changes

The new year brings changes, of course. I don’t care if we’re already in February, I still want to wish all of you a very happy and blessed 2020! May this year be better than the previous ones! For me, I can honestly say that the year is going to be one of the best ones of my entire thirty-five years on this planet. There are some personal projects I am working on and I am really excited about them. One of those projects is close to finished, and I am really happy with the progress I have made.

I have been thinking about making some changes to my blog… Where should I start?

I browsed Themeforest last year for some new themes because I have been using this theme for a while. It just so happens that some people were giving their themes away for free, so I downloaded them. It’s too bad that I don’t know anything (yet) about the backend of blogging (not the programming and pimpin’-the-blog stuff), so I still have to pay someone to do that for me. But I’m not complaining, they’re doing a great job! Technovate is one of the most professional companies I have come across! I haven’t been with them that long but I feel like we’ve been friends for a very long time. I really appreciate the great service and patience they’ve had with me the past six to seven months.

Finding a new blog host is one of the best things I have done in 2019.

Since I am not in China (at the moment), I need to find a new purpose for my blog. Last year, I started to document some of the work I have been doing in the past few months. Now that I can speak Chinese, I am getting more and more work and I love it. I went to Albina last October with a researcher and it was quite a new experience for me to talk to Chinese. Through my previous work with two very talented and lovely cultural anthropologists, I’ve only really spoken to Brazilians and Spanish-speaking people (in the past they were mainly from the Dominican Republic, now there a million Cubans and a small group of Venezuelans) here in Suriname. But now that I speak Chinese, there are so many more people that I can speak to!

I went to Albina again last weekend, this time for some Malaria research, and I had the biggest surprise of my life! While in Albina, I met someone from Myanmar working in a Chinese supermarket there!

Need I tell you that I was in COMPETE SCHOCK! Before he and I started talking, I thought he was Chinese. He remembered me from when I was there last October with the French researcher, so he and I started talking again. When he couldn’t quite express himself in Mandarin Chinese, he switched to Sranan Tongo or Taki Taki. Why is he switching to Sranan Tongo? … Unless… Chinese isn’t his first language, I thought. “May I ask where you are from?” He surprised me when he said that he was from Myanmar. I never expected to come across someone from Myanmar in my country. So many questions went through my mind… The first question is, how did he hear about Suriname? The second one, how did he end up here? Then the third question, which actually should have been the first one, is Where are your documents? Are you working here legally?

There is absolutely little to no control in that area of the country. In October, a friend of mine who works there for the Malaria Program Suriname told the French researcher and me that there is someone trafficking people from Oiapoque to Albina.

I heard that the passage from Oiapoque to Albina costs about one thousand Brazilian Real. If you ask me, I think that it is a little too cheap.

I would love to know more about their backstory because there weren’t many people who had heard of Suriname while I lived in China. So HOW did someone from Myanmar end up here? He’s working in a Chinese supermarket in Albina, so maybe the people he works for took care of his papers. But knowing how things go here, they probably bought the documents somewhere. Since our government is selling Suriname to China, it wouldn’t surprise me if they have someone (or everyone) who works at our immigration department in their pocket. Corruption is nothing new under the sun and it’s everywhere in the world, but for such a small country like Suriname, the level of corruption is astounding!

I have made a list with some a lot of changes I am going to make to my blog this year.

What will I be blogging more about? Well, for starters, I will be blogging more about my work with Social Solutions and some of my hobbies. Since December 2019, I have started reading more and more books and writing reviews, so I will add that to my blog as well… What else? I guess you’ll just have to keep coming back to find out. <3