Suriname is a little different than Trinidad. There is not as much traffic and they drive more sane around here. It's also not as busy or crowded as Trinidad. I noticed also that the service you get in shops and restaurants is a lot better. But, it doesn't have as many nice stores. A lot of the stores are owned by the Chinese. They call them supermarkts and they all carry about the same things which are cheap household items and food. All items are much more expensive here. I figure on some items I'm paying twice and sometimes three times as much as in the US. Gas is also expensive at $6.00 a gallon. We are currently driving a Church-owned-vehicle from Guyana. Elder and Sister Vanderbeek, the Senior Couple here, traveled to Guyana a week ago and drove an extra vehicle back from there. It is only a temporary car. We have submitted a couple of bids for a pickup truck and will have to drive this temporary vehicle back to Guyana when we get our pickup.
Most of the people speak English and we have been able to get by with speaking English. Elder Gubler is doing a lot better than I am with his Dutch. The Church meetings are held in Dutch, but most of the members speak English to us. Elder Gubler likes to practice his Dutch with the missionaries and the members.
We have become familiar somewhat with the city and have been able to find our way around. Elder Gubler is an expert at directions and learns quickly where places are at. We will spending the next little while inspecting Elder apartments and supplying them. All the Elders ride bikes and the Vanderbeeks will take care of repairing of bicycles. We found out that the bikes are always breaking down and need constant repair. It sounds like it is difficult to find good bikes here. The Missionaries are on bikes all day and ride them long distances. The roads are not very good here and a lot of them are unpaved, so it is very hard on the bicycles. As soon as we get our pickup truck, we will be taking care of bicycles in our Zone.
They call Suriname the Netherlands meets the Wild West. There are old style Dutch buildings in the main part of the city along with old run down buildings that look like the wild west. I will get pictures later. There are six branches and one district in Suriname. We have attended two of the branches and the members are all loving and very welcoming. They are small and five of them meet in a rented place, where Temenga meets in a Church-owned-building. It's amazing how you can attend church in different countries, but the spirit is still the same. We had a family home evening with members of the Paramaribo Branch last night. It was a very spiritual meeting. Some of these members were some of the first members in Suriname. They told of some real spiritual experiences they have had. I have been very impressed with their strength and their testimonies. I'm very thankful to be a part of this great work and look forward to serving the missionaries and members in Suriname. We are very happy with our new home for the next 14 months.
Our blue huis
Our temp vehicle
Our bedroom, notice the bars on the
windows, sometimes we feel like
we're in prison.
Wardrobe, they don't have closets
laundry and bathroom area
Another view of kitchen
Patio, we have a lovely view of a used-car lot.