Carla Drift – Nomadic existence
I cannot write more about my work in the area of crimes against humanity, because I will bring other people and myself in great danger. With state secrets, secret services, authorities and powers which have added stark dark pages to history, one cannot be too careful.
In Western Europe, many people think that this dark pages are written by authorities and powers in distant countries. From South Limburg I did not have to travel far. South Limburg itself had never had many ambitions to fulfil a role in world history, maybe robber gangs like the “buck riders”  added a few footnotes to history. I leave further research into black pages in history by South Limburg to others.
From my village in South Limburg I did not need to travel far for a number of my investigations. With a few hours walk to the East, I arrived in Germany with crimes against humanity during the Second World War. With a few hours walking to the West, Belgium is located with Congo as black pages in history; in elementary school we only learned the abuses against fathers and sisters and massacres of innocent believers, but later more became known . To the North, Holland is located with its dark history in the slave trade. Also dark pages were written during the suppression of rebellions in Indonesia  where a President of the Council of Ministers  in his early years has personally played an active role. Finally – against the wishes of Holland – Indonesia became independent after a war that was called police actions  in Holland. I was involved in investigation into war-crimes during this war. Furthermore I have done research on all seven continents – also in Australia with Aborigines and in North America with the world power.
After every research in the tropics, I came home exhausted and sick. Luckily I still had places at home where I could recover. In Amsterdam I had my room in the house of friends of Man and me for a long time. When I came home in South Limburg there were always happy faces – when I came and when I went again; I was always greeted as the prodigal daughter but I was too independent and bold – “vreg”; the pastor, the Mayor and the City Council noticed this pretty fast. In short, several temporary places to recover and to make preparations for new investigations with all adventures involved. Always under a disguise playing a game of hide-and-seek in order not to be unmasked with all fatal consequences involved.
About 10 years ago, I left my room in Amsterdam, because the friends of Man and I decided to live in a smaller apartment at their old age. Their beautiful house in the Centre of Amsterdam was sold. I left my room with a rucksack, a sleeping bag, a bivouac sack, lightweight camping gear and some clothes. All my books were in the University libraries – with a number of library cards easily accessible. I sold my other belongings. All in all, an enormous wealth.
Several years ago I came back from a research in the tropics – but now I was seriously ill. I did not recover fully: after small efforts I was quickly tired. I noticed in my body and soul that tropics years counted double; After some 20 years in the tropics I had reached my retirement at the age of 50 years old . With my savings and some small consultancies, I could bridge the time until my “state pension”.
After a nomadic existence of researcher with recovery periods in Amsterdam with friends and in South Limburg with family, I was now dependent on a new place to live. In South Limburg I did belong any longer in the society of the village where I grew up – I left too long ago. My father and mother were proud grandparents of the children of both my sisters. These nephews and nieces were almost independent – two were studying, one was craftsman and the youngest was still following high school. My sisters were happily married with nice partners. My friend from my childhood was well either. He came along when I was in Amsterdam for a visit to world city with all its challenges. Sometimes he visited me abroad. How welcome the home nest in South Limburg might appear, I did not belong there any more.
I was a nomad, but a nomad who needed a roof during bad weather and cold nights. Through friends I bought a caravan that was adapted for wintertime.
There was another problem: I had no driving licence and I did not want to get one. Trough acquaintances in South Limburg, I bought a small tractor. My father checked the tractor on shortcomings. I think no tractor was ever so thoroughly checked, because my father intuitively felt that this might be one of the last things he could do for me – his problem child and apple of his eye.
The village waved me goodbye when I left with tractor – caravan combination and I waved back, again only happy faces. The following post is about the treks with this tractor – caravan combination.
My publisher has its new website available:
 See also: Reybrouck, David Van, “Congo – Een geschiedenis van”. Amsterdam: De Bezige Bij, 2010
 Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aborigines_(Australi%C3%AB)
 Source image: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caravan_(aanhangwagen)