Still no safety rails at Kaieteur; washrooms have improved

Dear Editor,
I am an ardent reader of ‘Explore Guyana,’ the magazine on local tourism produced by the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) and published and edited by Mr Lokesh Singh of advertising and marketing services (based in St Lucia with offices in Guyana).

I anxiously await every new copy that is published. However, I observed incorrectly spelt Amerindian words and names and other matters that deal with eco-tourism, and I became somewhat apprehensive. With reference to an article appearing in the Guyana Times of January 30, 2009, Ms Renata Chuck-a-Sang, President of THAG stated that persons in Guyana “must work together to develop the country’s tourism product.” I totally agree with her statement. I am now a free-lance tour guide for Evergreen Adventure tours, Old Fort tours and hopefully, for Hurukabra River Resort on the Essequibo. To put it in simple terms, I am somewhat of an authority on the places and peoples of the interior and feel that I can offer advice here and there.

On page 32 of the current issue of ‘Explore Guyana,’ a photograph is displayed of a tourist on the ledge (outcrop) at Kaieteur which is devoid of safety rails. I previously wrote on this matter in the press some weeks ago, stressing the fact that the safety of our visitors is of paramount importance. My learned friend and Ranger at Kaieteur, Mr Gibson, and I, always advised tourists to lie flat on their stomachs when attempting to photograph the gorge. This we feel is necessary to prevent any person from suffering vertigo which could result when staring at the roaring movement of the waterfall at the edge.  Take note: Niagara Falls in Canada has safety rails.

Apparently someone in authority read my previous critique on the washrooms at Orinduik and Kaieteur because I understand there has been a marked improvement in the facilities.

On page 50 of the magazine, an article ‘Rich Flora, Exotic Fauna,’ incorrectly spells the name of the Wai Wai village as Konashen. Firstly, the word as Kaanashen (Kaan means God and shen means place). The bible is known as Kaan Karitan (God’s book). The Unevangelised Field Mission conducted by Pastor Rader Hawkins, a missionary, was able with the help of the Wai Wai to prepare the New Testament in the Wai Wai language in 1971, the year I was sent to Kaanashen as a DDO.

Mr Gerry Gouveia can go on the internet and have this verified and perhaps obtain a copy of the New Testament referred to. The Wai Wai subsequently removed from Kaanashen and is now settled at a place they call Masekenyari which is close to Gunn’s Strip.
The map of Guyana on page 3 has 2 errors. Apoteri is not indicated in the correct spot and the Brazilian town across the Takutu River from Lethem is Bon Fim and not Bon Fin.

To use the words of Enrico Woolford, “That’s all for now,” and to all concerned, please get it right – the world is watching.

Yours faithfully,
Jim Holder

Editor’s note
The Gazeteer of Guyana gives ‘Konashen’ as the correct spelling.

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