up 158 points and Suriname’s Oliver TjinLeipShie 25 points.
CMRA Chairman Ray Rahaman, who declared the winner, noted, “In four legs, both teams (Guyana and Trinidad) were able to amass over 900 points. That is an amazing feat.”
“Added to that, to have eight points separate the two top teams just goes to show that the CMRA competition is not always a run away and we expect more competition in the future,” continued the CMRA Chairman.
Paramount to Guyana’s win was Kristian Jeffrey who successfully retained his Group Four championship for a second time.
He picked up 225 points from an almost perfect season leaving his nearest competitor and only competition Trinidadian Kristian Boodoosingh second on 152 points and Trinidad’s Gerard Carrington 58 points.
At the Group two level, Barbadian Mark Thompson was forced to concede his title and settle for second after Trinidad’s Marc Gill amassed 189 points from the four legs of competition.
Guyana’s Shairaz Roshandin ended 3rd with 84 points.
The Trini’s also picked up the group 3 title after Paul Vieira carted off 169 points from three legs while Cayman Islands Barrett, who was awarded the most consistent and competitive driver of the CMRC 2015 picked up second (138 points.)
Barbadian Kurt Thompson ended 3rd with 104 points while Guyana’s Danny Persaud ended 4th with 82 points.
In the Superstock department, Elliot Vieira produced the ride of a lifetime to be crowned the youngest CMRA Bike champion after his cousin Stephen had suffered some amount of injuries a few weeks before races.
He ended with 161 points, clear of Stephen’s 143 and Matthew Vieira’s 100 points.

The Mighty Orinduik Falls: A Natural Wonder to Behold

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

While many of the local waterfalls carry their own mesmerizing beauty, the natural exquisiteness of the Orinduik Falls is certainly a wonder to behold.
Stretched out beautifully on the border of Guyana and Brazil, this falls lies on the Ireng River, which is an important highland tributary that thunders over naturally formed steps and terraces made of red jasper before meeting with the Takutu River and into Brazil to join the Amazon River.
In fact, the name of the falls is derived from the Amerindian (Patamona) word, Orin, which is the name given to an aquatic plant found in these falls.
This natural landmark is also sheltered by the undulating, grass-covered hills of the enormous Pakaraima Mountains. The magnificent Orinduik Falls is a wide, multi-tiered series of cascades which makes it an ideal waterfall for swimming unlike many others.
What makes it absolutely conducive for this exercise too, is the fact that the falls gives way to numerous, natural jacuzzis that are showered by the tumbling falls. The Orinduik Falls in all its glory is approximately 25 m tall and more than 150 m wide.
There are of course, other waterfalls along the Ireng River, such as the stunning Kurutuik Falls, which is approximately 100m tall and is located more than 40 km to the north. But due to how difficult it can be to access these falls, they are rarely visited.
But the unique wide structure of the Orinduik falls is what always manages to captivate its visitors and as a result of its enchanting characteristics, it has been deemed to be one of the most beautiful locations in Guyana’s hinterland. It is also one of the few waterfalls that you can actually get up close and personal with. In fact, many tourists make maximum use of the opportunity to bathe in the enthralling waterfalls.
The Ireng River (or Maú River), upon which it lies comfortably, is also another interesting component of the falls. This tributary forms part of Guyana’s western border with Brazil. It flows through the valleys of the Pakaraima Mountains for most of its length. It is the only major river in Guyana which flows from North to South and it is one of the northernmost tributaries of the Amazon River system.
The larger part of the Ireng River basin forms as the frontier between Brazil and Guyana. The Ireng’s main branches are the Uailan and Canã rivers on the Brazilian side and the Cacó, Dacã and Socobi rivers on the Guyanese side.
These rivers merge with the upper and middle sections of the Ireng which gives the Orinduik falls a gorgeous enclosing effect by these tributaries snaking around it. Their courses are through magnificent formations of sedimentary rocks formed by tectonic movements in ancient times. The Ireng River’s waters are dark, bearing a striking resemblance to that of Rio Negronear Manaus, in Brazilian state of Amazonas. As such, it is considered to be the most picturesque of Guyana’s many rivers.
The Ireng River brings much interesting wildlife to the Orinduik falls as the region is teeming with wildlife. The area is home to such reptile species as the Antilles Leaf-toed Gecko(Hemidactylus palaichthus)and Rainbow Whiptail (Cnemidophorus lemniscatus); amphibians such as the The Sapo Dorado(Bufo guttatus)and Leptodactylus bolivianus; birds including the The Muscovy Duck(Cairina moschata), The Black Vulture(Coragyps atratus), The Southern Crested Caracara (Caracara plancus), The Double-striped Thick-knee (Burhinus bistriatus)and numerous other; mammals include The South American tapir (Tapirus terrestris),jaguar (Panthera onca) and the red-rumped agouti(Dasyprocta leporina).
But the journey to this falls can sometimes prove to be a tricky one and is often advised that first time travelers be guided by one of the country’s most popular day trip, explorers: –The Wilderness Explorers.
The trip to the exotic falls starts with a two to three hour flight from the Ogle Airstrip which can be followed by one to two hours of trekking which would truly satisfy the cravings of nature lovers.
The Wilderness Explorers has been the most active facilitator of trips to this falls and for nearly 20 years; it has been working at the crossroads of adventure travel and community tourism locally.
The agency enjoys organizing the journey, specifically as it relates to getting patrons the best local lodges, prioritizing the activity list, and setting the stage for an unforgettable getaway to the splendid Orinduik Falls.

Traditional Guyanese Recipes for Christmas

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

No matter how many Butterball turkeys we purchase, or how much eggnog and apple cider we drink, a Guyanese Christmas just wouldn’t be the same without adding the cultural panache of its cuisine.
Once you taste local treats such as pepperpot, black cake, and garlic pork served in some homes, you would agree that there’s nothing that can come close to traditional Guyanese Christmas foods.
Pepperpot is an Amerindian-derived dish. It is a stewed meat dish made with spices, cassareep (a special sauce made from the cassava root) and other basic ingredients, including Caribbean hot peppers. Beef, pork and mutton are the most popular meats used. It is also Guyana’s national dish.
Pepperpot is popularly served with dense, Guyanese-style homemade or home-style bread, although, like most foods, it can be eaten however one chooses — be it with rice, cassava, or cassava bread.
Like the original Amerindian version, pepperpot is usually made in a large pot, and can be reheated and eaten over several days, because the cassareep preserves the meat.
Here is a guide on how to prepare this treasured Guyanese dish, among other traditional Guyanese foods and beverages that are permanent features during the Christmas season. (Recipes adopted from What’s Cooking Guyana)


2 pig trotters or 1 cow heel
2 lb stewing steak or brisket
8 oz pickled meat
2lb ox tail
¼ pt cassareep
2 red peppers
1 inch piece of cinnamon stick
3 cloves
2oz sugar
Salt to taste

Wipe and clean meat thoroughly;
Put heel or trotters in pan. Cover with water and bring to boil. Skim;
When half tender, add other meats, and hot water to cover. Cook for about 1 hour;
Add other ingredients and simmer until meat is tender. Adjust flavour for salt and sugar;
Serve hot.

