Saturday, September 25, 2010

FINALLY - The Container!

At long last, after 2 weeks in town, we received our container!!! 

Jocelyn, was very kind, and allowed us to unload everything at her place and store it there until we could make arrangements for another truck to take it all into Karanambu.
It was so strange to see all of our things from New Jersey being unpacked. We had forgotten most of what we packed! But it all went back into storage under the house.
It was really nice to see familiar things. We kept laughing as we tried to imagine where all of these things would go at Karanambu??

We had been told that the road to Karanambu was so bad that we would surely have to wait until October or November to try to bring everything in...but within a day or two we got a call saying that the arrangements had been made and our driver and his BIG truck from Lethem had arrived in Georgetown.

So...almost as soon as everything was unpacked, it was time to pack it up again! 
We were quite worried about the road into Karanambu and the 3 mile bush.  But the crew just spoke to us on skype and they are ALL going out to clear the road and greet the truck and make sure that everything gets home safely!

So, this time, everything will go all the way home to Karanambu!  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ceramics in Guyana!

What an amazing day!

Over 35 years ago I had the amazing opportunity to study pottery in Lusaka, Zambia with Bente Lorenz.  The potter's wheels where manual and powered by a stationary bicycle, the faster you pedaled, the faster the wheel turned. It was an experience that has stayed with me my whole life.  I often think about Bente and her studio and all of the folks who I so enjoyed and learned so much from.  I have frequently wondered how I could duplicate the experience for others.

My friend Tracy is President of the Craft Association of Guyana.  Tracy knows that I am keen on getting a potter's wheel into Karanambu!  So today, she took me up to the East Bank to meet some of the members of her association!  What an experience! They dig their own clay, fire it in several different ways.  Some people do use a Kiln, others fire the clay naturally in a fire pit. We make our own clay bricks at Karanambu, so the possibilities are endless!

One artist has been working on one piece for years!  It is a castle made up of tiny individual clay brick!  You cannot even imagine what has gone into this over the years!


THIS IS THE MOAT and base of the Castle

This manual wheel, although made up of bicycle parts, is very different than the one I was familiar with. We had a great conversation about how to maintain your creativity in a environment where there is so much need.  It is quite amazing that from so little, comes so much.
Bicycle parts used to make it spin
It was a fantastic day!  New friends, fantastic artists and all kinds of possibilities for art at Karanambu!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Emergency Medical Training

Last February, we had an emergency at Karanambu. 10 year old Vincent received a pretty serious head injury from a fall while riding his horse with his father Marvin.  Marvin brought him immediately to Karanambu.  Vincent had a large gash on the top of his head which required suturing.  Fortunately for Vincent, two of our guests were doctors.  In a matter on minutes, Dr. Peter stitched Vincent up.  Now, 6 months later, there isn't even a visible scare.  Had Dr. Peter not been there, the story would have been quite different.  The Lethem hospital is a good 2-1/2 hours away by road in the dry season!  It is this story that caused Andrea to approach Captain Malcolm Chan-a-Sue.  Malcolm is the CEO of the Art Williams and Harry Wendt Aeronautical Engineering School.  He is also a member of the Karanambu Lodge, Inc. board and the spearhead behind the First Response Emergency Medical Care program.  After a lengthy discussion, Malcolm invited Andrea to Ogle Airport for an introduction to the program and the opportunity to meet Nurse Marcia Gravesande who conducts this intensive first aid training.
Captain Malcolm Chan-a-Sue

They discussed the "worst case scenarios", many of which had never occurred to Andrea; plane crash, snake bite, boat accident, jaguar the list continued, Andrea's desire to get the training in place at Karanambu increased!
Malcolm explained the necessary items to be maintained on hand at all times.  He led the way to the First Aid Box, located in the hanger at Ogle Airport.  The box remains locked until it is needed.
The Box contains THREE emergency First Aid boxes. RED is for the most severe emergency.  Yellow is for moderate and Green is for everyday injuries. 
Malcolm explained that the program would be willing to donate the medical supplies to Karanambu, but that there were certain things that we would still need to make ourselves.  The wooden backboards used to move someone from an accident scene were high on the list of priorities.
After spending most of the day together, we agreed upon the training dates!  October 27th - November 2nd, Nurse Gravesande and Malcolm will come to Karanambu to train and certify everyone on our staff in First Response Medical Care. Nurse Gravesande will give Andrea additional training, which will allow her to cover a serious emergency until a medical team can be flow in by plane.

