Things just got a little worse in Suriname recently, supposedly due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, but I suspect political reasons.
Suriname Just Imposed Total Lockdown
The borders have been closed for months, there are nothing but repatriation flights out of Suriname, and we have effectively been stranded because we are a mixed nationality family in the process of trying to get legally married.
Things just got way worse a few days ago when the curfew was changed from 8pm to 6pm, and now full lockdown has been imposed. We are no longer legally allowed to be in the provinces bordering French Guiana (the EU), which is a strange coincidence with a potential civil war looming.
Only necessary trips to buy bare necessities are pemitted, and the police have the right to stop and interrogate anyone about their movements. I can't help but see this as a last-ditch effort for the government to hang onto power.
Supposedly this full lockdown is only meant to last until the 12th of June, but I suspect it will be extended just as every other measure has. I must admit it's getting harder and harder to stay optimistic.
Stock Up On Herbs
Sensing a shift in the vibes of Suriname, @Sreypov and I decided to walk around the neighborhood to see how Surinamers are behaving. It wasn't very promising at all; there were queues for 30 minutes at all the shops in our neighborhood.
This new wave of panic and instability caused us to have some realizations that we may have to survive like real Cambodians very soon. We decided it best to head back home and regroup, call the herb man, stock up on I-shence, and I-ditate upon our next movements.
Luckliy the herbman is still in business, and he accepts the newly and cheaply designed monopoly money Suriname has been printing since economic collapse.
A random honk outside our gate delivered us a much-needed surprise in the wake of this new wave of panic. At least one Rasta is looking out for our family down here, and he stopped by to let us know things are about to get worse, and it's best to stock up on all items.
A few months ago, many of you that follow my blog know that Suriname descended into economic collapse just before the arrival of COVID-19. Things were recently beginning to improve, and we even received $200 USD via Western Union, something impossible not long ago.
We had planned to go to the Centraal Bureau voor Burgerzaken this week, but that's been dashed since a new wave of panic ripped through the country. Supposedly this panic is all due to 10 new COVID-19 cases, but it's been here for months and months, and each increased restriction on human movement coincides with Suriname political developments.
We stopped communicating with the US Emabssy several months ago after they let us know we are on our own here. This month the trial of President Bouterse was set to begin for the December Murders, where several dissidents were executed in 1982, and Bouterse is suspected to have ordered these executions.
He now has clearly lost the elections, but refuses to step down from power, creating confusion over who is actually president. As long as he is acting president, he enjoys diplomatic immunity from any potential prison sentence he may receive from the murder trial. It's hard to imagine things improving any time soon.
As all these troubles consume us in Suriname, it's coincided with the burning and looting in the USA, my former home. It seems the whole world is turning upside down this 2020, where I am witnessing the whole world divided in 2.
In this uncertain time, sometimes the best the thing to do is grab a book, hit the hammock, roll a spliff and reason with I-self.
We have herbs, all the cassava and moringa leaves we could ever eat, and plenty of unpicked noni trees in the neighborhood, so we will surely subsist.
I am reminded now of the Enochian wisdom that even make-believe is a manifestation, so I close my eyes and envision the changes I want to see in the world.
Spliff built, I-tal meal with the family, then the mind is ready for I-shence, I-ditation and I-ntrospection. Rough times are ahead, but we have a pretty hardcore gang of survivors within the Khmerican Family Abroad.
@Sreypov and I certainly have a difficult talk ahead of us tonight about how to best handle the new hardship here, but our determination hasn't faltered for a moment.
We've been here so long now, all of her documents from Cambodia have expired, so we don't even have a longshot of immigration to the United States, or anywhere else for that matter.
If things can just calm down here for a week or two, we can have a chance to meet with the government and ask for permission to get married and finish the residency visa for our daughters.
If we can get these things, we can then obtain up-to-date Suriname criminal background checks and marriage papers, allowing us to transition to another country when the time is right.
Stay safe my fellow Hivers, and take care of your loved ones. Staying strong in Suriname....