Serves Eight.

Note: This dish develops more flavour when left over a period of days. It must be reheated to boiling point each day.

garlic-porkGarlic Pork

3 lbs of pork at least one (1) inch thick; tender cuts are preferred
12 large cloves garlic
½ cup of fresh thyme leaves (stem reserved) or
2 tbsp. of dried Thyme
8-10 wiri-wiri peppers
1 ½ tbsp. sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
2 cups of white distilled vinegar
2 cups of boiled water (brought to room temp.)
3-4 whole cloves
3 additional cloves of garlic, unpeeled
4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme

Wipe the meat clean with a damp cloth or paper towel;
Using a sharp knife, make little gashes into the meat on both sides. Grind the garlic, thyme, and wiri-wiri peppers in a food processor/mortar and pestle, then pour this seasoning rub in a small bowl;
Using a butter knife or your fingers, spread a generous amount to fill the small gashes in the meat;
Salt and pepper both sides, reserving ½ tsp salt;
Rub any left-over seasoning mixture on meat slices;
Using a wide-mouthed glass jar, start by layering pieces of seasoned meat, stacking until all meat has been placed in the jar;
Combine vinegar and water, and pour cautiously into the jar of layered meat until meat is covered by two inches;
Gently shake the jar to distribute meat evenly, and place thyme stems and cloves in the jar. Add three cloves of unpeeled garlic, as part of the garnish, and the peppercorns.
Place additional sprigs of thyme on top of jar, or slide it down the sides;
Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt, and seal jar tightly;
Store in a cool dark place (not refrigerator), and let it rest for 3-5 days;
After curing period, drain meat on a rack, and discard liquid. Do not allow seasoning in the gashes to fall out;
In a skillet, pour 3 tbsp. Canola oil;
Pan-fry on medium heat, until nicely browned for about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove and serve with crusty bread and ginger beer, or desired beverage.

fruit-cake-smFruit Cake

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 ½ hours
Servings: 12 slices

½ pound (225 grams) margarine
½ pound (225 grams) dark sugar
4 medium eggs
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla/almond flavouring
1 pound (450 grams) cake and pastry flour
¼ pound (115 grams) breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons (10 ml) mixed spice/nutmeg
1 tablespoon (15 ml) baking powder
3 cups (750 ml) red wine
1 cup (250 ml) rum
3 cups (720 grams) soaked mixed fruits
½ cup (120 grams) cherries
¼ cup (60 grams) peanuts, crushed

Cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy;
Gradually beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in vanilla/almond flavouring;
Combine flour, breadcrumbs, mixed spice/nutmeg and baking powder and mix well;
Fold flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with the red wine, rum, soaked mixed fruits, cherries and crushed peanuts;
Scrape batter into a greased and lined 325 cm (10-inch) baking tin. Bake for 1½ hours at 180°C/350°F or until a skewer inserted comes out clean;
6. Allow to cool.

black-cake-smBlack Cake

1 lb raisins
1 lb preserved carambola fruit
½ lb currants
½ lb prunes
1 cup brown rum
2 lbs brown sugar
1 lb butter
12 eggs, beaten
1 lb flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon mixed spices (nutmeg, cloves, all spice, and cinnamon)
¼ pound mixed peel
¼ pound chopped nuts
1 tsp vanilla flavouring

For the cake: Wash and dry fruits; Grind fruits and soak with ¾ cup of rum. Store covered in a glass jar for 2 weeks or longer;
To make caramel: Heat 1 lb of sugar in heavy bottom frying pan until melted. Simmer until dark brown;
Cream butter and 1 lb sugar well, add beaten eggs a little at a time, add soaked fruits and rum and enough caramel to make it as dark as desired;
Add sifted flour with baking powder, mixed spice and vanilla flavouring. Fold in peel and chopped nuts;
Pour mixture in baking pan. Bake in slow oven at 375 for about 1 ½ hours, or until toothpick inserted to test comes out clean;
Drizzle or lightly brush more rum on to finished.

Ssorrelorrel Drink

8 cups sorrel petals
2 ounces grated ginger
12 cups boiling water
Dried orange peel (optional)
Sugar for sweetening to taste

Place sorrel, crushed ginger and dried peel of orange into a pot of boiling water;
Macerate for 12-16 hours;
Strain, sweeten to taste, and bottle;
For preservation, keep in refrigerator. If you wish, add an ounce of white rum to each quart bottle.

ginger_beer-smGinger Beer

1 lb. of ginger
10 cups of water
2 cups of dark brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
6 cloves
5 3 x 3-inch pieces of orange peel
1 4-inch piece of orange peel
Uncooked rice to help with fermentation

Grate ginger with the fine side of the grater;
In a large pot, combine all ingredients, except cinnamon and the (3×3) pieces of orange peel;
Bring to a rapid boil for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain;
Use a cheese cloth to remove ginger bits;
Pour into a large glass jug;
Break orange peel and cinnamon sticks into pieces; add to ginger beer, and bring to room temperature;
Place 12 uncooked rice grains in each glass jar; pour into glass jars and let rest;
Ferment for 5-7 days;
Discard cinnamon sticks and orange peel;
Serve over crushed ice or ice cubes.

[Photo Credits – (Pepperpot); (Black Cake); (Ginger Beer); (Sorrel and Garlic Pork)]

Should Caribbean Businesses be Concerned about terrorism

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

-By Brian Ramsey , Amalgamated Security Services Limited

There is a tendency in the Caribbean to view terrorism as something that happens in other countries away from this region. Yet, if one examines regional history one can clearly see that the Caribbean has not been immune to terrorist activity. A quick examination of the last 50 years reveals that there has been terrorist activity with some of these being:

  1. 1968, Bahamas, Assassination of Haitian Consul
  2. 1976, Barbados, Bombing of Cubana Airplane and Bombing of BWIA office
  3. 1976, Trinidad, Bombing of Guyana Consulate-General
  4. 1976, Bahamas, Attack on Soviet Ship
  5. 1980, Guadeloupe, Bombing at airport
  6. 1985, Guadeloupe, Bombing of Ford dealership
  7. 1987 Dominican Republic, Bombing of Peace Corp office
  8. 1988, Dominican Republic, Bombing of U.S. Centre
  9. 1989, Dominican Republic, Bombing of G.T.E subsidiary
  10. 1990, Suriname, Bombing of Alcoa subsidiary
  11. 2006, Trinidad, Bombings in the streets
  12. 2007, Trinidad, Guyana, JFK bomb plot

