1st and 2nd Day – Senioren Flat

1st Day


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.

2nd Day

At 9am, we joined our first work shift. We got welcomed in the personeel kamer by Gea and Gerry who are part of the cleaning team. They right away took us under their wings in their own way. Olivia stayed with Gerry. I stayed with Gea. Gerry works for 33 years in Nijlanstate, she is the person who works the longest here. She is very kind and soft. She is the expert. Gea works for several years here as well. She is a strong and active woman who likes to make jokes. Together we cleaned the toilets and the opkeamer, a beautiful round classy room where the bewoners organise their activities and gatherings. We also joined a part of the lunch preparation routine, which is quite of a performance as well. We both already fell in love with this routine.



At 14.00 we joined the afternoon film. Everybody gathered in the opkeamer to watch a documentary on the different seasons of british wilderness. We watched the summer. That gave us the occasion to meet more of the bewoners. We helped to serve tea and cookies in the break and one woman from the bridge club still remembered the name of Olivia.