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1 Double Dutch nr 2double dutch 2007 juni SNV - capacity building for development impact Bridge the Gap My N.G.O Lucifer boekbespreking Breakfast with... Op de valreep, 10 vragen aan Claire Fotoverslag Koninginnedag & Vespatour Vraag & aanbod Dutch Business Association Vietnam

2 colofon Double Dutch is a magazine of the Dutch Business Association Vietnam. It appears 4 times a year. Editors Janneke Dufourquet Hilde Hoogwaerts Design Margriet Kruse Translation Marleen Sprik Advertisement Deadline next issue: September 15th 2007 Subscription for non members 20 USD per year in Vietnam 3 From the President 4 My company La Perla Living 5 Treating cleft lipsand palates Bridge the Gap 6 My N.G.O Plan Nederland 8 Stichting Nederland Vietanm 10 Medisch Comité Nederland Vietnam Milleninnium development goals 12 Peerke Donders Stichting 13 Wees voor Wees 14 Breakfast with... How do you like your egg? 15 NANV 12 DBAV New members can contact Mireille Kodden at Nederlandse Vereniging Alex Thomson and Derk Schep Netherlands Alumni Network Vietnam Consulate General of the Netherlands Postal address: C/o Consulate General of the Netherlands Saigon Tower 29 Le Duan Boulevard, District 1 Ho Chi Minh City 2 DOUBLE DUTCH living in Vietnam 16 Gelukt! 17 Van de redaktie Op de valreep 18/19 10 vragen vragen aan Claire Even voorstellen 20 Onika Pinkus & Gideon Schipper en Lydia & Linh Duong Boekverslag Ton van Zeeland 21 Lucifer door Conny Palmen Mineke Schipper Schrijfster op bezoek in Saigon 22 Koninginne receptie & bal in Saigon 22 Mui Ne Triathlon 23 Weeshuis Tam Binh 24 Kids pagina 25 Het was mooi, warm en af en toe stoffig Vespa tour 26 Vraag en Aanbod 24 Hoera, een dochter 21

3 DBAV BOARD Chairman Derk Schep Vice chairman & Eurocham representative Mark v.d. Assem Treasurer & Alumni Peter Kerckhaert Derk Schep Social Corporate Responsibility and Charity A new board of the DBAV was elected in March this year. A board with some old, but mostly new faces. I would like to use this platform to thank all the departing board members and especially the former chairman Chris Wijnberg for their much appreciated work. Life goes on and the DBAV had already some very successful events. It is fantastic to see that some volunteer committees organized a very nice Vespa Tour and changed the Bonsai Boat into De Groene Draeck for the Queens Ball, which will not be forgotten soon. For all of you that made it possible: THANKS!! This is only the beginning: net gatherings and at least 3 business lunches or diners with invited guest speakers are on the DBAV agenda for A film evening, Het Leidens Ontzet event and one more VESPA tour will be organized for the Nederlandse Vereniging Saigon. Keep your mailbox open! Website & board of governers Eurocham Marieke Nieuwaal Nederlandse vereniging Alex Thomson Each edition of DD has a theme. This edition s theme is Corporate Social Responsibility and Charity. What is CSR? A much quoted definition states that Corporate social responsibility is the continuing commitment by a business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large. It cannot be denied that your company might contribute to the economic development. I am sure looking at the average house of our members, that the quality of life of the workforce (we are the ones isn t it?) and their families is improved and with all our maids and gardeners the local communities and thus the society at large flourishes as never before. Don t shoot the messenger but there is more to it than that, the truth may indeed be inconvenient. We are living in a world where the water level is rising (it s not only a local An Phu thing), social injustice is practice of the day and the next generation is looking at a less attractive future. I know, also from my own experience, it is not always that easy to combine business with the right thing to do. But it might be good to all try and see our business as a full and responsible part of our community, rather than more narrowly as primarily doing business to make profits and serving the needs of our shareholders. As Robert F. Kennedy put it The future is not completely beyond our control. It is the work of our own hands. And to go from one topic to the other; Charity. I will be more brief on this. Of Board of governers Eurocham course charity is a noble and good thing. Spending money and time to help Tau van Ngo others is great, but always make sure that the others don t drive the new BMW on your money. In Vietnam there are thousands of charities, if you want to help, choose wisely. As DBAV/ Nederlandse Vereniging we are planning to organize a charity event for this year, where all contributions will go to a trustworthy and well known organisation. We will keep you posted on that. Secretary Mireille Kodden Enjoy this second edition of Double Dutch! DOUBLE DUTCH

4 my company Rudy van Bork LA PERLA LIVING CHILDREN S DAY AT THE BEACH On Sunday, June 3 rd La Perla Living Vietnam celebrated the International Children s Day for 85 street children from central Saigon. In cooperation with the reception centre for street children Thao Dan*, an unforgettable day was organized. The children were between 5 and 15 years of age. Early in the morning (5am) everybody gathered at the reception centre. Fashionable t-shirts and bathing suits were distributed and everybody received a LPIL cap. Breakfast was next on the program. Around 6 the two buses headed for Vung Tau, the beach nearest to Saigon. At the beach we had rented a beach tent: a covered part of the beach with comfortable deck chairs. When it comes to beaches Vung Tau is the Eldorado for the Vietnamese, every weekend it is (over)crowded. The beach, stretching out for about 6 km, is literally black with people. The children played a number of games at the beach and they were strikingly sporty and fanatic. What struck me personally, was the independence of the children. Even the 5- and 6-year-olds (who look like Dutch 3- or 4-year-olds) are able to play independently or together. They connected to other visitors as if they were acquaintances. Next to that they were all extremely social: I didn t see any fights, games, food and drinks, everything was shared. No one, not one child, was nagging. I vividly remember how nothing is ever good enough in the Western world, how everything is bent to the children s wishes. Nothing of that during this day: wonderful! The children were happy and grateful for everything! At the end of the afternoon we returned to Saigon. We interrupted the 2-hour journey to visit a milk village where one can buy all kinds of milk related products. Milk is very popular in Vietnam. It is considered a food that can make the Vietnamese healthier and stronger (read: fatter). The children received VND (1 Euro) each and entertained themselves for about 1 hour in the village that consisted for 90% of shops and market stalls. Again, they all found their own way and, alone or in a group, the children went bargain hunting. This resulted in packed buses full with cartons of milk, fresh fruit, dried deer meat and beef with sesame, a specialty of the region, and other delicacies. Back in Saigon it is odd to realize that once out of the bus (after a wonderful day at the beach) these children will return straight to the streets, selling postcards, chewing gum and roses or polishing shoes. Tomorrow is another day and they have to eat and drink! * Thao Dan is a grass-root, non-profit organization committed to helping street children find alternatives to the harsh conditions of street life. Founded in 1992 by a group of committed youth, it has been Thao Dan s mission to empower, support, and protect the street children of Ho Chi Minh City. For more information please contact Rudy at : The lunch was sumptuous, it was a King s meal of seafood and Vietnamese specialities in a big seafood restaurant. It was a pleasure to see all those happy faces enjoying their food, handling the chop sticks like they were extended fingers. 4 DOUBLE DUTCH

