July 18th, 2010

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Sunday 18 July. The Virginians are airborn again.

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

It is early Sunday morning. Jeannine and Gabrielle are on the way back to Virginia from their two week Holland holiday. They met 18 relatives, 8 of my generation, 5 of Jeannine’s and 5 of Gabrielle’s. For my granddaughter Gabrielle was this her first visit and Jeannine had not been back since she left as a 6 months old in the first days of 1970.  My twin brother Jan and his wife Catharina visited here with us from Germany on Friday and Saturday.

On our second day, Wednesday, of our Belgium visit, we toured the countryside near Ittre. In Ecaussinnes we visited the mideval fortified Castle and at Ronquieres watched the inclined plane on the canal that runs just behind the house we lived in in Ittre. Pleasure boats and large cargo barges are lifted 225 feet in waterfilled caissons. On the way back to Holland we stopped in Brussels. I showed the Virginians where Rose Marie, daughter # 2, was born at the clinique Edith Cavel. We had lunch in the Bois de la Cambre, in the same spot where I often used to eat lunch with my colleagues during the 4 years I worked in Brussels in the late sixties. On Thursday we saw the “Hiding Place” in Corrie ten Boom’s home in Haarlem. Corrie was in the same concentration camps with our mother and participated in the secret bible readings they held in Vught and Ravensbrueck. The Virginians toured the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam in the evening. Yesterday afternoon we spent several hours in the excellent exhibits of the Resistance Museum.  

I have to get busy now and prepare the boat for the long river trip.