• close family • small boat • big world •

Pasensie at Pikin Slee

March 25, 2016

by Cash
At anchor, St. Martin

The Pasensie sleeping quarters

One of the most memorable experiences we had in Suriname was taking a boat up the Suriname River to stay at a "resort" by the Maroon village of Pikin Slee. While Pasensie is called a resort, it would be best described as extremely rustic. Our stay there was beautiful and peaceful, and we wished we could have stayed longer.

Pasensie is a small gathering of huts for sleeping, a roofed place to eat (no walls), a common bathroom, and the main house. The huts were wooden with thatched leaf roofs. There were four beds in each one, so one of us slept in a hammock. (There were five of us because Anna of Daydreamer was travelling with us.)

The main house

Peter, the man who runs Pasensie, is a very relaxed, easy-going Dutch guy who works hard to keep the resort running smoothly. He lives in the main house, where people also might hang out on the porch in the morning, get their only source of beverages (a big cooler full of water and beer), or read Dutch books (the only English one was a cheesy police romance novel).

Pasensie had a generator that Peter ran every night from 6 PM until 10 PM. All of the other times, there was no
power. Most guests turned in early. If they didn't, or had to go the outdoor bathroom, they'd have to use a flashlight or rely on the moonlight in the otherwise pitch-darkness.

Some of the time Peter cooked our meals, and some of the time he hired a lady from the local village. While we were there, there were five other people staying at Pasensie, and they were all Dutch. We all ate at the same time in a roofed pavilion with big picnic tables, and this was a nice way to get to know the other guests.

Pasensie was a very peaceful place. The only scheduled events were meals and when the generator was turned on. Otherwise, everyone relaxed and just enjoyed the beauty of the place around them. Pasensie was right on the Suriname river surrounded by lush forest. The wide river, dotted with large rocks, was especially beautiful in the morning. As the sun rose, large amounts of fog rolled in on the mirror-flat water. It was absolutely silent except for the birds chirping. Anna, Nicole, and I got up at 6:00 each morning and sat on the dock, enjoying the beauty.

Pasensie means "peaceful" in Dutch and it certainly lives up to its name.

The dining pavilion

Clothes drying outside our cabin.

Inside our cabin.
The river in the morning

The view from our cabin
The only "bathroom" sink. No showers.

Pikin Slee differed from any of the other Maroon villages in that it had a two-room museum that exhibited various aspects of Maroon culture, as well as crafts and household items made by the people of the village.

The palm fronds hanging down remove
evil spirits as they brush your head

The Sammaka Museum entrance.

A group of five men from Pikin Slee built a workshop where they carve furniture, housewares, and statues out of incredibly heavy wood.