Sydney Allicock, the chairman of the NRDDB (North Rupununi Development Board), is staying at Cara Lodge in Georgetown.  When Andrea told him about our plans for the medical training at Karanambu, Sydney enthusiastically told her that Karanambu will be the very first to receive such training and certification in the Rupununi!!! 

Pretty Neat!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

walking to the airstrip?

Royell had said that the landrover was giving trouble.  But he was up at 5:30 a.m. and off by boat to try to fix it. 
It had taken a week to get the seats to Georgetown, because the road was still closed, so everyone  had to go by plane into town.  When we finally caught up with Royell there were pieces of the engine all around the ground. He was busily putting it back together.  
Then, in the far distance we heard the sound of the plane coming!!!! We started off at a brisk walk...Salvador laughing as I took off in front "setting the pace".  I heard him say, "Slow down, take your time....plane gone". 
But I was on a mission.  We needed to get into town, we had things to do and the seats on the plane were hard to get.  The mid-day sun was blazing when started off on the 2 1/2 miles to the airstrip. But we did it!  (No one was more amazed than I was, that I got there first!) When we got there, of course the plane was gone.  But fortunately for us, the pilot was Gerry, Duane's 1st cousin and Salvador's old friend.  Gerry had seen our names on the manifest and figured that something was wrong, so he flew on to Lethem and then stopped back at Karanambu to pick us up. As we flew back over the Broccoli of the Rain Forest I thought to myself, "We need a new Vehicle!  This cannot become a regular event!"
Once in town, at our home away from home, Cara Lodge, we were treated to the luxury of ICE and a lovely suite with AIR CONDITIONING.  And all of a sudden The Rupununi seemed very far away.

Soon it was back to Ministries and Meetings.  Running around like two crazy people, trying to get everything done.  The container did arrive, but it is a whole process to get it cleared...days and days.  We did have some really great meetings with new vendors who will help us bring supplies into Karanambu. Tomorrow we have 500lbs of goods going on a charter flight!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Kwaimatta, Massara and the Peace Corp

This has been a very full week.  Dr. Lucy and Jermaine Clark, who is the regional Peace Corp representative, were both here with us all week, so we were able to really focus on some new Karanambu Trust activities.

Our first stop was the village of Kwaimatta.  Kwaimatta is a neighboring village on the boarder of Karanambu.  The Singer Sewing company donated a straight stitch sewing machine to the women’s group of Kwaimatta.  Salvador and I had managed to pick it up in Georgetown and bring it in on the plane.  So off we went…Diane, Jermaine, Lucy, Salvador and I, to make our very first visit as the new management team of the Karanambu Lodge and to present Salvador as the new coordinator of the Karanambu Trust (

Andrea setting up the new Singer Sewing Machine!
Andrea showing the Women's Group of the Kwaimatta the new Singer Sewing machine
Our next trip, the following day was to Massara village.  Again, a neighboring village to Karanambu.  We met with the community and discussed the needs of the community and the support they would like from the Karanambu Trust and the Peace Corp.  There is a tremendous desire to have Peace Corp. volunteers come and teach skills that will allow the members of the village to become more self sufficient. We were also keen to let the members of the community know that we had job opportunities at Karanambu Lodge.
on the way to Massara

When we returned to Karanambu, Auntie Doris was in the kitchen squeezing limes from our lime tree.  When we asked her why the girls weren’t helping, she said, “The young girls don’t like to do this.”  Andrea went into the kitchen with Auntie Doris and said, “GOOD!  Only really women can squeeze limes” and the two of them began to squeeze all of the limes together.  They laughed and talked and pretty soon all of the girls wanted to come and help.  “NO!  This is not for girls!  Only real woman can squeeze limes”.   Then they decided to use the fresh tart lime juice to make something very special.  So together the two “real women” made fresh LIME MERINGUE PIES! (Check out the new recipes under the Karanambu Recipes at the top of the page)