5 bridge the gap Leander Dubois TREATING CLEFT LIPS and PALATES Foundation Bridge the Gap distinguishes itself by a very simple structure. Eleven professionals make up the board and they are also the persons carrying out The Plan. The Plan is simple: to teach Vietnamese colleagues of the National Hospital for Odonto Stomatology and, since 3 years, the Laotian colleagues of the Mohosot Hospital operation techniques to treat the enormous numbers of untreated cheiloschisis (cleft lip and palate, harelip). After 12 years of activities in Vietnam children have been operated on, 8 surgeons have been trained and over children in and far outside of Saigon, have been helped by the institution itself. After 3 years of discussions the Laotian authorities have given the green light and since then over 150 patients have been operated on. This result is beyond our expectations and we are proud of it! Who could have thought that KLM s 75 th anniversary, themed Bridging the World would be the start of Bridge the Gap? KLM organized a contest for this occasion and, by writing a beautiful piece of Dutch prose, dentist Dam Backer won ten return tickets to Vietnam. With these tickets he was able to invite a team of Vietnamese doctors and nurses and two adult cheiloschisis patients to the Netherlands. With a camera crew of NOS (Dutch television) in presence, a plastic and a dental surgeon closed the clefts in the VUMC (Free University Hospital). The start of a life full of new chances for the patients. The start of the foundation Bridge the Gap. Since then a lot has happened. The team, totalling eleven members, consists of dental surgeons, plastic surgeons, dentists and an anaesthesiologist. Once or twice per year we travel to Vietnam in order to coordinate, operate and, most of all, instruct. The National Hospital of Odonto-Stomatology functions as our headquarters, this is where the most complicated operations take place. Some patients travel for a week, covering hundreds of kilometres, hoping to be operated on by our team. On average one week per year, we go further into the country, to cater for the needs of the poorest in the remote corners of Vietnam as well. There we operate under extremely primitive circumstances. It is very special to see how, after years of unremitting attempts of introducing the complicated cheiloschisis surgery to them, the Vietnamese surgeons are taking control and carrying on the project in the interior parts of Vietnam. They independently carried on their work across the border, into Laos. The Vietnamese doctors teach their Laotian colleagues the principles of functional repair, with an aesthetic improvement as result. Next to the surgical care, the aftercare should not be forgotten. In the Western world a team of 15 specialists of various disciplines coordinate the care for a cheiloschisis patient. This is not yet the case in the Vietnamese situation, although we are hard on that. It is already five years ago that our foundation entered into a contract with the Faculty of Dentistry for follow-up treatment of the operated children. Linking the dental care to the surgical care turns out to be not as simple as one would think; addresses are incorrect, parents are satisfied with the primary lip closure and lose interest in further improvement, travelling distances are too far, people are afraid it will cost money, etc. Results of researches started by us, show that approximately 40% of the youngest cheiloschisischildren suffer from decaying teeth. For that reason, dental aftercare is essential. Without seeing to the teeth, the supporting care through orthodontics is tragic. Now that Vietnam is able to carry out the bulk of the operations independently, we started broadening our horizon to an area that can well use our support. After 3 years of frenetic efforts, we managed to finally get started with The Plan in Laos as well. In the University Hospital in Vientiane we find circumstances that can be compared to Vietnam 20 years ago. The number of cheiloschisis patients is beyond description, but we also find many exotic congenital defects and acquired disorders to the face. Enough to continue the project for many years to come. And that s exactly what we will do! DOUBLE DUTCH

6 my n.g.o workin plan nederland Armand van Stralendorff HOW TO GROW SAFE VEGETABLES Plan Vietnam works with children, their families and communities in over 80 Communes in 10 Provinces and 3 cities. Altogether, there are more than 107,000 households in these program areas, including 38,000 sponsor children. Plan Vietnam operates Program Units (field offices) in 3 out of the 5 poorest regions in Vietnam: the North Central Coast, in Quang Tri and Quang Binh; the Northeast in Bac Giang, Phu Tho, and Thai Nguyen; and the South Central Coast in Quang Ngai. Plan Vietnam s only urban PU is located in Hanoi and focuses on the unique characteristics of high-density urban poverty and work with children in need of special protection, with programs linked to other urban centres such as Danang and Hue in Central Vietnam. The Programs we implement in these areas all try to achieve the following Country Goals of Plan Viet Nam: 1) That children can exercise their right to live in households with sufficient food and secure livelihoods. 2) That the health status of children and women of child-bearing age is improved and that they can realize their right to grow up healthy and be protected from various health threats. 3) That children can realize and exercise their right to live in a healthy environment, with access to sustainable quality & quantity of water and sanitation services and practice good hygiene behaviour. 4) That children (0 to 6 years old) realise their right to early care and development 5) That children (6 to 15 years old) develop and retain basic learning competencies through quality basic education, so all children realise their right to quality education. 6) That children in need of special protection and from poor (migrant) families receive adequate protection and care, so their right to protection and care is respected. 7) That children and poor women and men are fully involved in decision-making processes that affect their lives, so all can exercise their right to participate actively and being heard. 8) That children can exercise their right to live in a safe and caring environment, not being at risk of accidents, injury and free from abuse (including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect, and exploitation) in home, school and communities. Safe Vegetables Tran Thi Hong Nhung, a sponsored child in Vinh Long commune, Quang Tri studying at 4 th grade confided: I very much like our vegetable garden which is supported by Plan. My mother goes everyday to market to sell the vegetable and now she buys cake, books, new clothes and Dielac milk for me from selling the vegetables. I am also now eating fish and meat everyday. Nhung is the youngest child of Mr. Tran Van Thanh, a father of 2 children in Vinh Long commune. Before, his household income came from the production of 5,000 m 2 of land and raising 6 pigs. The maximum of daily income was just VND 50,000 (approximates USD $ 3.1) which had to cover all family expenses including his children s school expenses. In 2006, with support from the commune authority, district technical department, local people and Plan Vietnam the safe vegetable model was introduced to Vinh Long commune. This model is a new approach and is a change from tra- 6 DOUBLE DUTCH

7 g my n.g.o ditional production practice. In the past, vegetables were produced with the application of a lot of pesticides, chemicals and fertilizer while the safe vegetable was applied using organic fertilizer and very little pesticide. Through this model, productivity of land use was increased and generated income for the poor. Along with 14 poor families in Vinh Long commune, Mr. Thanh s household was selected by villages to implement the safe vegetable model. After 3 months of implementing the safe vegetable model, he said: Our family was very happy to be selected to join this project. My garden is 500m 2 large and has sandy soil, we had grown cassava before with yield of kg/ year, and this cassava was used for livestock production. When this garden was used for safe vegetable cultivation, we earned daily income VND 100,000 (approximately USD $6.25). Everyday, our family members take care of the garden and collect safe vegetable for selling at the market the next morning. The income from safe vegetables, he added is spent on improving our children s study, I bought books and new clothes, and longevity insurance for my children, who are also studying English, and in addition our meals are better now too. The safe vegetable model has not only improved household income but also changed the people s perception from traditional practices to embracing new and scientific techniques applied in production of safe vegetable. Mr. Nguyen Van Suu, head of Vinh Long commune People s Committee said The project brings good results for the farmers, they use the land in an efficient way now, the model is very suitable for the local people and its product was accepted by market. Through this project, farmers have really changed their cultivation habits and safe vegetables have contributed to hunger reduction and poverty alleviation in the commune. With success from safe vegetables, this model was selected as the main direction of new cropping pattern for hunger reduction and poverty alleviation in the Resolution of Commune People s Council and the Resolution of the 26 th Commune Party Congress. SCHIPHOL AIRPORT AMSTERDAM EXPATS ONLY UNIQUE SERVICE THE MOST ECONOMIC RATES You can rest your relocation safely upon Saigon Van s shoulders. Rijnlanderweg 774, 2132 NM Hoofddorp Tel , Fax C Ly Tu Trong Street, District 1, HCM t: f: : DOUBLE DUTCH

