Travel Letters

The Jews of Suriname

February 5, 2018
Jews arrived in Suriname in large numbers in the late Seventeenth Century.  They became successful plantation owners out in the savanna.   The area is called "Jodensavanne."   They built a substancial brick synagogue they named Beracha v' Shalom (Blessing and Peace).
Because of disruptions in the sugar trade, they eventually moved to the capital Paramaribo.  They built the magnificent wooden synagogue Neve Shalom,1837 (Oasis of Peace)  that is still in use by the diminished community.  The smaller Zedek v' Shalom Synagogue (Justice and Peace) built in 1735 is currently rented to a computer company.




February 4, 2018


Why did the United States and her allies defeat Germany and her allies in World War Two?  Was it superior leadership or manpower or strategy or materiel?  Or all of the above?

Certainly, the country of Suriname does not come to mind as a significant factor in the War.

And yet, the mineral resources of Suriname, a small country in South America, played an important role in the eventual victory of the Allies.

Bauxite was a key to success.

In Suriname I visited the closed bauxite processing plant.  You can learn a lot of history from “skeletons.”

Lucy on the "Wild Coast"



February 2, 2018


I met Lucy on my flight from Georgetown, Guyana to Paramaribo.

I invited her to join me on my Dolphin Tour.

We did see a few dolphins and several elegant birds that nest along the shore or in the waters in the bay.

The Atlantic Coast here is “wild.”

And tell me, who can resist a photo shoot with a young Brazilian woman in her “bee-kee-nee”?

Paramaribo Highlights



February 3, 2018

In Paramaribo I visited the downtown area.  Known for the Dutch colonial structures, the inner city of Paramaribo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site,  Some of the structures reminded me not of Amsterdam but of New Orleans. 

I also visited the Zeeland Fort and Museum.

The Chinese community here supports several Asia style markets that certainly draw my attention: green vegetables, Chinese buns, roast duck, even sushi. And "Kaaiman Saté."

When I posted a photo of the capture of a huge Black Caiman (Alligator) in Guyana, a friend asked, "Did you release it or cook it?" 

In Guyana, the researchers released the Black Caiman.  But here in Suriname, the Asian market has "Kaaiman Saté" on sale.  I couldn't resist.

I stayed at the Eco Resort Inn Paramaribo and used that as a base for my travels.

Read all about the capital city of Suriname:


Kaieteur Falls



February 1, 2018

My journey to Guyana concludes with a flight to visit Kaieteur Falls.

Here are a few statistics for Kaieteur:

  • Sheer Drop of 226 meters or 741 feet
  • Maximum Width of 122m or 400 feet
  • Flow of Water: 136, 200 liters or 35,980 gallons per second

To put this in perspective, Kaieteur is five times higher than Niagara Falls.

Yupukari Primary School

Caiman House Lodge and Field Station

Yupukari Village

450 km -280 mi from Georgetown

Central Rupununi

Section 9


January 31, 2018

My friend Jack tells me that whenever he travels to a foreign country he tries to spend time at a school. 

As I follow Jack’s suggestion, on my very last stop in the “interior” of Guyana, here at the Caiman House Lodge, I didn’t have to walk very far.

The Caiman House Lodge is in the middle of Yupukari, an Amerindian village with a population of about 500 people of the indigenous Macushi tribe.  The village supports three school buildings, outdoor meeting pavilions and a well-stocked, Internet-connected library.