Monday, July 18, 2005

Picture Story of Homes.

Long, long ago, when them British people did rule this land, them British houses was pure white and wood. Them roof was high, high, and them ceiling too, to let air spin around. Back then, breeze used to come through wood jalousies and wood shutters.

http://www.weltrekordreise.ch/bilder%20gy/03-104X.jpg

Then li’l bit, li’l bit, Guyanese start to make they own money, and get they own ideas...Lawd help them...and the houses in the land start to take on a different character.

http://www.viviun.com/ad_images/13749-1/

Over the years, them houses grow and grow. One house in town turn into a dazzling white concrete concoction, three floors high. Them walls outside scatter with gold moon in relief, gold star in relief...is like the house want to look like a palace come from the depths o’ India.

Today, though plenty white homes all over the place, colour start to take over. I swear the whole country gon look like iced-caked land if them people in charge manage to clear the litter. Pink house, pistachio green, sky blue, lemon. Red, green and yellow too, like reggae-tecture. And in the suburbs one day I see a bright blue house with castle turrets at the four corners.

Today, although the old colonial style still about with they wood wall, wood floor, wood shutters, concrete homes overshadowing them. Oh me mooma. Concrete in every style!

http://www.viviun.com/ad_images/2334-1/

Miami style. England mix with Miami mix with grill work mix with India mix with strange individual thought, like the owner get extra material leave over, and he or she decide to "do something" with it.

Plenty tile roof posing now, but people still prefer zinc. Must be cooler. Or cheaper. Or easier to maintain. [Ay yai yai. Zinc roof! When rain pound down on it, you swear is them football hooligans up there tramping up and down, singing vindalooo, vindaloooo, oy, oy, oy].

People start to get even more creative with they homes. One man build a house in the middle of a river.

Yes. River. We have a river, the Essequibo River [Dutch word, the Dutch used to own Guyana at one time too]. . .this river so big, it full o’ islands. I hear that one island bigger than the Caribbean island, Barbados. Well, anyway, a man build a house on a li’l piece o’ land in the middle o’ the Essequibo.

http://image03.webshots.com/3/9/31/58/4393158ZIAlmhDDXs_fs.jpg

In January this year, nearly the whole coastland had a bad flood. This flood is another story...politricks, leptospirosis, jokes...

A fella name Bryan McKintosh go 'round taking pictures o’ houses during the flood, and he post them online.

I choose 3 o’ he links, houses after the flood gone, so you can get a idea o’ what some other people house look like:

http://www.motorsportsguyana.com/feb12th/Guyana-flood-200510.JPG

http://www.motorsportsguyana.com/feb12th/Guyana-flood-200555.JPG

http://www.motorsportsguyana.com/feb12th/Guyana-flood-200571.JPG

This home comin' up break me heart.

http://www.foodforthepoor.org/where/guyana/photos.html

And now...the interior, the most beautiful part o’ this country, where the first people o’ Guyana, the Amerindians still live.

http://www.iadb.org/idbamerica/English/JUL01E/jul01e1-bp1.html

http://www.galenfrysinger.com/guyana_amerindians.htm

A li’l bit o’ history...and y’hear that music? Is the bane o’ every school chile life. The national anthem. It feel like it have 40 million verses, and they got to learn all. I think is 6 verses in all. I can only remember one.

http://www.galenfrysinger.com/guyana.htm

[Handsome residence, at the end was me great aunt home. It don’t exist no more. All fall down.]

And that was the story of homes in my homeland, Guyana.

As you can see, none of the links ain't mine. And no, me home not here.




29 comments:

kungfu mama said...

haw-haw..i know where you live, i know when you born, me know you mooma an yuh dahdee, you brudda dem an me know me...hehehe

nice story, me read an look at dem picchas too....me recognize some of them bldgs...

Guyana-Gyal said...

You know too much.

This make you home sick? Pass it around to all them Guyanese.

piu piu said...

these are great gg. and thanks for the links to issues too...

Anoop said...

Awesome and many thanks. Always nice to know about culture. A deep sense of history. I noticed the Antennas... stuff that one does not find in the developed and some developing countries. I loved going to the roof and adjusting them.

