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Welcome to Guyana

Martin Gough | 20:13 UK time, Monday, 26 March 2007

Martin GoughAfter a fortnight in the holiday resort of St Lucia, we arrived in the pouring rain of Guyana on Sunday morning to receive a harsh culture shock.

Guyana, the only non-island nation in West Indies cricket, is bordered by Venezuela to the west, Surinam to the east and Brazil to the south so, unsurprisingly, it has a South American feel.

But there was a more immediate hit as the drive from the airport towards the capital Georgetown took us past a community sprawling on the banks of the Demerara River, its houses poor and surrounded by water – puddles and drainage ditches.

Few of those people are likely to turn up to matches in the next two weeks at the brand new Providence Stadium on the other side of the dual carriageway.

Unlike St Lucia, where soccer is the hotter topic of conversation, that is not for want of enthusiasm in the land of Rohan Kanhai, Clive Lloyd and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

Ticket prices for the Super 8 clashes, which start with South Africa against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, pits England and Ireland on Friday and sees the West Indies arrive for the weekend, start at US$50, which for many is a week’s wages.


Despite fears to the contrary, it looks like games will go ahead as planned at the ground, which was built with the aid of India’s cricket board, although there may be an element of chaos.

There were problems with power last week, although that seems to have been surmounted. Whether I will have an internet connection to report from the games is still open to question.

While the playing arena and stands look world class, the area around it is a building site. On Monday, I paddled from the accreditation centre to the media centre, and again from there to the pavilion.

It’s been raining, and how! Georgetown had been dry for weeks, according to our taxi driver but, “when it’s time for cricket, the rain come.”

South Africa had barely begun training at nearby Everest Cricket Club on Monday morning when the heavens opened and they were left pondering the possibility of a two-day match against Sri Lanka this week, trying desperately to fit in 20 overs per side.

The cameras were set up outside for Sajid Mahmood’s news conference at hotel England are currently sharing with South Africa and Sri Lanka, then quickly moved inside.

With England taking it easy for a couple of days, Saj and a friend wnet for a trip to Georgetown zoo, situated near the Bourda ground, seat of Guyana's rich cricketing history.

Another group took a flight south to national landmark the Kaieteur Falls, apparently nearly five times as high as those at Niagara.

In a city with a seafront that feels a little like Skegness – but a little hotter - as the moody Atlantic Ocean crashes into the sea wall, entertainment may be at a premium over the next two weeks.

Our first came at the expense of radio colleague Arlo White, who was disconcerted to say the least when his taxi driver pulled over at the airport exit and pulled the livery from the side of his cab.

Thankfully, this did not turn out to be a kidnap mission, although when Arlo arrived at our rudimentary hotel he may have wished it had been. The next 16 days will be no holiday.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 08:47 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • thomas wrote:

Sounds like a fine day in may in England...
Is it John Lewis time?

  • 2.
  • At 09:03 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Will Critchlow wrote:

Good to see such a positive view of life...

  • 3.
  • At 09:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Tim wrote:

I am not sure where you are stopping in Georgetown, but entertainment is certainly at a premium!! There is a little oasis in town however, a tea/coffe place that serves wonderful coffee and homemande cakes - but I can't remember the name!!! It is down from the fruit market, your taxi driver should know it!

Enjoy yourselves - although apart from cricket I am not sure how!!

  • 4.
  • At 09:40 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Peter Boos wrote:

What Guyana lacks in infrastructure and the things of our material world will be more than compensated for by the warm hospitality of the Guyanese people.
Enjoy a real holiday with beautiful people who smile and appreciate every day in their paradise. There is no substitute.
Take a trip to the interior and enjoy nature and the true worth of God's many creations.You will soon forget the lack of paint and money.
Appreciate the simple life and some good aged Guyana rum.
Hopefully the rain will let up so we can all experience some good cricket from South America.

Peter N. Boos FCA
Native of Trinidad living in Barbados

  • 5.
  • At 09:55 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:

Welcome to Guyana!

Guyana is just emerging from a long period of poor political and economic leadership. Yes, things tend to move at a slower pace in Guyana. The highlighted problems are a big wake up call and will definitely be a tremendous learning experience for the country. However there is a lot of beauty in the country and I hope you also find it and share it with the readers. The hospitality and warmth of the Guyanese is second to none.

As you pointed you Guyana has a rich cricket history. Hopefully the Guyana matches will honor the legacy of former players such as Rohan Khanai, Basil Butcher, Joe Solomon, Clive Lloyd, Lance Gibbs, Alvin Kallicharan, etc. and continuing with the modern players like Chanderpaul, Hooper, and Sarwan. Guyana deserves to host these matches.

World cricket needs a strong West Indies team. Many have been negative about having the tournament in the West Indies. Hopefully the tournament will start a revival of the West Indies both on and off the pitch.

Let the Guyana leg be about great cricket, the warm welcome to the visitors. and the people of Guyana.

  • 6.
  • At 10:05 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • mikesiva wrote:

I think it is absolutely ridiculous the way Chris Dehring and the organising committee have priced these matches out of the reach of most WI fans. That is why these matches have been so poorly attended!

When I take my daughter down the road to watch Arsenal Ladies play, I pay £1 for a child and £2 for an adult. That is because they know that if they charge more, they won't get a crowd (like Oz vs Scotland in the WC). They drop the prices to get the crowd.

A pity Dehring and his robber barons didn't learn that lesson....

  • 7.
  • At 10:13 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul Stephenson wrote:

Hi which rudimentary Hotel are you staying at in Guyana. I can advise of some good trips while you are in Georgetown. Let me know. Paul from Trinidad.

  • 8.
  • At 10:19 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

I agree with Peter, there is no substitute for a trip into the interior. I was there with my family several years ago, and we weren't extraordinarily taken by Georgetown though it does have its charms. But the interior is so vast and amazing.

Hope you get to take a trip into the interior or to the savannas. There is much more to see in Guyana besides Georgetown. By now, you've probably heard first hand reports from that party that went to Kaieteur Falls, definitely awe inspiring, I know they wouldnt have been disappointed, my family and I most certainly weren't.

And, like you said, the passion for cricket is definitely not lacking... so when you get back to the cricket (provided theres no rain) it'll be typical West Indian celebrations.

  • 9.
  • At 10:26 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Michael wrote:

Don't listen to Antigua Antigua, instead of the 365 beaches of Antigua you've got a chance to visit one of the 365 islands in the Essequibo River.

but visit kaietur if you can.

  • 10.
  • At 10:33 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

Peter, you're right - people everywhere have been incredibly friendly. I'm planning a trip south on Tuesday and will update you afterwards.

Will, sorry if this sounds negative. The rain has put a real dampener on everything so far but once the games get started the real fun will begin.

Tim, thanks for the tip. I'll get hunting.

  • 11.
  • At 11:01 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Dave Rickford wrote:

wow - you sound really happy to be in Georgetown. I was in Guyana for a year a couple of years ago, visiting family. I know what you mean about it seeming a little depressing when you first arrive, especially if it was hammering it down with rain. You really have to get into the centre of town to experience a little more. Its a lot more vibrant and colouful, although very hectic and hot as hell when the sun is shining. I wonder if Saj enjoyed his visit to the zoo???? If you want to see demented animals pacing up and down in tiny cages, then I guess he may have!! Although it is very cool to see the old Bourda ground, which is indeed steeped in history, with countless legends having played there. My advice is to get out of the City and go into the bush. Visit some of the ranches or tourist resorts in the rainforest and savanna - thats where the real beauty of Guyana shines through - an experience you will never forget. Try and not be too depressed by the city though and see if you can get a taste of the national dish - Pepperpot - a beautiful meat stew - just dont ask what the meat is inside it!! Oh yeah, and if you want to relax somehwere cool and nice in Town, pay a visit to the Tower hotel and sit round the pool sipping an ice cold rum!!

