For the last four weeks, the weather in the Netherlands has done its utmost to make us feel at home. We loved it, but understood that it was a bit too warm for many.
After a good flight (with mouth masks) we arrived in the Netherlands on the last Sunday of July. The first two weeks we were able to quarantine in the home of friends who were on holiday. We cycled back and forth between Pijnacker and Delft every day to do help out in André and Wimke’s new house.The number of Wajanas that were tested positive in Lawa by the Medical Mission last July is 40 out of 100 inhabitants. Fortunately, most of them have mild complaints, but we do hear that they continue to feel weak and tired for a long time. Eleme, who came to Canada with us last year, is on a ventilator at the hospital in Cayenne. Her health situation is very alarming. They have taken her out of anesthesia in recent days, but that did not go as hoped, so she was put back to sleep. She was pregnant and the doctors decided to deliver the baby. The little girl is in the incubator but according to the doctors is doing well. It is quite difficult for her husband Janack that he cannot be with his wife and daughter.
We also hear from Apetina that some people are very ill. Here too people remain tired and weak for a long time. A few days ago one of the elders passed away in the hospital in Paramaribo. Then we feel sad that we are not with them. We keep in touch via social media and telephone. Time and again we realize how recently it is that there is telephone and internet in these villages. We really experience that as a blessing from God right now.
After our quarantine period we attended the wedding of one of Marco’s cousins. Very special to be there, because without Corona we would not have arrived in the Netherlands until the end of September. It was a beautiful party at a beautiful location. Also because of Corona, Marjolein’s sister Mirjam and her family returned from Bali, where they have been living for a number of years. It was wonderful to meet them all again after more than 3 years. If the basis is good, you pick up the thread again. So nice! Also a present for us to see them.
Now that we will stay in the Netherlands for a longer period of time, we bought a set of second hand bicycles. They fit in our rental car so we take them along when we travel. This is one of the few things we miss in the jungle: being able to cycle.
Due to the beautiful weather, we have been able to meet quite a few people outside in the garden in recent weeks. How we can organize our furlough this year is still a big question. Normally we start making arrangements with people in May for a meeting in October and November. Now we look at the options every day. We hope to contact many people by telephone in the next few weeks and months.