Tam Bun

If it has been hard to summarise the events of each day as they have past then the task before me today is a formidable one. How does a person attempt to precise the feelings a trip like this inspires .... Every second of every day I have felt alive.... Not just alive, privileged and humbled by nature as we have walked through the heart of this beautiful country. Each step hand in hand with the communities of the interior and they have welcomed us with open hearts..... (I will never forget the old Ladies of Semoisie and the way they greeted us).

Two nights ago we where invited to a conference hosted by ACT (Amazon Conservation Team). Looking around the small lecture hall I noticed several faces I recognised. In the surrounding seats sat conservation expects, scientists, professors, linguists and ethnobotanists from all over the world who had come to listen to Mark Plotkin talk about ACT's programs in Suriname. As I scanned the stalls it really struck me how many of them I knew... faces from earlier in our trip. Around the room I saw, Marta Workhoven of the national Herbarium, Harold Sibling from Stinasu, Frits van Troon from Kwamala, Karin Boven who we met with in Kwamahaken, even Granman Asongo (complete with his head dress) the Paramount Chief of the Trio people. It is hard to explain the exact feelings of the evening but it was a perfect closing to our time here.... Especially when at the beginning of the presentation the host introducing the speakers publicly thanked Running Man for our work. It was incredible... full circle around the country..

It seems so obvious having listened to the voices of the Indigenous and tribal communities here in Suriname- The Trio, Wayana, Akurio, Wai Wai, Calina, Sarramacca, Parramacca, Aukana, Qwinti and Matawi peoples.... that education and creation of sufficient infrastructure is of paramount importance. Universally they have urged that their children be given the opportunity to better themselves.. learn ... so that one day they might have a chance to actively take part in the discussion making processes that directly effect their future. There is a lot so say on this point but sadly time does not allow... We will be posting detailed reports ASAP.

We have tried to the best of our ablity to apply the highest tech commuication equipment we could get our hands on for the benefit of others.... we have made some mistakes, learnt our lessons and tried to move forward. I think to some extent we have succeeded. As a direct result of our journey here, school children in the remote community of Kwamalasamutu will soon receive much needed supplies (pens paper) and these basic tools will enable them continue their studies..... There is something very positive in the pipeline. Although it is a sensitive issue at the moment, it would be fair to say that Runningman has served as a catalyst between the Wayana people of Kwamahaken and the organisation which holds the mineral rights to the land surrounding their village. Until now they have been overlooked... it is only the first steps and they are uncertain but at least they are in the right direction.... We will keep you updated.

I prefer to look at this last diary entry as a beginning rather than an end. Although sadly we leave later today for London this site will remain. It is hoped in time that others will contribute to the basic framework we have created and in this way it may grow. It is a starting point. In the following weeks the site will expand quite a bit. There is a lot of information that we simply have not had the time to relay whilst travelling so fast, so it’s worth checking in. In addition we have invited a few people to contribute to the site, expanding on stories that we have opened. They will hopefully be monitoring the progress of some of the projects we have looked at and relaying the news as it happens.

So what of the future .... Well, although the exact location and departure are not yet set, we will be selecting a location from the suggestions we receive, (have a look at the 'Next Mission' section....) If you would like to join us... make sure you fill in the email me updates section and we will let you know.

At the beginning of this trip I tried to imagine what the journey would bring... visualised kayaking down angry rapids, trekking across jungle clad mountains, meeting with the remote village leaders. However I could not have envisaged the warmth which the people have shown us. Our passport through this rare and beautiful country has, to some extent, been our naivety ....and with every step we have taken we have learnt. Although we have only just skimmed the surface..... in our hearts it has made a deep impression.

Thank you to everyone who has joined us along the way... see you next time.

Running Man (AKA Justin Hall)

Jason Hosh

Max Baring



The Real Running Man

Waka Bun...