8 my n.g.o snv - stichting nederland vietnam Pieter de Baan CAPACITY BUILDING FOR DEVELOPMENT IMPACT SNV Netherlands Development Organisation started in Viet Nam in This coincided with the start of a period of rapid economic growth during which Viet Nam has achieved remarkable achievements in poverty reduction. More than half of the population has moved out of poverty. Impressive results not withstanding, there are persistent exceptions: people from ethnic minorities, remote rural communities, especially women, have not benefited in the same measure. There are still vast inequalities in opportunities, needing specific attention as Viet Nam develops and urban prosperity brings the risk of widening the urban-rural divide. In addition, the continued growth rate of 6-8% GDP per year is likely to generate risks of environmental degradation, the loss of biodiversity as well as challenges to cultural values. SNV Viet Nam provides advisory services not funding - to local partners, mostly at the sub-national level, to address these challenges. SNV Viet Nam has more than 40 advisors permanently based in provincial teams and in Hanoi. SNV s choice to invest in capacity development at the sub-national level is recognized by partners and donors to be of added value to mainstream development cooperation. SNV operates in ten of the poorest provinces in the North and in North Central Vietnam. The two areas where SNV looks to achieve sustainable impact are: Basic Services Delivery (Biogas, Rural Water & Sanitation) and Income, Employment and Production (Smallholder Cash Crops, Forest Market Chains, Pro-poor Tourism). Cross-cutting through these sectors are general topics as good governance, gender equity and social inclusion. Also cross-cutting are service areas such as access to finance (e.g., micro-finance) and the Clean Development Mechanism (forestry, biogas). Often our capacity building services link up to program funding by third parties, in order to enhance the effectiveness and impact of our interventions. Based on our presence at local level and combination of national and international expertise, SNV offers a mix of technical and institutional advice. As an advisory organisation, SNV s role is to listen, challenge, support and facilitate the change and reform that local administrations and organisations including the private sector - are towards. Management responsibilities remain in the hands of local actors. MILLENNIUM GOALS In addition, SNV has a deliberate policy to engage with local capacity builders in all of our key activities. Local capacity builders account for an increasing share of our advisory services provided to clients. In this way, SNV aims to secure sustainable, locally driven and relevant impact that will lead to lasting poverty reduction and contributes to achieving the Millennium Development Goals. SNV capacity development services include: Direct advisory services that aim to strengthen the capacity of local organizations, including local capacity builders. SNV is increasingly sub-contracting to local ogranisations to deliver capacity development services; Knowledge brokering, development and net that aims to ensure that local organizations and capacity builders are able to access and continuously renew knowledge on topical issues as well as on change management and leadership; Advocating the need for effective local capacity development which targets key national and mushroom production 8 DOUBLE DUTCH

9 my n.g.o international actors who contribute to the Viet Nam Development Goals as incorporated in the Social Economic Development Plan. By 2007, SNV has been present in Viet Nam for 12 years. What are results and impact achieved by the partners and clients with SNV support? Here are some of the success stories: BIOGAS PROGRAMME In April 2007, The Biogas Programme in Vietnam, was chosen from 700 submissions from all over the world to be awarded the prestigious Energy Globe Award. The Biogas programme started in 2003 under the cooperation between the Vietnamese and the Netherlands Governments, following the earlier successful example of the Nepal Biogas programme It is implemented by Vietnam s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD), with technical assistance from SNV. To date, the programme has seen construction of 27,000 plants with small-holder farmers in 24 provinces of Vietnam. By 2011, the programme aims to a total of 167,000 plants installed in over 50 provinces. The Programme assists enhancing rural livelihoods by offering a clean renewable energy source (biogas) for cooking and lighting. Its residue, bio-slurry, is a valuable organic fertilizer providing further economic benefits to users. As biogas is a cleanburning fuel, families experience strongly reduced levels of indoor air pollution. Many farmers praise the improvement of their household s sanitary condition as a result of installing the biogas plant. By substituting firewood, biogas reduces deforestation and by introducing a closed local nutrient cycles the bio-slurry improves soil fertility. In addition, biogas installations also contribute to mitigating global warming. In June 2007, SNV, MARD and the Dutch popgroup Normaal signed an agreement to build 25 biogas plants in Vietnam using the compensation that Normaal pays for the CO2 emissions resulting from the production of their new CD and their subsequent tour. When the biogas project began, we experienced that it created a campaign among the farmers they became very enthusiastic about biogas and were quick to discover how they could benefit from being part of the programme - said Mr. Duong, Vice Chairman of Tam Xa commune, Dong Anh district, Hanoi. MICRO CREDIT A community-based Micro-credit programme was implemented by the local Women s Union in Quang Binh province, North- Central Vietnam. SNV s support cooking on biogas included organizing the women in business groups, setting up a simple microfinance system and establishing a training system for women entrepreneurs and programme staff. SNV also assisted in providing information and business linkages that will enable the women to access markets within the province and occasionally also overseas. By now, 15,000 women in Quang Binh province had participated in the programme. More than 13,000 members are still active entrepreneurs and about 3,000 women have done so well that they have been able to receive larger bank loans. It is expected that this number will increase. As a result of SNV s involvement, the Women s Union is now able to offer its members access to microfinance, training and markets. The success of the programme has led to an agreement in April 2007 between the Wome ns Union, the Unilever Foundation and SNV to roll-out the programme in more provinces throughout Viet Nam. The members appreciate the intervention because it is simple, gives results and because they have a say in running the savings and credit groups and in deciding on what training courses are needed said Ms. Ly, chairwoman at the Women s Union in Quang Ninh District, Quang Binh province. These are but a few of many quotes from SNV s Vietnamese clients. To SNV Vietnam, achieving impact as well as obtaining client recognition are most valuable, an inspiration to continue efforts in reducing poverty in Vietnam. DOUBLE DUTCH

