5 February 2010
The responses I have received so far are incredibly nice. Obviously the friends and family are all very encouraging, they never believed in my retirement at 50 anyhow. But what strikes me most is the response of absolute strangers: I have been pretty busy in the past week with cancelling whatever I had committed to in the next six months, suspending subscriptions, changing insurances and what have you, and whoever I email or speak to is unusually helpful. People are prepared to bend the rules – unheard of in over-regulated Netherlands – and they are trying to be as accommodating as they can. Nothing to do with me personally, I am sure, but all to do with an acute awareness of Haiti and the earthquake, even though there are days now that the country is not frontpage news anymore. Everybody is prepared to do their bit, even if it is just to make my life easier. Really nice!
In the mean time the local newspaper in my village has got hold of the story, and has interviewed me for next week’s edition, complete with professional photograph (of which I have used one to update my profile). The Montferland Journal may not yet be world-wide exposure, but nice enough, no? How many of you have made it to the papers? At the same time it is maybe good to put things into perspective, too: I am just going to do a job, for which I happen to be qualified, and for which I get paid. After all, I have done this type of work before, and perhaps it is not such a big deal as some people make of it. Well, I don’t tell that to the ones whose support I still need in the preparations, of course, but anyhow ….
next: the journey