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In april 2020 I was honored to be the recipient of a royal decoration from the King because of my voluntary contribution to society through the promoting the importance of reading on the island. I was contribution to society. Although I never did such effort alone or  felt the need to be recognized for my voluntary work, I was happy that with this recognition, the purpose of my efforts was given a special spotlight. I would like to tell you in story form to the day I was told the news of tmy appointment. Imagine being in my shoes...

That moment you feel your phone vibrate telling you that a call is coming in, and you automatically reach out to get the phone.

Only to be disappointed that the number is unknown. And this happens at 11.30 in the morning.

Your first thought is an unknown number, no! Not so close to my lunch. However, your second thought tells you may be ...

You answer the call to a male voice in impeccable Dutch telling you that he is the 'adjudant' of the Governer who is going to call you in a while and to keep an eye on your phone and wait on the call. You think of your older brother, Yeyo, who likes to pull your leg with these kinds of jokes. But then ... the fluency no, that cannot be Yeyo. You stammer 'the Go go ver ver ne ner? Ok thank thank you." So you sit starring at your phone. The clock is hitting 11.50 when the phone rings again full force. The same 'unknown' number. "Hallo, ...... here is the Governor for you."

 

Thank God this was not a face time call. The disbelieve on your face would have thrown the Governer off guard. Then follows a very nice conversation about all the volunteer work you have done and especially with the reading promotion project. The aim to motivate a whole community to read and the passion you showed in doing this. The value of the home visits as the starting point. You try to put this in perspective when the Governer tells you that it is very important to high light this with a royal recognition. And that on behalf of the selecting committee the King has decided that to grant you the recognition of a knight in the order of Oranje Nassau. SInce the call was three weeks before the COVID-19 proof ceremony, you had enough time for the surprise to blend in and be proud of the recognition.