10 my N.G.O medisch comitee nederland - vietnam Karin Vlug MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS MCNV is a respected international NGO with 38 years of experience in Vietnam and a beginning of a new history in Laos. MCNV began as a solidarity organization during the Vietnam war years, which explains the use of committee in its name. At that time most of the support consisted of medical supplies, which also explains the use of the word medical as opposed to a word like health or development more appropriate to our activities in the last decade. The basis of our support is still the contributions received from individual donors in the Netherlands who wanted to help Vietnam recover from the devastations of the war, and we will keep the name and the commitment to solidarity as long as they continue to trust us with their donations. The way of providing assistance to Vietnam has, however, evolved through the past decades, as development has proceeded and as the needs have changed. MCNV is no longer a provider of emergency aid, but a professional development organization. We have a number of programs to address a broad range of issues, not only health but also poverty alleviation, program management and comprehensive rehabilitation for the disabled. Health is still an entry point for these programs but the concept of health is a very broad one and all the programs are characterized by a comprehensive approach to address the different problems of the beneficiaries and of those who try to serve them. Vietnam has set itself ambitious targets for the Millennium Development Goals*, but is proceeding well on the way to reaching them. In several areas, however, assistance from external sources is still needed to make progress towards these goals. Not only financial assistance, which is often available from the international banks and the Global Fund against HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria, but more often, specific technical assistance will still be needed in the coming years. The Government of Vietnam recognizes that there is an increasing, and worrying, gap between those who benefit from development and those who do not, or who even suffer from it. The special needs of those who are being left behind often cannot at the moment be met by the government system, so MCNV still has a role to play in these areas and for these people. For them and their families, MCNV s technical and financial support through the local services can make the difference between a continuous cycle of poverty and illness, and a start on the road to health and welfare. MCNV s programs aim to benefit those who are most disadvantaged, who have not yet been able to catch up with the march of progress. One of our goals is to empower these people, so that they can continue to make changes in their own lives when the projects end. The disadvantaged are not only in the remote areas or in the ethnic minority communities, but can also be found among the urban poor, the disabled in any setting and other vulnerable groups like HIV+ women and children or the women who are victims of trafficking. All of these people have the potential to enjoy better lives and to contribute to development, if the conditions are created in which they can reach that potential. Creating the conditions means with the local health and education services, the mass organizations and other local authorities and structures, to ensure that the system is able to support the development of the people, by the people. Unlike many INGOs, MCNV is helping at all administrative levels from remote rural villages, to district and province levels and with universities, national institutes and ministries at the central level. The experience gained through the links from the grass roots to the policy makers makes it possible for MCNV to transfer and translate lessons learned from the people who should benefit from national and international programs to those who are planning the programs of the future, and to build capacity at all of those levels to make progress sustainable. In 2005, on the request of our long-term partners in Quang Tri province, MCNV started to support a community health development program in the neighbouring provinces of Savannakhet in Laos. There, the rate and level of development are not yet up to those of Vietnam and the assistance will need to include material as well as technical support for years to come. To achieve our goals, we need not only the funds from individual donors but also institutional funding. MCNV has continued to receive grants from the Thematic Co-financing Program of the Netherlands Ministry of Development 10 DOUBLE DUTCH

11 Cooperation ( ), PSO (Personnel Services Overseas), a Dutch association of development organizations ( ), the European Union ( ) and Wild Geese (Wilde Ganzen, a Dutch funding organization)(annual). In 2006 a new three-year program started with funding from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Hanoi, supporting the work with HIV+ women and children. MCNV does not create programs to fit the funding or tender for projects proposed by international agencies, but rather identifies sources of funding that fit with the programs we are carrying out in response to needs expressed by our partners. The sustained level of funding confirms that the results in our track record, our participatory and needs-based approach and our way of with partners are recognized as effective and appropriate. The institutional funding does not, however, replace the support from individual donors. MCNV came into being and still exists because of the felt need for a bridge between the people of the Netherlands and Vietnam. In 2006, a concrete expression of this friendship appeared in the form of a museum dedicated to MCNV and its cooperation with Quang Tri province and with Vietnam, opened in Quang Tri in April. Even now, three decades after the end of the war, Vietnam is still being rebuilt. The contributions from individual donors allow MCNV to be flexible and innovative in response to the needs of the disadvantaged people in Vietnam. MCNV and the Vietnamese people continue to appreciate greatly the support of so many thousands of individuals in the Netherlands. Without them, MCNV could not achieve what it does. We thank them for their continued trust in the work of MCNV and its partners. * The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are eight goals to be achieved by 2015 that respond to the world s main development challenges. The MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millenium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the Millenium Summit in September Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women Goal 4: Reduce child mortality Goal 5: Improve maternal health Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

12 Marleen Sprik PEERKE DONDERS STICHTING LEPRA IN VIETNAM Alleen al het woord lepra beangstigt velen. Lepra wordt veroorzaakt door een bacterie en komt veelal voor in arme, onhygiënische tropische leefomstandigheden. Lepra is besmettelijk en tast de huidzenuwen aan waardoor de huid ongevoelig wordt. Zonder behandeling worden spieren en lichaamsdelen aangetast, waardoor het huidweefsel verder wordt beschadigd en open zweren ontstaan. Daarnaast brengt lepra een groot sociaal stigma met zich mee. Hoewel dat vroeger begrijpelijk was, is deze angst voor lepra tegenwoordig niet meer gegrond. Met de huidige medicijnen kan lepra snel en effectief worden behandeld. Vroege diagnose is belangrijk omdat eenmaal aangetaste zenuwen niet meer helen. Sinds 1996 is lepra in Thailand onder controle en daarom verplaatste PDF Thailand haar werkterrein naar Laos, Cambodja en Vietnam. In eerste instantie werden de Vietnamese projecten gestart en begeleid door het PDF-team in Thailand. Omdat een steeds groter deel van de PDS-gelden naar Vietnam gingen, is sinds begin 2007 een PDF-team in Ho Chi Minh City opgericht. Dit team bestaat uit Margriet Kruse, Marceline van der Ree, Esther Rietberg en Marleen Sprik. Hoewel nieuwe lepra besmettingen in Vietnam steeds minder voorkomen, leven veel mensen met de gevolgen van lepra. Deze mensen hebben heel specifieke verzorging nodig. Zo werd met steun van PDS een behandelkamer voor voetzweren gebouwd bij het ziekenhuis van Ben San. Momenteel heeft PDS een aantal projecten waaronder het trainen van schoenmakers, zodat zij speciaal aangepaste schoenen kunnen maken voor leprozen van wie de voeten door lepra zijn aangetast. Dit schoeisel voorkomt dat ter plaatse van een zweer een drukpunt zit, met andere woorden op die plaatsen ontbreekt een deel van de zool. PDS hecht grote waarde aan de duurzaamheid van haar projecten en draagt daarom graag bij aan projecten die de zelfredzaamheid van mensen verhogen. Een voorbeeld hiervan is het afgeronde varkensfokproject in samenwerking met het Rode Kruis in de provincie Lam Dong. In navolging van het succes van dit project zal in de loop van dit jaar een soortgelijk project worden gestart in Soc Trang, wederom samen met het lokale Rode Kruis. Zestig leprozengezinnen krijgen een fokvarken en kunnen hiermee gaan fokken. Op deze manier wordt een inkomstenbron gecreëerd. Na de eerste worp wordt één biggetje teruggegeven aan het Rode Kruis, die er vervolgens een ander gezin mee verblijdt. Gezinnen worden door het Rode Kruis begeleid en geadviseerd op het gebied van voeding en veterinaire behoeften. PDS is in principe alleen geldschieter en controleert de projecten een of twee keer. De projecten worden op dagelijkse basis uitgevoerd door lokale organisaties zoals het Rode Kruis, de Franse Orde van Malta of het Vietnamese kantoor van de Nederlandse Lepra Stichting. De besturen van PDF bestaan sinds de oprichting uit vrijwilligers. Via rondzendbrieven aan vrienden, familie en andere belangstellenden wordt 2x per jaar nieuws over projecten verstuurd, uiteraard vergezeld van een acceptgirokaart. PDS zamelt op deze manier jaarlijks zo n a euro in. Voor speciale projecten, zoals auto s en medicijnen, worden andere stichtingen benaderd. PDF controleert haar projecten bij de start en de oplevering. De dagelijkse begeleiding van PDF projecten wordt uitgevoerd door lokale organisaties zoals het Rode Kruis, de Franse Orde van Malta of het Vietnamese kantoor van de Nederlandse Lepra Stichting. Een van de speerpunten van PDS is dat slechts 3 a 4% van de ingezamelde gelden worden uitgegeven aan overhead kosten. Meer informatie over lepra en over PDS vindt u op www. of vraag een van de bestuursleden Margriet Kruse, Marceline van der Ree, Marleen Sprik of Esther Rietberg. De Peerke Donders Stichting (PDS) is een Nederlandse stichting met als doel het uitroeien van lepra in zuidoost Azië. PDS is in 1974 opgericht in Bangkok door Thai en Nederlanders. De naamgever van de stichting, Peerke Donders, was een Nederlander die in de 19 e eeuw leprapatiënten hielp in Suriname. In Azië bestaat PDS onder de naam Peter Donders Foundation (PDF). 12 DOUBLE DUTCH

