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A journey of a lifetime: the mighty march from Georgetown to Lethem

A journey of a lifetime: the mighty march from Georgetown to Lethem

first_imgBy: Devina SamarooTwo Guyanese men, Ric Couchman, who was later joined by Jerry Benjamin footed a journey of 550 kilometers from the capital city through the dense jungle to the vast savannahs of Lethem.Ric CouchmanA grueling but yet exciting adventure lasting nearly 23 days, this dynamic duo took exploring Guyana to a whole new level.The journey commenced on September 16, 2016 as 59 – year-old Couchman, an experienced hiker, left his brother’s Queenstown residence and ventured up the East Bank Highway with nothing but a backpack and a spirit of adventure guiding him along the way.Couchman grew up in Bagostown on the EBD, and during his teenage years he had developed a yearning to explore the length and breadth of his home country by simply walking.“I was talking care of my siblings, two brothers and two sisters after I came out of the Guyana national service. What I would do on weekends, I would leave them and be back on Sunday afternoons and I would just take off and go walking along the West Coast, West Bank and East Coast until night caught up with me and then I would sleep wherever.”A young Couchman at one point had left his job with the intent to follow his dreams but good sense eventually prevailed and he decided to put a hold on his burning desire.Some decades later, he returned to his homeland to pursue his lifelong dream.This energized backpacker was greeted with curious eyes along his way up the busy highway and every now and then he would stop to share his story. It was not long before word quickly spread of his bizarre intention and it reached the ears of Benjamin, a resident of Diamond on the EBD who was majorly intrigued by the idea.He reached out to a mutual friend and then connected with Couchman on the second day of the expedition.ChallengesJerry BenjaminThe heat from the sun and the blisters on their feet were deemed the greatest difficulties encountered.In fact, Benjamin almost gave up on the challenge after suffering intense pain from a nasty sore.He explained that a small blister sprouted up on his foot at the beginning of the voyage but it only worsened after a huge shower came and left him completely drenched.“He’s a trooper!” Couchman remarked, noting that the pain and discomfort were so extreme that he suggested to Benjamin to take transportation. But Benjamin refused to give up.According to Couchman, the primary challenge for backpackers is taking care of their feet since an unhealthy foot could be the difference between completing the journey or not.Surprisingly, the duo expressed that concerns of crime, wild animals, and hunger were the least of their worries.“Those things were sort of the back of my mind pre-trip but on the journey itself those fears were sort of gone because you had to stay focused and stick to your plan so there is no time for fear,” Couchman explained.HospitalityCouchman said the level of compassion, benevolence and hospitality they received from total strangers along the way was perhaps the most amazing aspect of the entire journey.Many persons stopped along the trails to offer food and water, some offered a place to stay and some even joined in saying a prayer or two with them.“We were walking one day, we were in the Iwokrama forest. We were tired, the heat was on us and we were trekking away and I heard behind me the sound of a vehicle coming. I looked back and there’s this truck filled with indigenous people and the truck stops and a young man leans over and says ‘here are two bottles of water for you guys’,” Couchman recalled, noting that the group came out in search for them after hearing of their intention via the media.He said numerous persons, strangers, offered help in one way or the other after learning of their purpose. Along the way, they visited the Iwokrama Resort and Canopy Walkway and various Amerindian Villages.While their primary diet consisted of canned products, they received freshly prepared meals at various stops throughout the journey.The daily routine was an hour of trekking following by a 15 – minute water break, and thus the cycle repeated until midday when they would take an hour of rest.As night began to sweep in, the men would scouted out a camping site, set up their tents and hit the sack until first daylight.For the most part, they camped out in the jungle, completely exposed to the dangers of wildlife.RenewedA sense of relief, satisfaction and accomplishment prevailed when the men took their first step into Lethem, Region Nine.They dropped to their knees and exclaimed words of thanks incoherently for they finally completed the journey.“To say that that journey has changed me is an understatement indeed. I entered Lethem in possession of lots of personal insights into my own being, as well as a broadened horizon vis-a-vis things outside myself. I also entered that border town having lost some things. My body has taken a pounding, my feet are blistered and calloused, and I have certainly lost a few pounds, but I also entered the township of Lethem humbled, stripped of my ego and some of my attitudes and idiosyncrasies,” Couchman stated.From the inception, his intention was to recalibrate and reconnect with the heart (the land) and soul (the people) of his country, and to sensitize the national consciousness to some of the pressing issues such as racism, domestic violence, crime, suicide and other related issues.“One cannot undertake a journey of such magnitude and not come away a changed and different individual,” he stated.For Benjamin, it was also a life changing adventure for he who had never encountered such an experience, learnt so much from this journey.For Couchman, the journey has only just begun for he intends to walk all the way to the North/West District in Region One and then again to Skeldon in Region Six.last_img read more

Woman on bail for fraudulent conversion

Woman on bail for fraudulent conversion

first_imgA mother of one was taken before the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts on Wednesday to answer to a fraudulent conversion charge.Diana Vickram of Nonpareil, East Coast Demerara (ECD) pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to her by Magistrate Faith McGusty. The charge stated that the 22-year-old on February 26, 2019 while being solely entrusted with a gold chain valued $120,000, property of Murish Charran, fraudulently converted it to her own use.In court on Wednesday, Vickram denied receiving any item from the Virtual Complainant.Prosecutor Ceon Blackman did not object to bail; however, he requested conditions be attached to the granting of pre-trial liberty. The defendant was released on $50,000 bail. As a condition of her bail, Vickram will have to report to the Vigilance Police Station once per week until the completion of the trial.The case will continue on June 5, 2019 at the Vigilance Magistrate’s Court.last_img read more