The New Millennium was also a new beginning for me. The airline contract I’d lost three years before was recuperated, and again I was the publisher of Air ALM’s in-flight magazine, Trade Wind. Getting the contract back was a bittersweet feeling.

Despite all the setbacks, I managed to publish the first quarterly issue, spring 2000. However, with half the pagination, from 64 to 32, compounded by a decline in sales, this first issue was a loss. `Dissatisfied, frustrated, and mentally exhausted, the question was whether I should insist on beating a dead horse or retreat altogether.

And so, as described at the beginning of the book we moved to The Netherlands. It was quite a switch in summer weather from 32°C with bright hot sun to 18°C cloudy, chilly, and drizzling.

De Bilt was a fine, green, and beautiful, child friendly neighborhood with lots of tall trees.

In the last week of August we moved from De Bilt to De Bijlmer, Amsterdam., where my sister lived with her girlfriend. Our stay at Marsha’s lasted only three weeks. The disagreements between Marsha and I became strenuous and stressful. George and his wife, Luca, aware of the situation and for sake of the children, suggested we moved back to their home in De Bilt. That was such a relief for which I am ever grateful!

We were now settled in De Bilt and it was time for me to find a job. I applied at several employment agencies and within a matter of weeks, I had a temporary job as a secretary at a company in Utrecht. Finally, my life that was previously in shambles was coming together.

The festive season of December was approaching and I became unemployed. One Saturday morning we went to town to buy some stuff. I went to the ATM machine to withdraw some cash. Before I could insert my card, I noticed someone had not collected € 250 cashed. There was no receipt with the money, so the first thought that crossed my mind was, “God provides in mysterious ways.”As I was low on cash around the holiday season, I was tempted to keep the money.

But Belladonna witnessed the incident and insisted I took the cash to the store manager inside. I hesitated, because if the store manager decided to keep it for himself, I was more in need than him. However, I listened to my twelve-year old daughter, who reminded me of the value of honesty and integrity.

Working a full time job as a single parent in a foreign country with different customs, habits, morals, and values was both challenging and demanding. Most of the times my kids were asleep when I left for work in the morning. For that reason we prayed, and read from the Bible at night. Almost three years after I’d registered at the housing corporation, I received notification of a three-bedroom house available in Zeist, a town close and similar to De Bilt. That was good news!


From “Go Ahead, You’re Home” – The Caribbean Dream with Grit & Guts
A true and poignant story of forgiveness, hope and love. Mountain-moving faith with a burning desire determined to succeed.

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