13 wees voor wees The foundation Wees voor Wees (Orphan for Orphan) supports a number of orphanages in HCMC and its surroundings. Just like every other child, the children in the orphanages deserve the chance to build up a decent existence. The orphanages supported by Wees voor Wees don t get any financial contributions from the Vietnamese government. Wees voor Wees was founded by Stephan and Miranda Roos in 2006 and they had a very special reason. Miranda spent the first ten months of her life in two orphanages in former Saigon. One of the orphanages was the Viet Hoa Orphanage, now Thien Phuc in Chinatown. The other orphanage doesn t exist anymore. After more than 25 years Miranda took the decision to visit her country of origin, accompanied by Stephan and her parents. Her return to Vietnam and the visit to the orphanage made a big impression. At that moment, Stephan and Miranda knew that the visit to Vietnam wasn t going to be a one-off event! In December 2004 Stephan and Miranda got married. They decided to make a collection for the children in Thien Phuc during their nuptial mass. During their honeymoon to Vietnam they presented their first donation to the Thien Phuc staff. The modesty and gratitude of the nuns and children were very special and this made us want to do more for these vulnerable people, says Miranda. The idea of starting a Foundation started to take shape right there and then. In January 2006 they decided to visit the Thien Binh Orphanage, next to their regular visit to Thien Phuc. Kim Oanh, a nun in training, accompanied them. This is an orphanage that possibly needs the outside help even more, to offer the children the future they deserve. Upon their return to The Netherlands they realized their plans to start a foundation. They found a notary who was willing to handle the formation. And with that the Foundation Wees voor Wees was born. In the future Wees voor Wees wants to support more poor orphanages on project basis. In Lam Dong heeft PDF in samenwerking met het lokale Rode Kruis een varkens stal gebouwd. Met de mest van deze varkens wordt biogas geproduceerd. Op dit biogas kunnen gezinnen koken. Mensen getroffen door Lepra zijn vaak zwaar gehandicapt. De ziekte zelf is dan allang genezen, maar de handicap blijft. DOUBLE DUTCH

14 breakfast with boris Dongelmans BY Peter Kerckhaert Do you have examples how the network can be beneficial to the Dutch businesses? Yes of course, some companies have recruited staff via the network, others have met at network events people that can benefit to their business. But, I must admit, I think the Dutch businesses are not yet very familiar with the existence of NANV. End of May DBAV committee members Derk Schep and Peter Kerckhaert, had breakfast together with Boris Dongelmans at Paris Deli - Saigon Center. Boris is the first guest in this new column where a business man is interviewed during breakfast. Boris, first of all, please explain where you are. I link you to a lot of abbreviations like NESO / Nuffic / NANV. I am for Nuffic, the Netherlands organization for international cooperation in higher education, with a representative office in Vietnam called: NESO (Netherlands Education Support Office). NESO wants to promote exchange of students from Vietnam to the Netherlands and stimulate institutional and academic cooperation between Vietnamese and Dutch universities. NESO is fully funded by the Dutch ministry of education. In July 2006 NESO started as one of it many activities NANV, which stands for Netherlands Alumni Network in Vietnam. So, last year in July NESO together with DBAV started NANV, what was the reason for this cooperation? To make NANV activities sustainable, a strong link to the Dutch business community and others interested is needed. The appeal in NANV to DBAV is that it represents a pool of well educated Vietnamese people with international exposure and a solid education. What kind of Alumni, and how many are at the moment part of the network? At the moment about 300 fully registered alumni (students with at least 3 months higher education in the Netherlands) are part of CURRICULUM VITAE 37 years Married with a son of just one year Alumnus of University of Amsterdam Specialized in Organizational Anthropology in Asia Worked in China for the Netherlands embassy Cambodia as independent consultant in development cooperation Work with Nuffic 1.5 year now My favourite food in Asia Sichuanese My least favourite food in Asia Mongolian the network. About 2/3 of them are HBO (University of Applied Science) degree and the rest have a University degree. The alumni are registered in a database that can be used for staff recruitment and talent search services. At the moment search in the database is on demand for DBAV members only. It is not accessible on-line for security reasons. What are the future developments you foresee? Besides the DBAV also the Embassy in Hanoi and the Consulate in HCMC, support the Alumni network. Also Dutch universities are providing their support and use NANV as the channel to stay in touch with their alumni. Due to all this support, the network will grow, but to make it more attractive for the alumni to join, I think it should not only be exclusive for activities of Dutch businesses. What are events to be organized in the near future? In June, 2007 the NANV sport club will be launched. To celebrate this event, we will have an friendship football match with the UKAV( United Kingdom Alumni in Vietnam). If people want to join the Alumni network or want to know more about it, where do they have to be? First they can have a look at the website,. Alumni can register themselves via this website. Further the secretary Mrs. Chi can of course be contacted tel: and Peter, of course they can contact you because you are from DBAV side the contact person. Boris, as you know we would like to start a tradition of breakfast with Yes of course for the next edition of DD I will invite somebody from the water industry for breakfast. 14 DOUBLE DUTCH

