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By Sabrina Eastman
In the heart of the North Rupununi district in Region 9 lies the vibrant and resilient village of Rupertee. Named after the majestic bamboo tree, Arapoiye, Rupertee thrives amidst the contrasting tapestry of challenges and blessings that shape its inhabitants’ lives.
The villagers of Rupertee exude unwavering determination and a strong work ethic. They tackle the hurdles they encounter with resilience, embodying the spirit of hard work. Cassava farming takes center stage as the primary economic activity, providing sustenance and income for the community. The fertile soil, a harmonious blend of sand, loam, and laterite, yields bountiful harvests, fueling the villagers’ perseverance.
Nestled within the awe-inspiring landscape, Rock View Lodge stands as a beacon, beckoning tourists from near and far. The lodge breathes life into Rupertee’s economy, attracting visitors who yearn to immerse themselves in the village’s natural beauty and warm hospitality. Captivated by the lush greenery, the vibrant wildlife, and the villagers’ genuine warmth, tourists find solace in the embrace of Rupertee.
While there is much to celebrate, there are also aspects that bring a tinge of sadness to the villagers’ hearts. The absence of reliable internet connectivity casts a shadow over their lives. In this era of digital reliance, Rupertee finds itself disconnected from the global network. The lack of proper working internet denies them access to crucial information, limits educational opportunities, and makes connecting with the outside world an arduous task. Despite this challenge, the villagers forge ahead, resorting to alternative means of communication such as radios and sometimes letters, keeping their community bonds strong and cherishing connections with their loved ones.
Transportation, however, is an area where Rupertee excels. The villagers utilize bicycles, motorcycles, and buses to traverse the vast distances that separate them from the nearest town, Lethem. Recognizing the importance of mobility, they overcome geographical barriers, accessing essential services and pursuing opportunities beyond the village boundaries. The rhythm of their footsteps and the whir of bicycle wheels echo the determination that propels them forward.
Education holds the key to shaping Rupertee’s future generations. Rupertee Nursery, and Primary School, offer a nurturing environment for the village’s young ones. Here, knowledge sprouts like delicate seedlings, tenderly cultivated by dedicated teachers. The older students venture beyond their village, attending Annai Secondary School, where they acquire knowledge and skills that will empower them to contribute to Rupertee’s growth.
The health post stands as a pillar of support, manned by a compassionate community health worker. While resources and personnel are limited, the health post endeavors to provide basic healthcare services to the villagers. Hand-dug wells quench their thirst, ensuring a vital source of water supply for their daily needs.
Rupertee’s infrastructure embraces several noteworthy buildings. The Resource Centre pulsates with energy, serving as a hub for educational activities, community gatherings, and transformative workshops. The Craft Centre stands as a testament to the villagers’ artistic talents, showcasing their intricate craftsmanship and preserving their rich cultural heritage.
Social groups and clubs flourish within Rupertee’s close-knit community, fostering camaraderie and unity. The Women’s Group empowers its members, offering a platform for shared experiences, skills acquisition, and contributions to the village’s development. The Football Club unites the villagers, their collective cheers echoing through the village, embodying the spirit of sportsmanship. The Wildlife Club raises awareness about conservation, nurturing a deep connection between the villagers and the bountiful nature surrounding them.
Life in Rupertee thrives amidst the ebb and flow of triumphs and challenges. The villagers face the tough realities of limited employment opportunities and the absence of reliable internet, yet their spirit remains unyielding. They draw strength from their hard work, their sense of community, and the captivating beauty that envelops them. Each passing day is a testament to their determination, a celebration of the good, and a united effort to overcome the bad. Together, they forge a path toward a brighter future, where Rupertee shines as a beacon of resilience and hope.