Bram Bosch: De knippende schipper

Since my youth my mother has told me about her grandfather Bram Bosch (1865 –1943), who was skipper of an inland transport ship, as well as paper cutter. Near my desk I have a cutting from a Roterdam newspaper of 20 March 1931, with granddad Bosch cutting figures out of plain paper (enveloppes etc.). “An artist in his area”, the heading reads. We also have a few of his cuttings. He was also called “de knippende schipper” (the paper cutter skipper). I have a full story on my web site.

Bram Bosch

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Communication, crisis and chances

December is the month of introspection, a least in the Netherlands. My Dutch Communicatie magazine of this month is no different. “This is a crisis issue”, writes editor Rocco Mooy. The illustration of the economic crisis they use shows boxes “recession: people spend money they don’t have … on things they don’t need”. Continue reading

Southern African network for sustainable sanitation launched

The Ecological Sanitation Research group (EcoSanRes) at Stockholm Environment Institute has launched its first Knowledge Node on Sustainable Sanitation for southern Africa during the second Africa Water Week in Johannesburg.  I am there for my work. It is one of the ten planned regional nodes, the next one will be launched next week in Uganda.

“Our aim is to train groups in sustainable sanitation and develop local capacity to respond to demand for information and training in the region, says Madeleine Fogde, EcoSanRes Capacity Development Manager.” Other knowledge nodes will be established in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. Continue reading

Twitter useful for companies?

Using Twitter can be a useful addition in the public communication mix of companies, only if the info of 140 characters is relevant for early adaptors. This is one of the key conclusions I draw from research Laurens Roos reported in the October 2009 issue of the Dutch Communicatie magazine.

Tired but satisfied

Back in Jakarta I am looking back at three weeks in Indonesia. I am tired but satisfied. The first ten days touring with the Boi Akih band are unforgettable. The beauty of the Maluku and South Sulawesi  have left a big impression.

Here are a few results from this morning’s work on the Dutch past in Makassar that made me soaking wet.


The governor’s residence


Nice Dutch villa

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Last day in Makassar

I am overlooking the bay from the hotel restaurant in the form of  a ship on the last morning in Makassar.


It has the best view of ships coming and going, and the wind makes the heat bearable. I can watch these scenes for hours.

This morning I went by taxi to the various Dutch historical sites in Makassar to make pictures. The governor’s residence, the court building, pleasant villas, Fort Rotterdam and societeit De Harmonie. The latter I could not photograph, as my camera’s battery needs to be reloaded. To my surprise the inside of De Harmonie was being renovated by the local government. The old red seats were stored in the open.

My flight back to Jakarta is at 17:10.

Last workshop and concert in Bandung

The Boi Akih band did a last concert for an enthusiastic full house in the auditorium of the Technology Institute (ITB) in Bandung. Tcoild here I sold the last 20 CDs, we could have sold at least 15 others.

Before the concert they did a three-hour workshop with 10 students each. This time I filmed the start of the concert and each of the workshops with my flip video camera. If you want to see how this works, see this film on YouTube.


Niels and his students

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Band members share their knowledge

Band members gave a three-hour workshop to some 20 students in the community centre where the concert was. They started with an introduction session, (how long do you study with the group, how long individually?) Niels replied: It does not matter how long you study, but if you study difficult things. Only if you do that you can develop your self.

Unfortunately the uploading of pictures does not work right now from the Savoy Homann hotel in Bandung. What struck me was the eagerness of the students that I observed in all the rooms.

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Safe arrival in Jakarta

The captain from the KL 809 cockpit in Kuala Lumpur: “There is an earth quake in Jakarta now. We don’t know yet if we can depart from KL.” Ten minutes later he said that the Jakarta’s airport was open, so we took off. Twenty minutes later the captain came back: the quake was 180 kilometres south of Jakarta, force 7.1 on Richter’s scale. We did not notice anything after landing. Traffic jams into town as always.

Later in the Manhattan hotel we had dinner with some of Monica’s relatives. Her nephew said that the quake in Jakarta lasted 10 minutes and was pretty scary. He was at a ninth floor which was swaying heavily. Elevators stopped and people had to run down using emergency stairs, women fainted. Only just now I have access to internet in the hotel and I see that the quake was in the Java sea, at a depth of 30 kilometres beneath the sea level, killing 35 people, see Alertnet.