AUBREY Seon is a resident of Old England, but he resides across the Demerara River and was building a troolie benab at a fellow villager’s place when the team visited.
He exhibited extraordinary skills and despite the heavy rainfall, he was determined to complete the project.
The 39-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that he is a farmer and has two acres of land on which he cultivates ground provisions and cash crops on a small scale as a source of income.
He also has carpentry and masonry skills and whenever he gets small projects, he would do them because he needs the money.
The father of two added that Old England Village is an attractive place to live, but things aren’t always easy because of the lack of jobs and other opportunities; most people are small-scale farmers and that’s how they bring in incomes to their homes.
“I would set up a roadside stall when I harvest and sell my produce and the people would buy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Elroy Khan is a butcher in Silvertown, Linden, but was spending some time in Old England at his mother’s place to recuperate from an illness.
The 44-year-old stated that his mother and other relatives went to attend the funeral service of a relative in Bartica and he was house-sitting.
The self-employed man added that whenever he needs to take a break, he would visit Old England to do so and that was his intention for the past month.
The father of three stated that life is simple in the community and they have things they need and services are accessible and life is fair in that section of Region 10.
“I am here for the peace and quiet because I am taking a time-out from everything to recover from my illness and it is working. I feel better and will return to Silvertown when I am ready,” he said.
Khan reported that they have a lot of space and they are able to do many outdoor activities such as swimming in the Demerara River, which is in his backyard and planting fruits and vegetables for the kitchen.
The yard space is large and there are a few pear trees that line the walkway, among other plants.
“This place is soothing, it makes you feel new again and I feel like a thousand pounds was lifted off my shoulders by coming here and spending a few weeks,” he said.
The poultry farmer
Just up the road, is the home of Calxta Reberia and her family; they have a nice house which is on a large plot of land which is secured by a fence.
The 43-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that she had a poultry business with some meat birds, but lost them all when the place was flooded.
The Riberia family also grow their own food and have utilised the yard space to plant bananas, plantains, bora, coconuts and ochroes, among other crops.
She is one of the locals who has lived their entire life in the village and has no plans to relocate because she likes the quiet and peace of the village.
“Life is not a rush here, we enjoy a simple life in a nature-like setting and the biggest thing is the river in my backyard; it is the prettiest and most calming scene ever,” she said.
Riberia disclosed that when the tide is high and it rains heavily, the water in the river would overtop and flood the yard and this would last for days and it would recede and it would start all over again whenever it rains.
“The best feature of the village is swimming in the cold, dark waters of the Demerara River, a sweet experience to have such a magnificent river right in your backyard,” she said.
The shop owner
A bit further into the village is the home and business place of 26-year-old Ashmaley Richmond, who has a bar and is now setting up her food business.
She is a beneficiary of the HEYS project and with the loan she received, she started her dream of having her own small business, a bar and food business which is conveniently located by the roadside and accessible to people passing through.
Richmond added that Old England Village is a lovely place to reside; despite the lack of job opportunities, the locals are finding things to do to earn and at the same time are utilising their talents.
“We have Hurricane Hill, the highest point in this region and if you look around you will see what I am talking about: the landscape is just so scenic and we are comfortable because this is home,” she said.
Richmond stated that Old England has many lakes, creeks and of course the Demerara River which runs through the village.