Work and fun in Suriname    Click for the chartlet
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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 authentic.
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 library)), 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 fishing boat “Vreeland” and 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 phenomenon 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.

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