Asidonhopo, Suriname
4° 0' N 55° 29' W
May 20, 2004 23:48
Distance 2km

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Text written in: English

Asindo-Opo (20 - 21 May 2004)

The following day the doctor was in town. The outside waiting room starting filling up early already. We had just woken up and were just in time to use the toilet in the small poli before the place became to busy. I have no idea how often the doctor somes in town but there were plenty of people waiting by 09:00 AM. It was nice to see Djoemoe by day. Accross the river we could finally the sula we had heard the day before and we were recommended by the granman not to pass in the darkness of the previous evening. The sula (rapids) were quite high and made an excellent place for a shower. We crossed the river with a small boat and had a good morning shower and bathing session in the sula. Brilliant!

After having bathed and packed we joined the granman in his boat to his other residence in Asindo-Opo, about 15 minutes away, further south along the Pikin Rio (Small River), one of the two arms of the river that splits at Djoemoe. Asindo-Opo was a very nice little village where the sand had been swept clean with brushes. We had to wait on the benches on a (very) small open square along the river until our accommdation would be ready. The most important and some other people of Asindo-Opo came to introduce themselves to us and welcomes us to the village. It was funny as if we were royal guests. Well, in a certain way we were, haha.

After half an hour or so the guest hut was ready. A small wooden thatched house with just enough space to hang four hammocks. I still do not have one so I pitched the tent under a small roof across the sand path from where the others were staying. Marcel took us for a walk around town, that he did not know very well as it was his first or only second time he was there too. Friendly villages waved and looked surprised when they saw us and Marcel kept on explaining who the nursing girls were and who I was, the Eternal Tourist/Adventurer, a title I was trying Marcel to persuade not to exaggerate, but he could not be stopped. The number of countries I had visited increased every time he told the story to the locals who did not speak much Dutch, but only Saramaccans, taki-taki, Sranan-togo or Surinaams. Funny language that has stolen a few words here and there from Dutch and English.

The primary school had only one class and the class room was open. We stopped and chatted a bit with the teacher. Marcel showed me a text book. It was about history. What was written was very true but would never be found in any Dutch textbook. It said: "In 1615 the Dutch arrived in Suriname and said: "This belongs to us now!"" "They were too lazy to work however and so they got slaves from Africa". If you know that many Dutch people call immigrants and especially people from Suriname lazy, then this is very funny ... One off the school kids showed us where the shop was, so we could boost the local economy a bit. I rewarded him with a nice pen and gum, of which I had bought about ten each for giving to kids.

In one of the offices of the granman there was an interesting collection of portraits. Several presidents and granmannen hang between portraits of Dutch heads of state and former ones including Wilhelmina, Juliana and Bernard and Betrix and Claus. A surprisingly big picture of a former president of the Dutch parliament, Deetman, was also on the wall.

That evening we had a good meal of rice, kouseband and salt meat. I improvised a peanut butter sauce with only peanut butter and water (I said it was improvising haha), but all tasted nice together. During meal preparation we talked with the new granman who had good ambitions to improve quality of liufe in the interior like bringing cows into the interior for milk and meat. That was indeed something I was almost missing.

After dinner we had a quick boat excursion to the village at the other side of the river. Nice village walk in the dark. Many kids. One of the kids wanted to have a pen and a gum too. He had heard about it at school that morning that I had them. Do the following morning I coudl expect some kids for a pen and gum. No Dutch. One guy was working in French Guiana so could practice my French once more. In the evening we watched video on the television that ran on a generator. The bar was full with locals ... and three white tourists. Another kid showed us the way back to our hut in the dark, 'costing' me another pen.