Stories told

Tell a story from a trip you have made

A few months ago I made a desert trip in Morocco. It was the most amazing trip I have ever made. We were travelling with 15 people and 23 camels. The camels carried our things. The desert showed me the essence of life. How everything has a place and how gentle the world actually is. Especially this feeling, in the empty space where natural resources are scarce was incredible.

Tijdens een zomervakantie in Zweden ging ik vissen met mijn vader. We kanoden richting het midden van het meer. Ik kreeg de hengel met beet in de vorm van een dikke vlieg in handen. Het duurde niet lang of er werd zo hard aan de hengel getrokken dat ik bijna het meer in vloog. Mijn vader schoot te hulp en we werden met z’n tweeën in onze opblaaskano door de vis een paar meter het meer over getrokken. We bleken een zalmforel gevangen te hebben! Ik heb nooit meer zoiets lekkers geproefd. En sindsdien nog meer respect voor de natuur.

Tell something about how you played as a schild

As a child I lived in the Far East. We always played outside. One of my favourite experiences is that together with my sisters we would run out during the rainy season and play and jump in the rain that was pouring down. Warm rain, is something I never came across in Holland 😉

Ik ben een echte teamplayer. Als kind ook al, ik had altijd ontzettend veel kinderen om mij heen. Toen ik klein was speelde ik altijd buiten met vriendjes.

Allerlei spelletjes speelde ik met mijn nichtje toen zij over kwam uit Amerika. We waren zo’n 6 jaar oud en begrepen weinig van wat de ander zei. Maar onze gezichtsuitdrukkingen en grimassen spraken voor zich. Zo veel lol, zo hard gelachen met pure gezichts- en lichaamstaal. Hoelahoepen kan heel goed zonder woorden. Restaurantje spelen even zo goed.

Tell a story about a time when you broke a rule

As a teenager I wanted to go out all nights of the weekend. My parents had a rule: One night I could go out and come back when I wanted to, the other night I had to be back by 1.00 hrs. I could choose which night would be the late night. This was an impossible choice. If I would stay out on Friday then I had to come home early on Saturday! My solution was simple…. I had a ladder that was lying in the garden (my parents never questioned the ladder…). I would come home, kiss my parents good night, go to the bathroom, brush my teeth, wash my face and go to bed, with my clothes on. After about 15 minutes, I would jump from the window and meet my friends. Only recently my mother found out when the boys gave me a little book of memories and this story was written in the book. She was not angry. She couldn’t believe that she never wondered about the ladder.

Tell a story about something that made you happy

I came driving back home after a long day of work. As I neared my house, I crossed a little bridge and often I open my window to smell the air. It had been quite cold and the water had frozen. Then I heard a voice clear in the cold dark night: If you hear the ice crack it doesn’t break! (in Dutch: Kraakijs is geen breekijs). I looked to the right and saw a man with 2 small boy figures in the middle of the lake. I looked again… I couldn’t believe my eyes… my father had taken my two boys out to the middle of the lake to test if the layer was thick enough to go skating. I smiled, closed the window and drove on home.

Wat mij ontzettend gelukkig maakt is na een drukke week werken en sporten, heerlijk het weekend aftrappen met vrienden op het terras. 

Als ik buiten aan het aquarelleren ben en helemaal verdwijn in de omgeving en mijn werk. Of als ik een yogales heb gevolgd en volkomen ontspannen op mijn kussentje zit na afloop.

Tell about a time when you succeeded

I did not want to go back to a regular school to pass for my exams. I explained to my father that I had to live on my own and that I would go to evening classes and get my degree that way. My father thought it was a crazy idea, yet he supported me by saying: That is fine, but you will have to find a job, I will not support you financially all the way. I found a job which I enjoyed very much. I continued going to school in the evenings, but, if I am honest, I was not studying very much. A few weeks before the exams, my father asked me if I thought I would pass. ‘Of course’ was my answer. I ran to my boss and said: I have to study really hard, I have to pass this exam! And so I studied like crazy for a few weeks and…. I passed the tests. The day I heard that I had passed. I went to my parents house and dropped the diploma on my fathers lap saying: Oh, by the way I passed the exams. He only smiled. My mother had a huge bouquet of flowers for me.

Toen ik 19 jaar was heb ik een jaar stage gelopen in Amerika. Voordat ik vertrok zei iedereen tegen elkaar ‘ah die komt wel weer snel terug’. In dit jaar heb ik ontzettend veel geleerd, gezien, hard gewerkt en op mijn eigen benen leren staan. Tegen iedereen zijn verwachtingen in ben ik niet eerder naar huis gegaan.