15 Mrs Ma Anh Thu Recently the achievements and contribution of the business sector have been increasingly recognized by the public. When conferring the awards such as Golden Star of Vietnamese Lands and Golden Rose (known as Sao Vang Dat Viet and Bong Hong Vang in Vietnamese) for respectively businesses in general and for business women in particular. Besides the business figures such as revenues, profit and market share, showing the achievements of their business performance, the charity efforts made by the businesses are also mentioned. It seems charity and business are companions. As many others, I, sometimes, pursue thinking about the motivation of charity activities. Charity could be resulted from the sense of corporate responsibility. In addition to observing the social responsibilities related to tax payment, conditions, environment, child labor, businesses also feel committed for charity activities as a way of adding values to social welfare, thus contributing to narrow down the social gaps for poverty alleviation. Charity contributes to improve the image and reputation of the businesses. And in return, it helps to generate social capital for the businesses themselves. Charity carries cultural features in the sense that people in the same country are considered as pumpkin vines and squash vines that can share a single frame and should care for one another or is originated from the philosophy of Vietnamese people good leaves should wrap the torn ones. Charity & business in Vietnam Observations and reflection It is a common sense when people including business owners think or believe that the gifted wealth resulted from doing business should not be used up for the business itself, but is suggested to be shared with others, particularly the disadvantaged ones. Talking with several business women, I even feel, that charity has become a kind of needs in them. Simply, I feel cozy in my heart when I do something good for others, one female business owner said. I, more than once asked myself should this be associated with the Maslow s hierarchy of needs or not?!. As a Business Development Services (BDS) practitioner for promoting women entrepreneurship, I have opportunities to meet with women members of business women s clubs in different localities. The story about their charity activities often comes out naturally from our conversation. Their activities are quite diverse. In most cases, they contribute donation to form a so-called Golden Hearts Fund which is used for special events organization, for building/ upgrading houses for the poor, the disadvantaged groups (handicapped, victims of orange agent, HIV/AIDS infected ), for improving meals nutrition provided by the hospitals or as aid relief for victims of natural disasters, or for education & training promotion (including illiteracy eradication, vocational training) for poor children, orphans, etc. The charity donation/ efforts often occur in special occasions such as traditional new year, the national day/ festivals, when charity could find an important role to play in healing the pains or sharing with vulnerable hearts of the less disadvantaged groups. Charity is happening every day in any corner of the world. And it could bring the best effects when the charity is a result of a good combination of the corporate responsibility and the golden hearts. Ma Anh Thu is a Maastricht alumna (2000) and works for a Nuffic funded project in Hanoi. The objective of this project is to improve women s disadvantaged position in Vietnam by strengthening their position in the private sector in Vietnam through promoting gender balanced private sector support. DOUBLE DUTCH

16 This space is reserved? for company advertisement. Are you interested? Please contact?? 1/4 A4 - inside USD 75 1/2 A4 - inside USD 150 A4 - inside USD 250 A4 - inside cover front USD 350 A4 - inside cover back USD 300 A4 - outside cover back USD 400 ¼ and ½ page only available for a minimum of 4 issues (1 year) A4 page is also available for 1 or 2 issues only Please submit your advert only in JPEG or EPS of 300 dpi min. 16 DOUBLE DUTCH living Hilde Hoogwaerts & Janneke Dufourquet Gelukt! Nr 2 is voller dan vol. Welkom allemaal bij het tweede nummer van Double Dutch. Allereerst willen wij allen heel hartelijk bedanken voor de (gelukkig meestal) positieve reacties op de eerste editie van Double Dutch. Uiteraard werkt dit zeer motiverend voor de redaktie; ondanks deze voornamelijk positieve reacties, willen we vooral in het beginstadium van dit nieuwe tijdschrift ons werk steeds ter discussie stellen. Onze mening over de vorm en inhoud van het blad hoeft niet de uwe te zijn en onze smaak is zeker niet maatgevend. Daarom nodigen we uit steeds weer uw bevindingen met ons te delen. Ongezouten kritiek, een suggestie of een complimentje; we staan ervoor open. Een open discussie was tevens het uitgangspunt van de bijeenkomst die maandag 21 mei jl. door de DBAV werd georganiseerd bij restaurant Evita. Derk Schep en Alex Thomson zijn voortaan verantwoordelijk voor de Nederlandse Vereniging en zij beoogden met deze vergadering meer inzicht te kijgen over wat men precies van een Nederlandse Vereniging verwacht. De opkomst was goed en er werd een avondlang gepraat over de rol, de doelstellingen en de organisatie van de Nederlandse Vereniging Saigon. In september zal de NL Vereniging een voorlopige kalender bekend maken van de evenementen voor het komende jaar. Voor het organiseren van deze evenementen zijn natuurlijk altijd enthousiaste vrijwilligers nodig en ook hier zijn al uw ideeën van harte welkom! Het thema van dit nummer is Charity en Corporate Social Responsability. In dit gedeelte zult u voornamelijk lezen over het vrijwilligerswerk dat door vele Nederlanders in Vietnam wordt verricht. U kunt o.a. lezen over het vrijwilligerswerk in een weeshuis en voor de Leprastichting. Ook de kinderen komen weer aan bod; Tijn Schaafsma schreef een verslag over de viering van de Koninginnendag in Saigon. In dit nummer ook veel kijkplezier met foto s van o.a. de receptie van het Consulaat-Generaal ter gelegenheid van Koninginnendag, de Vespatour en de triathlon in Mui Ne. De volgende editie van Double Dutch zal eind september verschijnen en zal gaan over alles dat met water te maken heeft in Vietnam. Als u een bijdrage kunt leveren over dit thema, dan horen wij dat graag. Ook kunt u uiteraard weer gebruik maken van de rubriek Vraag en Aanbod. Maar eerst wenst de redaktie u veel lees en kijkplezier en vooral een fijne zomer in Saigon, Nederland of elders. Janneke & Hilde l

