Friday, October 15, 2010

Field Trip

After settling in and somewhat readjusting to citified living, I’m heading back to the interior. On Monday I’ll be leaving the capital with UNICEF to work in the field for roughly 4 weeks. We will be traveling between several different regions evaluating individual communities’ water and sanitation situations – 21 villages in total. Oy, I get a little overwhelmed just thinking about it. It will inevitably be a whirlwind of information and people, but, man, what an opportunity. We will be visiting areas that I didn’t think I would get the chance to see while here. One of the villages is an Amerindian community, natives of South America, in the far south of Suriname, near the Brazilian border. This village is only accessible by plane or boat, but the boat trip would take at least 2 weeks, so really, only by plane. I am very excited to experience a little more of the different cultures present in the interior. Ok, and I’m also excited about the information we hope to gather. :-) Data currently available about interior communities is severely lacking, and hard to come by.

As I’ve written in previous posts, the village I was living in is a maroon community inhabited by people that are descendants of runaway slaves. While maroons do make up the majority of the interior, there are also scattered Amerindian villages (many of which are in the southern regions). Due to this, not only are there strong geographic differences between many of the villages in the interior, there are also very significant cultural differences as well. Synchronizing information about the various villages in Suriname, and the issues they face, is a challenge that Ministries and NGO’s continually tackle. So, for myself, I am simply looking forward to being able to observe these differences, over a relatively short time frame, first hand.

I will, yet again, be out of internet service for the next few weeks. I plan to have a lot of pictures when I get back in November, and will post updates and photos as soon as possible!

Much Love.