Are you ready for an adventure?
A snapshot of my trip to Guyana, South America
When the opportunity presents itself to travel to take off to a new and exciting place for a little bit, I usually jump at the opportunity. But, heading back into a jungle environment that I had come to be all too familiar with made me take pause.
Yes, even though it was May in States and was quite warm already, it would actually be considered winter in South America and was "supposed to be" milder weather than normal. But after a 19 hour flight and stepping off of the plane into 95* heat, you were going to be hard pressed to convince me that it was anywhere remotely close to winter time! We stood outside the airport and waited for our local guide to pick us up in his car. Marvin showed us around Georgetown to the various attractions, gave us the inside scoop on some of what we could expect, very succinctly reminded us that the vast majority of people we would be encountering had never seen "white boys", let alone some that ranged from six feet to over six feet, six inches tall!
As we made ourselves more familiar with Georgetown it seemed every place we stopped wanted to have some pictures taken with the white giants. I was very used to meeting strangers in foreign lands who were enthralled with the foreigners, but since Guyana is the only English speaking country in South America, it was new to not hear their banter in the Spanish, Portuguese, Creole, or Korean that I was used to from my travels. As they would speed by in their brightly adorned horse drawn carts they would shout and wave wildly in that Caribbean accent, "How 'bout da white boys?" And we would chuckle and wave back with a huge grin utterly amused at the innocent candor.
We prepared to head further into the interior of the country which would entail many hours of passenger vans, rough roads, ferry boats, small cars, smaller boats and even some serious time on foot. Passing wonderful sights and images along the way. Colorful animals, exotic birds, local fruits and vegetables and the dwindling height of the local populace as we pushed further into the interior of the jungle.
the trip went pretty considering we not only had all of our stuff to live for a week in the interior of the jungle, but I had all of my photography gear including camera bodies, lenses, drones, monitors, etc., that we had to lug around, pack in and out of cars and boats and strap across our backs and shoulders as we made the trip over those many hours to the small village of Kumwatta. It is an Amerindian village of about 700 or so people that, like so many others so far, seemed to be excited about the white boys coming down the road.
(continues below pictures)
We finally arrived in Kumwatta and they were very glad to see us. We had a lot of meetings and further area travel to other villages as we sat with elders and tribal leaders to discuss issues and how we could help to resolve them and equip them for the future. The meetings were absolutely fantastic. Very productive and full of insight and some resolution. But, overall, to just sit and listen to the history and legacy of these fascinating people and watch the excitement and youthful exuberance of the young people as they discussed both their past and their potential future with a bunch of "white giants" was utterly amazing and once in a lifetime experience for me. We said our goodbyes a week later and started the long trek back to Georgetown and eventually to my final destination of Dayton, Ohio where I was able to regale many with the tales of the jungle, the unimaginable heat and humidity, the unbelievable friendliness and wonderful nature of almost everyone we came into contact with and to forever refer to each other in our group as, "da' white boys." Even if you aren't a portrait or travel photographer or anything remotely close, if you ever get a chance to head down South America way and take yourself an adventure......Just do it!