Recently I sent out a survey to some popular bloggers. One that commented back to me was a woman from a small Latin-American country called Guyana. Have you heard of it? She calls herself Guyana-Gyal and her bio says she’s a writer and an artisan. So, what makes this a good blog?  It is quite good. It’s not the format, nothing fancy there, just a very basic template you get for free at Blogger. There’s no cool photos or videos on the front page…Well, what do you think it is that sets this blog apart from the hundreds or possibly thousands that I’ve visited on my research trails? It’s simple: The writing.

‘I gon tell you stories, true, true stories. Like me gran’pa and me nanee and cha cha used to do, and they ancestors too. Take half, leave half, cry or laff. Enjoy the gyaff, what you learn is up to you.’

This is the bit of tagline that she shares with the world and you can see that it’s flavoured with all kinds of Caribbean spices (It’s actually located in the North-Atlantic Ocean in between Venezuela and Suriname). Read some of her posts. They seem to be a mixture of daily reflection and an ongoing story-type of narrative (these are the parts that really ‘grab’ you). The style of writing gives insight into the type of English dialect that has evolved in a country mainly inhabited by people of African slave ancestry, as well as Hindu East Indian agricultural workers brought over by the British colonials long ago.

This is a country that has seen the ravages of AIDS, drug trafficking, political instability, as well as people smuggling. It’s not the best of places for a young woman to grow up, but the literacy rate is high and Guyana Gyal tells us how it is. Her stories are not all sad and they draw a strong mental picture of what daily life might be like if we were to have grown up there. November 28th’s post entitled ‘Spare the Rod’ based on corporal punishment in schools is a post inspired by a present-day Newspaper article that causes the author to slip back into a reminiscence about her own ‘bashings’ in school. It ends with some real wit…she’s definitely not a defeatist.

A post called ‘Sweat like a cow’ tells a funny little tale about a woman who tries to kill her husband by putting too much Epsom salts in his bath!

Beware, oh men, beware. Be careful. If your scratchety, naggy, vexy wife or gyal-friend offer to do something for you, take that offer with a pinch o’ salt…cooking salt, that is. Absolutely no other kind.’

Jesse S. Somer be sayin’ that dis blog be worth a penny or two more dan de price of a dang pawpaw.