Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Trip to Suriname

Dec. 6, 2012  Trip to Suriname,

We drove through Berbice, clear to Corriverton and Cherry Creek, then ended up on a narrow road which led to the Guyana/Suriname Ferry Service.

The walls of the office where we checked in were covered with quotes.

After going through customs and waiting, Katie and the elders had to walk across the ramp that led to the ferry. The ramp at the end lifts up so that it will be on top of the boat. 

We sat on these benches on the ferry and filled out our immigration papers during the 45 minute ride.

Elder Palmer, Elder Salima, and Elder Juchau

The ramp just folds up so you can drive on the ferry.

Nice flat straight road in Suriname.

Elder Palmer and Elder Juchau under the Guyana flag
with Wim the monkey at the Guyana Consulate.

In the Corriverton area there are many big tractors.  They plant
rice and sugar cane there.  There are also some nice homes.

Every three months all the
missionaries have to take a trip to Suriname to renew our visas so that we can be in Guyana legally.  Elder Beecher and I went a few weeks early because Elder Salima from Samoa needed to go before we did.  We took Elder Palmer, Elder Juchau and Elder Salima.  First we went to the Suriname Embassy in Georgetown and filled out forms and paid $100 each for Elder and myself and we have a visa to go to Suriname for the next five years.  The Elders paid less for a shorter amount of time.  Then we left at 6:15 in the morning because we had a three and one half hour drive to Berbice and all the way past Corriverton to catch the ferry and cross the River to Suriname.  We had to pay for the car and for each person to ride the ferry.  It took about 45 minutes to go across.  Then we drove for a half hour in Suriname to Nickerie.  We were so impressed when we got to Suriname.  It was clean.  The road was flat and straight with lines on it.  There was very little traffic and people stayed in their own lanes.  Wow!  It was like a breath of fresh air.  We found our hotel, and Called President Emmanuelson, the  Nickerie Branch President.  He said that he would be there in 10 minutes and he was there in five.  He took the Elders out to visit people and to his home.  Then they walked back to the hotel.  President Emmanuelson came back and took us all to the church.  He showed us the church which was well stocked and nice, and then we had a meeting and sang songs for 20 minutes or so until it was time for the Elders to be in for the night.  Pres. Emmanuelson has a branch full of inactive members.  He was so happy to see us.  He showed us pictures of the branch members and pointing to each one said they were either inactive or dead.  The Elders compared him to Moroni when his people wanted him to lead the army, but they were all wicked.  The next morning we worked on getting Elder Salima's visa.  Because he is from Samoa it is a challenge for him to get a visa.  We paid for a 6 month one, but at customs after the ferry boat ride back they just stamped it for three.  Then we drove back home.  After two days and about $350 dollars we are all legal for three more months!  It didn't take very long before Elder Beutler decided that in the future we should just ride the ferry over and come back on the return ferry.  This saved a bunch of money and time.

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