I could not open the links to the pics on the "viviun" site though for some reason.

Thanks once again.

Icylyrics said...

Yes GG, thank you so much for sharing these. I also could not open the pics on the 'viviun site' but this at least gave me a sense of where you come from. The pics of those families and children will stay with me. It is hard to beleive that there are people still living in huts. I should never complain about my air conditioning going out ever again. That first home was beautiful.

Modern Viking said...

I'm really surprised how different it is from what I've seen in Brasil. Even in Manaus, which is so close to Guyana... I guess it's all the British influence. Everything is brick and concrete in Brasil.

Then there are those poor homes... Poverty has the same face in every country...

Anonymous said...

De big white house (tink is Main Street)....is what snowmen doing outside in de front dere?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Snowmen? Lemme tell you, ALL kinds o' crazy characters come to this here country. Even snowmen.

[Must be somebody suffering from Foreignitis...longing for all things foreign!!!]

Hmm, Viking, I wonder if brick and concrete are Portuguese influenced?
In the US, I've seen old colonial type homes too. Poverty does have the same face everywhere. The children are the most heartbreaking.

Ahhh, Icy, Anoop, try again…try…it’s worth it. I wonder if anybody else had problems with those 2 links? Girl, Icy, living here has taught me to be grateful for all I have.

Anoop, history here is taught in such a boooring way. I think if our teachers added a bit of story-telling children would enjoy it. What a thing to notice Anoop. The antenna.

Piu, those issues break my heart…I know I need to do more, I know I can’t save the world…but I need to do more.

Ale said...

Thanks GG- thats so great, one can go look at pictres but its good when someone is explaining.

some reminded me of key west in florida...

DCveR said...

Thank you so much GG. Learned a lot from this post and these links.

piu piu said...

i think try save individuals and it adds up...

Guyana-Gyal said...

Yes Ale, that's one of the reasons why I like Florida...reminds me of St. America. Huntoon Park in Florida? The best!

So Dvcer, anytime you have the yen to look at photos...here they are hehe...y'know, the more I write about this place, the more it aggravates me, and the more I love it, and the more it breaks my heart too.

I know Piu, one person at a time...

piu piu said...

if u want to see a picture of me (taken at the weekend) mimi has posted it on her blog....

miminewyork.blogspot.com

Icylyrics said...

GG, I left you the recipe for preparing fresh Collard Greens at Anoops spot.

zoe said...

the colonnial houses built in cameroon were useless and all the same: very grand, left side, bedrooms and ensuite bathroom, centre, huge living room, right side, bedrooms and ensuite bathroom. the kitchen and servant's 'area' were all behind.

the living rooms were never used as it was too hot and we westerners would sit out on the huge terrace outside, welcoming the cool evening air. naturally, not all of the houses were identical, but the 'smaller' ones only had two bedrooms - even if they were large.

those architects obviously thought that the bigger the house, the wealthier the family looked, however inappropriate the layout of the house.

the house my parents lived in in cameroon had TWO living rooms. they were never used. the house they lived in in senegal wasn't much better - but i prefer the architecture in guyana :)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Okay Piu, I'll check out your pic this evening over at Mimi's...I'm in the middle of sewing tote bags, my own designs, brag, boast shamelessly.

Same here Icy...over to Anoop for recipe later.

I read your comment 3,4,5 times, Zoe, it was so interesting!

For some reason, the old houses here are cool, real cool inside. Must be built different then. And in Jamaica too.

By the way, Zoe's link is:
http://users.pandora.be/quarsan/zoe/index.html

I told everyone about the Digital Citizens thing on BBC in some other comment...read it on Zoe's blog. Zoe's interview with the BBC is on Thursday.

Sigh. Gone to sew again...

Anoop said...

"y'know, the more I write about this place, the more it aggravates me, and the more I love it, and the more it breaks my heart too."---- You have given immense depth to your words... though why do I feel you will say, "I did not say it, I did not, I swear you did not." ;)

Guyana-Gyal said...

Haha, Anoop :-D I said it, it is how I feel about this country...conflicting emotions.

