Our first day at Nijlanstate was a bit of a challenge. We first had series of meetings with different staff members with loads of information. No-one knew us yet, it was clear that we had still to prove who we are. We entered a sensitive space where people have their ways to do things. We enter their private space. We come to look and they don’t know why.
Deep down we know that our intentions are good and that people always ends up liking us. But it takes some time to share that. It takes some time to know how to introduce ourselves, how to talk about the project with the proper words. We are learning.
In the evening at 20.00 we joined our first activity. The bridge club. Led by 12 ladies. They were only 8 this day due to a flew epidemy. We joined them during their break. We had a tea and got interrogated about our intentions. We were in their territory, following their rules. We realised we started with a bad point because all of them were distributed a text we wrote about the project for the director, and in this text we talk about the place as an elderly house. They were really not happy about that. They said they live in a service flat which is very different. One of them clearly disliked us more than the others. She asked us where we came from and told us we should go home. She thought we might attack her. Fortunately her friends already started to accept us and told us to ignore her comments.
After this first entrance we joined one of the team at the bridge table. They tried to explain us a little but we never managed to fully grasp the rules. It was beautiful to look at them playing. So concentrated. Lots of colors and suspense. They seem to be proud to share this with us. We will join them again next week.