A farming oasis
VENITA Jetoo is a mother of three. She is a resident of Baboon Hole Island, Essequibo River and, for the past three years, she has been living a simple life of farming.
She is originally from Lanaballi, Essequibo River but relocated to Baboon Hole Island three years ago to live and work.
Jetoo, her husband and three children reside on a section of farmlands owned by operators of M&M Snackette, the provider of local cuisine and fruit juices.
The 36-year-old reported that she would do all the household chores and cooking while her husband tended to the farm.
Khusial Goordial, the farmer
Meanwhile, Khusial Goordial told the Pepperpot Magazine that he has been working on the farm for the past three years and so far, it is a steady job, and he doesn’t have to travel anywhere to go to work since it is right at home.
He related that he is from Bheri Bessibali, also in the Essequibo River and is accustomed to the simple way of life, which entails hard labour.
Goordial stated that the best time to work is before sunrise when the place is cool. He would do some farming, do a walkabout during the day, and do odd jobs on the farm.
The farmer noted that the riverine life is good once there is permanent work to bring in an income and the school boat would take his children to and from school on weekdays and he is grateful for that.
He pointed out that owning a boat and engine as a riverine resident is vital and added that since the implementation of the school boat system, it has provided great ease for him regarding cost.
Goordial explained that with riverine life, nothing is a bother until the spring tide comes and it would destroy the crops, so drainage and irrigation are essential to upkeep the produce.
The 50-year-old stated that he is comfortable in his humble abode and even though they don’t have much, they enjoy peace and tranquility with their hammocks under trees by the riverside and get a lot of fresh air and space to cultivate crops.
His home and yard are well put together, including the two outdoor firesides, one by the river and the other under their house.
They have their clothesline just by the riverside and things seem to be all in order and they have that air of contentment away from a thickly populated village.
Baboon Hole Island is one of those places you wish you can stay a bit longer to sit and look at the seemingly calm glossy river and take a pause while, enjoying the natural beauty of the environment, which is so green and lovely.
Trevlyn Sookram, self-employed
Another resident of the said island is Trevlyn Sookram, a native of Moruca, North West District, Region One (Barima-Waini) who basically moved away from place of birth at age 12 years old to seek a better life.
The 28-year-old told the Pepperpot Magazine that she and her spouse would utilise the Essequibo River to catch fish in their little boat, after which they would process the fish and set it out to be sun-dried.
They would then sell the salted fish to wholesale buyers that would visit Hubu Koker, Parika where it is a central point for offloading goods due to the upgraded stelling which the current administration undertook.
Sookram said it is their way of earning since employment is rare in that part of the country.
Today, her parents reside at Lanaballi, Essequibo River, a riverine community close to Bartica and they are farmers.
Sookram is from a family of four sisters and three brothers who have been farmers all their lives.
The mother of two stated that river life is not easy because it entails a lot of hard work and it is very costly to reside and they travel great distances to make a good catch of fish.
“Life here isn’t really easy, but you have to do a lot to be successful at earning but this kind of life is very peaceful and stress-free,” she said.