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Usually I find my inspiration far away from home: vision quests in the desert without food for 4 days, supporting Sarvodaya in Sri Lanka getting villages out of poverty, driving left side of the road in the UK to mysterious retreat centers or making beautiful pictures above the pole circle in Norway. But travelling is not allowed and I must be creative to stretch myself. So last year I bought myself a bike and rode it for 9470km. Approximately to China, I guess. Highlight was to cycle with the Olympic sailing hopefuls in Friesland.

This year I heard myself complaining that the Netherlands is so slow in vaccinating. So last month I decided to stretch my comfort zone a bit further: I took online classes for my first aid exam, passed the practice test and am volunteering now for the Red Cross in the vaccination streets. I’ve taken myself by surprise with this adventure a mile from home.

I had my first shift last Friday and am deeply impressed how professionally the Red Cross works. Many private and public organisations can learn from their ‘onboarding’ process, decentralised planning schemes and empowered co-workers. But the way government deals with the vaccination process is terrible. In ‘my’ street there was a capacity for 3000 vaccinations a day but only 600 were given. For next week they took out the evening shifts. And we’re building many more of these ‘streets’. 240 in total, I’m told. I’ll do a few more shifts for the Red Cross while thinking what other support I might give.

In the meantime I have amusing conversations with elderly and have finally a critical role in society 😂! But gosh how badly dressed are we Dutch people.

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