  • 12.
  • At 11:11 PM on 26 Mar 2007,
  • Glenn wrote:

I believe much fun can be had catching crabs on the river banks in the mud at low tide, if you are short of entertainment! The more the merrier!

  • 13.
  • At 12:06 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Stop Whining wrote:

Yeah thanks for the update Martin. We all know its a developing country. Please keep your self aggrandizing comments in a little notebook somewhere and spare us (and the BBC's website) your commentary.

Reading a little history on the region wouldn't hurt you either. In case you didn't know, this was a former British colony, so well done always, you brits have a clever way of ensuring political and economic paralysis whenever you grant independence to a colony.

In my travels there, I have found the people extremely warm and just a blast to be around. And the natural beauty of the interior is unsurpassed.

Your trip there will be what YOU (not Guyana or the Guyanese) make of it.


  • 14.
  • At 12:06 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Radha Motielall-Ally wrote:

i think martin gough is the typical foreigner whose life is enjoyed in a country of riches gained from the blood and etars of use ancestors fo slaves.

for us this country has the one thing no other part of this world has and that is people with big hearts a smile on their face and a warm welcome.

guyanese will always open their "poor" houses and share the best from/of it with you, unlike what we get from foreigners.

guyanese unlike you do not look for negatives in other people's country, we just enjoy the good and bad with a smile.

you should try the same.

we will never beb daunted by the negative commenst offered so far or even those forthcoming.

we look forward to cwc with much joy and enthusiam.

  • 15.
  • At 01:20 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Ian wrote:

Did you mention Rohan Kanai, Clive Lloyd and Shivnarine Chanderpaul? You could also have added Lance Gibbs, Roy Fredricks, Alvin Kallicharran, Carl Hooper and Colin Croft. And where did they all grow up and develop their cricketing "trade" some of whom participated in the famous "white wash" of England some years ago? In rainy, resilient GUYANA. Cheers Gough, chappie! Welcome to more of the same.

  • 16.
  • At 01:30 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Kassia De Santos wrote:

It is true somehow that every time a hint of cricket blows in the air the heavens send a down pour and I have been asking my self what it is with Guyana, cricket and the rain. Many answers have been offered but none that suffice, let’s accept it, it’s just a thing. I must admit Gough I was a bit peeved at your statement about MY country and homeland. I have seen tremendous growth in Guyana and slowly but surely we are progressing but I will go with your expectations being dampened and it was just your emotions speaking. I agree with the other writers when they hype up Guyana’s natural beauty, which I have experienced to a great extent first hand. The country may not be like the others in the magazines but just visit Kaieteur Falls and all your dreams of blue waters and white beaches will seem undesirable. So Gough do not try to knock my homeland, since every country has faults but we do not need a battle of words over whose country is better than whose. Let’s enjoy the games and be civil. I bet at the end of your stay here your outlook will bet totally different.

  • 17.
  • At 02:18 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • ed clarke wrote:

Martin, I suggest you relax and enjoy your time there. Sorry you feel a bit down after St Lucia but remember this is an opportunity for you and others from around the world to learn about some parts of the world and life that you do not usually experience. Experiencing our different cultures in each country in the region is one of the legacies of the world cup that we expect the visitors to take back and we hope that our counries will benefit from your experiences for many years. I can assure you that Guyanese are the loveliest people you could meet, the country maybe poorer than some other countries in the region but the Guyanese people will welcome you and make you feel like a king in their homeland. Enjoy the XM extra old, drink a couple man, and relax a bit. The cricket will be great wherever you go in the region, even amid some chaos, it will all work out . West Inidain people will party and enjoy themselves to the end, treasure those moments, try to find out what really can make us tick and why we are so proud of our heritage, some bigger and richer countries can learn a lot from us. Cricket is an integral part of our culture, we are all from different islands/countries but at this time we are one. Rally 'round the West Indies. The world is praying for the Windies to win this world cup, by winning we will bring this sport back to a game that we can all enjoy and trust me, win or lose, enjoy we will!

Ed clarke
Barbados and Californai

  • 18.
  • At 02:33 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Pierre wrote:

You should be glad to be in Guyana where there are 365 islands in the Essequibo river whose mouth is five miles wide. and the land of the mighty kaieteur falls whose single drop is over 900 feet. see and enjoy Guyana's great wonders let's get the games on.

  • 19.
  • At 02:40 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • William wrote:

I was in Guyana last year. It is a stunning place, though you need to get out of Georgetown. As well as Kaiteur (which is amazing), I recommend Orinduik Falls (on the Brazil border - can do in same day as Kaiteur) and Annai in the Rupanuni Savannah (Rockview Lodge - with excursions to the Iwokrama nature reserve). The Essequibo Islands are a must see: go and spend a couple of nights at Baganara Lodge or Shanklands, and take a river trip up the Mazaruni - it will blow your mind. Remember to stop for a beer at the Kool Breeze in Bartica on the way back.

Guyana has a fantastically rich culture: 9 indiginous Amerindian tribes, adn GT itself has fantastic markets (eg Bourda market and Stabroek Market) which are a must see. There's St Goerge's Cathedral - made entrely of wood.

If it's tourist ents you want, then try Latino Bar at Pegasus (on a Friday), or Buddy's.

Foodwise, you MUST try the local food: pepperpot, doubles, pelouri, etc. Plus all the exotic tropical fruit you could imagine.

The Guyanese RUM is the best in the world. Go for the aged stuff, eg El Dorado 15 or higher (not 12, although that is still not bad), or XM 10. If you get an El Dorado 15, neat, with some ice, and drink it slowly, you might even start to appreciate the place.

Finally, the Guyanese people are wonderfully welcoming. You are in probably the poorest country in South America, you can live like a king for penauts, and have filed a frankly miserable blog. Go and explore the place a bit for yourself, and in penance for dissing the entertainments, return there in the future and do a properly planned visit.

Seriously, if you think lying on a beach on Antigua (actually NOT the best Caribbean beaches) beats Guyana, why not save us your carbon imprint and head for Benidorm: sun, sand and beer - how wonderful!

  • 20.
  • At 02:59 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Jomo wrote:

Yes, Life in Guyana is different, but it is an emerging nation eager to show the world its vast interior and much more.

There is no excuse for the city problems as I hope the Guyanese leaders learn their lesson, BUT after visiting the majestic Kaieteur Falls and a few emerging resorts, you will soon appreciate its beauty.

Bon Voyage!!

  • 21.
  • At 03:04 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

I wasn't knocking Guyana as a country, or its people, and I wasn't making grand, sweeping statements. I was relating my first two days here. After an afternoon in the pouring rain, I doubt any of you would be terribly upbeat either.

There is a buzz about the place, especially in relation to the cricket and, as I said above, the people I've met have been very friendly.

  • 22.
  • At 03:18 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Nik Alleyne wrote:

Hey Martin, I have to agree with most of the other comments. You are in Guyana now, relax, enjoy life from a Guyanese perspective. We may not be as developed as the UK, but we sure are a happy bunch.

Also Martin, you should definitely visit the Kaieteur falls, in addition, we will be having a number of activities over the easter weekend. There is the Rodeo, The Bartica Regatta along with all the other hangouts that goes on around this time. If you need entertainment while in Georgetown, you can visit a number of night clubs, if you just want to relax in a cool and quite environment there are also places for that too.

If you have any queries or anything you would like to know about Guyana, while you are here feel free to email me, I will help you understand Guyana and the way Guyanese are.

And as for my friend in Antigua, you may have a beach for every day, but we can loan you an ISLAND for every day.

P.S. Martin, Don't forget to get some Pepperpot and cookup while you here and not to worry the cricket will be EXCELLENT. West Indies will win the cup.
Have Fun I'm out!

