Boxel, Domburg and Totness (Coronie)
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We attended already quite a few Hindustani weddings, but now we were invited to be present at a Javanese wedding. Two weddings in fact, as Carla and Walimin gave both their daughters away on the same evening.
The Resodimedjo family lives in Laarwijk and this gave the party a special touch. Laarwijk is a rather isolated plantation on Commewijne, only to be reached by boat. The community is mainly Javanese and probably as a result of the fact that life is quite old-fashioned in Laarwijk – no electricity, no water supply – traditional ceremonies are still observed. The celebration lasted two days and family and neighbours were busy the whole week: the women prepared everything in the kitchen and the men built a roof and plaited the typical Javanese decorations: four huge “flower pieces” made out of coconut palm leaves, one for each person, constructed from elements (a.o. corn cobs, flowers, birds) that are symbols for the life that lies ahead of them: fertility, happiness, etc.
In the weeks before, Walimin visited us several times at home to invite us in person, so we really had the feeling that we were not prying. We even appeared to be guests of honour! We were seated at a table on the best spot to be able to catch every detail of the ceremony. They treated us with special Javanese snacks and many people came to say hello and explain about the ceremonies. Javanese are proud of their tradition, although they are not very strict. Walimin wore a beautiful batik hat, but no sarong, and the “reverant's” (kaoem) consecration was not typical islamic. Walimin was even allowed to smoke a cigarette! Very relaxed, so after all typical Javanese.
After the two couples were married, a meal was served (yellow coconut rice and the inevitable chicken) for the the brides and grooms plus their appendages.

We were also included (indeed: guests of honour) and soon the other guests as well, otherwise we would have felt a bit embarrassed. Unfortunately we have no photo's because we had a problem with our camera.
The second day was a dinner and dance party but there was no dancing due to heavy rain. Walimins ground was completely flooded and Laarwijk's soil is heavy clay...

The work on our house progresses extremely well, which is a must as JW’s parents come to stay in December. We left the hammock stage behind us and now sleep in a real bed, home made and much nicer than the things they sell here in the shops.
We still meet our crew Wensly and Marius (who really have become friends) every day. Also because there was a little problem with a leak under the floor in the guest's bathroom. After the problem was solved Wensly came on a Sunday morning to build a new concrete floor, place new tiles and drink a few beers. And in the evening he and Marius came to have dinner with us: typical Dutch around a set table with wine and candlelight, and we served red cabbage with stewed beef, applesauce and potatoe mash au gratin. It was the first time for our oven and also for our friends to have dinner with Dutch people and what's more a typical Dutch meal (on their request).
So at last we can cook in our own kitchen and we now know that you have to was the dishes immediately, otherwise giant ants are crawling over your sink within half an hour. Left-overs have to be covered and put in the fridge even if they are still hot, as we found out when P found a giant beetle in her spaghetti. Thought at first that JW added some black olives, a bit weird because so big... and also with protrusions (as P felt in her mouth; yuk!).

In our garden we have unusual animals, such as our friend the sapacara (similar to a small crocodile). He lives in the ditch in front of our house and when he thinks that we don't see him, he likes to sunbathe in our back yard.
We lost a lot of trees as a result of the raising of our ground. Luckily we also have lots of plants that grow very well and every day we are spoilt with lovely flowers. Especially by our hibiscus but we also have magnificent lilies. and

We took a day off to take Frouke (JW's sister who was on holiday in Suriname) and Winnie along to Coronie. In this extremely friendly district the people still live in cute wooden homes and the public buildings are all immaculately maintained. The landscape is attractive because of the many coconut palm trees and you can also go to the beach and look at the sea. It was here that we saw the red ibis - at last; on the photo just to be seen.

And now about our plans. The idea is to go sailing again in January. We'll go to Trinidad first, to have the boat hauled out. And after Trinidad we'll see where we end up. We have to be back in Surinam in April, right before the long rainy season starts (and the heavier countercurrent). And in the first week of May we'll fly from Surinam to the Netherlands where we will stay for a couple of weeks.

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