17 living NL living iving Hoe lang heb je in Vietnam gewoond? 4,5 maand Wat heb je gedaan? Stage gelopen bij het Nederlandse consulaat voor mijn afstudeeronderzoek voor de Master Technology and Policy aan de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven en natuurlijk genoten van Saigon en omgeving! Wat mis je het meeste, nu je terug bent in Nederland? Mijn enerverende leventje. Veel interessante mensen ontmoeten, lekker uit eten, stappen met mensen uit de hele wereld Wat is je meest positieve ervaring met de Vietnamese cultuur? De tijd die er genomen wordt door iedereen om te eten, het feit dat lekker eten een belangrijke plaats inneemt in de cultuur spreekt mij enorm aan. Wat is je meest negatieve ervaring met de Vietnamese cultuur? Dat er continu zoveel lawaai is, alles moet hard: overal altijd brommers, muziek staat zo hard dat je niet met elkaar kan praten, mensen schreeuwen altijd naar elkaar en houden daarbij geen rekening met hun omgeving. Zijn je verwachtingen die je had toen je naar Vietnam kwam uitgekomen? Nee, het is allemaal veel positiever uitgepakt dan verwacht, de stage was vele malen leuker dan ik had gehoopt, ik heb enorm veel geleerd en ontzettend veel leuke ondernemingen en organisaties van wat dichterbij mogen bekijken. Daarnaast was Vietnam met meer extremen dan ik had verwacht, wat zo n korte buitenland-ervaring natuurlijk een heel stuk spannender maakt. Wat was je favoriete bezigheid in Vietnam? Facials krijgen bij de kapsalon om de hoek, haha en vooral gezellig uit eten gaan of wat drinken met vrienden. Welke souvenirs heb je nog gekocht de laatste paar weken in Vietnam? Zijden sjaals voor vriendinnen en lacquerware wonen vietnam op de valreep workin kommen schalen en bordjes voor mezelf. Heb je nog een leuke anekdote over je tijd in Vietnam? Oh jee, dan moet je uit zoveel rare verhalen kiezen. De aankomst van Sinterklaas op de Saigon River was voor mij toch wel een bijzondere ervaring. Ik was echt nog maar net in Vietnam en werd gevraagd of ik het leuk vond om mee te helpen met de aankomst van Sinterklaas. Natuurlijk leek me dat hartstikke leuk, ik ben nog steeds een groot fan van die lieve oude man en heb geen kinderen waar ik op hoef te letten, dus ik kon leuk wat allerhande klusjes doen. Maar niets had me voor kunnen bereiden op het zicht van de Sint in een speedboot met drie pieten die gelukkig in al hun activiteit niet over boord zijn gegaan. Uniek is het om daar met 35 graden te genieten van het enthousiasme van meer dan 50 oververhitte kinderen, de pareltjes zweet van de bruine voorhoofden van de pieten afdeppende. Een prachtig begin van een geweldige tijd in Vietnam. Kom je nog een keertje terug? Jaaa tuurlijk, ik weet alleen nog niet wanneer, want ik ga in juni afstuderen en dan zal ik ergens moeten gaan solliciteren dus dan begint voor mij het echte leven, kortom; ik heb geen idee waar ik over een half jaar mee bezig ben of woon. Maar dit was mijn eerste echte bezoek aan Zuid Oost Azië en zeker niet het laatste, dus de volgende keer zal Vietnam zeker weer aangedaan worden. Bovendien ben ik nog niet naar Phu Quoc geweest en dat staat dus ook nog op het lijstje. * Claire liep stage bij het Consulaat Generaal van november tot en met maart Ze deed een afstudeeropdracht voor de Technische Universiteit Eindhoven naar de ontwikkeling van vertrouwen tussen Nederlandse en Vietnamese bedrijven. In een later nummer zal de redaktie Claire vragen de uitkomst van dit onderzoek toe te lichten. Claire Groosman is terug naar NL DOUBLE DUTCH

18 iving wonen in living vietnam even voorstellen living l Onika Pinkus & Gideon Schipper Samenstelling gezin (naam/leeftijd) Gideon Schipper (40 jaar) en Onika Pinkus (34 jaar), getrouwd. Wie of wat brengt je naar Ho Chi Minh City? Gideon is hier in de afgelopen tien jaar meerdere malen op vakantie geweest en heeft een enorme liefde voor het land en de mensen ontwikkeld. Onika wilde al een aantal jaren in de tropen wonen en werken. De combinatie van deze twee wensen bracht ons in Vietnam. Onika wilde het liefst naar Hanoi omdat zij werkzaam is in de NGO-sector. Voor Gideon lagen de kansen beter in HCMC. Onze huwelijksreis vorig jaar hebben wij onder meer besteed aan het vinden van een baan. De afspraak was dat degene die het eerst een betaalde baan zou vinden zou bepalen welke plek het zou worden. Het werd HCMC! Hoe lang zijn jullie hier inmiddels al en hoelang verwachten jullie te blijven? Dit is afhankelijk van hoe leuk we het hier vinden. Maar het streven is alles tussen de drie en vijf jaar. Waar woonden jullie voorheen? Amsterdam, stadsdeel de Baarsjes. Is dit de eerste keer dat jullie in Vietnam zijn? Indien jullie al eerder hier zijn geweest wat waren de ervaringen wat is er inmiddels veranderd? Nee, niet de eerste keer. Onika is twee keer eerder op vakantie geweest in de afgelopen twee jaar. Gideon een keer of 8 in de afgelopen tien jaar. In die jaren is HCMC enorm veranderd. Voorheen waren er twee pinautomaten in de stad, er zijn meer auto s en luxe winkels en er zijn veel oude vaak mooie huizen gesloopt. Wij hopen dat Vietnam-HCMC zijn eigen karakter niet gaat verliezen door al deze modernisering. Wat zijn de verwachtingen van jullie verblijf in Vietnam? Nieuwe ervaringen en nieuwe mensen leren kennen. De Vietnamese cultuur beter leren kennen. Ook willen we wat reizen in de regio. En natuurlijk geen koude winters meer! Hoe zijn de eerste ervaringen? Goed! We wonen in een ruim appartement in District 3. Wij hebben inmiddels beide bezigheden gevonden en mensen leren kennen. We genieten ook van zondagmiddagen aan het zwembad. Het is wel anders om hier ineens niet meer als toerist te zijn, maar als werknemer. Inmiddels is Gideon ook mobiel op de brommer en trotseert de ochtend en avond spits elke dag. Kun je iets meer vertellen over het bedrijf/ organisatie waarvoor de uitzending plaats vindt? Gideon werkt voor een Amerikaans softwarebedrijf (FCG) als business analist. Op dit moment heeft het bedrijf 600 medewerkers en maakt voornamelijk software voor de Amerikaanse markt, maar ook voor de Japanse en Vietnamese markt. Onika is werkzaam als freelance consultant voor diverse NGOs. Zij heeft de afgelopen maanden een aantal projecten afgerond: het evalueren van een project van Education for Development en het schrijven van een projectvoorstel om de politieke participatie van vrouwen in de Mekong Delta te verhogen. Verder is zij fondsen aan het werven voor een fototentoonstelling van foto s van straatkinderen (eind dit jaar) en volgt zij de projecten van de Stichting Wees voor Wees (zie pagina 13 van deze DD). Daarnaast geeft ze een aantal uren per week engelse les. Wat denk je het meest te zullen missen uit Nederland? Familie en vrienden. Veel vrienden hebben kleine kinderen en zullen niet in staat zijn ons te komen opzoeken, helaas. En verder de seizoenswisselingen. Vooral als het weer lente wordt! Wat heb je nog extra ingekocht voordat jullie naar Vietnam gingen verhuizen en waarom? Nee, niks speciaals. Wat is het item in je container wat je zeker niet zou willen missen? Laptop en de broodbakmachine (alhoewel we deze nog niet hebben gebruikt). Verder onze boeken en de mp3-speler. Willen/gaan jullie Vietnamees gaan leren? Wij hebben twee keer per week Vietnamese les. 18 DOUBLE DUTCH

