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French Guiana, August 2003|
--3,070 Heard Gospel
QUITE A DIVERSE COUNTRY
After planning the neighboring country of Suriname, we started planning the second Conference/School, being done one week after the other. Cayenne was the smallest capital, that we had ever ministered at with a population of 144,000. Since this French-speaking country was actually a territory of France, the monetary system was the same as France, being the Euro. Culture here seemed more European and a large 66% of peoples were black, a portion of them from earlier slave trade and a portion actually who migrated out of French-speaking Haiti. Some of the remainder ethnic groups are from India and China. As you can tell, French Guiana is quite a diverse country.
It all went fine and our trip from Suriname to French Guiana was a little fast but do-able. We traveled by land, and do you want to know why? Flights between FG and SUR are at unusual times, not everyday and are sometimes cancelled, I know. I've got to "tell my story", as I arrived at the airport (an hour outside of the capital) in the evening and found the complete airport closed, without anyone letting me know. When contacting the ticket agency the next morning, I found that the next flight was three days later. Kinda wild, but you sometimes have to get accustomed to the way things happen in this area of the world.
The 12 of us traveled by land in a 30 passenger bus from SUR capital to the river border with FG. The road was very hard driving as we had to swerve for holes in the road, caused by rain and wear. At the border along with immigration on both sides of the river, we had to cross the river by boat. Going over we went by ferry and coming back a week later we went by canoe. It was funny when we crossed by canoe and one of our teams pulls his hand from the water at his side and shows two fingers missing and yells "Piranha!". Actually, those two fingers were bent in where we could not see them and there was no danger. Piranha were actually on that river, though, yet deeper into the interior.
At the French Guiana border is the quaint town of Saint-Laurent, which was where the French sent there prisoners, the most renown was "Papillon". Actually Papillon spent more of his prison time at "Devil's Island", off the coast down the highway two hours and visible from Kourou. In this second largest city of the country, Kourou is where the French space center is located, also. We then traveled the remainder 45 minutes over to the capital, Cayenne.
© 2004 Beyond Ourselves.