Last Day!

Wow, today is our last day here in Suriname! Let me tell you about our past few days here. Saturday by 8:45 a bus showed up with about 20 workers from Olevia Baptist Church full of men ready to work on the roof and women ready to cook lunch. It was scorching hot up on the roof, but the team put in a full day putting up trusses, passing corrugated sheet metal roofing up and fitting it in place. By 5:00 two-thirds of the roof was complete. It was really fun to work with the people from Olevia, to see the pastor and his family one last time and to realize we really built some great relationships with the believers in Suriname. Sunday our sightseeing began. We met the tour bus filled with 15 Dutch tourists and began our journey out to the town of Albina. We had taken our seats at the back of the 30-passenger bus and quickly found out why the seats had been left empty. Speeding along over the bumps and through the potholes, bouncing up and down, swerving around the smaller potholes and slowing just a bit before plowing right through the bigger potholes, it was quite the adventure for some who had never experienced the overseas driving techniques. After about 2.5 hours where the roads come to an end at the river on the border of French Guiana, we transfered our things into boats for the remaining 1.5 hour ride down to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and our home for the next few days in the village of Galibi. Our rooms overlooked the river and we had the most amazing views of the sun rising over the water. From the time we got into the boats I think we all spent almost as much time being wet as we spent dry, between riding in the boats and swimming. They kept us busy having activities for us several times a day and with us also trying to fit in all our required classes. The first sceduled activity was walking into the village to do some shopping at a small shop full of handmade crafts. Then at high tide at 11pm we all jumped back into the boats for a trip over to the beach in French Guiana where we actually got to see both the adult turtles laying eggs and the little babies hatching and making their way to sea. We all got to hold the babies and even used our flashlights to direct them out to  the water line. We came across a very large leatherback turtle destroying the nest of another before digging and laying her own eggs. We spent a few hours observing the entire process. Monday we took a boat ride out to the tiger bank, named for the striped appearance of several sandbank all in a row at low tide. We spent time there swimming and by the time we were loading the boats the tide already started coming in and as we pulled away the sandbanks had all but disappeared. In the afternoon we visited another souvenier shop, then in the evening we were invited to watch a cultural dance. Several men and women from the village dressed in traditional clothing performed a few dances. Each dance told a story from the history of their village. The very last dance they invited all of us up to join in. Tuesday we visited a town in French Guiana, walking through town and swimming at the beach before returning for one last boat ride back to Suriname and back onto the bus for the final leg of the journey back to our home at Camp Zion. We arrived home just before dinner and spent the evening preparing for our team presentations at Debrief. Today we are finishing laying a few more blocks to complete the tenth layer then doing a big cleanup before packing all our things. We are hoping to get to bed around 8:30 to get a few hours of sleep before leaving for the airport at 1am and beginning our journey back to the States. Thank you for all of your prayers.


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