One of the real joys of my May 2014 trip to Guyana was the intensification of an old friendship with my high school classmate, Roopnandan Singh (Lau, to his mates). I had the pleasure of spending most of my waking hours with Lau: his was usually the first phone call I received in the morning and the last at night. He had expended much effort, prior to my arrival, securing interviews and following up with people to whom I had addressed correspondences. He transported me to all of my interviews, and his punctuality stood in stark contrast to what one traditionally expected of Guyanese. He tried to ensure that everything I wanted to do got done. It was the most concentrated time he and I had spent together, and I sincerely hope, not the last. For all of his kindnesses, my thanks.
My interview with President Ramotar (May 12) lasted about 75 minutes and focused on civil-military relations since 1992. Among the issues we discussed were the missions of the Guyana Defense Force (GDF), budgetary allocations, and relations with different Chiefs of Staff. The interview was followed by an extensive session with Presidential Advisor Gail Texeira. I subsequently met with Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh.