A Rastafari Reasoning 🤔 The State Of Humanity In Suriname

in ReggaeJAHMlast month (edited)

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After being stranded in Suriname for nearly 2 years, I wanted to share my thoughts about the state of humanity in this country.


     I should mention I can't stand the sound of my own voice or seeing myself on camera, so spending lots of time hearing myself talk during video editing would drive me nuts. A fear of being on camera is the main thing I am working on at the moment, and I felt passionate enough about this situation that I wanted to share it on camera raw and unfiltered.

     My family and I are always capable of making the most negative circumstances, and I would go so far as to say we are masters of it. Being stranded for two years in a foreign land would have a mental health impact on anyone, and it is certainly a life curveball we didn't expect.

     We have walked hundreds and hundreds of kilometers in this country, and we've encountered people of various cultures, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds here, but I hate to admit Suriname has given us more negative experiences per capita than any other country we've ever lived or traveled in.

     After being ruthlessly ripped off by a much wealthier man that knows we are stranded migrants, I saw red and I began to doubt how much longer I will be able to stay here before I start cussing out Surinamers on a daily basis. Those aren't the vibes I want to deal with at the moment, but circumstances make me what I am, and I feel at times the pressure cooker needs to whistle to avert disaster.

     Bless up and give thanks if you survived my ramble. I hope I don't offend any nationalistic Surinamers, for that is not my intention with this video.


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Monkey B


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I really am appalled and angry of the people who give the rest of us a bad rep 😡
I don't put my head in the sand and I'm aware of the level of entitlement of the majority of the people. Those are the same people who are waiting on the government to give them a piece of land and to support them. And I knew they would bring up the color of your skin 🤦‍♀

Here I am, trying to bring positive vibes from this country, and then others go and ruin it by being nasty. Indeed, Surinamers don't know (yet) what poverty is. Not the same kind of poverty known in Asia or Venezuela right now.

By the way, even for Surinamers it's hard to open up a bank account. A lot of bureaucracy and antiquated laws. Even I am fed up by those 🙈

But I don't want to make you even angrier. I do hope it'll get better and that you and your family get better treatment and if you must find a way home soon.
Stay positive and strong my friend 💪

No worries, your words don't anger at me at all. I am able to make friends in any place I live, and I give thanks for the awesome friends I've made during my stay here. However, I try not to let that jade my experience here, because I do not like saying it's the least favorite place I've ever lived or traveled in.

I do try to think of it as some life lessons learned. There was no way I would ever let anyone prevent me from coming here to check this place out for myself. There is nothing like firsthand experience, and poverty and wealth certainly can't account for a country's attitude and behavior alone, because I've been to both rich and poor countries with high and low levels of empathy.

I definitely have no regrets in coming here to check out the place, but I can't say it will go down as a country my family and I want to revisit any time soon. Strangely enough though, the immigration process has been relatively trouble-free, despite all the bad things I've heard about both governments. Sidenote - the full weekend lockdown is drawing nigh, so we wish you an exciting and fun time.


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Yeah I know what you mean. Stay positive and am happy that at least the government officials have been a better experience. I think it's also a mentality problem. But enough focusing on negative energy.

Hahahaa it's "lockdown" everyday for us, because we hardly go anywhere. But it's indeed different because I could go out whenever between 05:00h. and 19:00h. 😅

I hope ya'll are all stocked up on food.

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Well, first of all, I think your voice is really pleasant to listen to. It's so relaxed and soothing, that I remain calm even with topics that would otherwise get me upset. So please, do continue with your rasta-rants, as well as more positive topics, which I would also love to hear.

The issue with people's fear (in my opinion the root of most of the problems you mentioned) and the unpicked fruit, reminds me of organizing a fruit-saving group in Germany and Hungary. What a difference! In Germany most people with unpicked fruit trees in their yards were simply thrilled that someone came and took the fruit they couldnt pick themselves, since in most cases they were elderly. In Hungary, the same demographics in the same situation tended to eye us suspiciously, trying to figure out our scam. In the end they would decide they weren't interested, because they would need to let us enter their property. (Oh no!) Or, they would charge us by the kilo, above market prices, ignoring our time and work.

In my interpretation, these people have experienced so much rip-off and abuse throughout their lives (and those of people around them), that their defense mechanism was to adopt this fearful attitude. Of course, I'm sure that's only part of the reason, and there are lots of learned factors as well.

As for poverty, I like to think that it's not so much about the amount of possessions one has, but their attitude towards the world around them. This way you can have people and communities with very little resources be extremely rich, and others with a lot of accumulated wealth be utterly poor.

Your words ring true concerning attitude and experience affecting this much more than the poverty or wealth of a nation and its people. Your idea to start a program to make use of unpicked fruit is a good one, and it sounds like it was a success in some locations.

We just try to figure out who has abandoned their home here for a life in the Netherlands near us, and then we know it's safe to pick their trees, even despite the scornful looks we occasionally get from neighbors. I think it would be hard here to organize such a program, mostly because people here have large properties, nearly always fenced, and the house is always far from the fence, and the people are usually inside the house away from view.

Even casually approaching a house to make conversation about unpicked fruit is very awkward and uncomfortable, but we persist.

I will try to drum up another Rasta rant soon, although I'll try to be more positive in the next one. Give thanks!


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Well, I can't take credit for the idea. That was some bloke from the UK, and there it seemed to work quite well too. I guess an important part was to wrap in a bit of PR, connect with the food bank or some other charity organization who receives the food (along with all the helpers, not to mention the owner of the tree), later team up with a local school to use the material (lots of fruit) to teach making jams and preserves. Looking like a "serious organization", you won't be seen as just a bunch of weirdos looking for free fruit... On the other hand, as the Hungarian example shows, the best organization (including media exposure) didn't help one bit. :-( But oh well, it was worth the try.

Okay, please don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to suggest you apply all this to your situation in Surinam, I'm just relating my own experiences. So I wish you the best luck with canvassing the neighborhood for unpicked fruit, and hope to find receptive folks. And hopefully the occasional mango and coconut will turn into bucketfuls of chutney for the whole town! Wouldn't that be something? ;-)

Give thanks for the good vibes. !ENGAGE 50

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Sorry to hear that you’ve been having such challenging experiences. Great that you were able to catch up with a friend. Hoping things will get better for you and your family. Though it’s tough, I believe the experiences will make you even stronger and when you’re out of it, you’ll be able to encourage anyone who might have a similar experience. The great thing is that your family is together.

We are certainly giving thanks for still being together, because it seems all governments want to do is tear our multi-national family apart. I hope this experience only makes us tougher and ready to take on much smaller life challenges without worry. Positive vibes out to you!


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Thanks. Hoping things will get better soon. Thanks for sharing your story.
Wish I could get some of those papayas😜. The wastage part of your story irked me.

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Thank you.

It makes me feel so angry there are so much greed and Evil in this world. I am so sorry to hear your horrible experiences with those ugly people. I really hope my family can meet your family one day in a country we can both go visit.

No worries, thanks for the good vibes. I am mostly too shy to make videos, but there's nothing like the emotion of anger to get over some stage fright. If we can ever get to the USA one day, we'll have a visa and and hopefully passports that will open more of the world to our whole family. A meeting could be a reality one day. Bless up!


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I’m glad you shared that. One reason I don’t go on main stream media is to get away from the negativities however recently I realized they are everywhere. Rude, evil, selfish and greedy people are everywhere. I am learning and coping with a lot of that emotions myself too. One thing I can say is all those things make me appreciate good people and kindness. I will make a post about my thoughts soon. All the best to you and your family I know your guys deserves better than how you have been experienced but good days will come! ☀️

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Have you been gone long enough that the State Department has revoked your citizenship?

Haha, no, luckily that's not possible, but I guess one could stay abroad and let their passport expire in a country without a US Embassy, but even in those cases a new passport could still be arranged. As long as a US citizen renews their passport every 10 years, they can live abroad indefinitely without any worries or penalties.


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I personally like these reasoning videos. I watched the entire thing. I guess we all need a good rant/reason sometimes. The fruit and veggies dropping off of tree really grieve me, even in Japan where people hardly have land, they giving away fruits. They might even buy it and give you as a gift. In my mind, the poorer the country the more things like fruit become a sharable act of kindness and goodwill.