  • 23.
  • At 03:44 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Harry wrote:


Whilst I don't wish it, don't get too comfy - it's still possible that you may be coming to Trinidad for some of those matches !!

  • 24.
  • At 04:29 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Fibyan wrote:

Martin my friend, I am a Guyanese and very proud of it.

I have seen many like yourself come to Guyana with all our faults, and suffer from the same culture shock. I have listened to many of you make your first statements on your first impressions in the same negative, loose and reckless manner from very uninformed perspectives about Guyana. However after a few days as you begin to understand, accept and witness the diverse cultures and you feel the warm hospitality of the Guyanese people despite all other challenges that you have listed and more, you will appreciate our country and you will grow to love it. Many like yourself end up wanting to stay in so far that you not only leave with mixed emotions but you return. Many of you whose stay or stint extends to months or years have shed tears as you prepare to leave Guyana. Not because of the negatives, but because of all the other positives that overshadow those initial negatives. To mention only a few, the positives are the savannahs, the rivers, the creeks, the food, the socials, the freedom, the people and the hospitality. We do have moderate entertainment and but the sooner you recognise that it is a little different to what you may be accustom to you will adapt. For example I would not visit England and reasonably expect the cultures there to adapt to me, I will have to adapt to your cultures.

We have seen the likes of you return to our country even when there was no assignment guiding you back, in fact many of you (both men and women alike) have returned to your homeland with Guyanese spouses. The latter speaks volumes for our personalities, our selflessness and hospitality.

So be careful Martin, you may want to revise your commentary.

Hope the rains will wait for a while for the match to proceed.

  • 26.
  • At 06:09 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • owen mann wrote:

The World Cup saddens me greatly as a cricket lover. I've been watching games on TV and have witnessed near empty stadiums. I did a little bit of investigation and found out that ticket's cost up to a weeks wages for a local to go! How can this World Cup be good for the game in the West Indies when few can afford to go? Also the ICC have banned You-Tube from showing highlights, so people in the US, Canada, Europe and Africa (bar S. Africa) have limited means of seeing games. How can the ICC actually claim to be encouraging cricket's development when they seem fixated on TV revenue?

  • 27.
  • At 06:44 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • ToussantB wrote:

You are in good hands. The rain will stop and the cricket will be played. Meanwhile enjoy what the people have to offer. Guyana is so much more than Georgetown. Guyanese are a humble resourceful people, with big hearts and a passion for overwhelming visitors with hospitality. You will see some things in Guyana that will make you laugh or wonder in utter amazement at our way of life - but its that raw uniqueness that defines us while we strive for better.

We have had more than our fair share of problems (unfortunately its mostly political problems) growing as a country hence the reason for our massive brain drain. However, we are blessed with an abudndance of natural resouces and a willingness to 'march on'.

A lot of what comes out of Guyana is negative and many times deservedly so but sometimes the goodness of the people and the beauty of our 83,000 sq miles (214 970 sq km) of land gets lost in the maze of contrasts with other Caribbean countries. We're just different. We'll take our fair share of criticism but it would be great if you were able to also highlight both the cricket and non-cricket positives about the country.

More than you need the rain to stop, the country needs you to help tell the world its story through your experiences.I'm sure that both will happen.


  • 28.
  • At 07:47 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Dan Rudge wrote:

Guyana is a place that gets in your blood.Try crossing the esquibo river in a little wooden boat with a 150hp engine on for a bit of fun!
The country has its own speed ..just now...but it is a fantastic placeHave been a few times and will be back soon
Also try Windies Sports Bar

  • 29.
  • At 08:37 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rohan Kallicharran wrote:

Enjoy the warmth of the Guyanese people, revel in the unique fusion of the Caribbean on the South American mainland, and as David says ...

Enjoy the cricket, and let's hope that it is a fitting tribute to the greats who have come from this beautiful country.

  • 30.
  • At 09:01 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rudy Narine wrote:

Mr Sports Journalist,

I only wish for you to look a little deeper in your assessment of the nation of my birth.

Appearances are ofthen deceiving. Allow yourself some optimism and dig a little deeper as to what life ia really about and you will find how Guyana and most countries inappropriately label "Third World."

As a journalist for the BBC, I am surpried that you have taken a negative judgement on the onset. Don't you realiz that in every nation, geopolitical forces severly impact so much the nature of any country!

However, man's nature is simple despite your desire for $300/night hotel rooms and cheap entertainment. Take a nature trip in Guyana and reevaluate whether Guyana is poor or rich!

Good Luck

  • 31.
  • At 09:09 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rajendra Narine wrote:

Let us know how you feel about guyana when you are leaving? That's important.....

  • 32.
  • At 09:39 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Neil Higan wrote:

I can't understand why they didn't just upgrade Bourda, cricket's natural home in GT.

For entertainment make sure you try the Sidewalk Cafe in Middle St on Thursday nights and the Pegasus Hotel always has something on.

Taxi driver is right - unfortunately for the local fans and visitors, Guyana, cricket and rain are glued together

  • 33.
  • At 10:15 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Paul wrote:

Any word on why the ticket prices have been set so high? All the talk before the tournament of cricket coming back in a big way in the West Indies seems a mile off. Very few games have even been nearly full, infact I dont think there has actually been a sell out.

I think more should be made of these awful ticket prices in the hope they are changed before too long.

  • 34.
  • At 10:49 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Shaun Lawley wrote:

super eight's prediction

1 -Australia
2 -West Indies
3 -New Zeland
4 - England

semi 1

England beat Australia

semi 2

West Indies beat New Zeland


Engalnd beat West Indies

  • 35.
  • At 11:30 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • I Hussain wrote:

Get your info correct Martin G. The Providence was not built with the aid of the Indian Cricket board but with a combination of aid and soft loan by the Indian Government.
Yes, Guyanese may be poor but proud. The Providence was started from a cane field and everything had to be from 'scratch'.
There was nothing the authorities if it rained heavily which slowed the pace of the work around the stadium.
So, just don't slag them off

  • 36.
  • At 11:30 AM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Hardeep Bassra wrote:

Rain it sounds like manchester but i would expect it to be warm in da carribean

  • 37.
  • At 12:31 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Alastair Craig wrote:

Guyana is NOT Barbados or Trinidad, but has it's own unique culture and heritage. I spent 5 tears there in the 50's and I can assure you, that a warmer and more hospitable people would be difficult to find anywhere in the world. I hear from friends that one has to be careful of robberies now in Georgetown, but any large town is beset with the same problem. Incidently, I have played RUGBY on Bourda cricket ground and know what it is to eat Labba and drink Creek water and to go A'Back Dam. Don't complain. I only wish that I could be there and 'Walk along Camp Street'
Alastair Craig (late Plantation Enmore)

  • 38.
  • At 01:00 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Sam Girwarnauth wrote:

Rain in Guyana? That's like saying the sun shines over the Kalahari! Every time cricket comes it rains, without fail. If you want to see the real Guyana, get out of the city and drive to Berbice. The river crossing is worth the trip! Of course, you may sit there for hours. If you think things are bad, just imagine how they were only a few years ago. Improvement is 200%! Oh, and the oasis place in Georgetown is called the Oasis, not too far from St. Georges.

  • 39.
  • At 01:06 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Kwesi wrote:

My my Martin...seems like you've aroused something here. Just let us know what are your feelings after 16 days in GT.

  • 40.
  • At 01:07 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Angie wrote:

As a Guyanese National I want and long to see our country shine, for every vistor to focus on the warmth of our people, testify to the charm of our Country and experience fantastic cricket!!!!

