Suriname: A Dry Easter with Sloths

Tuesday 24 March to Wednesday 15 April 2015

travellingross rating = 9/10

Still in Costa Rica, the newly tyre changed rental car made it to the petrol station on the sniff of an oily rag where I fuelled up and returned the car. Sitting in the free shuttle to the airport I yelled stop as I glanced out the window to notice my wallet sitting on the rental car company counter. Phew, close call. Costa Rica is one of those silly countries that charges a departure tax. And u have to pay before going to check in. I didn’t leave much time for this but lucky I checked in online and no bags to check. 3 flights and I was back in Paramaribo fairly exhausted which is not how this break thing is meant to work. It actually took me 5 or so days to get back to a normal sleep pattern which is odd for me.

This rotation was zero alcohol! It’s something I wanted to do when I started. I actually hoped this would be a dry camp not selling alcohol. Working continuously like this is tiring enough without throwing in the temptation of a beer or several down at the bar. Most people couldn’t understand why I wouldn’t drink but I still socialised and went to the bar. Sometimes with a mug of tea! I think I’ll make this a trend.

Highlights this rotation:

  • Installation of new air quality and weather monitoring stations. Was a long planned project so it was good to see it through to install.
  • Easter. Quiet and not really commemorated here. But I still had my own Easter moments.
  • Putting on weight. When I drink, I lose weight.  So the best part of a month without booze is I have noticed a few extra kilos which is a good thing for me.
  • Sloth. I saw my first one!!! It’s kind of a must-do in Suriname to see a sloth and better yet to relocate one that could otherwise be harmed by clearing activities. So this Good Friday was my sloth relocation day. Strange looking, slow-moving and shy. Remind me of koala’s.
  • Running. I finally started running again. The geology superintendent is a runner and dragged me along. He was impressed I could go the 7 km distance and keep pace. So I guess I’ve still got it and we went several times when weather was kind.  We actually had a whole week without rain. Driest I’ve seen Suriname yet.
  • Work. Continues to be enjoyable and I’m happy overall. Some testing times that raise my heart rate. But nothing I can’t handle. I’m focusing on the big picture a lot more this time around and not sweating the small stuff. So long as I’m learning, I’m happy. I am exposed to different perspectives and methods to build my work and life knowledge.
  • TV. They didn’t pay the bill so the t.v. in dining room didn’t even work 90% of this rotation. No CNN, not even crappy soccer. And the internet has been terribly unreliable, but that doesn’t really affect me since I have a private SIM card with internet. We joke that this workplace is worse than North Korea for external communication. When international dialing was cut, along with TV and internet, the IT Manager was re-named Kim Jong Un and I started to wonder if I woke up in 1995.
  • Evictions. The army came to site to evict the illegal miners from our property. Never seen so many guns and ammunition in my life. Overall no violence, but a bit concerning to have breakfast with a bunch of uniformed guys carrying weapons.

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