woensdag 4 januari 2012

Wat vooraf ging

"Tine mbudzi kwese kwese". Those were the titles of my regular
communication (I think I wrote 70 and an Epilogue in three years) when
we were posted in Zimbabwe from 2002-2005.
And in the years to follow, my writing diminished seriously.....to about
one or two a year, the likes of these: an end-of-year mail. Basically
The Hague was nice, but not so exciting to write about. We were far too
busy with our career/family life balance anyway, and if I remember well
most of our end-of-year letters were exactly about that. Not that I
think too lightly of that challenge; no, and if it hadn't been for the
strong support of my parents and Mette's mom helping in the family
business, one of us would have collapsed already.

Worth mentioning of course is that we decided this year to add one more
challenge and we embarked on a large scale restoration of the ground
floor that we had added to the house ending of last year. With the help
of a contractor, friends, father and brother in law I am proud to say
that we transformed the ground floor back into the stylish entree, rooms
and kitchen that it originally must have looked like when the house was
built in 1888. And the reshaped terrace and garden added to the joy as
well. But just when I thought that would quiet down the yearnings in
Mette's mind for space, she sees an upcoming opening for a posting to
another country which gives her a (I quote) ticklish feeling in her
stomach. "Why not go all the way" is what she must have thought, because
it concerned the position of Ambassador (or Chef de Poste) in San Jose,
Costa Rica. Surely most of you knew, because we either told you already,
or you joined our Lucia drinks, or you heard it through the Grapevine.
So we are looking forward to "Hay cabras en todas partes".

Let me preempt on some of the questions you may have by now by putting
some answers up front
-Yes, it is a big promotion for Mette (but e-mail Mette to find out
exactly what it is all about, next to promoting Dutch trade...)
-Yes, I will quit my current job.
-I will help settle in and then try to find a job of my own (hopefully
still within another business unit of PPG).
         (and play golf)
         (and e-mail you regularly -but now censored)
         (and swim in our swimming pool)
-Yes, Frederik and Emile will go to International Schools where they
will be taught in English, get some Spanish as well, and at home we will
keep on talking Dutch.
-No, the children will not meet our Queen. We will by the way (and we
already know what to wear :))
-Yes, we will keep the house, but try to rent it out.
-Yes, we will sell our car.
-Yes, we will live in the Residence (with public space furnitured 'by
the State')
-Fly through, NY, Atlanta, Houston, Panama, Madrid or Frankfurt
-300.000 people in San Jose.
-Costa Rica is filled with National Parks and beautiful beaches, and
focuses on EcoTourism
-CR has no military and is a longstanding stable democracy with a female
President, so much less to write about ;)
-We will probably fly off early March

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