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Rivers of Life

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It was time to head back to Georgetown. As much as I'd loved our backcountry experience, I was really ready for a hot shower (we'd had only cold showers) and a little AC. Oh, yeah. I was ready to thermoregulate again.

I reflected as we flew into the palm-studded, one-story "metropolis" of Georgetown that we'd had an exceptionally rich experience. We'd seen how people live along the rivers, with homemade dugouts their only transportation.

This family is going to tend their farm plot somewhere upriver. Of course, you bring the dog, because otherwise he'll try to run along the shore, or howl, or both. Besides, he knows the way.
There is not much freeboard above water on these dugouts, and when our whalers would pass, the canoeists would always face into our wake. I do the same thing on Wolf Run.
There's a whole lot riding in this dugout.
The rivers give transportation and food, water for cooking and washing.
A fine catch for dinner.
Right in Georgetown, people were seining big fish out of the roadside ditches. I'd never seen anything like it.
But then protein is where you find it, and even in our distress, most of us have no idea what it is to live so close to the bone. I didn't see many overweight people in Guyana.


The subject alone drew me in. The people, the river, the dog leading the way is all so good. It's really very moving. Thanks, Julie.

I love the photos of the dog on the prow of that frail looking boat. So many people, so much riding on it, as you say.
You are so right--most of us in the US have no idea what true subsistence living is.
Right now, I have my students doing their final research project. They must pick a 3rd world country, research a problem that country has, and then construct an argument as to whether or not the 1st world should help the 3rd world country. Sadly, too many of my students see no connection between themselves and people such as those you write about.

The river gives everything. Terrific post.

There are not many overweight people because Guyanese do not gorge on fast or processed food. They eat healthily.

Hi, Julie,

I am totally envious of your Guyana trip. Sorry I found your blogspot--I could spend days there.


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