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Week 26: Keti Koti


Two months of onboarding have rushed by in a blink. The new job is absolutely wonderful: the people are great, the work is complex and important, and the office itself is perhaps the finest I’ve ever worked at. I joined this company because the challenges they have seemed interesting to me. I’m very pleased that, two months in, it’s difficult to think that, at one point in time, these challenges weren’t also mine. I’ve made the right decision.

On Wednesday, I met two friends with whom I share a special history. The time we spent together resulted in many things. One of them was the tattoo on my left arm that say “WAT ER IS” (“what is there”). Spending my evening with them, sharing a meal, shedding a few tears, reminded me of why the tattoo is there.

On Saturday, Anja and I watched Keti Koti’s Bigi Spikri memorial service on television. I truly detest that the thing we requested became such a point of contention, that finally getting it almost made us forget that what we requested was a minimum viable product. Still, King Willem Alexander offering an apology and asking for forgiveness was history in the making. As an Afropean person I’m easily erased from the Dutch narrative of Trans-Atlantic slave trade that focuses on the Netherlands and her former colonies. Mentioning us by name specifically let Willem Alexander articulate how well he has been listening these past few years.

In the afternoon we made our way to Museumplein for the Keti Koti festival. Upside: I got to eat cotton candy, twice, and we got to financially contribute to many great Black causes in the city. Downside: I spent way too much time in line for food with hundreds of other people.

Reading! I finished a book. I have a track record of struggling to enjoy reading as a burnt-out lit major, but Citizen (2015) was easy to get through. It turns out I am enthusiast of the lyric essay genre. I picked up a book of poetry by Anton de Kom at Keti Koti, and I’m diving head-first into that.