Slow Living – Inroads to Suriname

Having a Social Life in Suriname (©photocoen)You can travel; you can slow travel; you can stop for a while and stay in a place. We’ve done all three and each have their charms. What I miss about the first two is a social life. Sure, when you slow travel you have more opportunities to meet people than in ‘regular’ travel, and sometimes you do meet kindred spirits, but that is not the same thing as having a social life. Continue reading

A Successful Children’s Home in Suriname: Sukh Dhaam

Kids painting Sukh Dhaam's church.

Kids painting Sukh Dhaam’s church.

It is Friday afternoon and it has been a long week of writing and researching. I’m tired.
“I’m going to lie down for a bit and listen to some music,” I tell Coen over lunch.

“After you do the dishes, I’m sure,” he responds, but with a smile. He has done the cooking so the dishes are mine. I’ve never had the discipline to do the dishes right after a meal, why would I do so now? The reason is simple: if I wait another twenty minutes or so, about a zillion ants will have beaten me to it, which is not exactly my idea of a proper dishwasher.

The spray can is working overtime; the ants and I are in serious combat to gain the upper hand. Hygiene is taken to another level. Leaving my spoon on the table, with which I just stirred sugar in my coffee, is punished immediately – the table top will soon be black. Ants were the cause of our first laptop to give up (they like the heat inside, and had eaten away the cool pad). Are they the reason for this laptop to have hiccups as well?

Done the dishes, been to the toilet. I lie down in the hammock strung on the one-meter wide veranda of our guest lodgings, which is part of Sukh Dhaam’s children’s home in Alkmaar (Sukh Dhaam means House of Happiness). Continue reading

Children’s Museum of Villa Zapakara in Paramaribo, Suriname

Featuring in a Bollywood Clip

Featuring in a Bollywood Clip

Museums for children, or at least museums where kids are having just as a good time as adults are, may be common nowadays in the U.S. and (part of) Europe. In South America, however, children’s museums are still pretty much an alien concept.

During our visit to Suriname in 2011/2012, we stumbled upon the Children’s Museum of Villa Zapakara and were in for a pleasant surprise. The museum had been transformed into the metropolis of Mumbai (formerly Bombay). Children learned about art, dance, culture and daily life in India through interactive programs and could feature in a Bollywood Movie. It was absolutely brilliant. Continue reading