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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
We all had
a wonderful weekend.
uncle Pierre, my aunt and my mother
father in front of his brother's castle