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PARAMARIBO–US Ambassador John Nay and his bike party –Peace Corps Director George Like and Assistant Regional Security Officer Alex Dykstra- were all sweaty and beat Friday afternoon when they returned to the embassy from a four-day bike trip through Marowijne, but their spirits were up. “I might start doing this every so often… come to work on my bike. But then of course I will have to make arrangements to shower and get dressed when I get to the embassy,” the Ambassador joked matter-of-factly, sitting un-ambassadorly in his sweaty, mud-stained shorts and short-sleeves at the pool in the embassy compound, still wearing his helmet and downing bottle after bottle of water. “What a great way to get to know this country.”
The three men took off from Albina on Tuesday October 18th, on a grueling ride that took them from the left bank of the Marowijne River, on muddy nature trails to several Maroon and Amerindian villages and then back over the towering Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge to the embassy at dr. Sophie Redmond Straat. “We visited Peace Corps volunteers in Erowarté , Ovillan Holo, Rikanau Mofo, Wan Hati and Zorgvliet,” said Peace Corps Director Like. “We saw six volunteers in those five villages. I’m happy to report that the volunteers are doing good work and that there are good relationships between them and the villagers.”
For Like who has been in Suriname since November last year, it was the first time he visited the volunteers in the villages they’re posted in. He explained that the trip was sort of a commemoration of the Peace Corps’ 50th anniversary. “Throughout the year the organization has held several activities worldwide to celebrate the anniversary; this was one more,” he said.
The volunteers in the villages the bikers visited are involved in several projects, ranging from education, HIV AIDS and computerizing, to setting up solar panel systems. “They’re doing great work and that’s exactly what the Peace Corps was set up for; for the countries that our volunteers are deployed in to learn about the US and for people in the US to learn about these countries,” Like said, relating: “I’m always impressed with how well the volunteers integrate in the villages. Everywhere we went with them, they greet people and they’re being welcomed like part of the communities. In the Maroon villages the volunteers even spoke fluent Aucan; in the Ameriandian village (Erowarte) they spoke Sranan. It’s a beautiful thing to see.”
PARAMARIBO–Peace Corps Suriname has welcomed 23 new volunteers to its ranks. The group, the 17th group of Peace Corps volunteers to Suriname since the program started in 1995, was sworn in by US Ambassador John R. Nay on Wednesday, July 15th, a press release from the embassy announced.
The group consists of eight youth workers and youth mentors, six general health educators, five general business educators, and four water and sanitation specialists. They arrived in Suriname on May 4th 2011; prior to their swearing-in, they participated in pre-service training that covered language, culture and sustainable development classes, as well as information, history, economy and development priorities of Suriname.
PARAMARIBO, Suriname--What would Suriname look like through the eyes of its children? The answer to this question will soon be delivered through a joint photography project facilitated by Peace Corps Suriname, the Nola Hatterman Art Academy, the Suriname Photographers Club SUFOV and the Ministry of Culture. Themed ““Fa Mi e Si En” (Surinamese for How I see it) this project will provide a glimpse into the minds of 36 children throughout Suriname.
In a press release issued on Monday, the organizers explained their objective and choice of name for the project:“Life, wherever, is busy and most children’s inquisitive minds and observations of life are not valued. Putting these cameras in children’s hands enables them to share “how they see it” through pictures, rather than words.”
Disposable cameras, which the children will use twice, to capture their culture and nature-oriented photographs, were sent to Peace Corps Volunteer resident communities throughout the country this week
Cameras went to children in Lispansi, Semoisie, Botopasi, Pikin Santi, Tjaikondre, Pen Pen, Pokigron, Drietabiki, Ofia Olo, Semoisie, Kwamalasemutu, Kajaapati, Abenaston, Lantiwee, Wanhati, Mooitaki, Apoera, Masaikriki, Redi Doti, Bendikwai, Godolo, Malobi, Gunsi, Goninikrikimofo, Gran Slee, Nyun Lombe, Ricanaumofo, Kapasikele, Futunakaba, New Aurora, Groningen, Ellen, Nw. Amsterdam and Paramaribo.
The objective is to allow a look at Suriname, through the lens of a camera held by a child. “Although critical to the project’s success, the camera is simply the lens to a child’s world,” the press release stated. “The documented photos captured by the youth will speak to the public. Their images will send a message to Suriname concerning what their children see and feel.”