Rupununi Expedition: ‘Getting to the Lost Wonder of the World’

Once you’re a true Guyanese you have that instinctive attachment to the earth and you have that innate feeling of adventure – a certain fire within you is set ablaze, not so? Well for years I have had that feeling, but I only started fulfilling my ultimate goals in travelling a few years ago. I love to travel, I love the excitement before, the wonder in transporting and the destiny the rest of the trip entails. But what makes this year special is my commitment to discovering the beauty of Guyana.

In January I used this same column to express our need for patriotism. I said that we need to start working together to better Guyana but what I have found out is that many people do not appreciate Guyana because they don’t know its true beauty. My friends, living in Georgetown is indeed a struggle. It is a beautiful city that is in peril but in no way does it represent the 83,000 square miles of what I would like to describe as the ‘Lost Wonder of the World’.

I figure that we change our accents not because we are ashamed of our country but we are ashamed of what is represented by us and the coast we live on. We can change this view only if we see what Guyana outside of the coast details.

‘Year of the Jaguar’, which this initiative is called, is all about adventure, Guyana and sharing it with you.
I use ‘Culture Box’ as a means of expression so that you too may feel my passion for exploration; so you too may paint a better picture of Guyana – and when you see that picture, it will inspire you to work hard to maintain our nation, for the common good and to preserve our nationality.

In celebrating Guyana, I chose to go to the Rupununi for the very first time. For years I have seen the ads on television. I have read about the wonder that became the Rupununi Rodeo and I have seen the brochures and magazine photos of the Mountains of Life – the Kanuku Mountains and the Land of the Giants – the Rupununi. I thought to myself: I cannot preach to the people about discovering their country without doing so myself; so I booked my package, bought a cowboy hat and headed out to a world that was beyond my imagination, but shockingly in my own backyard.

From the coastal garden city to Linden in the hilly, sand and clay belt, across Iwokrama in the forested highlands and finally seeing the Vacqueros in the Savannahs – my expedition was a blast! I found it funny that at the end of the day most Guyanese miss out on our true beauty, they tour the world before considering Guyana.

Indeed we are an attribute to the world’s greatest and most phenomenal sites and landscape, the title words ‘Lost Wonder of the World’ refer to the vast beautiful landscape and heritage Guyana has that is generally unknown to the world. I urge you to discover them for yourselves and you will see you have much to boast about, the accents will not change and you will stand tall.
This week I did an introduction as to why I went out to the Rupununi. Next week I would like to share with you the experience of a lifetime… (Jairo Rodrigues)

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