Describe the life of your dreams

The life of my dreams is actually pretty much the life I am living. I have 2 wonderful sons who are happy and healthy and finding a way in their own life where they are starting to find their independence. I am healthy and I have a beautiful place where I live. I work and part of the job I do is also charity work, which gives me extra satisfaction. I enjoy mediating and finding peace in what is around. For me this life is not always easy, but it is in fact the life of my dreams.

Dat is absoluut wat ik nu doe. Ik heb veel leuke en lieve mensen om me heen en kan gaan en staan waar ik wil.

In het leven van mijn dromen ben ik altijd zen, net als alle andere mensen op deze aardbodem.

Tell about a place that makes you feel good

Bonaire… Bonaire is a place where I feel so calm and quiet. I immediately recognize it. The ocean, the wind, the sun, the people, the birds, the animals on land and in the sea. When you land on the island and enter Flamingo Airport (all is pink) it really feels like coming home.

De heidevelden en bossen van de Drentse Aa, met hun vennetjes, reeën en dassen, bomen, bloemen, kruiden en vele vogels.

Dat is absoluut het huis van mijn ouders. Zij wonen op het randje van Amsterdam in een heerlijke groene omgeving. In de zomer vind ik het heerlijk om daar avonden door te brengen in de tuin met vrienden. 

Tell a story about a memory from school

Our school was located in 2 buildings. Sometimes, you had to go to the another building for a certain class. The schedule allowed for these walks from one place to the other. Of course we tried to take as long as possible, especially if it was a class we did not like. One day, it had snowed a lot. The boys had hidden behind the bushes and were throwing snow balls at the girls. One boy really liked me. He saw me and yelled out: Hold on Boys, let these girls pass! So we passed without being ambushed by snowballs. The girls that came after us got the full load. Herewith my apologies girls!

Ik was een behoorlijk opstandige puber en werd op een gegeven moment de klas uit gestuurd. Vervolgens pakte ik mijn schooltas op, droeg die met beide armen en liet mijzelf uit door de deur van het klaslokaal met mijn voet te openen. Aiaiai, dat zou ik nu nooit meer doen (maar wel kunnen ;-)!

Tell a story about a moment when you were proud

Helping people is always something I have enjoyed doing. We were planning a trip to Zimbabwe and the children were going to come along. A week before we left my mother called me and asked me: Do you know what the boys are doing? I had no idea. She said that she had run into them in the village where we live. They had a big bag full of clothes they could almost not carry. When my mother asked what they were doing they said: We are asking the shops if they have clothes left over that we can take to Zimbabwe. They had brand new top notch brands in that bag. A few weeks later they gave these beautiful clothes to the children in Zim. I was proud that they had come up with this plan all by themselves (they were 10 and 8 at the time).

Tell about a talent you have and how you use it

I like to write poetry. For many years I have been writing all sorts of poems. I always thought it was a silly thing to do, that it wasn’t good enough. Recently I joined a group and together with them we write. It is an international group, so we are in a conference call together from all over the world. We start with a lecture, story or meditation. Then the teacher asks us to write a prayer or a poem on a special subject. After 10 minutes those that want to share a poem can read the poems. We are encouraged to read them out loud. Now I am hearing my own voice reading out the poems and often I think: It is actually pretty good 😉

Tell about a moment which you would like to live again

I remember a very happy time with my family when I was a young girl. It was Sunday morning breakfast. My mother would always make a beautiful breakfast table filled with all the delicious things you can think off. At the time we lived in the Philippines so there were a lot of fruits. She would also boil eggs and to make sure we wouldn’t spill it all over the tablecloth, we had little coloured bowls. I had a red one. She would help me peel the egg and I could easily eat it without spilling it from the red bowl. After breakfast we would go swimming or play in the garden. My father would be reading a newspaper and my mother would be sun bathing with a tube of Coppertone sun tan lotion by her side. I wouldn’t mind reliving a Sunday morning like that!

Als ik terug denk aan een moment dat ik graag een keer zou willen herleven, is dat absoluut de tijd van de basisschool. Heerlijk de hele dag buiten spelen met vriendjes en vriendinnetjes.

Looking at the underwater world with all its colours and shapes for the first time with mask and snorkel. Together with the love of my life.