It began before Piet and I even met, but it was, in fact, one of the determining factors for my immigration.
A long process of data gathering, analysis, statistical design, first drafts, second, third and fourth drafts, proofreading, submissions, resubmissions, sleepless nights.
And then there were the power struggles and university politics, which you’d think would be below people who consider themselves such high end members of academia, but no, just like so many other things, the research and writing had to be combined with dancing around bureaucracy.
Months after the ink has dried on the finally final submission, books were printed, venues and dates chosen, invitations sent and tonight Piet successfully defended his doctoral thesis in front of the jury of evaluators, his promoter, colleagues, friends and family.
In all honesty, I’m not sure if Piet is the kind to contemplate the amount of change and turmoil his life has been through while this one thing has remained throughout or how it has affected his life and the life of at least one (hi there) person around him. I don’t know if, in his idle moments, he’s sat back and contemplated what lies behind him.
Only he knows, I suppose, and chances are I’ll forget to ask him tonight.
Because now it’s time to celebrate and look forward.
Congratulations Dr. Piet.
Dikke proficiat, liefste. Ik ben ongelooflijk trots op jou.