The reality is though that Guyana still has a very long way to go and unfortunately the gross under development is the first impression created in the minds of visitors such as Martin. Of course, when you see dilapidated houses and deplorable roads with garbage along the roads what conclusion do you expect foreignors to come to? While your comments were harsh, I certainly can't hold you resposnsible for your views. We Guyanese should note these comments and rather than complain about how unfair they are, we need to assess our country and our self and take the necessary steps to ensure this is not the image that we are projecting to the world. Remember, the first step to recovery is admission that you have a problem!!!!!!! Martin, notwithstanding the obvious issues look past this and you might find that you enjoy Ol' Guyana.

  • 41.
  • At 01:25 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rohan Moonie wrote:

Martin Gough is off off to a rough start. His report is chock full of negatives. As a native of Guyana, I am disappointed in such reporting. This nation is trying its best to recover from decades of political tyranny, poverty and social unrest. Give 'em a chance Martin.

As someone that purports to be well traveled, you should know that there is more to a land than a drive from the airport and rain.

Keep your focus and enjoy.

  • 42.
  • At 01:35 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • S Alexander wrote:

Guyana land of many waters
Of unheralded cricketing greats and tropical rainfalls whenever cricket arrives in town but I still love the place even though I have been away all these years

  • 43.
  • At 01:37 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Lee wrote:

Whilst Mr. Gough seems to have delivered a scathing indictment of Guyana. One must stop to think, has this man after only two days truly experienced the culture, food, interior and fantastic people? Has he taken the time to relax and truly enjoy the atmosphere of the country? Considering your profession Mr. Gough, your hasty judgements are not to your credit. I live and study in London but as soon as I have the chance there is nothing that could keep me from the warmth of Guyana and its people.

  • 44.
  • At 01:41 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • nadira wrote:

Hi Martin
Don't worry...the rain will stop and the ground will be dried by helicopters or mops. Guyanese are very resourceful. In the mean time relax and unwind. Take time out to wander around Georgetown and enjoy the architecture of St Georges Cathedral, Stabroek Market and the Mayor & City Council Building to name a few. In the evening go to the Seawall Bandstand and eat parched nuts whilst watching the sunset. Contemplate life. This is only a tiny bit of Demerara...there is still Essequibo and Berbice.
I hope you are there for the Easter Monday Kite flying. By the way...when the power goes just use the time to chat and make friends. This is Guyana. And everyone is right...try the local dishes. In addition to the peperpot and cook-up I recommend dhall and rice and saltfish.
Enjoy your trip. Rooting for our dear WI team.
Surprisingly sunny in Manchester.

  • 45.
  • At 02:03 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • leonardo butcher wrote:

I was peeved when I read your article, but mellowed after reading some of the responses to "Welcome to Guyana". I am absolutly certain that you will have a change of openion before you leave our shore for the next leg of your assignement. Guyana has much more to offer you than what meets the eye at first glance. You should visit the hinterland region and give yourself the oppportunity of really embracing ecotourism like none other. This land and its people will provide you with a splendor and hospitality like you have never known to exist, and will be one of your most treasured memories to last your life time. Get yourself the pocket book "Guyana, where and what", it will serve you well during your stay with us.

  • 46.
  • At 02:06 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Prem wrote:

Hi Martin,
I am not sure where the matches will be played in Guyana. The county of Berbice is where at least two games should have been slated. Berbice is home to the "greats" Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kalicharran, Joe Solomon, Basil Butcher, Ivan Madray and Shiv Shivnarine. Albion, Rose Hall, Skeldon and Port Mourant. Every seat will be filled in anyone of th0se venues. The best cricket fans live in Berbice.

Providence! was never a breeding ground for top class cricketers. You must visit Berbice. You will have the best time of you life in Berbice.

Have a wonderful stay in Guyana. You will learn that happiness in not about money. Spend some time with the locals at Berbice, Providence, West Coast Demerara. You will love Guyana.

Martin Gough, you are typical of the British, who never seem to stop whining [about] minor things ... the very minute you set foot on foreign lands. Really, it's becoming quite boring! In any event, back in 1998 I made a brief trip to London and was shocked at the state of poor roads and shabby housing where the regular folks. Never mind, the relentless, downpour every five minutes or so. Therefore, if I were you, get used to it, since you're not in a four star resort! We Guyanese went through hell ... thanks to British Colonialism. Meanwhile, have yourself a pleasant foray. Lots of FREEBIES and worldwide native hospitality! Have a drink on me.
Best regards,

  • 48.
  • At 02:20 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Prem Setaram wrote:

Hi Martin,
I am not sure where the matches will be played in Guyana. The county of Berbice is where at least two games should have been slated. Berbice is home to the "greats" Rohan Kanhai, Alvin Kalicharran, Joe Solomon, Basil Butcher, Ivan Madray, Roy Fredricks and Shiv Shivnarine. Albion, Rose Hall, Skeldon and Port Mourant. Every seat will be filled in anyone of th0se venues. The best cricket fans live in Berbice.

Providence! was never a breeding ground for top class cricketers. You must visit Berbice. You will have the best time of you life in Berbice.

Have a wonderful stay in Guyana. You will learn that happiness in not about money. Spend some time with the locals at Berbice, Providence, West Coast Demerara. You will love Guyana.

  • 49.
  • At 02:22 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Colin Edghill wrote:

Welcome to Guyana Martin! Ihope you enjoy your stay. Guyana like any other country in the world has its good and bad sides. If you look for the bad you will find it, and if you look for the good you will find it too.

Life is all about the experiences you go through. Its very unfortunate that the first blog you chose to write is about the nagative. But will be very surprise that the cost of tickets will nt prevent Guyanese from attending. We rival any other country in the world when it comes to our PASSION FOR THE GANE OF CRICKET!

It amazing me how you can come to another man's country be so arrogant in your accessment of it and it people after only a few days.

But I hope you will write a blog about the blessed time your stay turned out to be. And then you will apologise.


  • 50.
  • At 02:33 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Mana wrote:

This is what you get after 28 years of British and CIA rule poor people living in shanty towns.....The stadium and all the other development is what came during the stewardship of DR Jagan and the His Excellency President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana....You sit back and enjoy the game. Guyane is great!

  • 51.
  • At 02:50 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Raymond wrote:

Give me a break sir. You need to go back to the resort you came from. Guyana is a beautiful country and the people are warm and freindly. If you can afford it take a trip to one of the interior resorts. It is so peaceful it gives you a chance to reflect on your own life. Sometimes we can be so materialistic that we see things only one way. Many persons come to this wonderful country and enjoy the simple things that it has to offer.
Good luck to the West Indies.

Hi Martin

Oasis Cafe is on Carmichael St between Middle and Quamina sts , not far from the cathedral.

Beaches and sun are one thing, but if you really want to learn to love the Caribbean for more than that, then Guyana is the place.
For a nation cobbeld together by the Brits to fuel an empire's need for sugar - African, Indian, Portugese, Chinese and the indigenous Amerindians, get along pretty well.
The people and the way of life really get under your skin.
I should know I came here ten years ago and am happily stuck!

  • 53.
  • At 03:17 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Bobber wrote:

Relax, Martin - the building of the stadium is merely on Guyanese time. It'll be ready when it needs to be and no earlier!!

Find yourself a decent cook and enjoy a cold Banks with some crab or goat curry!

  • 54.
  • At 03:44 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Kwabina Griffith wrote:

A little geography and a peek at history would have reduced the culture shock on your arrival in Guyana. As a former British colony Guyana was exploited to fuel the development of the 'mother land'. After independence the USA and Britain then played the two major races against each other to ensure the continuation of our underdevelopment.

As for the puddles and drainage ditches, The coast of Guyana is 6 feet below sea level and its only through an intricate web of "drainage ditches" left to us by the Dutch that it is even possible for us to live in this part of the country.

As you noted Guyana is not a Caribbean island we do not have white sand and blue water.... but we have a resilient people that given our history should be proud of their accomplishments. We are a very loving people opening our doors to all visitors. I hope your future articles indicate the devastating impact of slavery, indentureship, globalisation and "free trade" on the economies and psyche of small proud nations like Guyana.

hope you enjoy your stay.

