"They killed my baby.." Groundings 3 Feb, 2017

The young woman was on lunch break and said she was looking for books on communication. She seemed unsure about Guyana and the future of Guyana.

"In 2015, I was pregnant and I had problems and I could not afford to go private. I went GPHC , my baby was premature but they told me that the 15 incubators were being used so my baby died. They killed my baby... I couldn't speak for two weeks after"

She took a journal with her.   The conversations could go anywhere.
A taxi driver said he liked to read but he had no time now. He said more than one time that wished his children were there.  He went down to the Parking Meter protests as his hustle was being affected by the additional costs.

"We try to move when we see them coming.. we aint getting wuk nobody aint hey"

A group of students passed and looked back at us like we were mad. It is the usual initial response. Two of them then turned  back.  Conversation topics were 'What are you doing to look after yourself;. .'what you think about Guyana and the future of Guyana"

Conversations could go anywhere. One man said the future is bleak .. nothing aint changing.

Another young man said he improving himself and he thinks if everybody does the same then the country would be better. Another woman said she just come back from Trinidad, and she plans to go back.

Another woman said oil coming , future is bright. I told her to make sure she get the money and don't let it go to Government and she laughed.

A young man passing with the headphones looked, looked away,, took out a headphone and said.. what what 'free books?" .. and asked if we had anything 'dystopian', I muttered the history of Guyana and he said "once is not the future of Guyana.."

A lot of people , young people, passing with head bowed down and headphones hanging in the ears.. blocking out the world I guess.. not a bad thing sometimes .. but still., I mean.. are you missing out anything?

A man asked if we had books about Metaphysics. He is an artist and showed pictures of his art.

Another man said he would let the woman answer the question. She was looking for vegetarian cook books and she said she reads her Bible, and didn't have time for much else.  She took a book about Ethiopian Art.

Two construction workers stopped. One of them asked if we had things about treasure or history or so. He reads when he could 'during lunch hour on my phone'. "I wuk every where,, construction wuk hard fuh fin' now, but you gah mek you min and do it.. some man cheap and you gah fuh know how fuh talk to dem,.. Guyana nice, is only de people dem.. I travel Barbados, Trinidad, Antigua and dem aint want we.. we gah fuh mek dis place nice"

He took a book of short stories even though he said he didn't really read fiction.

The groundings was arranged after Natalie Hopkinson emailed to say she had some books she was bringing. We said instead of collecting the  books, why not do a groundings.

Her mother said 'this is fantastic' .. she had conversations with different people including one long gaff with a young man who took Americanah by Adichie.

A woman who sells fruits said she not answering any question and  gave each one us a hug.

Natalie said at the end that maybe she should do this in Washington where she lives.

I had surprised myself by being able to engage though not fully as there were other clouds on my mind which distract me. But I was glad for the opportunity to stand on the roadside and share out books and talk with strangers.

Other people say.. oh we got books to donate.. but is not just about 'giving away the books' ... it is using the books to talk and to listen and to engage with people who you would otherwise pass straight on the road.


  1. And I meet you, lol thank for being kool at my awkward, but didn't know u guys we're doing grounding ..keep up the awesome. - Rehana


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