Apart from these direct on-island terrorist activities, there have been Cyber attacks by persons linked to ISIS on the government computers of Jamaica and St Vincent & the Grenadines.
In addition, there are clear indications that persons from Trinidad have gone to the Middle East to fight with ISIS and the production of a recruitment video aimed directly at attracting persons from this region to join ISIS.
One of the aspects of terrorist group operations and particularly noticeable with ISIS is the propensity to expand their affiliations and so join with groups in other territories.
Further, with ISIS fighters being drawn from many countries around the world, there is need to be concerned about ISIS fighters returning to their home countries and terrorist cells beginning operations in new countries.
The impact of Terrorism in the Caribbean is therefore a valid concern and one which Caribbean businesses should be addressing.
Terrorism has direct multi-layered implications for Caribbean businesses which include:

  1. Direct implications for companies as a potential target
  2. Direct implications for personnel employed in companies
  3. Collateral damage implications as a business may be located near to a terrorist target

Companies may become a target because of their name e.g. British American Tobacco or British American Insurance. Companies may become a target because of a perceived link to a terrorist enemy.
Companies may also become a target if they are seen as symbols e.g. McDonalds, Citibank, Royal Bank of Canada etc. It is interesting to note that one of the suicide bombers chose the McDonalds restaurant outside the Stade de France in which to detonate his vest and it is believed that he picked this restaurant because it is a symbol of America.
Given that Caribbean companies need to be concerned about terrorism, the issue becomes what should businesses do independent of what actions the State should take for dealing with terrorism.
One of the first actions that every business should undertake is to conduct a security assessment that should specifically incorporate a terrorism assessment. That assessment should particularly look at the risk profile of the company both in terms of being a direct target and also the possibility of collateral damage implications because of the company’s location. The assessment should identify the level of risk and how robust are the company’s arrangements to assist in preventing a terrorist attack. While it is important to do an initial assessment, it is equally important that the assessments are regularly reviewed, at least every three years and also after any major incident.
In seeking to reduce the possibility of a terrorist incident affecting your business, a critical aspect is staff awareness. Companies must make security awareness part of their organization’s culture.
Employees are the eyes and ears of a company; they know who is a regular customer and who is not, they know when something is out of place in their environment and so can quickly identify when action needs to be taken. It is also important that when hiring staff or contractors that thorough background checks are conducted on the individuals.
The control of access in a business is also another vital part of any company’s terrorism prevention actions. This is of course complicated by the nature of the business and the extent to which the business caters directly to the public. It is certainly easier for an organization involved in warehousing and distribution to strictly control access when compared to a restaurant or a hotel.
Nevertheless regardless of the nature of the business, public areas should be clearly defined and all other areas restricted to staff or authorized visitors only. Such actions help reduce the risk to specific clearly demarcated areas. In restricting access, the days of simply placing a sign saying no access or authorized persons only as the method of access control are over, especially if the concern is terrorism as terrorists will not be deterred by just signs.
Businesses must invest in automatically closing doors and electronic access control systems whether card or biometric access control.
As a supplement to the protective measures a CCTV system that enables facial recognition should be considered. There must however be proactive use of the system. In the fight against terrorism one cannot simply have a CCTV system so that if a terrorist incident occurs you can possibly identify who committed the act. The objective for every business must be to prevent any terrorism incident occurring on their property. As such the business should aim to regularly review the footage of activities in and around their property, particularly if a staff reports that a strange individual was seen either within or in the vicinity of the business. The system must be such that it is easy to provide Government authorities with copies of the video so that they can investigate the individuals and possibly prevent an incident from occurring.
Apart from the overall good public image and hence enhanced revenues that may arise, maintaining an aesthetically pleasing appearance also has an anti-terrorism benefit. Companies should ensure good basic housekeeping throughout their premises. They should keep public areas tidy and well-lit, remove unnecessary furniture and keep garden areas clear. Where possible, they should not allow unauthorized vehicles close to their building. Each of these actions makes it easier to see if something is out of place and so requiring immediate action.
The steps outlined above are some of the actions that businesses can take as part of a pro-active terrorism prevention strategy. It is however vital that there is constant monitoring of the various strategies implemented by the company. There is the tendency in the Caribbean to hurriedly implement measures but then not follow up to ensure that the measures are consistently applied and become part of a consistent ongoing operational methodology.
Terrorists do not hurriedly plan their actions but spend time carefully examining a company for weaknesses and so implementing with no consistent follow up provides them with the weaknesses that they can exploit.

About the Author
Brian Ramsey has a B.A. in Accounting and Management, along with an M.B.A. in Finance and over 29 years in the Caribbean security field. He is the Regional Development Director for Amalgamated Security Services Limited which operates in Grenada, Barbados, St Lucia, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago. He can be contacted at

[Feature Image – Relatives of the victims of 1976 bombing of cuban airline (Photo Courtesy of Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba)]

Revisiting Suicide… Depression and the Mask of Social Perfection

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Millions of persons in the world suffer from depression. But those who suffer from this illness put on a brave face and hide it from their partners, loved ones, families and society at large.
Most cases are undiagnosed and therefore, go untreated. Trapped in this saddening world, some unfortunately succumb to the misconstrued notion that the only way out is by committing suicide.
But depression is not something that you have to face on your own. This cannot be stressed enough and it is a message that we must really strive to promote. In this way, we can reassure persons that it’s OK to not always have your troubles figured out. It’s OK not to look perfect; OK not to know what to do next and OK to ask others for help.
But depression is not always easily recognizable. We tend to believe that hardship is worn openly upon one’s chest like a battle scar, but many of these wounds do not easily reveal themselves to those that do not take the time to look.
A person with concealed depression is one who is conditioned to deal with their ‘inner struggles’ in a way that doesn’t make them clearly visible. This may or may not be something they’ve shared with even their closest of companions.

How to speak up about Depression
When you’re feeling really down and out it can be difficult to know how to bring it up with family or friends. You may wonder, ‘How do I find the right words to use and where do I start?’

Well, you can start by knowing and remembering that depression is a growing problem all around the world, and that you are not alone. Nothing is wrong with ONLY you; this is a phase or period in your life that you can get out of.
Don’t label yourself as being weak and inadequate because Depression is not a disease of the weak like so many like to think, it can strike anyone and can happen for multiple reasons such as:-
Domestic Violence
Drugs & Alcohol abuse
Being bullied
Being sexually abused
Your sexual orientation
Chronic illness or pain

Get started with the phrase “I think I need help!”
– Talk about your depressive feelings, especially with someone who you think is trustworthy and comfortable with their own emotions. It could be someone who has always been sympathetic towards you in the past.
You can say: “I don’t know what’s wrong with me, but I’ve been feeling sad, angry and useless all the time. I can’t sleep, I’m worried a lot and I think I need help.”
-Talk about how your mood is affecting you in your workplace. This can help put you in a much better frame of mind to work under less emotional stress.
You can say: “I’ve been having trouble concentrating and I know I haven’t been working to my full potential of late, but I want to, so I think I need help.”
– Refer to research and clinical definitions on depression. This is a good way to introduce the topic. Taking the time to do this provides a great platform for you to share your feelings while giving you a chance to prepare for the release of pent up emotions. It can also help the listener to better understand what you’re going through from a clinical perspective.
You can say: “I’ve been reading up on depression and anxiety lately and can see some of the symptoms in myself like low energy, trouble concentrating and being short tempered for no good reason. I think I might be one of those persons and I need help.”
-If you are someone who lives a physically demanding life, then telling someone that you’re not coping on a physical level will help them to understand your situation and recognize that you are asking for much needed help.
You can say: “I’ve been feeling really tired and quite strange a lot of the time. I’m worried that something is wrong with me and I think I need help.”
– It’s not uncommon for depression to affect your closest relationships, as it is our loved ones that often bear the brunt of a bad mood. Depression can leave you feeling withdrawn and lacking confidence, which is why relating to loved ones and other associates, can be a struggle.
You can say: “I’ve been fighting with my partner a lot lately, I’m not getting along with colleagues and I can’t stand the noise of my children of late. I think I need help.”

