Suriname 2011

26 Jan - Wednesday - Our trip was supposed to start on Thursday but the pending snow storm was forecast to be disastrous.  We called American Airlines and got a flight that afternoon before the snow hit full we all rushed to get ready and jumped in a cab to get there by 4 and did so (despite the snow that was already starting to come down).  The 6PM flight we were on was canceled due to mechanical problems so they moved us to the 8PM - by 7:45 the airport was closed due to the incredible snowfall...thanks American Airlines!  Will spare the details, but DC area was gridlocked and no cabs or shuttles going out of the airport - so David took the Metro (in shorts and sandals) and Mitch picked him up then went through almost 2 hours of driving to get home.  David got the car (where Jessie and the other kids were still sitting in the dark at 10PM cause the parents still couldn't get home from work) and went to pick up the family at the airport.
We drove through the night to Raleigh-Durham in snow until half way to Richmond.  Actually got there a little early and began the planes part of the trip having already done the "trains and automobiles" piece of it.  Kids were great and the rest of the travels were fairly uneventful to make it to Suriname.
27 Jan - Thursday - We made it to Suriname airport after traveling all day with a stop in Curacao but apparently they didn't communicate the proper landing time to Eric so we were there alone and not sure what to do.  A nice lady offered her phone and we got hold of them and found they were only a short bit away.  After a nice reunion at the airport, we headed back to Eric's place and crashed...well, except for the kids who were wide awake having slept in the plane - they were ready to chat, especially Perry to Uncle Eric.
28 Jan - Friday - Sleeping in would have been nice, but the birds (especially the "creechaby") and noise of the city had us up early.  Uncle Eric had us hooked up on the third floor of his place where there was almost always a nice breeze.  He even got us the mosquito nets to sleep under at night!
29 Jan - Saturday - After days of cooking and preparing, Oma laid out all the food and drinks for the big celebration that took us all there (including Hein & Mesh with their kids) - Eric turning 45!  Started off with the kids party and a clown that was hysterical with the kids.  Not speaking Dutch, we had to explain to the American kids the game he wanted to play was like "hot potato" so they were ready to go from there.  Somehow, Ava ended up winning and was crowned by the clown as "Miss Hot Potato" in his nice Dutch accent.  Another amusing mix of cultures was the clown asking Ava her name - she responded back "Ava" to which the clown turns and shrugs his shoulders...then goes back and asked her again and again.  Apparently when saying her name it sounded to him like a Dutch word that meant "wait".
The party was great with food, drink and dancing.  Amorelin was dancing her heart out later in the evening...the other cousins all fell asleep earlier...except for Perry who was recording everything.  Perry also disappeared for a while causing a brief panic - but found him in the parking lot making a giant picture of himself in the dirt.  Eric was surprised by his friend coming from Holland - Rolland - whom we spent time with after the party as well.  David and Rolland got to know each other a bit that night over a shared fondness of the Laphroaig that David brought to the party :)
And what would a party be without some craziness - the DJ that was hired was only playing a limited variety of music.  When confronted to ask for more Hindustani (Eastern Indian) music, the DJ referenced the music and people in a derogatory way which set off a bunch of heated chatter and almost a fight.  Anyway, it added some excitement to an already wild evening and ended quite well.
30 Jan - Sunday - After resting from the party night the evening before...
31 Jan - Monday -
1 Feb - Tuesday
2 Feb - Wednesday -   
3 Feb - Thursday - David's plane from Suriname is delayed so he did not return as scheduled...created a whole added travel fiasco but he was able to enjoy a few more days of Suriname.
4 Feb - Friday -    

when? Visited Opa Fritz and Oma Carla - one of the highlights was having Opa Fritz provide Indian (Carib) names to the kids.  Perry received Mushere (meaning hero) and Ava got Capatahrie.  Opa even sang the song that has Perry's name in it - was very sweet of him.  Interesting is that Om Eric had also suggested that name for him.

5 Feb - Saturday -  
6 Feb - Sunday - 
7 Feb - Monday - 
8 Feb - Tuesday - David starts his journey back early in the morning and got to enjoy a visit with the Surinamese police at a checkpoint before he left.  American Airlines left him an extra night in Miami...he eventually made it home Wednesday evening...about 36 hours later.
9 Feb - Wednesday - 
10 Feb - Thursday - Irma and the kids start their journey back...also thanks to American Airlines, they got stuck in Port of Spain (Trinidad) for a whole day and night before continuing on...they made it back to DC late afternoon Friday.