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By Rustom SeegopaulIan Francis leads the Scenic Nature Explorers as they walk to the airstrip at OrinduikHands and heads raised in victory, a group of 16 Trinidadians yesterday walked to the airstrip at Orinduik Falls, having completed a week-long trek that spanned approximately 100 miles, and took them across savannah, over hills and mountains, and through the rainforests of Guyana.While none of the group claimed that the journey was easy, they were abuzz; each with their own story of all of the wonders they had seen.As they recalled the misty majesty of Kaieteur Falls and the strength of the will of the Patamona Amerindians, the sheer excitement in their voices seemed to suggest they were already planning another hike across the Guyana wilderness.Trekking through rough terrain is nothing new to the Scenic Nature Explorers, having undertaken similar expeditions in Venezuela, Dominica, St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent and Cuba. Back in 2004, the Trinidadian group undertook a similar hike in Guyana, hiking up Kaieteur Falls.“We decided to come back and finish the trip off,” joked one of the Trinidadians, but on a much more serious note added that their previous march through the Guyana rainforest had made an astounding impression on them.A happy bunch after completing their second hike in GuyanaDuring their previous tour of Guyana, the Scenic Nature Explorers undertook the hike from Georgetown to Kaieteur Falls. “I’ve always wanted to come back and visit the (Kaieteur) Falls again,” said one of the trekkers.Though there were no serious setbacks to the journey, explained Rainforest Tours guide, Anthony Melville, who led the group on their expedition, the trip was a relatively tough one. Despite the rough terrain, the group covered the requisite distance in the set time.The band of travellers began their journey,Cheap Jerseys Supply, one week ago, at Kaieteur Falls and their path took them to Chenapau, where the real hike began. The group walked through the day until they came to Kawai.In Kawai, the travellers spent the night in the pouring rain, and in the morning they pushed on to Miakwak. From there, they ventured to Kopenang, and then made the final push to Orinduik.As luck may (or may not) have had it, the Scenic Nature Explorers did not come across any big cats on their hike. “We didn’t see any jaguars, but we saw a lot of monkeys and snakes and frogs and birds,” said Melville.The sight of these species of wildlife thrilled the Trinidadians, but seeing the Patamonas’ way of life and culture was a unique experience for the trekkers. The group sampled some of the local cuisine and wine, which they found quite palatable, but were more impressed with the simplicity of life in Region Eight.“The way the Amerindians live, it’s amazing. They are one with nature and their environment,” said one of the female hikers, Sherry Hosein,NFL Jerseys Supply, “I saw a deeper meaning to life in the way they live.”Meanwhile, many of the other members of the hiking group noted, with some amazement, the strength, determination and sheer will of the Amerindian people. “They just fly through the jungle,” said Rajday Penco, another of the female hikers.She also noted with delight, the way all of the Amerindians they had come across, from the elderly to the children, were extremely polite. They told stories of how, when they arrived in the different Amerindian settlements, scores of villagers came out to greet them.One of the things which impressed Hosein, and other members of the group, was the dedication they saw in the Amerindian children, walking for hours through the forest to get to school.Many of the Amerindian communities are impoverished but despite the poverty, education is placed at the forefront of things. Children are sent to school,Cheap Jerseys, when they could be assisting on the family’s farm, because their parents know that education can make a difference in their children’s lives.The overall performance of the students in some of the schools is said to be relatively good, but some of the teachers have noted the difficulty the students face, especially in the areas of English and Mathematics.The difficulty the students face in the area of English is said to originate from the fact that for almost all of the students,Cheap Jerseys, English is not their first language, second to their native Patamona dialect.A Project Trust volunteer, Samuel Simms, who has been living in Paramakatoi and teaching in both the primary and secondary schools since the beginning of the school year, said the students are for the most part eager to learn. However, he said that many of the students in the secondary school lack a solid foundation of many basic principles. This hampers them properly grasping more difficult concepts.He added that while much attention is paid to the Caribbean Secondary Examination Council (CSEC) examinations, more attention should be paid to ensuring that students in primary school properly come to terms with basic concepts, especially in English and Mathematics.Back on the trail, the trekkers observed that they thoroughly enjoyed their journey, with some of them highlighting that it might be a good idea to have better facilities in place for more conventional tourists. “A lot of the provisions which are in place for tourists are a bit rugged,” noted one of the group members, adding “they might not be suitable for the average tourist but they were fine for us, because we are not average tourists.”A handful of the Trinidadians, on the flight back to Georgetown, did report that they had some muscle pains. Surprisingly enough, throughout the entire journey there were no injuries.“We had no problems,” said the Rainforest Tours guide. “There were a few minor falls, but everyone managed just fine.”The group’s second venture into Guyana had been planned long in advance. According to members of the expedition, the fact that they had planned and paid for the trip so far ahead helped make the trip possible, given the global economic downturn.The trip was a success,Cheap NFL Jerseys Free Shipping, both for the Scenic Nature Explorers and for Rainforest Tours, which is pleased to have successfully hosted the Trinidadians for a second time.“It was an adventure,” said Penco. “I would readily do it again.”Her sentiments were echoed by her group members. “One hundred miles with one hundred pounds on my back, I’m feeling good. Like Superman,” said another member of the troupe, Ian Francis, adding that he felt like turning around and doing it all over again.The Scenic Nature Explorers, based in Trinidad and Tobago, has been in existence for 10 years and comprises approximately 85 persons. “Every year we do an overseas trip,” said the core leader of the group, Glen Guevara. “This was quite an excellent trip and I think the team enjoyed it.”
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