  • 55.
  • At 04:08 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Donewithgt wrote:

Hi Martin,
Well Done mate, we need more journalists to visit and talk about the bad things especially i georgetown. i just hope the people who can make a difference take notice. It's not that it can't be done we just have terrible leadership and everybody is out for themselves.

Please continue to write about all the negative you see and maybe then notice will be taken this is one of the biggest things that will happen for guyana.

You will however meet some of the nicest people and i'm sure as long as the rain says away you'll have a good time at the cricket. Enjoy the Rum and the Food.

  • 56.
  • At 04:27 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • PMcD wrote:

C'mon, my Guyanese brethren...I've not been to Guyana but I have Guyanese friends, and family and friends have visited from time to time. All agree that Guyana takes a little getting used to, in terms of infrastructure. i'm sure it's a beautiful country and I know it's got wonderful, friendly people, but don't be so thin-skinned about the comments of a stranger who gives his honest impressions about what he saw and experienced. I'm Jamaican, so we get it all the time, as we have our issues with crime, and physical ugliness, having shared a lot of Guyana's issues (ideological conflict, destabilisation by First World elements, economic underdevelopment etc). My advice - see what he is saying, and think about how to go about correcting it. Sometimes an outsider's perspective frightens us, and makes us realise negative things about our country we have -wrongly - put up with for too long.

  • 57.
  • At 04:34 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Rudy Luck wrote:

The rain in Guyana is awesome. The drops are large and the water is warm and nice. I remember running around and bathing in the rain on many occasions while I was growing up in Guyana. If there is one thing I miss it is the warm rain. So Martin, stop knocking the Guyanese rain. Follow the advice of the many people who have written here and spoken about the beauty of Guyana and the people, Walk about the place (hopefully do not experience choke and rob) and sit on the seawall at night and count the stars. This was the TV when I grew up in Guyana and I think it is still value for your money.

  • 58.
  • At 04:40 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Ms A Davies wrote:

I have read your so called article and you call yourself a journalist
I always thought journalists always checked their information before publication
Why don't you look up the Kaieteur Falls and compare it to Niagara Falls
Or are you just surprised that a South American country has something bigger and better than the States
I'm not surprised the Guyana papers and in turn people are upset with you. You are in Guyana and not Manhattan or The West End
Guyana is also known as the land of many waters. Just think of all the countries in the world that would be grateful for some rain
You also can not compare Guyana to a Caribbean island since it’s not an island Guyana is a poor country but a very proud country
I will be in Guyana in December of this year since even I could not afford to attend the cricket, I would love to show you the big and beautiful country that my Mother came from. As for me I'm a Paddington Bear born in London and I have seen poverty and plenty of rain in London and I probably won't be able to afford a ticket to the FA Cup in Wembley
You can go around putting down a country, its way and its people – would you like someone to do that with your country

  • 59.
  • At 04:50 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Jennifer Falconer wrote:

Words cannot describe my disgust at your so called professionalism. If Guyana as a nation is in a state of poverty, its because you British left us so. So we have poor people, guess what take a trip to Bouton in St. Lucia, you will witness poverty there too.
Your article is irresponsible and misleading. Are you willing to bear the responsibility for the damage your article has done to this country economically and otherwise. Do you even care?
Or has Guyana become the victim of a second rate reporter looking for his big story on a poor ass nation to achieve acceptance.
Guyana offers Eco-tourism, we have never sported blue waters and white sandy beaches.
If its a drunken spree and a splash in blue waters you crave to top off the night then I suggest you go back to St. Lucia.
We may be a poor nation but I guarantee you we won't have murdered CWC delegates, prison riots, bomb scares and tear gas episodes to liven the atmosphere.
If you want to do honest reporting about Guyana then I suggest you visit the interior locations and experience the beauty of eco tourism, a lost natural gift to industrialized nations.
PS: Might I remind you we watched a 21overs match on Saturday being played in Trinidad, as a result of rain.

  • 60.
  • At 05:53 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Yasiru Samarakoon wrote:

I can make out why the Guyanese were offended, but you can only reporte what you see!
Hopefully, we may see some positive experiences in the next couple of weeks, but it is not your fault that people are feeling cross. We all feel bad and angry whenever something negative is published about our country don't we? But I reckon it is rarely the reporter's fault. We should not feel irritated when someone tells their experiences about our country. How can one argue with facts?
This has nothing to do with whether the country is poor or not.
If someone writes some run-down part of England is really crap, would the residents be up in arms?

  • 61.
  • At 07:03 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Kizza wrote:

Poor old Martin, leave him alone. A sunny St.Lucia that seduces with nightclub outings followed by moon-lit pedalo rides must better a rainy Guyana.

  • 62.
  • At 07:23 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Duncan wrote:

You do a disservice to the BBC, and heaven knows that is an achievement these days. You are described as a sports jurnalist - why not stick to that and leave your smug patronising social commentary in your postcards home to your friends - if you have any.

  • 63.
  • At 07:29 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Penny Francis wrote:

Mr. Gough,

Guyana is 83,000 square miles of Exciting, Trilling & Back to Nature richness.
It is a unique land of 6 races.
All living peacefully in UNITY & LOVE.
Each race, rich with their own culture.
So your negative comments does not hamper us.
We're proud of our country GUYANA & we welcome everyone onboard for Worldcup Cricket 2007.

  • 64.
  • At 07:32 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Preya Persaud wrote:

I think it's history making that my country is hosting world cup cricket here in guyana.

And we as guyanese took it as an honor to host world cup cricket

  • 65.
  • At 07:33 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Preya Persaud wrote:

I think it's history making that my country is hosting world cup cricket here in guyana.

And we as guyanese took it as an honor to host world cup cricket

  • 66.
  • At 07:48 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Jerry wrote:

Hey, I'm Guyanese and I read the article yesterday. Still don't understand what's the problem.

  • 67.
  • At 08:35 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • David wrote:


I doubt whether it was your intent, but you now have the distinct honor of providing a forum for Guyanese patriotism. I can't remember any Guyanese leader of recent memory being able to do this.

It really is nice to read all the responses to your blog.

As you have found out, your impressions have not gone un-noticed. Look forward to reading more of your Guyana adventure.

  • 68.
  • At 08:56 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Colin wrote:

Hey Martin,

Learn to back-stroke, check out the Irish and GT chicks, drink some rum and dance-up. You'll heve a real good time.

Guyanese by birth.

  • 69.
  • At 09:46 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Guyanese Gyal wrote:

It is very disappointing to read such a negative article by someone who is supposed to be an educated journalist of a developed country. It is very unfortunate that your drive from the Cheddi Jagan International Airport to Georgetown was not up to par to what you experienced in beautiful St Lucia. It shows that as a journalist you still have yet a lot to see and learn. In January of 2005 those homes that you saw along the banks of the Demerara and the coast of Guyana suffered one of the worst floods in Guyana’s history. Those homes are still standing and so are many that survived that horrific flood. I was never so proud of my Guyanese people who survived that flood and got on with their lives even though there was a lack of international media coverage on this flood that affected about 75% of the Guyanese population. Guyanese people take things with stride. They always try to make a negative experience into a positive one. After reading your article they will want to invite you into their homes and cook a tasty Guyanese dish for you and have you follow it with a tasty drink perhaps some very good Guyanese distilled rum. I wish you all the best with your career and I hope you learn something from your experience in the West Indies.

  • 70.
  • At 11:29 PM on 27 Mar 2007,
  • Shamita wrote:

As a journalist you may (or may not) have read about the countries that comprise the West Indies. You have managed to see the beauty of St Lucia on your lovely 5 Star resort (if that is what you consider as “seeing a county or an island”). I somehow got the idea that as a journalist, you were in Guyana for work reasons. I did not realize that you were holidaying.

