A Little “Peace” of Heaven: One-Year Anniversary

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 4th of 7 posts related to my Third Goal:

June 29, 2005

Hello from Suriname,

…Galibi turned out to be by far the best weeks I’ve had in Suriname, and deserves a separate mass email of its own. So while I’m preparing that, enjoy the goings-on in my life before I saw my first sea turtle on the beach.

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AIDS walk, Paramaribo

AIDS Walk

In May I participated in a 5K AIDS Walk organized by Stichting Mamio, which is the leader in HIV/AIDS education in Suriname. …part of the International AIDS Memorial Walk. I was told to bring a candle and faja lobi, the official flower of Suriname, which is this small flower that comes in red, yellow, white, orange and probably a few other colors. Faja Lobi means “hot love,” a funny translation taken literally, especially when I asked my counterpart where I could find a faja lobi (ha ha!).

International AIDS Memorial Walk in Paramaribo

After the speeches, we started walking. It was raining, and there were tons of people wearing NPS shirts – one of the numerous political parties in Suriname – who decided to join in at the end of the line, which kind of frustrated me. Nonetheless, we walked through the streets, some of which I’ve ridden bus lines on, and many side streets. I had my candle lit, and after giving others a part of my flame, it got harder to walk with the candle and the camera and the flower. So after my candle burned out a few times I gave up trying to concentrate carrying a flame, and just took pictures along the way. It was nightfall by the time we got done, and so we placed our candles against a wall along with the flowers.

End of AIDS Walk

AIDS project

The CD-ROM project – This is the project in which me, EDUCONS (computer education foundation) Mamio and the two Youth CARICOM Ambassadors for Suriname got together on. It’s to create a HIV/AIDS education CD-ROM using the content from a UNESCO Web site. I was excited to learn recently that the project, after being submitted for funding consideration to the UNESCO office in Trinidad, was passed onto…UNESCO in Paris.

Third trip to Coronie

My third and hopefully last trip – at least in a while – occurred in early May to Coronie, where volunteer Dino lives. I went to do another couple cross-stitching classes with the group of women I was working with. Since it had been a while since I’d gone to Coronie, it was a nice surprise to know the women picked up the craft quickly again, or had little trouble with it. I had 5 really dedicated students out of the bunch, and all of them worked on small individual projects I gave them while gossiping about the men in their lives. I suggested to them they form a cross-stitching group, just get together and cross stitch and talk for a couple hours a week like they did when I was there. Not sure if this will sustain, but it is something Dino has encouraged them to do.

My students in Coronie, a small town of Javanese about 1 hour east of Nieuw Nickerie

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Catch up to read posts from Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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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

2 Responses to A Little “Peace” of Heaven: One-Year Anniversary

  1. Great job mate! I like your work. Thanks for sharing.

    Merlyn Genthner

  2. Wanda Walker says:

    I don’t usually reply to posts but I will in this case. Appreciate you.

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