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A few words about me

From early on I have been an anthropologist, without knowing the word at first. I was fascinated by the lives of people and the situations they were in. I loved discovering new landscapes and making personal contact with strangers from all walks of life. Perhaps it was the same force that made me, in primary school, in a country without such trees, draw a palm tree. This tree is now my logo.

My parents got so many questions from me that in the end, they said: “This we can’t answer anymore. Surely, you will find ways to get explanations later in life.” One way was to read newspapers, spread out on the floor with me lying before them, to avoid our busy dining table. Once at the university, I could hungrily expand my understanding of human reality.

Better equipped, and employed by universities, I felt it a privilege to leave the buildings, talk with people and move with them in their habitats, in 25 different countries, in all continents. Bringing back the information and integrate it with readings, discussions and further research was richly rewarding.

My parents got so many questions from me that in the end, they said: “This we can’t answer anymore."

I learned to simply be myself, as a field worker and a teacher. No need for adopting special roles for special situations. Just stay interested and respectful, with heart and mind. I zoomed in on hopes and agonies of people while searching for origins, in relation to their family life, wider society, the physical environment, and history.

After my academic career, I mobilize the depth and width of my pursuit in the service of wider society. Small and large audiences, both in the Netherlands and abroad, regard me as an accomplished speaker who delivers illuminating presentations. My lifelong experience as an emphatic listener, along with my natural healing energy, is internationally appreciated by people seeking consultation.

Creatively urged, I publish original and foresighting ideas in books, blogs, and articles in printed and social media.

My life in pictures

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