In Peace Corps Suriname, it is common for volunteers to go visit each other at their respective sites. However where I am located, it is so isolated and expensive to travel to, no one comes to visit (besides the one volunteer whose site is located within walking distance). So what did I do? I decided to organize a trip to Langu for any interested volunteer and attract them by including an excursion to Sintia Dam.
12 PCVs decided to come and we had quite the excursion – mainly because the river is drier than I have ever seen it. Knowing the low river levels would slow us down, we left Paramaribo at 5am and travelled roughly 14 hours that day and still did not make it to my site. On the river, it felt like we were forced to get out of the boat roughly ever 30 minutes to help pull the boat up rapids that had completely dried up.
Here is a picture of the Peace Corps women getting involved in the pulling!
On Day 2 we arrived in Langu and I was able to introduce many of my friends in Ligorio to my Peace Corps friends. Day 3 we packed up again and traveled further upriver to Sintia Dam. On route to Sintia Dam, my Saramaccan friends saw this cayman and decided it would become dinner!
Day 4 – we spent the whole day at Sintia Dam and I caught my first river monster – a large Wolf Fish also known as an Anjumara.
Pretty much half of us on the trip caught another thing as well! Giardia! It was actually my second time but who’s counting these days?? Giardia is a parasite that you can get from drinking river or creek water…well, we had filtered the river water and this little guy still squirmed inside. He is kind of cute though right?
Day 5 – we returned to Langu and on the way back, one of the Saramaccans saw a tapir bathing peacefully in the river and immediately started peppering it with shotgun bullets. With three rounds already inside of him, the tapir ran into the jungle and we quickly pursued. The tapir put up a hard fight but lost valiantly.
Each of the men cut a piece for themselves to take back to their families, one piece was prepared for our dinner that night and the rest was distributed to each of the villages within Langu to share amongst the families.
Everyone throughout Langu was excited to hear that the guides had brought back meat to distribute amongst the villages. The 5th and final night we held a dance party in Ligorio at my counterpart’s bar before everyone packed up the next morning and left to return to their respective sites.
All in all, it was a trip to remember!
Sintia Dam Crew, November 2012