Wednesday, April 19, 2000

April 19, 2000 - Blakawatre, Suriname

Suriname is as beautiful as ever and things are good.   Since our last journal we have found both a Spanish teacher and a Dutch teacher, so much of our time has been spent learning.  Our Spanish teacher is a 20 year old  missionary from Columbia.  He is quite interesting and for 20 years old has many stories to tell.   He is also a good teacher.  Our Dutch teacher is an older lady who is Surinamese and is a school administrator.  She's also a good teacher, but I'm afraid that the Dutch is taking a bit longer to learn.

This past weekend we went on our first trip to the interior.  We went to a few places which were all very tranquil and beautiful.  Our tour guide and our cook were quite knowledgeable about the places we visited and also knew many of the Amerindian people that we met along the way.  It is amazing that in year 2000 so many people still live in huts and hunt and fish for food.  Their only income is selling handmade pottery to the few tourists. We also found it amazing that most of them speak 3 languages; Dutch, Taki-Taki (the local street language) and also their own tribal language.   They put us to shame in the language category.  The place we finally spent the night was called Blakawatre, which means "black water".  They call it this because there is a large creek there which flows black water.  It actually has the exact colour of coca cola!  It was very peaceful there.  We swam, made a fire and did all the wilderness stuff, including getting eaten alive by mosquitoes.  Better precautions will be taken next time.

This weekend we go to Galibi to watch the leatherback turtles lay their eggs.  I'm excited!   It is right on the border of French Guyana, so are hoping to spend one of the days there eating French food!!  Also my friend Wendy arrives next Tuesday for a 2 week visit and we have many things planned for us to do with her.  Never a dull moment.  More soon.


Tuesday, April 4, 2000

April 4, 2000 - Paramaribo, Suriname

Things here in Suriname are going very well.   This past weekend was wonderful!

Saturday we spent going around town getting food at the butcher and the baker.  It was fun.  We took a stroll downtown and it was pretty interesting.  Kris says it reminds him of Pakistan but cleaner.  Lots of shops selling everything you can imagine.  And lots of fake stuff, purses, perfume etc.   You name it, they re-make it.  One thing I found really interesting is that you see all these people walking around with these bird cages with small little birds in them.   Kris thought maybe it was a good luck charm for one of these backwards religions.   But as it turns out, they have these "bird chirping contests" and they carry these winning birds around like a status symbol!

We found out on Sunday that you don't have to travel too far in Suriname to lose touch with civilization (not that Paramaribo has much anyway). This weekend, Angelique, a co-worker of Kris', took us to this creek for a swim. It is about a 40 minute drive from our place. The creek water is clean, but is the darkest blackest water you'll ever see.  It was really spookyl.

After that we went for a drive down one of the roads which leads to the interior. After about 5 minutes on a semi-paved road, there was a dirt road. But not your regular dirt, it was RED, really, really red. Apparently this place is full of bauxite, that they make aluminum with and that is why the soil is red. We drive another 5 minutes and there in the middle of a field is a Bush Negro (apparently that is the proper name) village. No electricity, no cars, nothing. It was quite extraordinary.  All this is about 40 minutes away from our apartment, I can't imagine what it is like farther in.

I have finally found website work.  My first job is for a tour operator.  The owner was telling me yesterday that  there is one place called Galibi and that is where these huge turtles lay their eggs on the beach. We have decided to go there for Easter weekend with a group from work.  I'm really looking forward to it.

As far as weather's hot and humid. This time of year is suppose to be rainy season, but like in all other parts of the world, the climate is screwed up here too. So it has been sunny and hot most days.   Today it is raining but you still sweat from the heat....I love it!

Hope all of you are well.  Still waiting for info for our Amigos page from many of you!