A Little “Peace” of Heaven: In the Beginning

[ Note: If you are looking for eDive photos, click here.]

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March 1-7 is Peace Corps Week. The Third Goal of Peace Corps is for volunteers to share their experiences after service. I’ve decided to post excerpts of emails I sent to family and friends during my life in Suriname (2004-06). Here is the 1st of 7 posts related to my Third Goal:

Sur10 at Miami Airport before departing for Suriname, June '04

June 8, 2004:

Hello Everyone!

Greetings from Suriname! I am safe and I am well. I am writing from an Internet cafe in Lelydorp, where we are staying at a government compound called NAKS… for 9 weeks of language/culture/technical training.

NAKS in Lelydorp, Suriname - Home for 9 weeks

First, a few things about Suriname.

Smallest country in South America.

Population of about 450,000 with half the population living in the capital city of Paramaribo.

Much of the country is untouched rainforest/jungle.

Country ethic makeup: Hindustani – from India, Javanese – from the Island of Java, Maroons – descendants of African slaves, Chinese, Amerindians – indigenous peoples.

Neighborhood street in Lelydorp

Lelydorp is primarily Javanese. Much of the mixtures of ethicities in this country is due to slavery that started back in the 1600s. The Dutch ruled most of the time until independence in 1975. The country has been trying to build itself up since them, especially since a military coup in the late 1980s.

Peace Corps entered Suriname in 1995. My group is known as SUR 10. That means we are the 10th group of volunteers to enter the country since PC started. Unlike past SUR groups, we are predominantly single people. Many past groups had married couples because that’s what the Surinamese government initially requested. …no longer valid, and the government basically had the agreement amended so the U.S. could send singles.

Gardening class at NAKS

SUR 10

We are a total of 25 people. Ages 22-63. 23 singles and one married couple. 10 women and 15 men. I am the one of two from Iowa. The other person is from Dyersville, near Dubuque.

These past few days have been busy, yet slow. I feel like we’ve been here for three weeks instead of less than a week. Time has dragged on, partly because it’s rained so much.

Laundry at NAKS

Suriname has four seasons: The long dry season, the short wet season, the long wet season, and the short wet season. We are now in the midst of the long wet season, which should end in July.

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About accentphoto
Accent Photographics specializes in on-location baby, children and family photography, and special-event photography of weddings in eastern

One Response to A Little “Peace” of Heaven: In the Beginning

  1. ShamWows says:

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