Recognizing depression and persons living with depression
Do remember that persons living with depression may not always display the common symptoms.
A prevalent side effect of depression is constant exhaustion. Not everyone with the disorder struggles with it, but it’s extremely common. For those who experience this symptom, it’s often one of the hardest side effects to deal with. This is also a symptom that’s difficult to conceal, as it often affects the person’s workload and personal relationships.
Depressed persons are found to be unusually irritable. It could be interpreted as sadness, even if that’s not what they’re really feeling. Irritability is a frequently overlooked symptom of depression that is also very common. This should be understandable, since depression is a health problem you can’t “see” or strictly measure, making it hard to combat. Having a short temper over a long period of time could be a possible warning sign of depression.
Depressed persons have a hard time responding to affection and concern from others. It is difficult for them to respond appropriately to gestures or words of affection and they may even get irritated or annoyed with you over it.
Turning down activities that were otherwise frequently enjoyed is a major red flag when studying someone who is depressed. Depression is physically and mentally draining and it makes enjoying all the things you usually do, difficult. Previously enjoyed activities lose their appeal and are unfulfilling to the individual.
Abnormal eating habits also develop in persons who are experiencing depression. When a depressed person is eating too little, it’s often because their depression is affecting their appetite and making eating unappealing. It can also be a subconscious need to control something, since they cannot control their depression.
Depression can have its ups and downs. If someone has hidden or undiagnosed depression, they might seem like they experience random mood swings, depending on if their depression is consistent or not. To you, the changes in mood seem without cause, but it’s simply how some people’s depression manifests itself.

‘Smiling’ Depression
The hallmark of ‘smiling depression’ is sadness. The smile and external façade is a defense mechanism and an attempt to hide true feelings. A person could be experiencing sadness about a failed relationship, career challenges, or lacking what they view as a true purpose in life. The sadness might also manifest as a constant, overall feeling that “something just isn’t right.”
Other common symptoms of smiling depression are feelings of anxiety, fear, anger, fatigue, irritability, hopelessness, and despair. Those suffering from this and other forms of depression may also experience problems sleeping, a lack of enjoyment in pleasurable activities, and a loss of libido. Everybody’s experience is different however. It’s possible to feel just one or many of these symptoms.
Another way to think about smiling depression is to see it as wearing a mask. People suffering from smiling depression may offer no hint of their problem to the outside world. They often maintain a full-time job, run a family household, participate in sports, and have a fairly active social life. With their mask on, everything looks great, even at times perfect. However, underneath the mask they are suffering from sadness, panic attacks, low self-esteem, insomnia, and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts.
Suicide can be a particular threat for individuals suffering with smiling depression. Typically, people suffering with classic, severe depression might have suicidal thoughts, but not the energy to act on their feelings. On the other hand, those suffering from smiling depression have the energetic ability to plan and follow through. This is why smiling depression can be more dangerous than a classic form of severe depression.

Dealing with the dangers of Social Media and Social Perfection
We live in a society where perfection is seemingly the benchmark for social interaction on various social media platforms.
“Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem, in my opinion, to characterize our age.” These words were said a very long time ago by someone with either amazing foresight, or it stands as evidence that the advent and subsequent explosion of social media has exacerbated the phenomenon of perfection.
Professor Rory O’Connor, President of the International Academy of Suicide Research, has been studying the psychological processes behind self-inflicted death for over 20 years.
He says that “if you’re a social perfectionist, you tend to identify closely with the roles and responsibilities you believe you have in life. It’s not about what you expect of yourself, it’s what you think other people expect of you. You’ve let others down because you’ve failed to be a good father or a good brother – whatever it is.” He went on to say that because it’s a judgement on other people’s imagined judgements of you, it can be especially toxic. “It’s nothing to do with what those people actually think of you, it’s what you think they expect. The reason it’s so problematic is that it’s outside your control.”
Therefore, if you’re a social perfectionist, you’ll have unusually high expectations of yourself. Your self-esteem will be dangerously dependent on maintaining a sometimes impossible level of success.
When you fail in this regard, the only thing left to do is collapse. When your self-esteem is low or shaky, you have to be careful around social media. On the various platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., everything is wonderful for everyone, and their lives are often amazing.
If you are indeed depressed you will not want your actual feelings to be featured and sure enough you will almost never tweet or post about feeling depressed or like a failure.
So the next possible step is to fake cheerfulness. It is here that the mask of social perfection starts to manifest itself for the world to see. The danger is that the disparity between your real life sadness and social media cheerfulness makes the feeling of depression even worse. It may be best sometimes, when overcome with depression or anxiety, to just lay off social media altogether.
There are those persons who tweet and post constant declarations of eternal love on anniversaries and spouses’ birthdays, pictures of happy couples, giggling babies, joyous families, and exotic, expensive vacations.
There are the people checking-in here and hanging out there, tagging each other with inside jokes etc. only to turn around and commit suicide leaving everyone shocked.
In as much as this serves to warn persons about the dangers of having a public mask when leading a privately sad or unfulfilling life, it must be stressed that we all need to adopt the attitude of being less or non – judgemental, and more open to embracing persons who may not “measure up” so to speak to societal norms and expectations.
The concept of what is beautiful or what’s fashionable or where might be the “in” place to hang out or even the “right” people to hang out with, weigh heavily on the younger members of our society.
It is up to us to show them that these things are not important to their wellbeing, and that nurturing their young minds, bodies and souls with more positive things that foster a positive outlook will benefit them in the long run mentally.
If you made a wrong decision, don’t be afraid to say so as you try to better your situation. It is better to try than to hide and hurt forever.
Surround yourself with positive and loving people and healthy relationships, for regardless of your flaws, you deserve to have relationships that feel good and are nourishing to you.

