future generation

I was born with a gift and that is the gift of learning foreign languages. My first words were in English & my preferred language of communication also was English until I had to go to school. Back then I thought there was nothing special about the Dutch language, a dead language. How many people in the world speak Dutch? Boy, I drastically changed my mind about that when I arrived in China. I was a Black woman (who was not African!!!) who spoke Dutch! Call the Chinese Guinness Book of World Records! So, let me dive into it and tell you why I am worried about the future generation. It is something that has kept me awake, more or less, for the past three to four days.

The future generation of Suriname… I don’t know what to say…

The two amazing cultural anthropologists, Marieke and Celine, contacted me a few months ago. I have been working for them for twelve years now, and it has been amazing. These two lovely ladies are the proud owners of Social Solutions, read their company profile because it is impressive! I feel so honored to be a small part of their team. Working for them and so closely with them has opened up my eyes to so much. There was so much I did not know, especially about illegal sex workers in Suriname, both male and female. The first time I saw a prostitute (aside from in Pretty Woman & in Amsterdam’s Red Light District behind the glass), was with them. Imagine my excitement when I got to talk to one and ask her questions about her work!

Okay, so you are probably wondering what those pictures are about, right?

Social Solutions is working on a project with the BOG Suriname (Bureau of Public Health Suriname) and the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations). They are interested in introducing healthy living in Suriname, so they are conducting a pilot program at the moment. Marieke & Celine are the anthropologists responsible for the research, I am one of their helpers. I will be working as a Facilitator or the Minutes Secretary. Since I am not too interested in facilitating, I will always function in the role of Minutes Secretary. But… unfortunately… after our first evaluation of the first interviews, I might have to be a Facilitator from time to time. Yaaayyy!!! *sarcastic*

We met at the Social Solutions HQ and had a great meeting on Wednesday, October 30.

I met three other amazing women, one is a nutritionist working for the BOG, another works at the Ministry of Public Health, and the last one is a Clothes Engineer. All of them have such impressive resumes. Anyway, the pilot involves talking to five focus groups throughout Suriname. We will be visiting places from Albina to Nickerie (East to West), and some places in the middle of Suriname. The participants will have to do some exercises, one of them is showing us the quantity of veggies they eat in a day.

Now for the other exercises!

Two of the questions on the questionnaire:
1. How much sugar do you use?
2. How much oil and fatty foods do you use?

Not verbatim, of course. But there are two fun games the participants have to do. The game linked to question #1 is a game involving drinks. Participants are handed multiple pictures of different drinks, and they have to put them in the order of ‘super-sweet’ to ‘not sweet/no sugar.’ The second game is also interesting: participants are handed pictures (again) and they have to put them in the order of ‘fatty’ to ‘non-fat.’

We had a healthy lunch then continued on with the training. In the spirit of the project, we decided to buy something healthy. I ate mackerel, which I had no idea was smoked fish. But the mackerel salad was good. The disposable stuff is great, but the forks are too blunt. Not very practical.

After the training, we left for Moengoe and Abadoekondre on Friday morning.

We arrived in Moengo around 09:15 then drove straight to an elementary school there. One of the things both the BOG and the FAO are interested in is the reintroduction of the food pyramid (if that is what it is called). I remember being taught about it in elementary school. We talked to six children, six girls, six boys, all of them in the graduating class of their school. If I am not mistaken they are between the ages of 10 and 13.

I was the designated photographer of my team and focus group.

Are you wondering why you cannot see the children their faces? Since they are minors, we will need their parents’ permission to publish their pictures in a newsletter or what-have-you. That is why. We asked the children to write down on a piece of paper what they ate the day before… and the SPELLING!

This blog has been long enough, time to end it …

You might think the title is misleading, but I will get to it in the second part. First I needed to tell you the backstory then I could get to WHY I am worried about Suriname its future generation.

Until next time, stay positive and spread love! Get rid of those energy vamps, BLOCK them! <3