Guyana is not an easy place to live

Dear Editor,

As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I used to strongly condemn people who drink alcohol. I couldn’t understand why people drink alcohol when it is so destructive.

But after living in Guyana the last six months, I now understood why people drink alcohol so much in Guyana.

I am building a house in Guyana, and the every-day frustration, along with having  to deal with corrupt staffers in Guy-ana Power and Light Company, dishonest contractors and understaffed banks,  makes me feel like taking a drink.

No doubt frustration sometimes drives some people to drink. There is a clear link between frustration and drinking. Guyanese drink because it allows them to escape from their problems.

Building a house has been a disastrous one for me.  Living in this country has been a very challenging and  frustrating experience and that frustration led to anger and that anger led to me being tempted to take a drink. I thank God that I resisted the temptation to take a drink.

Though alcohol may numb the pain, suffering and frustrations that relief is only temporary.

Editor, do you know what else I find helps Guyanese with their frustration? Listening to music. Guyanese cannot live without music. From the youngest child to the oldest man or woman, everyone listens to music. Music is unquestionably an integral  part of life in Guyana. It’s ubiquitous.   Music helps the citizenry to relieve stress. This is why one cannot travel in a minibus or taxi without the sound of music emanating.

One passenger said, “driver turn the music up.” He can’t take the silence because the silence reminds him of all of his problems, frustrations, the bills, lack of finance, and how difficult life is in the country. Music, is like alcohol, it soothes and drowns out the pain and suffering from living in Guyana.

However, the alcohol and music only help temporarily to ease the burden and pressure.

Editor, make no mistake about it, I’m not condoning or making excuses for people who drink alcohol. I don’t believe people should drink alcohol to bury their pain. In the end, alcohol hurts more than it helps.

All that I’m saying is that I can understand why people drink alcohol, and I’ll no longer condemn people who drink alcohol.

Guyana is not an easy place to live. I don’t know how people survive in this country.

Living here and experiencing the hardship first hand has given me a deeper compassion for the citizenry. I was able to experience and feel their pain. It’ll take a lot of prayers to live here, but I’m willing to do it.

Yours faithfully,

Anthony Pantlitz

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