Walking with Sander de Kramer

16 November 2021 18:00

"We are making a podcast 'Sanders Wandeling' about pilgrims. It would be nice if you would like to join Sander de Kramer our presenter," wrote Mieke Lamers, the right hand (or perhaps also the left hand) of Sander de Kramer on September 22 to me via email. Of course I want that! Have already listened to his podcast, so a great honor that I can fill an episode with my story.

On the way to Reuver

The night before I sleep at the home of Janneke and Marco, our friends who live in Eindhoven. It is a long drive to Reuver where Sander and I go for a walk to record the podcast. I must confess that I had never heard of this place. I always enjoy discovering something new in my own country. Fortunately, I left Eindhoven a bit earlier. I am not great at doing several things at once. It is therefore not surprising that I miss several turns 'chatting' on the phone. I also completely ignore the directions from Henk, as I call the voice of Google Maps. I can only handle two things at once, so chatting and driving straight ahead are my best options in this case. Once arrived in Reuver it is suspiciously quiet. Especially at the location where we are supposed to meet, there is no light and the patio furniture is stacked or fastened with a steel wire. The residents of Reuver are probably very jealous of this furniture and these measures should therefore be taken. I grab my phone to inform both Sander and Tom, the editor, that we will have to meet at a different location. At the same time, a man appears to my right and introduces himself as Tom. I immediately believe him and ask if he's okay with waiting for Sander at the much hipper tent across the square. Fortunately, he is also immediately convinced that I am the one he is looking for and agrees to plan B. Sander will find us.

Little red car

A few minutes later a red car with Sander in it drives by. Once on the terrace, I immediately get his book Chief Ouwe Dibbes pressed into my hands. It is great that I immediately get a present into my hands and what a beautiful one. An inspiring story about a go-getter, a connector and a dreamer, who makes his dreams come true together with the people he has gathered around him. I stand there empty-handed, but with my story. I also notice that we wear the same clothes. Both in red pants and a striped sweater. It must have something to do with the connection we have. During and after the radio broadcast of 'Zin in weekend' in April, there was an immediate connection. And to be honest, I didn't have the faintest idea who Sander de Kramer was at the time. I haven't had a television for years and Spotify is where I listen to music and podcast. But after this interview and after reading his book, I have more respect for this man by the day. And also for his wife Wendy, because she has to deal with this beautiful and energetic portrait every day.

Walking with Sander

At one point Tom kindly summons us to go, because we can both talk like the best and before you know it there will be no more time to record the podcast. The plan is that Tom drives in front and we follow him to the first location on the Jacobspad for the first recordings of the podcast 'Sanders Wandeling'. All kinds of unexpected things happen that make me laugh. A dog that is not allowed to poop by its owner and is pulled from his poop position. A visitor to the chapel patiently watches us in silence while Sander and I enthusiastically search for money and a lighter, because of course a candle has to be lit for uncle Frans. Which actually makes it all the more fun and probably all should be. I don't believe in coincidence.

Coincidence does not exist

Een vast onderdeel van de podcast 'Sanders Wandeling' is het trekken van een kaart met een levensvraag. Ik kies voor één van de middelste kaarten. De Oase staat erop. Dit kan natuurlijk geen toeval zijn. In Syrië is veel woestijn en de oase laat in dit geval zien hoe mooi het weer kan worden. Sander vraagt ook of ik geloof. Ik geef heel duidelijk en direct antwoord, het kwam bijna uit mijn tenen. Iets waarvan ik de dagen erna nog veel aan terug denk, want ik dacht op dat moment gelijk aan God, Allah of Boeddha. Alleen dit ligt iets genuanceerder voor mij en ook voor mijn oom. Gelukkig hoor je dit ook terug in de podcast. 

A regular part of the podcast 'Sanders Wandeling' is drawing a card with a life question. I choose one of the cards which says 'Oasis'. This cannot be a coincidence. There is a lot of desert in Syria and the oasis in this case shows how beautiful the it can be again in the future. Sander also asks if I believe. I give a very clear and direct answer. Something that in the days after crosses my mind a couple of times, because at that moment I think equal to God, Allah of Buddha. Only this is a little more nuanced for me and also for my uncle. Fortunately, you can also hear more about this in the podcast. 

God is in the people. In their home. And I believe in people, says Frans.

Curious about the podcast?

Want to listen to the podcast (in Dutch)? This can be done via the links below:

Get more inspiration from Sander?

Have you, like me, been inspired by Sander de Kramer after listening to the podcast? Then read one of his books:

Chief Ouwe Dibbes
How a journalist is so moved by a country that he decides to save all the children from the diamond mines and give them an education.

The proceeds of this book will go to Sander's Sunday Foundation.

Welcome to the jungle
How a street kid from Rotterdam got in line with Mandela, Gorbachev and the Dalai Lama.