Visits to Surinam’s past

The Dutch owned plantations that used to cover the coastal part of Suriname are long gone, and the rain forest has taken back the fields. But if you take at look at Suriname on google maps, the former fields of the plantations are clearly visible as green squares. One of the few plantations that are still run to some extend is Laarwijk, a small place just on the opposite bank of the Surinam River from where we were anchored. There is no way to get to Laarwijk by land, and many times every day we would see the “bus-canoes” sail by Chip-Chip, bringing people to and from the small village – and once even a car… When we went to the swimming pool in the afternoon, we would often meet a colorful Dutch character, now married to a Surinamese women and living in Laarwijk, where he grows oranges and lemons on the old Laarwijk plantation grounds. He would tell us crazy stories about piranhas, caimans and about working in the Amazon forest, and one day we decided to take the short trip across the river in our dinghy to see his place for ourselves. Continue reading