I have always dreamed of going to the different parts of my country to see and experience all the great, natural and amazing scenes that are housed here. On Thursday April 18th, 2019, I fulfilled a small part of that dream as my English class got the opportunity to go on a field trip to the great Arawak village of Wakapoa, in the Pomeroon-Supenaam region on the Wakapoa River.
The village, I would say, is one of the best examples of an Amerindian community that has not only preserved some of the traditional Arawak culture but also some of the elders retained its tribal language. The purpose of the field trip was to expose us to some of the culture, along with trying to grasp a small part of the tribal talk but our class went beyond that by taking a questionnaire – not to worry the villagers but to see what or how they think of development and town life versus their way of living.
We started our journey before the mist of the early morning when we all gathered at the meeting place at the University of Guyana. We were all excited as the day was finally here. The journey began a bit off track because not everything went as planned but throughout the trip everyone coped well with the route and remained positive, making the trip very enjoyable despite its frustrations.
I’ve had many wonderful boat rides but my favourite new memory would be that of the one from Charity to the village, for it was filled of great thrills and excitement. One such experience was of the boat moving side to side as it rode the waves of other passing boats. We arrived on St. Lucian Mission, an island in the Wakapoa region, just after 2:00pm the very same day. That would be our host island.
It was such a refreshing and simple yet breathtaking sight, my body became as calm as the wind blows for it was like nothing that I had ever felt before. A few minutes in we were greeted by village Toshao, for it was mandatory to have the approval of a Toshao before visiting an Amerindian village. It was a brief introduction of the island. We were all too tired to roam the island during the remainder of the day so we all took a quiet and easy evening as the travelling thrills soaked in the mind.
The following day was well planned by us and the Toshao, and we ventured off to his side of the Wakapoa Region, Myrie Island. There we took full advantage of the trip and carried out the survey using the questionnaires we had prepared. It was very enlightening to hear what all the villagers had to say as we toured and saw more of its wonders and also expanded our knowledge about the island’s general needs and the needs of the individuals who took the survey. Myrie Island is a very large and popular area because it is connected by a small roadway to a neighbouring island called the Whypaqua, which we also took a small tour of that was very satisfying.
We then returned to St Lucian Island; tired but craving more. The final day was yet more unbelievable than the previous. It started very early because we had planned a very exciting special treat for the children of the island: making kites with them. Inexperienced students we were in making kites, for the children showed us more about making kites that we showed them – they were the professionals and we were the trainees! It was such a rewarding exercise and one to always be remembered.
After the fun-packed activity of making kites, we visited yet another island, Massarie. That was even more adventurous as we all felt like jungle kings and queens climbing through the outreach of the jungle, seeing its natural and raw beauty. The pastor, an elder of Wakapoa, Priest Jones Richards, made it look easy as we struggled to keep pace with him. He created an image in our minds that entailed so much beauty that it’s impossible to forget.
Later that evening we made yet another thrilling exercise possible by creating a camp fire; I had never had the opportunity to be around one. The last night was fun filled around the camp fire, occupied with musical touches and great speeches of gratitude for the time spent on the island. That night we begged for more time on the island for it was too short of a time for so much adventure. I will always carry this trip with me for it was nothing but the best