Growing up in a country that was greatly influenced by superstitious beliefs, I was aware at such a young age about some of the things you should and shouldn’t do when you or someone you know is pregnant.
One of the factors that adds up to a pregnant woman’s anxiety are the weird and unusual advices coming from people especially the elders.
Here are some of the popular Filipino pamahiin or superstitious beliefs during pregnancy:
The pool is located at the backside of the hotel. They have an adult and a kiddie pool.
The adult pool is around 5’7″ deep (I’m 5’4″), so I ended up practicing in the kiddie pool instead. 😅 After a few flips and flaps, I transferred to the adult pool and trust me, I really drunk a lot of water.
You are allowed to bring food and drinks from outside without corkage fee since there’s no food available inside. There were a few tables and chairs for events and only two sun beds. We were so lucky we went on a Monday because we had the place all to ourselves.
Location: Tran Elite Hotel-Apartments, Jacques Gompertstraat 143
Paramaribo Noord, Suriname Opening time: Swimming is until 6:00PM
It was a cloudy day driving to Peperpot Nature Park in Commewijne. I was thinking that they should definitely be open on a Wednesday morning. We tried calling the office first (before venturing out on another 15 minute drive), but once again, no one picked up. Still, we took the chance that maybe they are open this time.
We reached the entrance to Peperpot Nature Park and no one was in the ticketing office. We even circled around the building, but there’s nobody. We almost gave up when we met a bunch of hikers and bikers coming out of the forest trail. We asked them how they get in, they said that they just went inside the park and checked the site on their own.
One of the hikers told us that the trail going to the old plantage (plantation) is around 3 to 4 km. There, you can see different kinds of birds and other animals along the way. If you want a nice walk and enjoy bird watching or feel the nature around you then it’s the place to be…
You could drive around the Weg Naar Peperpot road and go directly to the plantation without walking for hours. And that’s what we did. It was a 6 to 8-minute drive because of the bumpy road.
Plantage Peperpot is one of the oldest coffee and cocoa plantations in Suriname. It also has a rich history about slavery. In 1863, when slavery was abolished, they started hiring contract workers such as Chinese, Javanese, Hindus and Creoles. Some workers were promised land after their contract, at present you can see lots of Javanese living in the area.
The Director’s House and the old coffee shops were renovated throughout the years. We were not able to look inside the Director’s House because it was closed. On their website, it was stated that you can actually stay overnight in the place with a maximum of 8 people for 27 euro per night.
The dryer was totally deserted. The only thing maintained in the place is the grass field, thanks to the tribe of goats that visit the area once in awhile.
These are some of the original pieces of machineries left since the plantation opened around 1651-1660.
The old factory was also neglected. Some parts of the building sounded like it was gonna fall apart from the wind. I think these are all the remaining historical structures that you can see in Peperpot.
One of the locals told us that the Peperpot Nature Park is currently out of order due to lack of staff. It was such a loss since we met a lot of tourists on the way, I mean a lot.
If you are an avid fan of history, this could have been a perfect place for learning more about the plantation and its backstory. The main office is filled with reading materials and pictures about Peperpot.
December 31 is the time of the year where people all over Suriname gathered in the center of the city to celebrate Owru Yari (old year) or literally the blasting away of evil spirits by lighting up a really long string of fireworks called the pagara estafette.
All vehicles were blocked from entering the main streets and live bands/ DJs were playing a few blocks away from each other. Club/party music and catchy Caribbean beats randomly played and people danced and partied like there’s no tomorrow.
While on our way to Domineestraat, a group of people were handing out free earplugs and I was like WHYYY? Well, I learned the answer afterwards. There were also food and drink stands in every corner and some people were carrying ice boxes with their own drinks. That’s really practical since drink prices were raised 2x.
At exactly 12 noon, the music and dancing stopped as the lighting of the pagara started. The whole area were filled with smoke, red flying fragments and a loud continuous explosion that lasted for a minute. That’s the right way to keep away evil spirits!
Police officers were also available in the area to make sure everything is under control. I’m not sure how many pagaras were lighted though, since other streets were also filled with red papers from the fireworks.
The Krasnapolsky Hotel is a perfect place to watch the Owru Yari celebration. People booked in advance for the purpose of the event. We never thought about that, well maybe this year. After the pagara hit its last stroke, people above the Krasnapolsky fired up confetti and everyone cheered.
It was such a memorable event to end the New Year as people of different races unite and have fun together.