St Paul’s Anglican Church in Aurora

Things in Aurora Village are much livelier than in Aurora Estate. Women walk in and out of the health centre with babies hanging from their hips; policemen stand outside the police station bracing against a wooden rail as they talk amongst themselves and shouts of chatter from children playing fill the air.

River tree: A tree growing in the Essequibo River near Aurora (Photo by Joanna Dhanraj)
River tree: A tree growing in the Essequibo River near Aurora (Photo by Joanna Dhanraj)

Eunice McIntosh sat in the verandah of an incomplete, unpainted concrete structure surrounded by confectionary, all sorts of deep fried chips and such goodies, chatting with a young visually impaired man who sat across from her. She enthusiastically welcomed a chat with the World Beyond Georgetown.

McIntosh, a retired Suddie Hospital worker and now a pensioner, has been vending at one of the residences where Grade Four pupils of Aurora Primary have been doing their lessons since their school was torn down for rebuilding last term.

The woman was born in Aurora and said it had to have been in existence for a long time now since her parents and grandparents lived here also. “That was the time of the flambeau. The road was a red brick road before it became loam and then pitch,” she said.

She attended Aurora Primary, only then it was called Aurora Church of Scotland School.

Her village, she said, is crime free except for the “one and two fowl thieves,” and there is fruit in abundance: mangoes, coconuts, awaras, bananas, cherries and a lot of guavas, to name just a few.

“The people here are quiet and peaceful. They live in togetherness. It doesn’t matter where I go… I’ll always come back to Aurora. Aurora is my home,” she said.

“We have farmers who plant rice, provision and cash crops, teachers, nurses, doctors, postmistress and postmasters. We even got a brand new hotel; that is the Gold is Gold Hotel,” she boasted.

She continued, “We get floods here. One time I was on channel eight wearing a long boots in my kitchen. No proper drainage we have in Aurora.

“We need them to deal with the drainage issue. We also need a playpark for our children and a recreational facility for our youths.”

The woman said that having the basic amenities in the village is an advantage. One other advantage she had said is transportation. Since the relocation of the boat stelling from Adventure to Supenaam/Good Hope, access to transportation has become far easier.

Just as we were finishing up, the lunch period began and McIntosh had to attend to her little customers who were eagerly awaiting her arrival.

Walking along, a group of girls on their way back to school stopped, all smiles, to have their photo taken.

Jasodra Rafee who was also born in Aurora and whose husband is also from the village said she’s grown accustomed to Aurora being a quiet and nice place to live.

She spoke to the World Beyond Georgetown as she was babysitting her granddaughters.

“Neighbours are very good. They’re not rowdy. If you in any trouble, they’ll support you,” she said.

“When I was growing up and it had moonlight we used to play hide and seek with the neighbours. On Saturdays and Sundays we used to go fishing, play cricket and bush cook by the riverside and bathe in the [Essequibo] river. When I sit down and think about it, I does say you know; them days can’t come back, not for me, not for the children them that growing up these days. I got a neighbour who lives overseas and every time he comes he says, ‘Jaso you know we used to go cook and bathe by the river. Them days can’t come back.’”

She adds, “Living here you getting all the fresh air coming in from the ocean.”

Rafee plants her own kitchen garden with calaloo, carilla, okro, bora, same, squash and pepper so she has no need to buy vegetables. Her backyard is decorated with fallen mangoes rotting on the ground, but she had fresh good ones too in four different  species.

The river behind her and the canal in the backdam provide fish for her and family; she rarely buys fish.

Rafee, a Muslim, was fasting as it is the month of Ramadan. Her fast, she says, begins at 4.20 in the mornings and lasts until 6.10 in the evenings. The masjid she attends is situated a few lots from her so it’s just a walk.

Linden Peters has been living in Aurora for 16 years now but originated from the Good Hope, a few villages away.

He left off watching his ‘African Mood’ film to chat.

Peters used to work at Skull Point in the Mazaruni, “but having seen a beautiful lady I fell in love with her and came to live in Aurora,” he said.

He is one of the guards who keep watch over the Supenaam Market and when he’s at home he plants okro, beans and bora, mainly for home use.

According to the man, since he’s been living here, he enjoys the quiet atmosphere of the village. He also enjoys the services he’s provided within Aurora especially that of the health centre, which he says takes care of “any little thing” unless the case is severe, then persons are referred to Suddie or Charity hospitals.

He visits the Aurora Assemblies of God Church whenever he can he said smiling noting that it’s not very often that he does so.

As comfy and secure as Aurora is Peters would like if the village can be upgraded with street lights. This is the one development he would like to see. Street lights, he said, run from Supenaam to Good Hope, then all the other villages have dark roadways and the lights don’t continue again until Adventure, a good distance away.

 

 

 

 

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