19 wonen iving in living vietnam even voorstellen living lydia & linh duong Samenstelling gezin (naam/leeftijd) Wij zijn Linh (27) en Lydia Duong (22). Wie of wat brengt je naar Ho Chi Minh City? Voor mijn studie IBMS (International Business and Management Studies) had ik naar een study abroad in Vietnam gezocht. Toen het geregeld was dacht Linh waarom ga ik niet mee?. Hij had het geluk dat hij van het bedrijf, waarvoor hij in Nederland werkt, in Vietnam mocht werken. Nu zitten we dus gezellig met z n tweetjes in Vietnam. Hoe lang zijn jullie hier inmiddels al en hoelang verwachten jullie te blijven? Wij zijn hier vanaf eind December 2006 en we zijn van plan om hier nog een aantal jaren te wonen. (In januari 2008 moet ik alleen nog een aantal maanden naar Nederland om af te studeren.) Waar woonden jullie voorheen? In Den Haag. Is dit de eerste keer dat jullie in Vietnam zijn? Indien jullie al eerder hier zijn geweest wat waren de ervaringen en wat is er volgens jullie inmiddels veranderd? Nee, Linh is hier al 6 keer eerder geweest, dit voor familiebezoek en voor een onderzoek voor zijn thesis die ging over het muziektechnologisch veld in Vietnam. 4 jaar geleden zijn we hier 2,5 maand samen geweest. Linh kwam hier toen voor zijn onderzoek en ik om vrijwilligerswerk te doen. De cultuur sprak mij toen zo aan, dat ik weer naar Vietnam wilde gaan, niet alleen om de cultuur beter te leren kennen, maar ook om de taal beter te leren spreken. Toen Linh in 1994 voor de eerste keer in Vietnam kwam, schrok hij van de grote armoede. De keren daarna was hij vooral onder de indruk van de verbeteringen en veranderingen in Vietnam. Eerst had bijna niemand een koelkast, waren er geen supermarkten, kon je geen Westerse producten kopen en zag je bijna geen buitenlanders en motorbikes (maar vooral fietsen). Ik vind dat Vietnam de afgelopen 4 jaar ook veranderd is. Als ik alleen al kijk naar alle grote gebouwen die de grond uitschieten en de vele buitenlandse bedrijven die in Vietnam investeren, vind ik dat Vietnam heel goed bezig is. De krottenwijken in de stad zijn ook verdwenen maar helaas is dat probleem verhuisd in plaats van opgelost. Wat zijn de verwachtingen van jullie verblijf in Vietnam? Dat ik de taal vloeiend leer spreken, een mooie stageplek vind, over een jaar een mooie baan mag vinden en dat Linh veel muziekprojecten mag doen en voor zijn werk veel dingen kan opzetten. Hoe zijn de eerste ervaringen? Mooi weer, aardige/behulpzame mensen, lekker eten en vooral geen stress (terwijl je toch veel doet). Kun je iets meer vertellen over het bedrijf/ organisatie waarvoor de uitzending plaats vindt. Linh werkt voor het ringtones bedrijf Buongiorno. Dit bedrijf werkt samen met Vietnamnet om mobiele content op de markt te brengen. Ik studeer aan de Haagse Hogeschool. Wat denk je het meest te zullen missen uit Nederland/Wat mis je het meest uit Nederland? Haha, klinkt raar, maar qua eten toch de McDonald s. Ook mis ik het grove bruine brood, de lekkere gebakjes en de zelfgemaakte appelflappen van mijn moeder. Mijn familie mis ik het meest. Linh mist alleen zijn familie. Wat heb je nog extra ingekocht voordat jullie naar Vietnam gingen verhuizen en waarom? Hagelslag, engelse drop, avondthee van Zonnatura en dag & nachtcrème van de HEMA. Dit verkopen ze hier namelijk niet. Wat is het item in je container wat je zeker niet zou willen missen? Uit mijn koffer wil ik mijn bijbel niet missen, Linh zal zijn laptop en studioapparatuur niet kunnen missen. Willen/gaan jullie Vietnamees gaan leren? Ja, daar zijn we druk mee bezig. Ik leer het op school en heb ook extra privé-lessen gehad (ik kan simpele gesprekken voeren). Linh leert Vietnamees te schrijven (praten kan hij al vloeiend). DOUBLE DUTCH

20 living living boekverslag lucifer van conny living palmen living Ton van Zeeland l Conny Palmen: Lucifer, 352 blz. Prometheus, 2007, prijs: Euro 19,95 gebonden ISBN In NRC Handelsblad werd de vergelijking tussen De ontdekking van de Hemel van Harry Mulisch en deze roman getrokken. Inderdaad zijn er zeker overeenkomsten. De meest duidelijke en wellicht oppervlakkige is dat de herenclub een Amsterdamse grachtengordelvriendschaps-kring waar Hans van Mierlo, Mulisch en vele andere toe hoorden of horen, een rol speelt. Peter Schat waarnaar de romanpersonage Lucas Loos is geschapen, werd uit deze vriendenkring gestoten. Hij was te kritisch, te anders, zelfs voor het Amsterdam van enkele decennia geleden. Het verhaal in Lucifer is relatief simpel maar niet minder indringend: Lucas Loos is componist. Hij heeft een passievolle of beter een bijzondere haatliefde-verhouding met Clara Wevers. Zij lijken elkaar namelijk met alle passie te willen vernietigen. Op vakantie in Griekenland valt Clara, dronken, van een muurtje bij een appartement, stort in een diepe afgrond en sterft. Vervolgens speelt de roman zich met name in Amsterdam af. De ik-persoon schrijft over deze gebeurtenis en zoekt de getuigen en betrokkenen op. De ik-persoon construeert bijzondere gedachten en lijnen. De homoseksuele Peter Schat, alias Lucas Loos, lijkt de dood van zijn vrouw al jaren geleden in zijn werk te hebben aangekondigd. Op de rouwplechtigheid wil hij een groots requiem ten gehore brengen dat een soort bekroning moet zijn van zijn oeuvre. Er zijn in de roman vele bijzondere verbanden in de levens van Lucas Loos en Clara en de anderen. Schokkend, literair maar volstrekt geloofwaardig in de wereld van dit boek Lucifer. De vriendenclub debatteert, denkt en praat, na 25 of 30 jaar nog steeds. Conny Palmen zegt in een interview, dat zij de gedachte aan deze roman besloot vorm te geven nadat Hans van Mierlo (haar partner) thuis kwam van een Amsterdams terrasbezoek en nog steeds vol vuur over de gebeurtenissen van lang geleden sprak. Het was blijkbaar nog steeds talk of the town Amsterdam. Palmen lijkt Peter Schat in een soort demon te veranderen, een Lucifer. Het boek gaat over de Herenclub, over Peter Schat/ Lucas Loos die het waagt ruzie te maken met de toen al halfgod Mulisch. Over de incrowd aan het Leidseplein in Amsterdam, destijds tenminste, die intellectueel Nederland en zeker die van cultureel Amsterdam regeerde. Een club die mensen in de ban kreeg en kon doen. Oppermachtig. Lucas Loos was een van de verstotenen, hij hield zich niet aan de regels. In de roman is hij een onmogelijk persoon, een opportunistisch kunstenaar en vooral betweter. De roman gaat echter ook over tragische liefdesgeschiedenissen. Mensen die elkaar veel vertelden, maar niet nader tot elkaar kwamen. Eenzaamheid speelt een grote rol in deze roman, tussen de regels en hoofdstukken door steekt die steeds weer de kop op. Palmen heeft Peter Schat in de fictie die deze roman is, een plaats gegeven die hij wenste: in de canon van de kunst. Misschien niet de plaats die hij ambieerde, maar toch. Palmen fileert de drijfveren van Lucas Loos trefzeker. Het boek heeft alle bladzijden door iets sterk ontluisterends, de lezer raakt buiten adem van alle verbanden en grotere lijnen. Lucifer heet de roman, de lezer begrijpt na lezing waarom. Palmen trakteert ons op haar waarheid. De waarheid van Conny Palmen is een literaire waarheid. Misschien te prefereren boven de echte waarheid, want die bestaat niet. Ton van Zeeland 20 DOUBLE DUTCH

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