Home again in Surinam
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Our reception back in Suriname was great. We were lucky that all the Dutch were away so we had an informal party with all our Surinamese friends. Normally they don't mix with the whities, but now they were calling each other and it was party until late.

Sadly there was no reunion with Boris, as he had disappeared only two weeks before our return. One story (Surinamese version) is that he was lured with a sausage by some Korean fishermen and eaten, the other story (Dutch version) is that he was seen wearing a collar, picked up by people who live 10 kms away. But we never saw him and in the last couple of weeks we passed the spot at least 200 times.
But we had a reunion with Winnie, JW's niece. She is in Surinam for 6 months, doing research for her final master project (Technical University Eindhoven). The name of her study is Technique and Society and her subject is how harmful environmental and health influences during gold mining (they use lots of mercury) can be altered by using less harmful techniques.
We went to Paramaribo immediately to visit her but we chose a lousy day. It was raining cats and dogs and the whole city was submerged , i.e. the water was 30 to 50 cm above street level, so you just swim around with your car. With a high-legged 4-wheeldrive one can cope with it, but our small Toyota soon chucked it in and there we were in a pool of water. Fortunately within minutes helpful people brought a mechanic and 10 minutes later we were on the road again.

We asked someone to look after our house while we were away but as a result of the rainy season, the guy couldn't do much work in the garden. So our house stood in the middle of a jungle: high grass, dead leaves everywhere, the trees full of fruit and some trees and shrubs completely overgrown by creepers that grow 20 cm each day when it rains... But after a day of hard work everything looked different already.

We also have a new dog, that is to say a share-dog. The dog of the neighbours across likes our place much better than her own home. When we arrive in the morning, she waits for us in the garden and she sticks around all day. She loves our sand heaps (nice and cool) and she loves P because she cleans her eyes all the time. Furthermore JW is every dog's dream as he plays a lot with her. We don't know her name but we call her Sacha and she listens to that name.

Our regular crew: Wensly, Robby, Arnold and Marius started working again with a lot of drive and within a week we had a magnificent terrace in the backyard plus a garden shed that would make many house hunter jealous. We participate at full strength in the work and were also busy choosing tiles, toilet bowls, etc. etc. We bought a huge Whirlpool fridge, a glorious 4 burner industrial stove with 2 double burners and an oven, and an LG laundromat; all this for 1.034 euro's iincluding delivery and installation.
The guys have been working for 7 weeks in all, a.o. with demolishing work, building a concrete watertank, concrete floors and tiles in the bathrooms etc. etc. and our house now looks gorgeous . The amount of rubbish is unbelievable: various truckloads of debris, roof plates, wood, etc. In the end we had to drive only once to the refuse dump, as all the time people call ons us because they want te re-use our old stuff. In short, most of the rubbish is collected. The work in the house meant that the alarm clock sounded at 0600 AM. Our daily reward is the beautiful sunrise on the Suriname River.

The procedure to obtain visa now takes two days because the rules are intensified. This means that you are no longer allowed to enter Surinam by sailing yacht without a visa. So you'll have to apply for one in advance (and state the exact date of arrival) or visit the Surinamese embassy in for example Cayenne or Georgetown. Obviously this is impossible for sailors, but the visa-people were not impressed. So we'll see what we will do next time.
More bureaucratic bullshit because our Dutch driver's license is only valid for three months. After this period, you are only allowed to drive with an international driver's license, for sale in... Holland.
On top of all the bureaucratic crap our car had to endure the yearly compulsory MOT test, during which P found that the Surinamese traffic police can behave quite rude. Tires and brakes tests are executed in a terrifying way and all commands are mixed in Dutch and English. It takes a little time before you discover this and in the meantime the police bully is heavily irritated because this stupid white female didn't get it all at once. So quite soon P had had it completely, especially when it appeared that our car was rejected because the windows were tinted with foil, which was no longer allowed. Command “remove completely” including glue (it took hours) and return the next day.

Suriname has been cut off from the wwweb for two weeks because an important cable was broken. Electricity is also not very reliable, which is no news for us but front page news in Suriname. But guess what! i-shop Domburg On Line now has... ADSL! Including 1 new pc with platform XP (while the rest of the world prepares for Vista) and ftp-uploads of our website are possible at last!! And a miracle happened: Domburg now has its own ATM, which makes our life a lot easier with all the payments we have to make.

Film renovation: 5 months of work in 100 seconds (14.1 Mb)

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