Hey everybody, I entered a photo contest and I need as much help as I can get to win it. That means you and everyone you know should go vote for my photo in a hurry. It doesn’t take long and all you have to do is verify your age and then vote. That’s it. Below is the photo I submitted. Just click on the picture or the link below it. When you’re done, if you still want to help, pass the link on to a friend (or 1000). Thanks from the jungles of Suriname!
Toward the end of the 17th century, slaves escaped from Dutch plantations and slipped into the ominous jungles of Suriname to carve out a living. This river served as their passageway deep into the heart of the Amazon. Some 400 years later, the Suriname River remains the lifeblood of this incredible people; its waters still vital the survival of the Saramaccan culture.
Click here to vote for Lifeblood of Saramacca!
Life as a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) in the jungles of Suriname can be difficult in so many ways. There are bugs, wild animals, the heat, the humidity, boat trips on dangerous rivers, etc. In addition to these challenges, we also face the difficulty of learning a new language, building useful and meaningful relationships, trying to identify potential projects, and just generally fitting-in in an unfamiliar culture, and missing friends and family back home. Given all of these stresses, it’s imperative that PCVs are able to develop creative ways to cope.
Lindsay and I have chosen food.
Here are two of the delicious meals we’ve managed to whip up in our tiny jungle kitchen:
These first two pictures are of a delicious breakfast treat called Calas that my mom sometimes makes when she has leftover rice. It’s essentially a rice fritter and it’s just plain delicious.
Our second and final dish for this post is a homemade cheese pizza on Italian herb crust. I made the sauce from scratch and Lindsay made the crust. Yes, you are completely entitled to be jealous.
As we craft new and amazing jungle foods, I’ll make sure to update you poor souls unfortunate enough to be dining stateside. Future posts will include my new favorite hush puppies, banana fritters, corn bread, cookies, and many other mouthwatering treats. Just know one thing, no amount of jungle can keep a good chef down.
As some of you know, I have a wife. She is wonderful. She is also a better Peace Corps Volunteer than me. If asked, she’ll exhibit characteristic modesty and politely claim me as her equal. Do not be fooled, she’s much better at this than me and if she continues on her current track, she will do numerous wonderful things. I will undoubtedly do numerous wonderful things as well, but hers will be more numerous and more wonderful. These are simply the facts.
I thought those of you out there in the not-jungle might be interested in seeing some pictures of my wonderful wife doing things. I know I would be if I were you, but then if I were you, I’d be me. So there’s that.
Given that train of thought, I’m sure you will click here to see pictures of her being wonderful. Enjoy.
PS – She’s breaking maipa seeds in these pictures.
While Lindsay and I were still in CBT (Community-based Training), we had the opportunity to visit the Afobaka Dam with our language class. I took pictures. I’ll link to those shortly. First, a little history.
The dam at Afobaka, officially titled the “Prof. Dr. Ir. W.J. van Blommesteinmeer” was completed in 1965 and its reservoir reached full capacity in 1971. It was constructed by the Suriname Aluminium Company (Suralco) in order to power their smelter. Through an agreement with the Surinamese government, Suralco was given the requisite water and property rights to complete the dam. The Surinamese government received a guaranteed percentage of the power produced by the plant.
In the end, everyone was happy, except of course, for the few thousand people who were displaced when the reservoir flooded to full capacity. Some of these people moved into government and/or Alcoa-built housing. Some moved to other villages or to the city. Some founded new villages. In the words of Vonnegut, “So it goes.”
Here is a link to my pictures. I hope you enjoy.
So, a couple of months ago, our host mom gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and was sweet enough to name her after Lindsay (sort of). Given my troubles with uploading all of my pictures when I’m in the city, and the fact that the baby shares a name with Lindsay and not me, I left the blogging up to her.
But, I finally got the chance to upload all of the pictures to my photosite so even though it’s a few months late, here is a link to all of the pictures of little Rachel Josina Lindsay Smit.