By Andrew Carmichael
The Sunshine Garden, which is situated at Now or Never, Mahaicony, Region Five (Mahaica-Berbice), and known as the Fairy House, is the ideal place for beautiful nature photographs without going to an expensive faraway resort.
Known for its serenity, the Sunshine Garden combines tropical flowers with exotic shrubs and displays them in the most attractive way.
It is equipped with a chapel and is quite suitable for weddings, as it also carries a “Just Married” sign with an extended nature background.
The Sunshine Garden is a must see, even if it is just for five minutes on a trip to Berbice or from Berbice to the capital, Georgetown.
It might just be the only tourist destination that is free, or still free.
Owner and operator Nadira Pooran said she did not set out to have a tourist site, noting that most persons are initially attracted by the ‘Fairy House’ which is a unique house now filled with storybooks for kids and other items for them to play with.
These only came into being after the house started getting so much of attention.
“It is what the people make it,” Pooran said with a chuckle when this publication asked what Sunshine Garden was all about.
“Whatever you see here I always loved but it seems like people love it more than me,” the chuckle continued.
The building was constructed as a prayer house and initially used for that purpose.
The 55-year-old farmer said while moving the house from its former location at De Kinderen to its current location at Now or Never, persons were taking pictures of it as they had it on a truck along the road.
When the house was set up at its new location, people just started visiting to take pictures as they were fascinated with it.
Pooran said while it was not her intention to have it as a tourist attraction, she is not disappointed that it turned out this way.
“I make new friends every day.”
While it is not a business venture, Pooran said she is thinking about making it one.
“It needs maintenance so I am thinking about turning it into a business.”
The facility, apart from having a corner for weddings, is also equipped with a changing room and washroom.
Unfortunately, many times when people go, Pooran and her husband are at the farm and not available to entertain them.
Speaking on the investment needed to take the facility where she now wants it to be, Pooran said she needs to provide a better washroom and a cafeteria. She said she would also like to upgrade the walkway around the facility.
“But we can’t afford it right now and nobody don’t really help you. The Government never really help me or give me anything. I would like them to help me to get a little walkway, a washroom and a cafeteria…”
She said she once approached the Government seeking assistance but was denied.“One time they were giving money to small businesses but when I approached them, they said that it is closed, so I didn’t get anything.”
That was earlier this year, Pooran added, while noting that First Lady Arya Ali also visited the facility.
“She came to visit but she didn’t offer anything.”
“I would be happy if we can get a little help from anybody because we can’t really afford to maintain this place.”
Pooran said she would be willing to enter into a partnership with businesspersons who are willing to assist.
Meanwhile, Acting Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Kamrul Baksh when asked by this publication of plans to aid in the development of that tourist facility said he is unaware of any plans to try to assist that facility.
“It would certainly do well if we can meet with the facility owner to share some ideas to enhance the area. It is certainly one of the more popular stops on the route (referring to tourist destinations the media was taken to). There are others on the route. In fact, we are exploring other areas that we can work on; for example, there is an owner with several ranches that we want to work with and to open the area up.”
He said there are many attractions that are not as popular as the Fairy House and the role of the GTA is to ensure that those come to light.