‘There is hope on the other side of the sea’ is what my great-grandfather was promised when he migrated from Java to Surinam. There is hope on the other side of sea is what my grandfather must have thought when he migrated from Surinam to the Netherlands. My grandfather obtained his agricultural degree at an early age. Therefore he quickly found a job in vibrant Mariënburg, Surinam. After the Nederlandsche Handel Maatschappij sold the plantations and refineries in 1964, the economy of this town started to drop rapidly. There was a scarcity in labor, whereupon many people tried to find their luck in the Netherlands.
My grandparents are now enjoying their retirement together. In summer they prefer to be in their garden in Slinge, Rotterdam. In winter they like to travel to the sun. This year they had to stay in the Netherlands. Yet, the smartphone makes them able to be connected with their family from all over the globe. It’s strange to realize that technology actually does make us closer.