means Raleigh Falls in Dutch. It is called this because Sir Walter Raleigh is
rumored to have journeyed up the Coppename River looking for a Garden of Eden. Very
few people have ever followed him here. Plantations were not built on this river
probably because it is not navigable. There are only three settlements on the river. The Kwinti Maroon village
nearest to the park, Kaimanston, has fewer than ten residents. Witagron the other Kwinti village is on a road to the
capital. Many guides put in here. We take the shorter, better maintained road to Boskamp (75km from Paramaribo,
the capital of Suriname) and travel 160 km (100 miles) upriver to Raleighvallen by motorized canoe.
|Map from STINASU, Suriname
Imagine living out in the jungle, where there are no cars, phones or computer connections; two hundred kilometers from
all those things. Well, life gets a little hard but in some ways it is okay. It can also be fun, like teaching the park workers
how to play basketball. But sometimes it still gets boring because we can’t watch television or go online or phone our
We live at Raleighvallen Camp on Foengoe Island. There is no electricity
except for our solar panels. Our electrical power comes from the sun, but if
there is no sun there is no power. So we are lucky if the sun comes out everyday. But the sun makes it so hot that you can
make eggs on the rocks. The island is surrounded by black granite rocks. When
the river is low like it is now the island surrounded by exposed rocks.
Do you want to know how life is living out in the jungle on an island? It is
like living in the desert because it is hot all day and the water we drink comes from the hot river. So you have a nice warm
drink because there is no place to get a cool drink. If you are living on an
island, that is how things are. At night it gets much cooler so we sleep well
under our mosquito nets.. There are fun things you can do at night like going fishing. You take a flashlight, nets, and a
slurp gun. I will add a picture of a slurp gun and some of the fish I catch to
this web page next month!
BRYAN January, 2005