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Fifty Years of My Life (1939 - 1990)
A Memoir by Jeff R. Noordermeer

Our Return to Washington

It's another day for packing and getting ready to go to the airport again. For six weeks we were traveling, and it was just getting to us. We both were getting restless about getting home. We had seen everything we wanted to see. We got to the airport very early. Albert's friend took us to the airport. To say goodbye to Albert and his wife was a real goodbye. We had not seen each other for 30 years before, and they were planning to move back to Rosita's town in Tahiti. Who knows if we'll ever see them again. As the plane took off from this interesting island I looked through the window and saw the island become smaller and smaller until we hit the clouds. I felt satisfied that I had seen what I always had dreamed of.

We stayed overnight in San Francisco with some friends, but we couldn't wait to get to the airport early in the morning for our flight to Washington International Dulles airport.

This was our last plane flight. After more than six weeks of vacation and many hours spent thousands of feet in the air, we were eager to go home. We had seen so many beautiful places, met so many kind and hospitable people. This was a trip I wished other people could make once in their life. Over the years we lived in Washington we made so many friends with diplomats from foreign Embassies and World Bank executives. We had friends who had lived and studied in Washington. In each country we visited we had friends who received us with open arms and treated us like VIPs. Our sightseeing tours were not like most tourists will see. We were able to go to some very unusual places where the hard core of the people live. Most of the countries we visited were Lu Lu's world where she spent most of her younger life. It was a delight for her to see some of her native ways of life again. For me it was all new, and the contrast of cultures is in many places so different that it gives you the shock of your life, but you can't help loving those people. Their hearts are clean, their minds honest, and their lifestyle is so simple and easy. Family life is their most important asset in life. Just seeing how affectionate those people are with their children, you know that their children are their first priority in life.

In the Asian countries I visited, the parents are so affectionate and patient, and this is slowly disappearing in the Western world. For those people, children is their richness in life. I have seen their lifestyle, which some of it wouldn't be easy for me to live with. I always loved people and different cultures, and when I was traveling in those countries through some of the villages, I had a softness in my heart just looking at those people, how they have to live their daily lives, compared with my daily life. I left all those people with great love and affection, thinking we all came to this world for some purpose. Some of us are luckier than others. I was one of the luckier ones to be able to visit that part of the world. God has a reason for everything he has you do in life, and he wanted me to see all of this.

After traveling through so many different places and meeting so many different people, it left an impact on my life and I know it will affect some of my thinking on what life is all about. I felt very comfortable among those people, like I belonged with them. In my heart I felt very sad leaving that part of the world behind. My dear friends are going to be very hard for us to forget. This is another interesting page in my life that I can put in my mind and which no power in this whole world can take away from me.

CONTINUED: A Philosphy of Life
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© Copyright  - Antonio Zamora

- Foreword
- Old Rotterdam
- World War II
- After the War
- Coming to America
- Washington, D.C.
- Southeast Asia
- Philosophy of Life

- Book Index