Some time in January, Paul Stephenson, the Chairman of the Karanambu Lodge, Inc. and also the President of THAG (Tourisim and Hospitality Association of Guyana) called us on Skype to inform us that we needed to be in Georgetown on January 28th to attend the President's Award dinner. Not being too keen to leave Karanambu, especially when we had guests, we protested. Paul said, "Just be there!" Of course, we assumed that he was asking us to present the award to Rewa Lodge. So we agreed.
The evening the Tourism and Hospitality Association of Guyana (THAG) presented the awards for 2012 was an amazing evening! It took place in the ballroom of the Princess Hotel. The President of Guyana, His Excellency Donald Ramotar, The Honorable Prime Minister Samuel Hinds, Acting Tourism Minister Irfaan Ali and the President of THAG Mr. Paul Stephenson presided over the Award Ceremony. They began the ceremony by explaining that this year traditions were going to be broken. Awards were NOT going to be presented to institutions, businesses or any of the traditional "fixtures", instead they would be focusing on the faces of tourism in Guyana, the individuals who had made the difference in the development of tourism in Guyana.
It was terribly exciting to see our friends from Rewa Lodge, those who we had gone to support before their first big tour arrived in November, receive the award for OUTSTANDING RESORT OF THE YEAR!!!
And then....We received the award for "MANAGEMENT TEAM OF THE YEAR!" Paul made a lovely speech about how we raised the bar and set higher standards! We were both quite emotional as we walked up hand in hand to receive our award from the Honorable Prime Minister, who immediately said, "Ah, we have met before! At Ms. Diane's birthday, how nice to see you again. Congratulations on your accomplishments!" Fortunately, we didn't have to speak! We shook hands with all and smiled and held on tight, as we were both a bit teary.
And Diane sent her words of Congratulations!
"I wish that I were with you, in person, today to congratulate Andrea and Salvador on adding the President 's Award to our recent crown of laurels within the tourism industry. It is due to their unfailing dedication to duty, with efficiency, courage, warmth and generosity - the stamp of their management style - that Karanambu has achieved the status of a world class tourism destination. We pride ourselves on the quality of our hospitality, itself a tradition reaching back over 90 years to the days when a traveler in the Rupununi, approaching the smallest house, would be offered a welcome: perhaps a calabash of water, if was all to be had."
WHAT A YEAR IT HAS BEEN!!
The recognition of our efforts was overwhelming!