Guyana’s Eco-tourism Remains Home to Some of the Caribbean’s Most Exotic Natural Treasures

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Endowed with massive pristine tracts of tropical rainforest, high species biodiversity, amazing wildlife, majestic rivers and waterfalls, mountain ranges, savannahs, wetlands, and indigenous communities with low carbon lifestyle, Guyana’s ecotourism potential is unsurpassed.
It is a paradise for nature lovers, adventure seekers, and the Eco-tourist alike. It boasts an irresistible combination of fascinating and breathtaking natural beauty; blended with a vibrant indigenous culture, rich heritage and the most hospitable and friendly people in the world.
In Guyana, ecotourism is viewed as an environmentally-friendly way of utilizing the natural environment, as opposed to traditional forms of tourism such as nature tourism and adventure tourism, which are not necessarily environmentally-friendly.
But eco-tourism is probably one of the most misused and misunderstood words in the tourism industry. Ecotourism unites conservation communities and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement and participate in ecotourism activities are often required to take the following principles into consideration: Minimize impact, build environmental and cultural awareness and respect, provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts, provide direct financial benefits for conservation, provide financial benefits and empowerment for local people, raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climate, and respect local culture and human rights.
Ecotourism, also known as ecological tourism, is commonly defined as “Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves the well-being of local people.” It involves travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas. It helps to educate the traveler; provides funds for conservation; directly benefits the economic development and political empowerment of local communities; and fosters respect for different cultures and for human rights.
With the impacts of Climate Change, the drive to preserve the environment and human health while deriving economic benefits from the natural environment is becoming the trend.
Over the years, the scope for ecotourism in Guyana has grown with experiences which make it stand out from the other ecotourism destinations.
As opposed to the sun and sand tourism product offered by many of its Caribbean neighbors, Guyana truly offers a distinct product with its vast open spaces, savannahs, virgin rainforests, mountains, enormous rivers and waterfalls, the most legendary of which is the majestic Kaieteur Falls, known to be the highest single drop waterfall in the world and five times taller than Niagara Falls.
Some of Guyana’s most fascinating mountains include; Mount Ayanganna, Monte Caburai and Mount Roraima which is said to be the country’s highest mountain. The mystifying beauty of these mountains has inspired many great novels published across the world.
The country’s four largest rivers; Essequibo, Corentyne, Berbice and Demerara are also enigmatic brown and black water beauties which invite anyone to explore their haunting wonders.
Guyana also possesses abundant wildlife, numerous species of flora, a unique variety of fauna and a spectacular array of over 850 species of birdlife making it home to some of the Caribbean’s most exotic natural resources.
Some of the country’s most exquisite birds include; Manakins, Saltators, Osprey, Plovers and not forgetting its national bird, the Hoatzin.
Its wildlife includes exotic species such as the Ocelot, Harpy Eagle, Arapaima (the world’s largest fresh water fish) and the Jaguar.
The sites to view Guyana’s magnificent flora and fauna are accessible by land, air and river and are served by high-quality eco-resorts in the interior.
Guyana’s tourism industry is experiencing a period of dynamic investment and growth. Visitor arrivals have grown from 57,400 in 1999 to over 116,000 in 2005. Tourism receipts (or exports) amounted to over US$35 million in 2005.
Guyana, with over 75 percent of pristine forest, has great potential for ecotourism. Its rich biodiversity, which encompasses a wide spectrum of unique plants and animals, makes Guyana’s ecotourism experience different from the typical Caribbean island experience.
There are also several eco-resorts which not only preserve the faultless flora around it but also promote so as to give that ideal nature-inspired feel. From the serene waters of the mighty Essequibo, to the unadulterated rainforest and natural beauty of the rugged Rupununi, eco-resorts can be found so that tourists can be in the comfort they always wanted when holidaying.

Adels Resort – Akawini Creek, Pomeroon River
Located in the pristine rainforest area of the Pomeroon River and surrounded by a 60 acre farm that provides all the food you can eat, this eco-resort is the perfect sanctuary to reconnect with nature.
This quiet resort was named after the late Adel Stoll (1882-1984) and pays tribute to a daughter of the soil who raised eighteen children, sold produce from Adel’s farm and home-made sweets to take care of her family. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren now honour the memory of this much loved matriarch.
It is within an hour’s boat ride to several Amerindian Reservations and the famous Shell Beach where you can witness the turtles comes to lay their eggs. You can awake to the beautiful sunrise and the variety of gorgeous and rare birds flying overhead. Howler monkeys are also generally on hand for your early morning wake up call. Bird watching is also a favourite pastime with the numerous indigenous birds that call the trees around Adel’s home.

adels rainforest resortArrow Point Interior Nature Resort
Arrowpoint is an Eco tourism facility that offers guests an unforgettable experience. It is located in the Amerindian Reservation of Santa Mission which has a population of approximately four hundred (400) Arawak Indians. Established in 1993, Arrow Point takes its name from the profusion of arrow trees that grow in the area. Biking, bird-watching, and quiet, reflective strolls along its winding trails are just part of the “eco-adventure” product that it offers.
Flowing past the Resort, the serene waters of the Kamuni Creek gently kiss a small, inviting expanse of white sandy beach.

Baganara Scenary 15Baganara Island Resort
You dream of a place, within your reach, where you can be alone, with nature’s beauty surrounding you on all the shores. Your senses are indulged by the calming lilt of birdsong, the chirping of crickets and the croaking of frogs. The magnificence of the vastness of such a pristine natural world spells Baganara Island Resort. This is the place where you can leave the bustle of the city behind and enjoy a private executive lunch, the atmosphere is great for deal closings, mergers or just a place to get away for a quiet lunch when the options of a city restaurant becomes mundane. This is a place where one can surely escape to an exotic Island Paradise and experience one of Guyana’s true gems located five miles from Bartica in the Essequibo River.

iworkramaIwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development
The Iwokrama Forest and the Rupununi Wetlands and savannahs offer visitors the opportunity for an exceptional natural and cultural experience set in a learning context.
Iwokrama is a place for all ages and all interests and you choose what you want to do. By staying at Iwokrama you are directly contributing to the communities in and surrounding the forest and to the conservation of what lies within.
You will also contribute towards the development of an eco-friendly sustainable tourism model which can be shared locally, nationally and with the international community.

Lake MainstayLake Mainstay Resort
A unique tropical paradise constructed on 15.3 acres of land, Lake Mainstay is located 15 minutes by car inland from Anna Regina on the Essequibo coast. With its own airstrip, the resort is a 20-minute flight from Georgetown. The Arawak Indians first inhabited the Mainstay area which was called ‘Quacabuka’, an Arawak word meaning ‘in–between’. Activities on-site include volleyball, fishing, walks along nature trails, lawn tennis, and dancing the night away at our beach bar. It was officially opened on December 4, 1999.

splashSplashmin’s Fun Park and Resort
Splashmin’s Fun Park and Resort, snuggled in the heart of Madewini Wetlands on the Linden/Soesdyke Highway, is a perpetual Paradise. The handmade masterpiece of this timeless creation offers family a place to be together, a place to construct unforgettable memories of a lifetime.
The theme park features shows, pristine plant life and beaches. The Park is built on one hundred and sixty four acres amidst numerous species of flora and a variety of fauna which include spectacular bird life. Splashmin’s Resort is also forty five (45) minutes from Georgetown and fifteen (15) minutes from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport.
Guests can indulge in nature and experience Guyanese lifestyle to the fullest. The lush flora invites you to pick succulent fruits, climb trees, or get bush cook started. At the end of the day it provides a real nature experience.
Splashmins Eco Adventure Park and Camping Grounds is located on the opposite side of its Fun Park which is just a mere two minutes boat ride away. It is accessible from the Linden Soesdyke highway; only about a minute drive, South from the Fun Park’s main entrance.