I really think your skin colo(u)r is the reason why the man dem a gwaan so with the taxi and mix that with desperate minds in desperate times. Gwaan hold di faith Justin, gwaan focus on the positive ( though everyone wants to hear a rant now and then 😅 )

Yeh, this place confuses me in a way sometimes hard to articulate, but no excuse for certain behaviors. In Cambodia it was quite easy to drive around and pick fruits for free, especially noni fruits, which are stinky and mushy mess on the ground. We turned that abundance into a noni juice business.

I think skin color certainly is a factor here, but also language and nationality too, and I think nationality is a much bigger factor. There are many Cubans, Brazilians, and Venezuelans here too, and many of them are white people, often blue-eyed and blond-haired, but they are at the bottom of the socio-economic class here.

In most places white skin would be associated with wealth, but here it could mean you are a migrant. I think the locals know the European and US Embassies evacuated and repatriated their citizens nearly a year ago, so I assume they think there must be a really profitable reason we have stayed behind, when the opposite is actually true.

Pretty soon I'm gonna have to turn on my aggro Jamaican personality to check the people!!


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That is true! Nationality is the major factor! For they hear US, dollar signs go off 💵 they can’t imagine the reality but see a fantasy.

Turn up the Jamaican bomboclaaat yes 😂

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This doesn't offend me. It does hurt me deeply though, because I know all of it is true. Greed, corruption and ego have ruined any type of potential this country had to be one of the greatest on the continent. We have the natural resources, we have the fertile earth. But the collective mentality, which is even more amplified in the government, has brought everything to shit.

You think those two years were bad. Try living here your whole life. I make one step forward, and some corrupt fuckery centered around others egotistical desires to gain more for themselves sets me back 5 steps. If it weren't for our parents who are well off and financially responsible, @tanjakolader wouldn't even have the means to get our own home, let alone rent one.

I'm not going to defend anything you said, because I mostly feel the same way. We may have more friends and family here in our own personal social bubble that make the experience better, but everything outside that bubble is potentially rotten and I know that.

I resonate with the feeling of wanting to leave as soon as possible, earning an honest living somewhere else to built myself and my partner up without random obstacles like greedy banks, corrupt politicians and the majority of our technological maturity down the drain. Tanja doesn't like it that much when I cuss at idiot citizens and politicians and the system itself, and that we'd be better of someplace else, but she's the optimistic one in the relationship, which balances out perfectly. 😅

My bad for tagging along on the rant train though. 🙃 Seemed like the perfect opportunity to let out my own steam to someone who won't feel insulted due to some misplace sense of patriotism.

Thanks for not taking my rant the wrong way. I understand the situation of being born here, as my situation wasn't ideal in the USA, so I used my passport to help met get to a more wild west economy in Cambodia, where I was able to use my multiple skillsets to thrive.

I can't imagine being from here, but I I can imagine I would've left as soon as I turned 18, had a passport, a one-way ticket to elsewhere, $500 and a dream. I just feel that in Asia, you can get by with meekness and honesty much better than you can here.

"Ego is the most dangerous drug in the Caribbean" as I say, but Suriname certainly isn't as bad as Jamaica where egos are concerned. I think the biggest problems here are sympathy and empathy, and that is something very important to me when choosing a country to reside in.

And to imagine we are trying to leave here to go the USA, a place with all the same problems, but like you we will have a bit of a support network there, and for me I only intend to stay there long enough to give the family passports so we can transit airports without hassle.


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How striking that both locals went "along" with your rant 😅
But we feel your frustration. And yes, like @rarej said, I am aware of the things that are systematically broken in this country, but I've been "wired" to look at positives and remember the good things I do have.

But I am happy to have gotten to know you and your family here in this community 😊

likewise 😀

Passport: check
Money: check
Dream: check
Just waiting for the right moment now, which will be soon.

Our plan also consists of getting a better passport to travel easier.

Every country has its problems, some just more than others. And we are often inclined to not see most issues in our own country, just because we are so used to it. But then once you start traveling, you start noticing the differences.


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