“I was at my aunt’s house when we received a phone call that my dad had passed away. I was living in Suriname with my mother at the time. My dad lived here. Despite the distance, he tried to visit me as much as possible. He would always bring expensive clothing from The Netherlands, which made me the coolest kid in my street. The last time I saw my father, I was nine years old. During his last visit, he took me to all these different places and told me a lot about his life. It was as if he knew that it would be the last time we would see each other. My father got buried in The Netherlands. I was supposed to stay only a few months until after the funeral, but my mother thought I would have a better future here in The Netherlands. My mother went back to Suriname, and I stayed with some relatives. Growing up without your parents is difficult. As a kid, I didn’t know how to express my emotions. Anger became a way of expressing my pain. My outlook on life changed when I turned eighteen. I would hang out a lot with my friends on the street. One day, a man from my neighborhood came up to me and said: If we are lucky, we have a few people who take care of us in this life. I have been watching you. You are not taking good care of yourself. After he said that, I realized that I needed to take better care of myself and deal with my emotions. His words hit home because he actually noticed me.”

“Exactly here is where I met my husband 40 years ago. It was my birthday and together with a friend we just bought bikes on credit. We wanted to try them out so we decided to go to the park. In the park there was a group of boys and we got to talk. All of a sudden one of the boys started teasing me and took away my bike key. He told me that if I wanted my key back I would have to come and chase him to get it. He was handsome and nice so I did not mind one bit. After that day we became a couple and a few years later we got married. Unfortunately, my husband passed away about a year ago. Life without him is very hard and I miss him every day but I’m a blessed person. I have had a wonderful marriage.”

“Yeah, this might look fun but it´s freakin heavy!”

“I asked her what she wanted to be when she grows up. She told me she wanted to be a stewardess, but was concerned where to find the right outfit for the job.”