Why Should This Christmas Cost You Next Year’s? Here’s How You Can Save This Christmas!

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Christmas is truly an exciting time of the year. But even in the midst of the thrill of having everything on your wish list, reality has an uncanny way of setting in. You soon realize that the funds just aren’t enough. So, how do you make it?
Well, it’s pretty simple. Just follow the tips below to have a festive and frugal Christmas.

Plan for affordability, not desirability
Before you start planning, think about this. Many list every lusted-for item, gifts for all, and a splendid meal, and then only afterwards do they consider: “How will I pay for it?” That’s a recipe to be broke by New Year’s Eve.
Instead, calculate your budget and ask: “What can I afford to spend on Christmas?” Christmas is one day – don’t ruin the whole of the next year for it.
Consider scaling back this Christmas. We’re not talking about cutting back on your gifts to parents, children or to grandchildren, but the ever-widening glut of friends, extended family and colleagues. Christmas isn’t a retail festival – we need to end obliged giving and think more about what we’re giving, to whom and why.

Set your budget and don’t stray
It doesn’t matter whether your budget is $20,000 or $100,000, this tip works for all. If you know your limits before hitting the shops you can avoid any last-minute surprises when you examine the receipts.

Make a list – and check it twice
Christmas shopping on impulse is very dangerous. So make an old-fashioned shopping list and stick to it. Remember, shops spend a fortune on targeting your spending impulses – a list helps you beat them.
List everyone that you intend to buy for, then budget a reasonable amount that you can afford to spend on each person. Making a shopping list will also help you avoid impulse buying and keep track of your spending.
Don’t buy on impulse or just for the sake of it. Those last minute presents are the ones that push your finances into crisis. Leave your credit card at home and take out a specific amount of cash – then shop.
Make sure you write down everyone you plan to buy a gift for, no matter how small the gift may be. Include ideas of what to give each person, along with the maximum amount you’re willing to spend.

Avoid Last Minute Shopping
Avoid shopping at the last minute and try to arrange to go shopping when it’s quieter. Shops are a lot quieter late at night or first thing in the morning. Leaving yourself plenty of time and avoiding busy shopping times will make your Christmas shopping a bit easier.

Try a new approach to buying presents
You could agree to a spending limit with your friends and family or try an option like a Secret Santa, so each person only has to buy one present. Or if there is a special item that you really want to give to someone, consider splitting the cost with a friend or relative. Keep an eye out for coupons or deals on gifts wherever you can.

Prepare your present list
Now is the time to sit down with family and friends and broach the subject of presents. Agree with certain friends that you won’t exchange gifts this year, or set a price limit for family presents, particularly those for adults. Alternatively, have a “children only” rule, or set up a Secret Santa. Here, you draw names out of a hat so that everyone has to buy only one gift (and then guess who it is from). If a maximum price is set in advance, this can be an effective way of keeping costs down.

Do your research
If you have a present in mind, shop around and compare prices, both in store and online. Keep your eye out for discounts and promotional offers. They are abundant during the Christmas time. If you plan to do some shopping online, be careful. What might seem like a great deal could be more expensive when you add on delivery charges, so be sure to take them into account. Make sure you leave plenty of time for delivery too.

Don’t get caught out by credit
In the run up to Christmas, personal loans and in-store credit (hire purchase) may look like attractive options, especially for larger purchases like personal computers, electrical equipment or furniture, where stores may offer you 0% finance for a period of time. Before signing up to store credit or a personal loan, consider the full costs and not just the monthly repayment. Ponder this, would the repayments still be affordable if your income dropped for any reason, or if you had an unexpected expense?

Forget the Credit Card
Leave the credit card at home and bring cash or your debit card instead. Credit card debt can be very expensive if you can’t repay it in full immediately or within a few months. When you are spending the cash in your pocket or in your bank account, you will be much less likely to overspend than if you pay with a credit card.

Make the most of discounts
Buying the festive food can be an expensive business, so make the most of those supermarkets offering discounts.

Don’t buy too much
Most hosts will want to put on a plentiful spread, but it’s easy to overestimate the amount that people will tuck away. You don’t want to waste food, or the money you’ve spent buying it. So be economical in all that you do.

Be realistic with your food shopping
It can be easy to buy more than you need, but bear in mind that most shops are only closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, so there’s no need to go overboard. Check your cupboards for ingredients before you start shopping, so you don’t end up doubling up.

Next Christmas….Start Early
Be prepared for 2016. If you think even further ahead you can save even more next year. Christmas cards, wrapping paper, crackers etc are always in the sale just after Christmas, stock up in the sales this year and make next year even cheaper.
Keep your eyes open all year round for items for friends and family would like; it’s often when you’re not looking for something specific that you stumble across the perfect gift for Dad or your best friend. Once December 2016 hits, you’ll be glad that you already have some people crossed off your list. Just make sure to keep all your advance gifts in a designated (and hidden, if necessary) spot so that you don’t forget a purchase you made months in advance.
Start your Christmas shopping early and spread the expense out. Don’t feel the squeeze come December 2016. Start stocking your stockings early. The best time to start shopping for Christmas is Boxing Day.
Forward-planning isn’t going to help with cutting the cost of Christmas this year. But it’s unlikely that any of us are going to feel any more flush in 12 months’ time….Remember it is possible to cut the expense without cutting out the fun.

