Very un-Surinamese, but we are extremely
busy. With real work! With Viviane (Tropical
Landscaping: garden design, lay-out and maintenance) we are alrwady busy
for months. And for Mila and Erick (Galibi) we made a poster and a
folder to interest more tourists. On top of that P was inspired by
Galibi to create “eco-art”, that can be displayed in any Carib-indian
museum, if it existed. Basis are the so-called “maripa-boats”, of which
we brought four from. The maripa flowers ripe in a peel and it's all
about this peel.
When the peel has burst open it is very appropriate as fruit basket or
just as a decorative shape at home.
Varnished when they are still fresh, or painted if they are older – with “traditional”
Carib-indian decorations. P
makes them up just like that and according to Roberto they seem quite
Furthermore we publish every other week an article in the on-line Dutch
newspaper Volkskrant. And this is not all. We were also invited as
educational social workers in the village of Sipaliwini, next to the
Brazilian border. Our support would consist of managing the construction
of a primaru school (JW) and filling in the educational program for the
not-licensed schoolteachers (P). And teach them as much Dutch language
as possible. We would have to there for 1 or 2 weeks per month.
But too bad is that we know some of the local politics and it seems to
be a bit of a hornet's nest. Apart from that we both are very
result-oriented, while this project needs patience and diplomacynot
really our characteristics.
In short, we have said “no”. This doesn't mean that we don;t want to
volunteer for people in the interior, on the contrary. So we immediately
got another job: the evaluation of a lodge project in Kwamalasamutu. And
when we read the reports on this project, we were once more convinced
that we made the right decision concerning Sipaliwini.
Between jobs we also do things for
ourselves. Now that our home is almost finished (including a walk in
it was time to upgrade the exterior a bit. We tried everything to
control the weeds in the ditch in front of the house, but it still
remained a problem. Put tubes in and close with dirt was no option
because too expensive in relation to the value of our home.
Also the ditch is not ours but government property. So we decided to do
it different and constructed with help from Kaka (who already worked
with us before) a neat shoreside with wooden sheetpiling.
In the blistering heat of the dry season a sweaty job.
Besides working we also had lots of fun.
Mia and Roberto very much wanted to sail so
Patricia and Wiebe planned to take them on a tour on their former
to Braamspunt. And we were also invited.
Braamspunt lis situated in the estuary of the Suriname river. It has a
nice white beach where you can swim and catch firsh
and stroll around.
The friendly Javanese fishermen dry fish and shrimp
and they invited us to try their produce, so Mia stocked up immediately.
On the way back to Domburg she prepared a nice dish of shrimp with
onion, garlic and hot pepper. As if we hadn't eaten lots already! This
is part of life in Suriname; when you go somewhere, you eat. So during
the day we already had fish rissoles
(Mia), a huge pasta salad (PJW) to go with the chicken and pork from the
barbecue, with French bread and garlic butter. Cold drinks all day with
lots of icecubes and rum. Just great and very pleasurable and although
we sat underneat a tarp all day, we were a bit tanned.
We also were invited to a personel's outing
from Body N.V., a ship yard between Boxel and Domburg where we incidentally
have some welding done. Marius was asked by the owner mr. Weiboldt to bring “some
nice people from the plantation” to a party inCoronie. Those nice people
turned out to be us.
Sunday morning at 07.30 the company bus started for the long drive to
Coronie. It is not far (less than 150 km) but the road is poor so getting
there takes three hours. Already before we started we were treated to cans
of beer, much to JW's horror. It was a great day with nice conversation,
great food and an afternoon stroll on mr. Weiboldt's huge property, where
people were fishing in the shade of an enormous cotton tree.
It was quite hot so the guys drank lots of djogo's. The djogo is a true
in Suriname which needs explanation.
In Suriname we drink Parbo-beer. Available in 33
cl bottles and in cans, but much more popular is the djogo: a one litre
bottle. Because Surinamese like to share.
And what about the boat? She is doing fine. Witte Raaf is tied to a mooring
in the Suriname river and we often check if everything is still okay.
Witte Raaf also got a new furling genoa. Made by Hagoort Sails
(in Holland), cheaper than sails in the Caribbean and what is more
important: now we are sure that the sail is really good. No VAT to be paid
as Witte Raaf is “yacht in transit” and P could take the package along after
she paid €12 at customs as a bribe, as "taxi money" because customs should
accompany it on board. Thus confirming that Suriname indeed deserves a place
in the top 10 of most corrupt countries in the world.