Up Laura Scrapbook Photo Album


Hello, all a very hearty welcome to our family web site!

From this English language page you can
directly see the other pages by clicking the buttons. You can go to the Dutch
version by clicking the Dutch button. Last update of this page was on Friday, May 05, 2000

Away with paper, pen and postage stamps,  the post-postage stamp era is here! We web from now-on.
OK, first our travel schedule of this summer break. We're planning to fly from Phnom Penh to arrive at Schiphol Friday 16th of June 2000. We'll go just a few days later, on Monday 19 June, with the auto-sleeper-train from Den Bosch to Spain. We'll spend that Sunday night (the 18th) with Jan and Thea in Haaften, so that, if the Jag MkII is making trouble on the way to the train station, we still have half a day to find a solution instead of missing the train to our holiday destination. 

We'll return from Spain Thursday July 13, again by sleeper-train till Den Bosch to continue on our own wire-wheels. Kees will return to Phnom Penh again already the 21th, but Minke will stay a while longer in the Netherlands as usual.

My short trip to the Netherlands this spring was very busy with visiting my Dad who became seriously ill last Christmas and with removing my stuff from his house and I had almost no opportunity to visit any friends. But most of them were on crocus holiday anyway. My Dad is doing reasonably well, considering the circumstances. He lives now in a tiny one room flat in a nursing home on walking distance from my sister's family. Fortunately my brother-in-law, who is a general practitioner, managed to arrange this on short notice. Knowing the energy my brother-in-law invested in this, it is clear that, when you do not have such connections, you might not be so lucky in welfare state Holland. It is quite a big step for my father to make the move from independently living 89 old man with your own house, garden and car to a nurse dependant sickly man in a tiny room at the fourth floor in a nursing home. His room is smaller than the one I had as a student. Not that he has breath enough left to move about, but still. The medical story is quite cynical: after smoking for 60 years one pouch of heavy tobacco a day, he might be beaten by tbc in the 21 century in the Netherlands.

The rains came early in Cambodia this year and we had some heavy showers in April. At the moment it is limited to dark clouds and lightning flashes crossing half the sky. When in the evening drinking my beer on the banks of the Mekong, I can almost read a newspaper with the light of the lightnings. It is, as it should, be very hot at the moment (35 'C), but after a shower it feels a lot cooler, but the thermometer still indicates a 30-32 'C

The Dutch Embassy in Bangkok, for the first time that we are here, threw a party on the occasion of our Queens birthday. Herring was missing, but Dutch cheese from Mr. Ambas, locally produced bitterballen, three barrels of orange coloured Tiger beer in a colonial building, and all paid for by the Dutch taxpayers. Long live the queen! We enjoyed it and all the unspent diplomatic money and uneaten food went to a local NGO.

After much feet dragging I joined a motorclub for a day. With some other Dutch guys I met on her majesties party we rented a couple of off-the-road bikes and had a good day of fun criss-crossing through the Cambodian country side. Not counting my Ural side car as a bike, I have not been driving a bike for ten years, so the first couple of kms I went a bit careful. This country is really beautiful and full of very nice people! A splendid day crowned with delicious food, dried fish and frog legs washed away with again lots of Tigers. Life is short and has to be enjoyed to the max!

Minke is still working full-time at the International School. I teach pre-school and enjoy to have a serious contract, a reasonable salary, and the interaction with my colleagues. I am spending a lot of time on my work and during school weeks there is not much time left for other things. I am happy to have the long holidays. Except teaching, I am quite busy with the Parent-Teacher Organization and with the accreditation of our school. This last thing is a lot of work writing down our entire curriculum en tuning what is happening in different grades. It is not always easy to work together as we are all very different people. In March, I took part in a conference in Bali, where a few  hundred teachers from the region were meeting. It was interesting and I met many nice people. The director of our school likes me to teach a Pre-Kindergarten/Kindergarten combination next school year. In principle I agreed, although it is still not sure for how much longer we will be here. I am also the chairperson of the Board of the Dutch school, but I did not have time to do this very well. I am happy we have a good teacher for the Dutch school till the end of this year and everything runs smoothly. Also this year, I spend a lot of time organizing additional activities for both schools such as UN-day, Earth day, Book fair, and many more. I normally leave the house at 7:00 together with Laura and I am back home around 5:00. Happy to find the food ready and the table set.