Fine Dining Gems Of Guyana

January 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

With the number of competitive fast food restaurants popping up by the second, some question whether the days for fine dining in Guyana are numbered.
But a visit to just a few of the best fine dining restaurants on any given evening would prove that the aura of fine dining in Guyana will never lose its pizzazz or its appeal.
The term Fine Dining brings to mind all kinds of images, from crisp white table cloths to waiters in tuxedos.
But in Guyana, fine dining takes on a cultural twist with classy nuances of sometimes western or Asian influences.
Fine dining, just as the name suggests, offers patrons the premium in food, service and atmosphere in Guyana. It is also the highest priced type of restaurant a Guyanese entrepreneur in this line of business can operate.
Fine dining restaurants in Guyana are also full service restaurants with some offering specific dedicated meal courses. The décor of such local restaurants features higher-quality materials, with a calming “atmosphere” desired by the restaurateur.
The wait staff is usually highly trained and often wears more formal attire. Unlike what takes place in other parts of the world, Fine dining restaurants in Guyana operate at a relatively smaller scale and generally have a single location.
But each restaurant offers a different style, personality and ambiance. Here is a look at some of the fine dinging gems in and around Georgetown.

grandcoastalThe Grand Coastal Hotel
The deluxe setting, flawless service, and preponderance of fine cuisine are all distinct features to be noticed when dining at the Grand Coastal Hotel in Guyana. Located along the lazy stretch of the road leading to Le Ressouvenir on the East Coast, this fine dining gem attracts a fashionable crowd. It carries a cool, voluptuous vibe and its great service is evidence of outstanding management behind the wheel of the entity which carries two dining areas.
Patrons can relish their meals in an enclosed air-conditioned dining space, the dress code for which calls for elegantly casual attire. The next option is an outdoor courtyard overlooking the hotel’s inviting pool. It boasts an accommodation capacity of 60 people in a dining setting, and 100-200 people in a cocktail/event setting. There, all types of clothing are permissible.
But the food at the Grand Coastal Hotel is what impresses the most. The food, like the space, exudes unbuttoned decadence—like wearing a tux with no socks. Their Chicken breast stuffed with a broccoli and cream cheese filling, topped with a white wine sauce, served with rice pilaf is surely the new gold standard. It’s an art-directed beauty, well worth its price tag.
Other entrées are nearly as memorable, anointed in power chords of intense and elegant flavors. These include the Cajun Shrimp Fettuccine Alfredo, Fettuccine tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce and topped with succulent Cajun shrimp and onions, served with garlic bread and the Tomato Basil Penne tossed in a rich tomato and basil sauce, topped with Parmesan cheese, and served with garlic bread. Desserts, as thoughtfully elevated as everything else there, are also sinfully delicious

El-Dorado-Restaurant-PHG-e1443220769850-608982683The El Dorado Restaurant at the Pegasus Hotel
Dining at the El Dorado Restaurant which is housed in the Pegasus Hotel in Guyana is a religious experience for the soul. With an ambiance that oozes elegance and something French, this exquisite little candle lit spot offers its guests a slice of the Italian life.
It features an outstanding Italian menu in an upscale and sophisticated atmosphere. Its executive Chef Paul Hamilton and his team have put together a superb selection of authentic Italian dishes to tempt the most discerning palate.
The quintessential romantic couples can often be found there enjoying a hearty Minestrone Genovese with freshly made Italian breads, the Ricotta Ravioli Gratin, Fettuccine Carbonara or Aged Angus Rib Eye steak while finishing off their meal with fine Tiramisu or Amaretto Pear Tart and an Italian Kiss, one of the restaurant’s specialty coffees served with homemade biscotti.
Reservations for a slice of this Italian heaven are always recommended

The Silhouette Restaurant
A clandestine second-floor location at Lot 3 Sandy Babb Street , Kitty makes the Silhouette Restaurant feel like a true intimate find in a modern setting. The Silhouette Restaurant brings amazing Caribbean and International cuisine, phenomenal Service, Impeccable presentation making it just a great all around ten fingers Caribbean salute.
Food apart, the focus at the Silhouette will embrace all of the various protocols associated with dining out. Staff manner, treatment of guests, correct table settings, fine wines and a la carte menus will be common features at the Slihouette.
Black, white and red are the chosen colours for the interior of the Silhouette. It seats 65 guests simultaneously. The interior of the restaurant seats fifty guests while the balcony, which overlooks Sandy Babb Street seats fifteen persons. The restaurant is open from 18:00 hrs to 23:00 hrs daily.
While local cuisine will feature prominently on the Silhouette’s menu, the restaurant’s culinary offerings will include an assortment of steaks and seafood. And while the restaurant favours prior reservations it will accept walk-in customers on the condition that it is not fully booked at the time.
No courtesies are spared when it comes to the Slihouette’s customers. On arrival they take the elevator to the middle floor where they are greeted and escorted to their seats. If customers arrive early they are shown to a waiting area. Alternatively, they may be invited to enjoy the hospitality of the Altitude, a bar opened a year ago on the top floor of the building.

11865010_453026278202444_172020691004545151_oAagman Indian Restaurant

If Aagman Restaurant has a mission, it’s to show that Indian food is just as deserving of linen napkins, sommeliers, and the fine dining experience as any other. Located on Sheriff Street, Georgetown, this eclectic restaurant sticks reasonably close to the classics we recognize such as curries, tandoori meats. One can also be sure to relish their epicurean Mughlai Cuisine from the imperial kitchens of India. It attempts a gentler nudge. The desired effect is a simple one: to have its diners, who may not otherwise give the cuisine a second glance, see what Indian food really tastes like when made with quality ingredients and careful technique

newthrivingNew Thriving Restaurant
Sometimes the best food is found in the most unassuming of places. And the New Thriving Restaurant on Main Street has earned its reputation for serving delicious, traditional Asian food without the pomp and ceremony of many of its competitors. Though it is not the most elaborate restaurant in town, style need not replace substance for this fine dining gem. Perhaps its ultra-chic and modern look with its neon bathed glow and immaculately presented dishes will provide you with the perfect backdrop for a memorable and delicious Chinese meal. In general you can rely on generous portion sizes and a gigantic menu of dishes to choose from. From the wonton soup a thin chicken broth with tender chicken or shrimp and perfectly pan fried dumplings and sweet and sour chicken makes simply makes all those take-out places pale in comparison. The sautéed pork, chicken or beef in black bean sauce and steam vegetables in garlic stand out on the menu, so does the grilled shrimp and many other Chinese specialties. Patrons can enjoy their meal in outdoors with the cool evening breeze, or indoors in their calming and refined dining hall

Marriott GuyanaThe Marriott Hotel
Guyanese and tourists alike are always invited to indulge in the freshest International buffet spread at Marriott Hotel. It’s the one place where local and regionally renowned chefs take centre-stage to whip up a perfect culinary storm for you à la minute upon request as you wait in a sophisticated dining area.
It’s the one fine dining restaurant where visitors experience the seamless combination of Georgetown’s historic architectural splendor, distinctive modern luxury and the finest cuisine in the country

Exceptional Leaders in Guyana’s Manufacturing, Business Sectors

January 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Guyana’s manufacturing and business sectors hold a whirlpool of endless potential for dynamic and sustainable growth. The longstanding companies of many exceptional leaders in this sphere are proof of that.
Just recently, the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA) honoured the outstanding leaders of the manufacturing and business worlds. It is one of the biggest and most prestigious award ceremonies locally. Various companies are celebrated for their achievements at this annual event.
Here is a look at the companies and persons who were honoured for the year, 2015.

