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Back in Trinidad and to Holland in a rush

 

Certain things are predestined. For years we weren't able to find Witte Raaf a good spot in the Suriname river, so we moved her to Trinidad. But last January all jigsaw pieces suddenly fell in place. The almost non existent Surinamese sailing club asked us to help get things on the rail and now we are starting the Sailing Club Suriname. Plans for a jetty and a safe berth for Witte Raaf are approved and all members look forward to club activities. A good reason for us to make plans to sail Witte Raaf back to Suriname in November.
A couple of days later someone suddenly offered us a safe mooring, recently renovated and surely a good temporary spot until November, so now we can sail Witte Raaf home immediately. On top of all this upon arrival at the yard in Chaguaramas it appeared that since two weeks a reorganisation was going on, meaning that the possibilities for storage will be reduced and on the long run even disappear. And for a start the rates have gone up with 25%. What a coincidence, all these incidents in such a short period of time.

Nevertheless not everything went as smoothly as we would have wanted. A long winter in Holland resulted in many flue outbreaks and JW's parents (94 and 91) were also victimized. His father was even admitted to the hospital when we departed from Suriname, but was on the mend so no reason for alarm. Unfortunately a couple of days later he got a pneumonia so we decided to leave the boat on the hard and change our plans. Quickly we flew from (the quite wintery) Trinidad back to Suriname to change our bikini's and swimming trunks for long trousers, boots and winter coats and the next day we flew on to Holland for a 6 weeks stay.

The first day we were thrown in at the deep end by Joanna: a walk on the beach of Kijkduin at temperatures below 25F.
We spent a lot of time with JWs parents with his father in a home and his mother who commuted between the home and their own place - and all the time it was snowing.

When JW's father felt a little better we were able to visit almost all of our friends and even our Surinamese cat, who lives in Meppel now and really enjoys the wintry weather! JW celebrated his 60th birthday together with his old friend Steven, who turned 60 two weeks earlier and Ps birthday party was in Belgium with Ricky and Dolf.

But 4 weeks later JW's father took a turn for the worse and with a perfect sense of timing he died peacefully in his sleep six days before our return flight was scheduled; the cremation was on the day prior to our departure.

When you are often abroad in most cases you'll be too late. We've had the privilege of spending a lot of time with JW's father and being able to support him and JW's mum in this difficult last period of his life.
We now have returned to Suriname to warm up and by the end of April we'll fly to Trinidad again and resume our plan with Witte Raaf.

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