I am actually MOCKING Guyanese when I “deny” being wrong...Guyanese are very quick to say, “I ain’t do it, not me”.

We even have a saying, that someone is acting ‘wrong and strong’. Being wrong and bullying about it.

DCveR said...

I know what you mean. The same happens with our country, the more you think about it the worst you feel towards what's wrong although it could be fixed were there a will to do it.

kungfu mama said...

man gyal, you know me aaaalways missing home, but me mek me life hey now...dat is why me like wey me deh...mek you feel like home...

Dan Flynn said...

Well, G,

A first has just happened, I listened to the Guyanese National Anthem, all the way through. So much better than God Save the Queen, a song full of grovelling and snivelling and grrrrrrr....

Your one sounded quite sedate by comparison, at least it doesn't go on about crushing the Scots and having some inbred halfwit next in line for the throne like ours does. Actually it doesn't mention Charles though the bit about the Scotland is true and in the third verse I think.

Some fine photographs nevertheless. How does your current house stand in comparison to the one owned by your great aunt. I have this image of you sitting on the porch of a truly grand house looking straight out over the Atlantic, maybe with someone playing a little Dixie jazz on the piano just inside the front room. An ice cold Tom Collins (Gin and Vodka) in a tall glass with a slice of lime and one leaf of mint to finish, your right hand casually scrolling through a morning's writing on the lap top. I appreciate in this image you're drinking before lunch but you'll have to forgive the artistic license, unless you do drink alcohol before lunch! Well possibly only at weekends, and I agree it's not a big problem and is under control, and your friends are worried about nothing, really, nothing. Besides you deserve a drink after working so hard, and anyway it would be impolite to let the pianist drink alone. So lets drink to success and you whisper through the window, past the nets that flutter in the sea breeze, "Play me some blues, some salty blues to wash down these drinks with."

Phew! Wish I was there.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Dcver, your comment made me think all day...that until we can be happy with ourselves, take care of ourselves, love the self first, only then we can help others. Remember that ol’ cliché? Let peace being with me...

Kungfu mama, you got de right attitude, chile.

Ahm, Dan...should I shatter your illusions? [Maybe reality is even nicer...]

Hayden said...

Thanks, GG, I really enjoyed your pictures.

But when are you going to post pictures of your bags/totes? When will you let us see?

Guyana-Gyal said...

Hayden, just so the owners of those links don't get upset...those aren't my pictures
:-)

Pics of my tote bags? One day, maybe.

kungfu mama said...

gyal, makes the lovliest things you can think of...she is very very artistic....awesome work...

Gyal, dont burst Dans bubble..hahaha

sad note today..the terrorists are back...hit London again...sad, very sad...they will get their own someday..

Guyana-Gyal said...

Wish I had your business brain, kungfu mama...let's talk bizniz chile.

Kungfu mama, I think you gon like this: A Muslim cleric in Australia, Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly compared the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Australia to AIDS, and he said that he and other moderate clerics must take firm steps to win the hearts and minds of impressionable young Muslims.

"They are a disease like AIDS and you can't cure them with Panadol," Sheik Hilaly said of radical clerics.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Saw that on www.news.com.au

JAMATECH said...

Funny, I look at these pictures, and I think of Hawaii and Florida. The white house (http://www.weltrekordreise.ch/bilder%20gy/03-104X.jpg), it's like the ones in Lahaina and Hilo that they keep around for tourist value, here from the days of the kingdom. I could never live in a house like that... never by choice.

This house (http://www.viviun.com/ad_images/13749-1/), I love this house. It reminds me of the places I used to live after I moved from my parents, and before my Army days. It looks like my places in Hawaii I lived too, when I was a student. So much style, so much character, and practical.

This house (http://www.viviun.com/ad_images/2334-1/) is all Miami style. A little Hawaiian style as well. It's pretty, but too big for anything I'd ever want, unless my parents (Marisol's or mine, it's all the same) moved in later...

This world, so different, yet so similar. I love it all.

Guyana-Gyal said...

Thanks for sharing, Tony. I learnt a bit more from your comments.

The world, so different, yet so same. Me too, I love it.