In the smallest plane I’ve EVER been in in my entire life! Aside from the pilot, it fits five other people. We were on our way to the interior. I love my job!
In a previous post I talked about some of the work I did in Suriname. I loved working as an unofficial Interpreter for two very amazing cultural anthropologists. We met when they were in search of people who spoke both Spanish and Portuguese. They had to do research for the Ministry of Health concerning HIV and STDs. It was new territory for me, so I was super excited! This job also prepared me for my official job as an Interpreter a few years later.
Being a polyglot is amazing! I’ve worked as an interpreter many, many times.
I started working for these anthropologists in 2009. From then on, whenever they had a project, they gave me a call. Through them and their work, I got to see many sides to life, and many places in Suriname. Can you believe that going to the interior is more expensive than a roundtrip to Curacao island? Absurd, right! So, most Surinamese think, “Why would I pay more than US$600 to go to the interior, when I can pay US$250 to fly to a foreign country?” Sad, but true. Because of this, many Surinamese have never seen the real interior, the beautiful jungle that is Suriname.
Through these anthropologists, I’ve also had the opportunity to work for others. When I returned home last year, I had the opportunity to work with Radboud MC. They were researching the use of mercury in the gold mines. One thing about my country, is that it’s rich in minerals. Many people mine legally and illegally, but… sadly, there are more illegal workers than legal. Our first stop was a village not far from Paramaribo, called Nyun Jacob Kondre. It’s about a thirty-minute-flight & a four-hour-drive. They wanted to return the same day, so driving was out of the question.
When we walked out of the building, I hoped this plane wouldn’t be the one, but it was. I thought, “Dear Lord, I’m going to die today!” One thing you should know, is that these small planes crash A LOT! There have been several crashes in less than ten years. I’ve known some people who’ve died in those crashes. My Dad never likes it when I take these planes, and to be honest, neither do I. But, it’s an adventure!
Seeing the inside of the plane, didn’t settle my nerves. The interior was so old! I was panicking on the inside. But guess what? I was the only one panicking. The others were all relaxed, ready to go, ready for the adventure. Good thing I am hard to read (when I want to be), so I was the only know aware of my panic. The flight went smoothly, but my stomach dropped every single time the plane dropped a little. It has to do with wind and clouds, etc., it’s really scary!
One thing I DETEST about gold mining, is the devastation they leave behind! You won’t believe the damage to Mother Nature, the garbage they leave behind! Our country is part of the Amazon Rainforest, but if they continue like this, it won’t be for long. In another post, I’ll let you see some pics of what I’m talking about. It’s heartbreaking!
One thing I love about these small airplanes, is that they fly at a much lower altitude than the bigger ones. I got to see many pretty clouds up there! Doing these jobs, travelling to the interior, it’s made me appreciate nature and life in a different way. We have such a beautiful planet, but not all of us know how to take care of her.
Nobody happier than me when the plane finally landed. I have such respect and admiration for the pilots who risk their lives every single day. Flying into the interior is dangerous. Many, many, many planes have crashed, many lives lost. But, whenever I hear we’re flying with Gum Air, I’m relaxed. They have a fairly good track record. Blue Wing on the other hand… I’d rather walk to the interior than fly with that company.
I don’t like reading long blogs, so I won’t do that to you. Click here to read the second part of how my day in Nyun Jacob Kondre was, and the research on mercury.