Memories of a 15-Year-Old Girl

by Carlotta Melville

I’m from the North West District of Guyana, not far from Port Kaituma. It’s a part of my Region 1. I was about 15 years old and still at school, when I heard about Peoples Temple. The people that used to live there were very nice and kind. They had a boat and they used to come to Kumaka to sell their clothes, shoes, etc. We shopped from them and bought their things. They had cheap and good stuff. The boat name was Cudjoe. It was so beautiful to see the Cudjoe coming in to Kumaka to anchor. They had plenty of things, even toys. I get crazy with all the beautiful things. And they were warm and friendly people.

They even had a school there in Jonestown. I was longing to go to school there, but my dad didn’t want us to. One of my sisters passed the Common Entrances Exam and got passing marks to attend the school. Dad said, “No, not my girl children.” He didn’t want us to be far from his care.

They also adopted children from Guyana, because they were begging one of my sisters for her son. They even named him Chuckie. So, when we heard what happened, we were so happy we never went.

We were told not to drink the water from the river because they were afraid it was poisoned. But, for the short time Peoples Temple was here, I personally had liked how strong those women were. They worked hard to develop Port Kaituma.

Originally posted on October 1st, 2017.

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