Abdool and Abdool Inc
For 41 unbroken years of consistency in superior Insurance Services to the Manufacturing and Services Industries, Abdool and Abdool Inc. was presented with a plaque by Guyana’s resident country manager of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Sophie Makonnen.
This company was established and incorporated in 1974 as Abdools Ltd. Brokers and Consultants. The Company quickly rose to the top of its field with its client portfolio including manufacturing, banking, engineering, merchant shipping, construction, hospitality, aviation, agriculture and the list goes on.
The Company became Abdools RMS in 1992 as a result of a merger with Risk Management Services of Trinidad and Tobago, a subsidiary of the Neal and Massy Group. In 1998, Abdool repurchased all shares from Risk Management Services and the company returned to being a wholly Guyanese and family owned entity. The company is primarily involved in the provision of Insurance services, Brokering, Risk Management and Employee Benefit Insurance Services.

In recognition of its contributions to the growth and development of the ICT sector in Guyana, Qualfon was revered at this event. It remains the largest company of its kind in Guyana. It was noted that this entity demonstrated its confidence in Guyana by investing in the largest campus at the New Providence location for business processing services.
Upon completion, Qualfon expects to employ up to 6000 persons. This is the biggest investment that the company has made so far and they are justly proud of it.
Qualfon has not faltered in its commitments to its own employees and host communities. In fact, they have instituted various programmes which take care of the needs of employees, their families and the wider communities. They have also adopted the schools and orphanages located in their host communities and the employees provide voluntary support.

Umami Inc.
For rapid penetration, innovative labeling and packaging with Guyanese raw materials, Umami Inc. was honoured by the GMSA. The creation of this distinctive entity started with a flair for food chemistry, university training and quite a few years of experience at a highly acclaimed producer of cooking and eating condiments. Those years exposed Chris Persaud, the young proprietor of UMAMI Inc., to complex issues that most food industries deal with. He acquired the theoretical and analytical skills needed and paired with his spouse’s knowledge of computer science; they established UMAMI Inc. in 2013.
It was noted that the driving force behind the new operation was the need to produce high quality, value added products while utilizing home grown ingredients.
Aggressive marketing has put the products of the fast growing company on almost every supermarket shelf in all three counties of Guyana.

Amy’s Pomeroon Foods Inc.
Amy’s Pomeroon Foods Inc. was also presented with an award for introducing advanced technology to process and market ground Pomeroon coffee in superior quality packaging.
Coffee cherries are produced in the rich tannis found on the banks of Guyana’s Pomeroon River, just beyond Charity in the Essequibo. The original coffee variety, Typica, which was introduced here by the Dutch almost three centuries ago, has changed not by man’s hands but by nature. That change has bred a richer and tastier quality coffee bean which is now the essence and hallmark of this entity.
Amy’s Pomeroon Foods. Inc has established a coffee factory at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara with the most modern and sophisticated roasting and grinding equipment in Guyana. Mr. Louis Holder and his top notch crew of engineers, mixers and blenders work closely with their consultants, Boot Coffee of California to acquire the most optimum roasting profiles that give the most favorable taste and aroma to Amy’s Ground Coffee. Today, this product has earned high regard in markets both locally and regionally.

JTW Associates Ltd.
JTW Associates Ltd. was also one of the distinguished members honoured at the event. Joycelyn Williams, the driver behind this progressive entity, has for some years, been filling the needs of the public and private sectors for trained skills.
In 2012, she took a huge leap of faith and approached City and Guilds of London with a proposal to accredit Guyana once again. It was deemed as a bold and impressive move when she resorted to the highly accredited international certificate programme which had been absent from the education curricula for more than 30 years.
Since then, JTW Associates has been running certifiable courses for City and Guilds in Customer Service, English for Office Use and Marketing. In addition, their trainers are being called increasingly to offer on-the-job training to raise the quality of the companies’ public representatives.
As a result of its outstanding commitment to the private sector, it was given an award for its invaluable contributions to educational services in Guyana, especially for restoring City and Guilds Certification.

The Massy Group of Companies
The Massy Group of Companies, formerly Neal and Massy, has been in existence since 1932. After 26 years, the group of companies went public and continued with diversification of products and services and expansion into neighbouring territories. Another change was made in 2014 when the company was rebranded as the Massy Group. It is now a large conglomerate organized as business units located in several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. The group was honoured for its 50 years of service to Guyana and for attaining international certification.

The chief award, the Executive President’s Award for Export Achievement, was bestowed upon New GPC Inc, for rapidly expanding overseas markets for Limacol, Ferrol Compound and Nutrophos Nerve Tonic.
New GPC is a research driven pharmaceutical company which recognizes that continuous research for improving its products and developing new ones is key to keeping the top spot among competitors.
The aggressive marketing strategies employed by the NEW GPC have played no small role in the rapid increase in sales of their signature products. It closely guards the proprietary formulas for these products.

Guyana Colorete Inc.
The GMSA President’s Award was presented to Guyana Colorete Inc for attaining international certification and accelerating cross border trade with modern, innovative building materials made in Guyana. This company is a major producer of paints, thin set and grout. It serves local and regional markets. Just this year, it was able to penetrate the Suriname and Trinidadian markets with two of its most popular products—Thin set and Hiperbond.

Sattaur Gafoor – Proprietor of Gafoors
Two lifetime achievements were also given out, one to Sattaur A. Gafoor for the second time. This was noted to be a history-making moment in Guyana’s manufacturing sector as he was the first to attain the award for the second consecutive year.
Gafoor, the Captain of the mega-chain called simply Gafoors, is a consummate entrepreneur and has also become one of the most dependable philanthropists in the business sector.
He contributes to the educational advancement and social development of a wide assortment of people, particularly his employees.
Mr. Gafoor has often been described as a man of high morals and one who has always invested in the growth and development of his own enterprise and in the institutions that comprise the manufacturing and distribution landscape in Guyana.
He served as President of the GMSA around 1999 and together with his fellow Lifetime Awardee, Norman McLean, initiated the first Business Expo at Sophia, Guyana. He takes his responsibilities as a corporate citizen very seriously and goes beyond the call to give back to communities. This is what gives Gafoor satisfaction. The businessman was honoured for consistently fostering the growth of the Manufacturing sector with his strong pioneering spirit and philanthropy.

Norman McLean-GMSA President
Norman Mc Lean who serves as the current GMSA President was celebrated in like manner for serving the GMSA with distinction for over 25 years including four terms as President.
The GMSA’s 2015/2016 Board of Directors elected Major General (rtd.) McLean as its President at its last Annual General Meeting. This is his fourth time as President of the Association. He had led the Association for three terms in the 1990’s before it adopted the Services sub-sector in 2006.
McLean brought to the GMSA considerable experience in human resource development and Organizational Management. He is a retired Chief of Staff of the Guyana Defence Force, and the retired Human Resource Director and general factotum of the now defunct Omai Gold Mines.
He also consults with ETK Sand Springs, an expatriate gold and mineral mining company that is preparing to start up operations in Guyana.
In his numerous capacities, he has been a strong pillar for the GMSA. In his own inimitable way, he has fostered numerous programmes and implemented many procedures, some of which it still uses today.

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