Paramaribo, Suriname – July 9, 2013
I arrived in-country at about 15:30 local time. The Embassy driver picked me up and took me to my hotel. On the way, we stopped by King’s, a large, new liquor store. I got two bottles of Merlot for about SRD 60 (US$20).
Leslie departed Guyana yesterday morning at 05:35. She flew back to Grand Junction, Colorado, hoping to have her right hip replaced. The pain she has endured recently has been incredible. So, I will be on my own for quite some time.
Supposedly our next consumable shipment arrived today. I left Georgetown at about 11:30. The goods were to have been delivered at 14:00 while our housekeeper was at the house. I will check when I get home to ensure all went well.
While I was sitting in the waiting area at Ogle airport in Georgetown, there was a blackout. It lasted for about 20 minutes. I was surprised the power did not come back on with a backup generator. I guess I am too used to our home or the Embassy. I have no idea what they did with the x-ray machine and the metal detector for that period; not to mention the control tower. It was not dark in the waiting area because of all the windows.
Looking out the window, I was struck again with the tremendous poverty in Georgetown. There was a man painting lines on the tarmac. It was all done by hand, no machine. Earlier in the day, I saw some lines being painted on the road in front of the Embassy — by hand. All of the baggage carts at the airport are “muscled” around. There are not any baggage vehicles.
As we were flying to Paramaribo, I watched the ocean. I could easily see the line between the blue-green sea and the mud/silt from all of the various rivers that drain the South American rain forest into the Atlantic.
At one point, as we were flying through some light clouds, I could see a double rainbow below the plane. That followed us along until the light clouds blotted out the sun.
When I traveled back home, I got to the small Paramaribo airport at about 08:30. As I was waiting, a man struck up a conversation with me. I found out he was a Customs agent at the airport. He knew I worked for the Embassy. When he walked away from me, he shook my hand and said, “Have a good flight, Excellency.” That is the first time I have ever been addressed as “excellency!”
I did find out the consumable shipment did arrive the day I left for Paramaribo. So, when I got home, I began putting things away. There were 30 boxes of groceries, not counting the 23 boxes of wine. I should be set for a while.
In Paramaribo, I finished reading Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. I did enjoy the book.