As the year draws to a close, I think that while we’re celebrating the end of a year, be it a successful one or just surviving one with our sanity intact, we should reflect on what we have, what we should be thankful for and what we have accomplished, whilst still looking forward to what is to come in the new year.
We should also remember those who are not as fortunate as we are, who have lost loved ones, those who have lost their jobs, those who have lost their homes, those who have lost their sanity (I often joke about coming close to doing that myself, but thankfully, it’s just a joke). If you want to give to those who are in need, give selflessly, give anonymously, give generously.
A photo from 2010. Taken on High Street, opposite the Parliament Buildings.
I processed this photo yesterday after having the pixels just sit there for a year, and I wondered at the diversity of materials used in the construction and the “architecture”. This morning I caught a snippet of Jon Stewart on the Daily Show speaking about the Diversity in the Democratic Party (funny stuff!), and I wondered at the coincidence of my thoughts on a building and his thoughts on a political party.
Growing up in Guyana, I never felt “race” play a part in my life until in my teens, before that it was always that we were different people, individually, not as a “class” or a “race”. What happened when I was a teenager? I learnt about politics and the struggles of the main political parties vying for power and each using the “race” card for their own ends regardless of what it did to the youth and the future of the country.
You can build a house entirely out of wood, you can build it entirely out of concrete, you can build it out of any one substance you feel like, it may or may not stand up to the elements (just imagine a real Gingerbread house in the rainforest! And no offence to the Igloos of the arctic and antarctic), but I’ve found that a good architect/contractor can take a variety of materials and produce not just a shelter from the rain, but a thing of beauty to “live” in, just as a good leader can make the best of the talents, varying and diverse, of the people who place their trust in him.
Click on the Image above for a better view in the Gallery, along with other images in the “Out and About” collection.
After all that scenery and strange sights of Jamaica and Barbados, you would think that I would come back to Guyana with an eye for more landscapes and such, but my first morning back and I see a photo opportunity that was perfect for Nikhil, but since he wasn’t around I thought I’d give it a shot, I’m not very good at lining up my images in the eyepiece, something to do with my eyesight and spectacles, but after some attempts and a bit of correction in post-process I think I got a decent shot out of it.
While we were away, this weed decided to grow up through the grill over the hole in our bridge, tiny aquatic plant-life covered the water, and the morning sun helped to cast nice shadows to bring some dimension to it all 🙂
As always, click on the image for a better view in the Gallery
We arrived in Barbados in the afternoon, almost five o’clock, and after getting settled in we were deciding on the what/where for dinner.
What do you do for your first dinner, first night in Barbados? Fish at Oistins of course! It’s a lively area with many many places to sit and get you fried or grilled fish, and the fish was good! I don’t like eating and suddenly hitting those little bones that stick in all those nice soft spots in your mouth (and throat), the fish at Oistins is known to be fillet (or at least with only the large bone pieces that are easily removed), everyone was happy about this, even me, but as luck would have it, I found seven little ones 🙂 But even that could not diminish the experience of that excellently prepared fish!
Although I didn’t go to take photos, I snagged a couple, just for the record. The men at the grill were totally engrossed in their work and doing a great job of feeding the multitudes, I think feeding 5,000 might be a regular thing for them 🙂
The street running through this area had emblematic lighted fishes down the street, I thought that a nice street shot with one would look nice ang give a sense of Oistins.
A Drive up the Rupert Craig Highway carries you past the villages of Plaisance and Sparendaam on the East Coast of Demerara. My dad had once pointed out that what most people referred to as the “Catholic Church in Plaisance” was actually situated in Sparendaam (this would be the Church of St John the Baptist), and I couldn’t help but notice that the Saint Paul’s Anglican Church at Plaisance is also in Sparendaam.
I suppose that quibbling about the name of the location is minor since the street that marks the division of the two villages is the same street that both churches are on. Now the street, that has name issues of its own…
As with most of the place names in Guyana, they reflect our past colonisations and our change from Colonial rule to Independence, the name Plaisance is of French origin, and Sparendaam comes from the Dutch. Our last colonial masters were the British, when our country was known as British Guiana, and the two main streets running the length of Plaisance were (and to some extent still are) Queen Victoria Road and Prince William Drive.
During the “Burnham years”, one of the changes (some might call it an attempt to eradicate our history) was to rename streets that held “colonial names” to names that were more meaningful to a country emerging from colonial rule and striving for successful Independence. In Georgetown one of the more notable changes was the renaming of Murray Street to Quamina Street. John Murray was the Lieutenant Governor of Demerara from 1813 to 1824, Quamina was a slave involved in one of the largest slave revolts in Demerara during that time (in 1823 actually).
In Plaisance, Queen Victoria Road was renamed to Ben Profitt Drive, and Prince William Street was renamed to Andries Noble Avenue. Ben Profitt was a notable village chairman of Plaisance, and Andries Noble is touted to be one of the best midwives of Guyana, there’s probably very few people over the age of 35 from Plaisance and Sparendaam whom she didn’t help bring into this world.
Although the name changes were made more than a couple of decades ago, the streets are still referred to by many using the original names, although most people who have grown up in the villages know them by both names, So St Paul’s Anglican Church is sometimes referred to as being on Queen Victoria Road, and sometimes on Ben Profitt Drive, likewise it is also sometimes referred to as being in Sparendaam, as well as being in Plaisance..
I started this blog post just wanting to say something about St Paul’s Anglican Church other than “Here is a photo of the church with it’s cemetery as seen through a gate in its fence”, one thing led to another and now the post is almost 500 words long.
Without further ado; “Here is a photo of the church with it’s cemetery as seen through a gate in its fence” 🙂
Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery, along with other images from this year’s Deck Project.
Aday.org had come up with an idea to present “A day in the world” through photographs, they wanted photographers worldwide, from amateurs to professionals, basically anyone with a camera, to take a few photos on May 15th and upload them to their site. They had so many uploads they quickly got problems handling it and I am still not sure if my photos are there and if they are eligible for the final project, I think a lot of the information went AWOL during the upload. At the time of writing this blog-post, they are still sorting out everything to relaunch the website.
I took a few photos within the city to contribute, and I am choosing one of those to share as my photograph for Week 20 of this year.
Its a very familiar scene in Georgetown, this was “after-work” and these people are most likely workers on their way from their jobs to get transportation home, and I used City Hall as a backdrop for some added familiarity 🙂
Click on the image to see it better in the Gallery.
Age is a relative thing, something (or someone) is either younger (or newer) or older than another by a certain amount of time, whether it is by minutes, days, years, decades, centuries, etc.
I’ve grown up knowing the Hand-in-Hand Insurance Building (and others of its time) and they’ve become landmarks to me, that makes them old, or older than the stuff that went up in the last decade anyway.
They may not be of the Victorian era, so their architectural aesthetics may be less appealing, but they are certainly a lot more appealing than many of the concrete boxes that are being erected these days.
The Hand-in-Hand building always reminded me of a concrete and stone attempt to look Victorian, or maybe semi-Greco-Roman, but I’m not an architect and my terms may be far off the mark.
I had always admired its arches, the wrought-iron fence, the wrought-iron “fret-work” that created the arches between the columns, the low-sprawling style of the building.
When I took this photo I never intended to process it in Sepia tone, yet that is what appealed to me when I began processing, and to help the age along a bit, I added a light vignette (hopefully not too noticeable)
So this building is Newer than Victorian, but probably older than I am 🙂