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.


  1. Sounds awesome, Ashlee! Hope you have a great trip, and keep us posted. :-)

  2. Good morning how are you?

    My name is Emilio, I am a Spanish boy and I live in a town near to Madrid. I am a very interested person in knowing things so different as the culture, the way of life of the inhabitants of our planet, the fauna, the flora, and the landscapes of all the countries of the world etc. in summary, I am a person that enjoys traveling, learning and respecting people's diversity from all over the world.

    I would love to travel and meet in person all the aspects above mentioned, but unfortunately as this is very expensive and my purchasing power is quite small, so I devised a way to travel with the imagination in every corner of our planet. A few years ago I started a collection of letters addressed to me in which my goal was to get at least 1 letter from each country in the world. This modest goal is feasible to reach in the most part of countries, but unfortunately it’s impossible to achieve in other various territories for several reasons, either because they are countries at war, either because they are countries with extreme poverty or because for whatever reason the postal system is not functioning properly.

    For all this I would ask you one small favour:
    Would you be so kind as to send me a letter by traditional mail from Suriname? I understand perfectly that you think that your blog is not the appropriate place to ask this, and even, is very probably that you ignore my letter, but I would call your attention to the difficulty involved in getting a letter from that country, and also I don’t know anyone neither where to write in Suriname in order to increase my collection. a letter for me is like a little souvenir, like if I have had visited that territory with my imagination and at same time, the arrival of the letters from a country is a sign of peace and normality and a original way to promote a country in the world. My postal address is the following one:

    Emilio Fernandez Esteban
    Calle Valencia, 39
    28903 Getafe (Madrid)

    If you wish, you can visit my blog, where you can see the pictures of all the letters that I have received from whole World.

    Finally I would like to thank the attention given to this letter, and whether you can help me or not, I send my best wishes for peace, health and happiness for you, your family and all your dear beings.

    Yours Sincerely