Guyana may have poor infrastructure but the Guyanese people are very warm and hospitable. As others have mentioned, venture into the interior of Guyana to enjoy nature at its best. Have some cook-up rice and some chicken curry & roti. Throw back in GT (Georgetown) and enjoy some of the best rum in the world.

Enjoy the simple things in life. What you see here, is what you get.

  • 71.
  • At 01:53 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Simone wrote:

Mr. Gough your observations are not off but you display little respect for your host and you sound like a poorly travelled fellow who never read British history.

This is the bitter end of the sugar that sweetened your tea in England for over a hundred years and paid for your well built cities. This is your history. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn about yourself.

It is unfortunate that instead of sounding like you did your homework you you sound like you are whining about everything. This includes rain in a country covered with 85% rain forest, drainage in a coastland that sits 6 feet below sea level and poverty in a place where the UK had a lot to do with ethnic strife and dashing hopes for a genuine democracy at independence.

You are, however, spot on about the prices of tickets. Here again history repeats itself. The corporate machinery running the World Cup can think of nothing but profits. Hence the price of tickets and anti-cultural restrictions on people taking adequate picnics to the cricket.

If this vacation is not up to your standard, as clearly you were expecting a vacation, you should go back to the islands that have lush resorts and tourist industries. You can spend endless days on their numerous beaches. That way you won't have to go peep in the back steets and see how people really live. You won't have to stomach what the majority of the world puts up with so that a handful of people can enjoy wasteful unsustainable lifestyles.

You are still welcome here. Relax,have a rum and try to think twice the next time you write an article. Incidentally, you can easily verify the height of Kaieteur Falls, you need not use terms like 'apparently'.

  • 72.
  • At 02:17 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Ariff wrote:

This article is "madness", this man just arrived and started making comments, they should have really repacked his luggage and sent him back to his so called "Weather Free" country. Constructive journalism is needed.

Proud to be Guyanese

  • 73.
  • At 02:24 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • T_Bill wrote:

While the blog points were not untrue, the Guyanese people who reacted so sharply should also offer you a history lesson for why Guyana is not more developed. This was courtesy of the British and American government who in the 1960's installed Burnham as Prime Minister and he went on to become a brutal dictator and ruining the economy and human growth.

Thanks your England.

So, Martin, a bit of research into history will show what slowed Guyana's progress and offer perspective how we as a country has progressed in the past 17 years.

Guyanese people.....our inept gov't in power now thinks a last minute rush to nice up things can hide the true story...they will hopefully learn a good lesson.

  • 74.
  • At 06:25 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • CF wrote:

If we patriotic Guyanese pounced the same way on the politicians of the past and the present, we would not have to advise visitors to ply themselves with liquor and run into the jungle to experience the “true” beauty of Guyana. At the end of the day it's just trees, mountains and water, it is people that makes a country beautiful or not.

As far as experiencing true Guyanese hospitality Mr. Gough, take a trip to Sherriff St after the sunset.

And isn't it time we stop blaming everyone else for the mess our country is in.

One evening Mr. Rudolph Block, of New York, found himself seated at dinner alongside Mr. Percival Pollard, the distinguished critic.
"Mr. Pollard," said he, "my book, _The Biography of a Dead Cow_, is published anonymously, but you can hardly be ignorant of its authorship. Yet in reviewing it you speak of it as the work of the Idiot of the Century. Do you think that fair criticism?"
"I am very sorry, sir," replied the critic, amiably, "but it did not occur to me that you really might not wish the public to know who wrote it."

Martin, boy. You'll overcome it. "Take two". Let this be a lesson that journalism is different storytelling.

On a second note: You can email me and I'll send you a bottle of XM 5 year! Btw, my Dad use to tell me that coconut water and Vodka is known as "IPR". Catch a local and ask about this.

G-G from GT.

  • 76.
  • At 06:49 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Canuk wrote:

I believe Guyanese are too quick to go on the defnsive here. The article points out deficiencies that are probably not expected in a Country like Guyana at this point in its history. Whethere the British or the Americana caused it, the bottom line is that Guyanese have ben ruling the country for the past 40 or so years. I believe we need to admit that we are not where we should be and find ways to fix our problems.
Accusing Martin or unprofessionalism is a good first reaction and maybe it is true that he should be a more polite guest, but the truth is the truth. Guyana is not the ideal tourist destination we would like to think it to be. We certainly cannot tell a visitor that has just been robbed that he should 'go visit the interior' for a better perspective of what Guyana has to offer.

We have obviously made a bad first impression on at least one person, lets bow down and pray that he is the only one.
To those who accuse Martin of harming our country, I say this pales in Comparison to the damage we have done ourselves. So chill on dis man!

Guyana being 83000 square miles should mean that its 83000 beautiful square miles!!! not no piece piece thing hay!

Patriotic Guyanese

Dear Mr Martin Gough,

This world is filled with too many people, who spend too much time complaining.

Relax man,and experience the beauty that surrounds you...yes, even in the rain.

I hope you are showered with Guyanese hospitality.

Edward Bulwer-Lytton wrote`...THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD`.Use your pen wisely and fairly.

  • 78.
  • At 09:02 AM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Marie wrote:

I agree with all the positive comments on Guyana and its wonderful people. The Guyanese are extremely hospitable. There are so many wonderful places to visit out of the capital. Unfortunately, Georgetown is quite run down but there are still a few places one can go for a good meal and a drink. I hope you get to try some real, good Guyanese food. What a pity that the prices of the cricket tickets are out of reach of most of the locals. This should not happen anywhere. Shame on the Cricket Board.

  • 79.
  • At 02:14 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Suematra wrote:

Oh Marty, the last time I checked, you needed help. So welcome to the real world. What you see in Guyana, if you are well travelled, you will see in other countries. Stop being so negative and enjoy this beautiful country and let the games begin.

  • 80.
  • At 03:45 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • Simone wrote:

Mr. Gough your observations are not off but you display little respect for your host and you sound like a poorly travelled fellow who never read British history.

This is the bitter end of the sugar that sweetened your tea in England for over a hundred years and paid for your well built cities. This is your history. We are pleased to offer you the opportunity to learn about yourself.

It is unfortunate that instead of sounding like you did your homework you sound like you are whining about everything. This includes rain in a country covered with 85% rain forest, drainage in a coastland that sits 6 feet below sea level and poverty in a place where your government had a lot to do with dashing hopes for a genuine democracy at independence.

You are, however, spot on about the prices of tickets. Here again history repeats itself. The corporate machinery running the World Cup can think of nothing but profits. Hence the price of tickets and anti-cultural restrictions on people taking adequate picnics to the cricket.

If this vacation is not up to your standard, as clearly you were expecting a vacation, you should go back to the islands that have lush resorts and tourist industries. You can spend endless days on their numerous beaches. That way you won't have to go peep in the back streets and see how people really live. You won't have to stomach what the majority of the world puts up with so that a handful of people can enjoy wasteful unsustainable lifestyles.

You are still welcome here. Relax, have a rum and try to think twice the next time you write an article. Incidentally, you can easily verify the height of Kaieteur Falls, you need not use terms such as 'apparently'.


  • 81.
  • At 05:18 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • mort wrote:

What you are suffering from my friend is an acute case of "paralysis of analysis" to any part of the globe and you will find the Good mixed with the Bad & Ugly, including the motherland, Great Britain.

Just stick to what you do best and that is reporting cricket.
By the way have a shot of 25 year old Demerara rum, on me.


