I am postponing the conclusion of Gerard Mobach’s story about the Bersiap until next week.
This week I have an Easter Story for you written by my mother, Jeannette Herman-Louwerse.
The day before Easter a deluge, probably one of the last rainstorms of this season, flooded the back yard. When we were drinking our tea, Loekie (my friend) remembered we still had to get milk, fruit and vegetables from the pasar (open air market). I draped Fokko’s beloved raincoat across my shoulders like a cape, down to my heels, took an umbrella and left. I hadn’t gotten very far when a totally flooded street blocked my way. I took off my shoes to save them from being ruined, and continued on bare feet. The water came up to my ankles. I thought, this is something I have to write home about, that I’m going shopping on my bare feet. I grinned as I remembered the poem “She was bareheaded and barefoot and was wearing old clothes.” That is true of me now, because my dress is old. My whole wardrobe is old.
I first got the milk, then went to the pasar. The merchants started laughing when they saw me. I first put down my shoes, then got out my wallet. They had fun, and so did I. In the meantime it had stopped raining. When I was on my way home more people came out. The slokans (cement gutters on either side of the street and about two feet below street level) had become six-foot wide streams in which the native boys were playing.
At night I usually read the children a story. This time it was about the Easter Bunny of course. One of the neighbor boys wanted to paint eggs, so we gave him ten eggs that morning. There are no Easter things for sale these days, but at the pasar I saw some cute baskets, which Klaartje, the lady who cooks for us, filled for the children. Early on Easter morning Loekie went to get the eggs. We put the nicest ones on the table next to each plate and hid the others, so the children could go on their egg hunt.
We heard that all Dutch women who had stayed outside the camp until now would move in within two days: registration was completed. The camp won’t be enlarged, so the homes will get fuller. Maybe we’ll have to take in another family. I’m glad I moved when I still had the choice of where to go. I’m glad too that Easter is over. I was a little down, homesick and longing for you and for Fokko in spite of the joyous Easter message of the Resurrection. But on we go!
by Jeannette Herman-Louwerse
Published earlier in Rising from the Shadow of the Sun: A Story of Love, Survival and Joy.
Now I have a question for all of my subscribers, and a gift. The first person to send me the correct date, the year and the camp in which this story was written will get a free e-book for Kindle or iPad.
For those of you who have not read my book and cannot answer this question I have another gift. I will send you a copy of my e-book on Kindle or iPad, your choice, if you promise me to write a review on Amazon.com before May 31, 2014.
The questions need to be answered in the Comment Box below, not in an email please.
Until next time,