On the 31st of December 1939, the five of us went by car to Bendoredjo.
That was the plantation where my uncle Pierre was the administrator, manager.
It was a real big Sisal and Sugar plantation, nearby Blitar, a small town.
My uncle and aunt lived in a very beautiful big house. I called it a castle.
And then there was Bella the dog, a nervous and very beautiful Alsatian.
My aunt told us not to come too close to the dog.
I asked her if Bella would bite us, but she said; “No, but it is better not to touch her since she is very nervous when we have visitors.”
I felt sorry for Bella when I compared her with our dogs who were always running around and being naughty.
The next morning Henny and I went very quietly into the garden, because everybody else was still asleep. We walked into the streets of the plantation
until we were tired.
When we came back my parents and Jansje were awake, but still in bed.
Henny and I took a shower and got dressed.
While coming out of the bathroom I heard my uncle playing the piano and I went to see him.
I saw his hands gliding over the keys of the piano, he really played very well.
I took a small chair and came to sit next to him without saying a word.
He gave me a big smile and asked me if I would like to learn playing the piano.
But I told him that I preferred listening.
My uncle and aunt took us all over, we had a wonderful day.
But in the meantime, my parents, uncle and aunt talked a lot about the war in Europe, they were very worried about the family in Holland.
Also my two cousins Tonny and Piet were in Holland, so that was a real big worry, both still so young. Luckily they were staying with family.
The next day we had to return to Sumber Sewu since my dad had to go back to work.
Just before we left, my uncle came with several books from my cousins for us.
I was very happy and grateful to both my aunt and uncle, for this was really a wonderful present for a bookworm like me.
On the way home we visited the temples, Candi Panataran, about 10 km north from Blitar. Very beautiful indeed.
When we were almost home, I asked my parents if I had to go to Holland as well, just like my cousins.
Both my parents answered; “No, you stay with us, we can’t miss you.”
We all had a wonderful weekend.
My uncle's castle
My uncle Pierre, my aunt and my mother
My father in front of his brother's castle
Two brothers in the lorry from Bendoredje