  • 82.
  • At 08:24 PM on 28 Mar 2007,
  • rk wrote:

I think this guy who write this story is bad mouthing guyana he need to look at his own country

  • 83.
  • At 03:04 AM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • David E Falconer wrote:

Hey Martin
I'm really sorry you had such a bad time during your visit here. I have been reading the responses posted and I must say that I even though some persons were a tad rabid, I must agree with them up to a point. You see, whether or not you meant to, you managed to dwell only on the negative things you saw, most of which is not our fault, I mean, do we actually have any control over if it rains or not? I guess it NEVER rains in England, Huh?
I would like to invite you back some other time, maybe you will change your mind. Our country is really beautiful, and if you keep in mind what we have had to overcome in recent times, you must agree that we are not doing too badly.
Peace and love, buddy !

  • 84.
  • At 12:43 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • stokie wrote:

I live in Bristol, UK. My wife and her family are from Guyana and some family still live there.

There are some dangers here like anywhere else but it is a Beautiful country. The politeness of these people is second to none. The only thing lacking is financial wealth which is hardly the fault of the average guyanese. Lack of entertainment is a reflection on our western society who seem to expect everthing served on a platter.

Cricket it is lamentable that the world cup organisers price out the locals. The locals should be garteful just for getting the attention - it's not enough and very disrespectful of these proud people.

  • 85.
  • At 02:28 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Fiona wrote:

Hey Martin

Guyanese have a saying "Knock back is harder than knock"

Maybe you should have done some history before speaking, unfortunately spoken words cannot be taken back.Guyana is not perfect, like any other country we have problems.Make sure to visit the back streets of those pretty tourist destinations, you might catch a fit at what you see.

The picture painted is as though most of Guyana is made up of poor houses & shanty hotels. I know for a fact that at least half of our housing communities would rival Buckingham Palace, you can check for yourself

The ditches you speak about are called Gutters, Trenches, Canals & Drains if you did not know Guyana coast is below sea level so we need those ditches to let the water out when it rains.

Maybe you can read up about Iwokrama, Lake Mainstay, Baganara, Timberhead, Rock View Shanklands, Splashmins, the many rivers & waterfalls, Islands in the mighty Essequibo River and so much more.

If you do not know what to report about let me help you out. Guyana Produces enough Sugar, Rice, Poultry, fresh fruits & vegetables that can feed the entire Caribbean and England; take a walk by Stabroek or Bourda market and see.We are not all about sea & sand.

I do not know if the names of John Mair, David Lammy, Baroness Amos and so many others ring a bell; they are either Guyanese by birth or decendant, brains like those are rampant here so when you want to "blog" next time remember that.

P.S - just read in the morning news paper Prince Andrew is due here next week & guess what he will he going to Timberhead Eco-Resort.

  • 86.
  • At 02:40 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • andel sal wrote:


  • 87.
  • At 04:18 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • Charlotte wrote:

To all the Guyanese who have taken offense to Martin's comments, i think you were a little too quick to go on the offensive...
He says nothing of Guyana that is not true. Yes, he has forgotten to talk about the wonderfully diverse culture and just how amazing the coast land can look at sunset and the amazing feeling of racing along the roads in a mini-bus with the music blaring. But also, i fear you have never experienced Guyana from a tourist's perspective.
As a tourist, you are not ALWAYS treated with the warmth and hospitality that you like to claim. Im not dishonering the Guyanese people here at all, i made a great many friends during the time i lived there and i still keep in contact with many of them. BUT as an obvious foreigner (and anyone from England WILL stick out like a sore thumb!), you are also often ripped off, hollered at and generally harrassed - usually at leat daily.
Of my experince of the country, it is far too easy for many of you to blame the bad appearences on everyone or anyone else but like others here have also pointed out - i think its time you faced up to the problems your country has and worked together to change them.
As for Martin, the country is a beautiful one and there are many things that you WILL enjoy. Staying in Guyana will make you less materialistic and hopefully teach you to enjoy the little things in life. I hope you find youre own little bit of heaven in Guyana - keep on the look may seem hard to find but it is there :)
To the Guyanese who have written here, give the man a break and try and appreciate what its like to be a forgeiner in Guyana. Sometimes its harder than youd imagine...

PS. Do anyone visiting Guyana, make the most of the ElDorado - its AMAZING!!!

  • 88.
  • At 08:11 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • omla wrote:

I guarantee you Martin that after your short stay in this beautiful land of ours you will truly understand what is meant by "a hospitable people" and your experience of a blessed country is something that will last a lifetime. I am sure that you are not aware that Guyana is one of the few countries spared from natural disasters and maybe the only country in the Caribbean with a such a vast rainforest waiting to be discovered. Maybe white sandy beaches is what you have become immune to but try a slash in any of our cool black water creeks then tell me what you think of Guyana. Oh, don't forget our mouth-watering dishes which can only be experience here in the land of six people. Alot like you have come and gone but its our nature as Guyanese not be too bothered about a few who are negative. We see everything and everyone even with all their faults as beautiful and i hope your stay here would be an enjoyable one. Hosting of the CWC is triumphant event for us and we are proud of ourselves as a country full of warm and welcoming people. I hope that it would not take you too long to discover this beautiful peice of god's creation afterall we Guyanese like to say "beauty lies in the eye of the beholder". Enjoy your stay!

Nice article. Good observations. I hope to see more keen observations like this from everyone covering Guyana's leg of the World Cup.
It's a pity what this country has become since it wrenched "independence" from Britain.

  • 90.
  • At 11:31 PM on 29 Mar 2007,
  • georgina wrote:

Hello Martin

I came across your blog after reading the uproar within a well known Guyanese paper, and wanted to discover the other side of the coin - so to speak! By the way, I am english born but visit Guyana frequently, as my parents originally come from there.

I can recall my first visit to my mother's land, like it was yesterday and it was a walk in the park, compared to the killings, mental slavery and institutionalised racism which happens in England - especially, London - every single day. I call it 'paradise'.

I read your blog and your editor's letter with great interest and I'm sure by now you have come to the realisation that Guyana cannot be compared to any other caribbean island. This beautiful country is a diamond in disguise: so many unseen treasures and NATURAL beauty in abundance.

Guyana is not the sort of destination that offers you the scantily dressed women strolling along the white beaches, or the so called beach bums that repeatedly say 'yes sir, no sir'. So comparing it to the other so called 'brain washed' islands shows a lack of research and understanding.

Before I end my comment, I would like to suggest that for next time, you gain some knowledge regarding your destination, so you can gain a better understanding.

I'm quite disgusted at your editor's letter, and I hope he took the initiative of allowing his comments to be vetted by DG's representatives/office before clicking send?

Nevertheless, Martin, I'm sure by the time you've read this comment - you would've discovered the true meaning of 'high wine', black creek water, pepper pot and how one should think before one speaks :)

Take care and bring back a bottle for me..

  • 91.
  • At 02:29 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Natahsa wrote:


Let me tell you a little about Guyana History. There is a community in Guyana called Victoria on the East Coast of Demerara. This was the first community to be bought by freed slaves. The slaves pooled all thier resources to buy what used to be plantation Northbrook.
When they approached the Masters they were turned away; the reason being the asking price had suddenly doubled. Determined to acquire the land they literally cleaned out all they had saved (Man, Woman & Child).The money was placed in a Wheel Barrow and taken to their former masters in return for the land.See why Guyana and other Caribbean countries still have poor houses - our ancestors were robbed of everythig they had.

Imagine they were already worked for little in return then to have all they had saved basically taken away. Miss Charlotte no one is blaming anyone for all of Guyana problems, I know we could have been more developed & some of our politicans are the culprits.

Let us not distort the truth, probably you are one of the fortunate individuals who inherited what was worked for with sweat and tears by those plantation workers, who was left with nothing when freed. Guyanese are working to solve their problems, but the fact will remian our ancestors were robbed of everything. Speaking of being hollered at, its no secret that within the Caribbean persons are generally loud. Miss Charlotte being ripped of is usual in any country, just like how rain falls all over the world. I guess which ever country you are from does not have a jail since only honest peolpe lives there.

