23-25 September 2010
Robert and Kathryn visiting Jaap and Ineke in Heemstede
After about 6 years of writing and communicating via email and occasional phone calls, there was a lot of excitement and anticipation as I waited for Robert and Kathryn at the Airport Amsterdam, on that Thursday morning, 23rd of September 2010. I went very early to the airport because I was afraid that I might perhaps miss them and wondered whether I would recognize them from the photos that we had exchanged over the years. However, We were able to recognize each other instantly without the aid of a “Schlotjes” sign. Robert and Kathryn were very tired when they arrived and the first thing we did was drive back to our house in Heemstede. We spent three days together and walked around the historical centre of Haarlem, visited Volendam where we all had eel for lunch, went past windmills in the polder landscape, Broek in Waterland and other places such as de Rijp en de Glip, taking coffee breaks at appropriate times. We talked a lot. Robert and Kathryn told us about their lives in New Zealand while we talked about our family, the Schlotjes which of which I am the last male with this particular spelling in the Netherlands. We visited a special place, “the family-house” on the Meerweg, where Uncle Thon and Aunty Nellie lived and also Aunty Nellie’s and Robert’s father Frans en Wilhelmina. This is the house that Robert and his parents lived in before they emigrated to New Zealand and was used as their base when they came to Holland on visits over the various years. I was very impressed in how interested they were in our lives in Holland, our children and the rest of the family. After their stay with us, Robert and Kathryn continued their visits to other family-members in other parts of Holland. On Saturday afternoon, while they were with us they attended the birthday-party of Ineke and met a lot of family members on both sides of our family our children, their partners, grand children, and Ineke’s brother and sister. In the evening I dropped them off at Uncle Thon’s place at his retirement home in Heemstede. It was for me and Ineke a very rich experience to meet them, and we promised to come to New Zealand, one day.
Robert and Kathryn's impressions of that visit:
One of the most memorable impressions was us meeting for the first time at Schiphol Amsterdam International Airport and being driven to your house in Heemstede and meeting Ineke who (same as Kathryn) was wondering what you both were like (Ineke too – these strange people from New Zealand). We had corresponded and worked on a common project for several years but our wives only had second hand knowledge of us. I found an instant ‘oneness and bond’ with both you and Ineke. We enjoyed the day with you as travel guide seeing Volendam, Broek in Waterland, De Rijp en de Glip and walking around Haarlem and visiting the Groote Kerk. It was a highlight to meet your daughters and their partners and children and Ineke’s family at her birthday on 25 September 2010.
laatste update: vrijdag 20 februari 2015 15:10
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