Thursday, March 8, 2012

Foto to Tutu

While still in Paramaribo (or Foto) after Jill had moved to Tutu (due to motorcycle import), Mike couchsurfed for a couple of nights with Peter, a Belgian working with the European Union. It was interesting to hear some of his stories of life in Foto, including one in which his phone line had been physically cut, apparently in direct response to a phone call regarding late night noise from his neighbors. Since Peter was at work during the day, I waited at his place for the TeleSur repair men to show up. They said they would be there between 9 and 10, and actually arrived early. After fixing the line itself, I asked about Peter's modem. The repairman took the modem into a specialist at his office. When I asked him how long they would have the modem for, he looked at me like I was crazy, that he would drive right back with it. Sure enough, he returned within the hour with a solution. So, while living in Suriname you may have your phone line cut (not common in the states, unless you find yourself about 40 minutes into a scary movie), you may also expect to have a repairman show up early to completely resolve all of your issues (not common in the states, either).

Finally, I was able to arrange his transport to Tutu. Thankfully, we had previously met a wagi (name for the van/buses) driver through a PC volunteer, so was able to arrange a ride to Atjoni, and Jill had coordinated with a specific boatman.  It all worked smooth, even with some last minute driver changes, some gesturized haggling in broken English, and lots of stops along the way out of town.  2-3 hours later we arrived at the boat landing at Atjoni.

The 1-1.5 hour boat ride from Atjoni upstream to Tutu along the Upper Suriname River is beautiful.

(this is the well-manicured tourist camp Anaula. Most of the tourists that visit the women's shop in Tutu come from Anaula)

(every 15 minutes or so there is another small village along the Upper Suriname, where the usual scene consists of women washing clothes and dishes for their family)

(almost as frequent are cell phone towers. The reception along the river itself and in many villages is incredibly good - better than my old house in Denver!)

(Jill took this shot while walking around a section of rapids where the water was low enough to require emptying the canoes of people and goods)

(arriving at Tjaikondre, the village that is literally surrounded by Tutu)

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