Electricity still is a huge problem in Suriname, especially outside of Paramaribo. I have been working on this project since early January. Before that, I did not know this was STILL a problem. Sure, we had a lot of power outages through the years, but they have decreased since this new President came. He does not live far from me, so I do thank him for that. Anyway… Marieke and Celine are still responsible for writing the report, but I am working as a supervisor. The post about how and why this project is important will be uploaded later on. I was not here in 2016 when they did the pilot, I was in China struggling to learn Chinese.
Instead of blogging about the start of this project, I opted to start writing about the trips. You will read about the start of the project in later blogs. And I also apologize for that. Before I continue, let me give you a short explanation of this N.V. EBS electricity project.
So, day two in Bigiston and it was time to interview the Captain and Basja about electricity & life in the village.
That was quite an interesting interview. Firstly, it was interesting because I think the Captain was tipsy. It was around 18:00 at night and he smelled like a distillery. I know drunk people love to talk and hear themselves talk. Do not ask me how I know. And no, I have never been drunk, so get that out of your head.
Both gentlemen were very patient with me. The interview is very long. Captain Drink-A-Lot probably wanted to get back to his Black Label. Before I dive into the drama, I will share some things that I liked about the trip.
In the picture on the left is a huge mango tree. I really had the chance to appreciate it when I went for a walk… after I went to the bathroom. That is a whole other story that I will tell you about two paragraphs later. I love nature & I am glad that I took an hour out of my time to appreciate my surroundings. On the right is a picture of the house/recreation center we were staying in.
I took a morning stroll for two reasons: One, I waited until it was light out to go to the outdoor bathroom. I did not have a flashlight & well… the dark is a bit scary, especially in strange places. Two, to make the moment last. Nature is a gift to mankind. It is too bad that we do not know how to value and take care of her. It was an amazing twenty minutes.
You can see that they have electricity poles, but they still have to rely on a generator.
The pictures above are of the house. In the upper and bottom left are one of the bedrooms and the two bathrooms. Across from the bathrooms, there are two showers. The picture with the hammock is the room I slept in. The only male who went with us, Najo, was afraid of sleeping alone in the recreation room. It seemed like a big aula… I do not know how this word translates into English. But in Dutch, it means a big room where you have ceremonies for the dead.
I really thought it looked like an aula. There is no other center or place on the island where they can hold funerals. So it has to be in that building. When I looked out the door, I saw a cross in the sand out back between the grass. My guess is that it really, really is an aula. There is a church somewhere, but I did not venture too far to actually see it. It really surprised me that most indigenous villages are Catholic. And what shocked me even more, is that the younger generation does not speak their language. Such a shame, if you ask me. I learned how to say thank you: Potobosebome. Do not ask me to write that phonetically for I do not know.
The interviewers like to sleep together and chat the night away, that is why the mattress is missing. He tied his hammock over the bed, instead. Have I told you that the first time I slept in a hammock was when we went to Vila Brasil? It was quite an adventure. We got STUCK in the mud! But that is a story for another time.
I also enjoyed the food. Well, most of the food. On the first day, we ate roti, which is in the bottom right picture. I LOVE ROTI! But the thing with roti is that we like to eat it with the masala. Masala cannot be in the sun for too long. We were on a boat for thirty minutes… in the HOT sun! We did not think about that when we ate the delicious roti.
I just had to place the pictures again, because roti is too beautiful & delicious. If you have never eaten roti before, you are missing out. And do you know where in the world you can find THE BEST roti? In Suriname, of course! Now that I am seeing the pictures, I realize that I need to invest in a photography course. Something to do when the coronavirus leaves this planet. You have no idea how I am hoping that the ‘prophecy’ is true. People cited some Dean Koontz book & according to the book, the pneumonia-like virus will suddenly disappear. Let us hope that ‘suddenly’ means ‘the month of April.’
All of us, except for one, got food poisoning from the roti.
Like I said in the previous paragraph, you have to be very careful with masala. I only went to the bathroom once in the early morning. Since they do not have electricity (they turn the generator off at 00:00), I waited until 06:15 to go to the bathroom. Do you know what it is like to want to go but you cannot, so you pinch your asshole shut? Oh, THE CRAMPS! That was a horrible fucking experience that lasted three to four hours.
The interviewers had a lot of problems! Thank the stars there were three toilets in the house. Two were indoors and one was outside. When I got up in the morning, I ran to the outside toilet, did my thing, and then took a quick shower. I HAVE TO take a shower when I do number two, I mean, it is just nasty if I do not. YUCK!
But to get back to the interviewers… they had been in Moengoetapoe for three days. Apparently the food there was HORRIBLE! The cook had no idea what she was doing and she probably had never heard of salmonella. So my guess is that the dumpster food and the sunburned masala really did a number on them. ALL OF THEM went to the bathroom for HOURS!
This blog is super duper long… and you know I dislike long blogs. I will continue the story in a different post.
Stay safe, wash your hands, take care of yourself!