Saturday, February 21, 2009


Tonight is our last night in Holland; we were in Germany this afternoon, but go back for almost a week now before heading home. This has been the most amazing holiday and I am really thankful. I'll miss it here, though I'm also starting to be almost ready to come home and start this year at uni and such.

On Sunday, as I mentioned, we went with Sophie and my uncles Wim and Rik to take Opa's ashes to the sand dunes nearby. It's a strange thing, and I've never seen something like it. It was sad, and I think I am glad to have been there. It was cold and raining and there was a really sharp wind, and everyone was quiet and Sophie was crying. When we got back Rik took us to Emmen, and with more tears I had to say goodbye to Sophie for the last time in a while. We had a good time together here.

Rik and his partner Rensje work with puppets and theatre, particularly for disabled people, children and elderly people, and the place where we slept at their place was in the big theatre room out the back, a kind of snoezel room with a theatre place in the middle. It was nice! With them we went to quite a few places, including an old Dutch fort called Boertange, the pre-historic hunebed graves, and a working windmill in which we spent an hour being shown around by the miller. One night we went to visit my second cousin, Oma's niece, who is seventy-something and really nice, along with her son. It was a refreshing week for me.

Today after farewelling Rik and Rensje and picking up the car we'll be using this week, we went to this beautiful place in Germany called Xanten. It is a very pretty medieval sort of town, and we didn't get to look around as much as I'd have liked because we arrived in the late afternoon, but what we did see was the ruins of Roman settlement there. It was unreal! I'm super happy to have been there, and it's definitely a highlight of our time here.


  1. Just curious. Do you have contact information for Rik and Rensje? I'm interested in their work with puppets and elderly people. I'm a drama therapist and puppeteer and I've been working with elders for the past three years. I'm developing a workshop on puppetry with elders and am always interested in what others find effective in terms of puppetry with elders. Thank you.

  2. Hi,

    Rensje's website is
    I've seen a few interesting clips of her work, which I'm not sure if she would be able to show you, but she is more than happy to share what she does. The site is in Dutch, but under Contact you may write to her in English.