  • 92.
  • At 02:50 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Andy wrote:

Mr. Gough,
Guyana is so much more than meets the eye, give us a chance and i'm sure you'll enjoy your stay. 365 beaches in antigua, how bout 365 islands??? Including one that is as big as Barbados?? or a waterfall five times the height of niagra?? or wildlife that you only see on tv or magazines?? Guyana has so much to offer, all it takes is for you to discover, this beautiful country i call home. You'd be surprised at what you'd find. Do enjoy your stay.

  • 93.
  • At 11:52 AM on 30 Mar 2007,
  • Mo wrote:

I think you are far too ungrateful.

The next 16 days would be a holiday to anyone else not spoilt by the luxury of having a job that pays you to travel the world and write short articles on cricket which 80% of english speaking cricket supporters could match if not better.

Feel free to swap places with myself who finds myself tied to working from home for 4 days a week.

  • 94.
  • At 01:01 AM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • Marie Moffatt wrote:

I am from Guyana and I've in England for 25 years before immigrating to Canada, and I think Martin Gough needs to remind himself that Guyana was under British rule long before Guyana got it's independence. The British took all of our natural resources and never improve living conditions or help to improve the quality of life for the Guyanese people. As a nurse/ midwife I went into a lot of homes that were filthy, I would not have accepted a glass of water if it was offered. So, Martin clean up your own backyard before knocking the Guyanese people. No one is holding you hostage, you could always leave.

A proud Guyanese woman. Marie

  • 95.
  • At 08:02 AM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • Graham wrote:

How can the ICC continue to allow its major show -piece (World Cup) to be played out in front of almost-empty grounds? The greed of this organisation is matched only by its stupidity - give the unsold and over-priced tickets to the poor people of the Caribbean. It doesn't need a genius to work that out. The ICC has made millions of $$$$ from TV and sponsorship - the price of tickets should reflect the local economic conditions. WAKE UP!!!

  • 96.
  • At 01:30 PM on 31 Mar 2007,
  • George wrote:

Mr. Gough:
You've certainly prickled the Guyanese pride here! But that just goes to show that underneath our muddy exterior is a national pride that burns brightly. and there are diamonds and gold buried in that mud too! you just have to wash away the mud.
I should point out that that many foreigners (particularly brits) who have the luck to be assigned to Guyana as missionaries, volunteers, expat staff etc. often make Guyana their home after completing their contracts or tour or whatever else its called.

  • 97.
  • At 10:27 AM on 01 Apr 2007,
  • PAZ wrote:

Would it not be better to watch the Guyana matches from the comfort of your living room in England?

  • 98.
  • At 09:57 PM on 01 Apr 2007,
  • shortie wrote:

You are too negative.Tthe rain falls everywhere and Guyanese cannot control it. If you think the houses from the airport are poor then i dont know what you want to see- castles. I hope the place you came from has only rich communities and the place is always calm with no glitches. As a media personnel you should be more open to new things, whether good or bad.

  • 99.
  • At 03:44 AM on 02 Apr 2007,
  • Allen Martin wrote:

I've met many Guyanese in my life, and I've come away with one impression. I think many Guyanese are deeply rooted in inferiority complex and they have low self esteem about their country.

Who cares if someone writes a few negative aspects about Guyana? Why is there a need for this uproar?

I've read the post and I didn't see read any comments which deserved such harsh words towards BBC or specifically towards Mr. Martin!

My Dear Guyanese people, such undo criticism is a reflection of your own insecure feeling towards your beautiful country.

  • 101.
  • At 11:18 AM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Bibi K wrote:

For those of us who could not make it to Guyana, and who are faithfully viewing every game on TV, it's a pity to see the stadium half empty. Can't they fill it up by giving the locals discounted prices, and maybe letting the school children in free? This is a once in a lifetime experience, even for us looking in from the outside. I've had many gatherings at my house to make sure everyone I know and care about, are part of the experience.
If the stadium is filled up, it would be a good sales tactic - from the tourism and business points of view. E.g. "Look how happy the people in Guyana are!" "Yes, that's where I'd like to go, and maybe even invest my money!"

  • 102.
  • At 01:35 PM on 05 Apr 2007,
  • Bibi K wrote:

To: Antigua Antigua:
Guyana is the most beautiful place with the most beautiful people. And don't forget the XM, El Dorado, and Banks Beer to keep you in a good mood always!
I wish I weren't stuck in Florida; I wish I were in Guyana enjoying all the cricket sights and sounds right now! I'm trying to do the best I can by looking at it day and night on TV but it's not the same.

Bibi K

I'd like to start off by saying that this is a pretty decent and accurate article. I was in Guyana when there was a big uproar about this article. I wanted to see why it angered so many and now that I've read it I'm clueless as to why people are so angry. Well what I'm about to say might anger a few more people but I really don't give a damn.

I won't say much except for that I agree with most of your article. What you say is what alot of people in Guyana says. The only difference is that when locals say it, no one hears because it's obviously the poor or those without power to make a change or those not important. When someone such as yourself make mention of the obvious then it raises eyebrows and quite frankly, I'm glad you did such.
Basically, it's OK for a local to talk down to Guyana but it will upset us if anyone talks bad of it. That's something that happens everywhere else.

I only believe that you were a bit harsh and could have used a different tone. Make it known that we're poor and have a bad government. Don't make it sound like we can do better but won't. It's also not fare to compare it to more developed countries, that's unreasonable.

In addition, when critiquing something, use good spelling and better grammer because angry people would try to use it as an insult which is what i MIGHT be doing in a diplomatic way...

Anyways, anyone that writes anything against your article, ignore it.

  • 104.
  • At 06:55 PM on 18 May 2007,
  • Cheryl wrote:

I must correct Martin's comments about the people that reside on the banks of to he Demerara River- They may live in what appears to be poor homes and poor they may be, but do not for one moment think that they are not living full lives. Some of them will be at the cricket games, but most importantly, all of them will welcome you to a land that they are proud of. Don't you dare judge until you have taken the time to prove your assumptions and do so with a postive attitude.

  • 105.
  • At 06:04 PM on 29 May 2007,
  • David V wrote:

It is funny that so many Guyanese would go ape over MG's article, especially Freddie Kissoon.

If you read what FK regularly writes in the his KN articles, if would make you wonder why he made such an ass of himself insulting MG for his accurate observations during his visit to Guyana.

Below is a recent sample

In a world where we have reached the 21st century, visitors judge a nation by its modern infrastructure and its modern facilities. This is where Guyana becomes an eyesore in the eyes of outsiders. The trouble is our governments, both past and present, lack the commonsense to understand this. They are not sensitive to the criteria by which people judge an independent state.

Let's start with the volunteer services we have. From Britain , Canada and the US , young educated minds are working in the medical, teaching and other professions. Imagine what they think of us when they use the washroom of any ferry. The sight is horrible.

On a public ferry, people will do all sorts of things. The unpleasant sight can be corrected by a maintenance regime. Public washrooms get old and besmirched. You have to change the tiles, the pipes and the lavatory items. How much will that cost TH&D every ten years?

In my twenty years as a staff member of UG, I have only, I repeat, only, used the urinal. I have never, I repeat never used the other sections of the washrooms. The situation is loathsome. The men's urinal in the Faculty of Social Sciences at UG has been in place since the campus moved from Queen's College to Turkeyen some thirty-six years go.

  • 106.
  • At 04:18 AM on 11 Jun 2007,
  • Shamane Grant wrote:

I just came across this article.I know cricket world cup is long over, but I couldn't resist saying that I think the author of this article has done a huge diservice to my country at a time when it is on the verge of marketing itself as a tourist destination. I'm hastened to say things that are products of the anger induced at reading the article,but I won't. I'll just say to Mr. Gough, use your pen or rather keyboard to do positive things,not tear the images of people and their homeland apart.

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