Water (bij Daphne)

Some of my exercises in learning the Dutch language is choose a poem I like. And I would love to indulge to translate it too in a marathon way: from Dutch to English and from English to Italian, the other adapted mother tongue I had learned well in the last 19 years after having resided in canton Tessin of Switzerland. 

Water by Daphne

Mijn water is als water. (My water is like water)

Doorzichtig transparant, (Transparent, limpid,)

bewegelijk en kabbelend (agile and rippling)

langs de oevers van mijn land. (along the shores of my land.)


Mijn leven is als water. (My life is like water)

Zo fris en naturel, (So fresh and natural,)

bij tijden ietwat troebel, (at times somewhat murky,)

maar dat verdwijnt weer snel. (but that will disappear quickly.)


Mijn leven is als water. (My life is like water.)

Het druppelt als de regen. (Its drip like the rain.)

Zo af en toe vervelend, (So occasionally annoying,)

maar meestal toch een zegen. (but also generally a blessing.)



Mijn leven is als water. (My life is like water.)

Soms bikkelhard als ijs (Sometimes hard as ice.)

maar altijd zal het smelten (but it will always melt,)

en vervolg ik weer m’n reis. (and again I continue my journey)

Photo Credit: Art of Life Maratua Island, Borneo. Indonesia
Photo Credit: Art of Life
Maratua Island, Borneo. Indonesia

Stokke-xplor Incident

Photo Courtesy of Noble and Royal Bambini
Danger does not take vacation. It lurks and pops out from anywhere even in a form of Stokke-xplor buggy pushed by an attractive, sexy alluring exotic woman.
I wish I have an eye at the back of my head to see the woman pushing one of the most expensive, state of the art Stokke-xplor buggy, which lower baggage carrier edge bumped hard on my middle right leg after I and little Elisa, just walked out from the Randstadrail train in The Hague Central station.
The distance when it happened was around one ruler stick, 30 centimeters close from the edge of the deep rail track. Thank God and my alert guardian angel because I had strong grip on little Elisa and I wore a rubber shoes so my left foot had good balance on the pavement.
When it happened the Randstadtrail just started to march to its normal speed to go.  If I was not quick enough, I and Elisa would have both fallen accidentally  in the deep train rail track just like on the tragic film of Anna Karenina. I had to shove away these negative thoughts and deal with the moment as growing pain throbbed on the middle of my right leg.
The woman shouted a brusque “SORRY” without looking at me nor Elisa as well as the woman’s teenage daughter had her Samsung smart phone directed on me and I heard a click.
Both of them walked away with their distintive slow, alluring sway of sexy hips.  At first glance, they reminded me of the sexy ladies in Paradiso, Lugano. I noticed that both of them were  busy, concentrated sending messages in their latest model of Samsung tablet phone!  Obviously the only one watching the world around them as they walked blindly to the crowd of passengers was the baby with innocent curiosity safely sitting in the buggy.
Looking around, I noticed that many people waiting or walking along the station had their heads focused on smartphones instead on where they were going to.
What is it anyway in today’s world that people can’t simply unplug from their modern gadgets?
 Why is it that others don’t care when they are addictively hooked on connecting with the web world that they lost awareness of the real world where in their reckless abandon on gadget can cause hurt, incidents, accidents or endanger others because instead of being careful, they are hooked on the gadget?
My right leg, throbbing with pain, clipped any kind of response from my side as I just nodded to acknowledge her rush, detach and loud apology which rang with insincerity as I moved limping slowly away from the edge of the rail track, holding Elisa firmly in one hand.
The pain on my right leg felt like it was about to swell. Walking with a limping leg towards the elevator, I coincidentally saw the woman who accidentally bumped hard on me.  Both the woman and her teenage daughter had their heads down, tapping keys on their smartphones and laughing out loud, the teenager mimicking with huge sarcasm as they repeated twice “Aray!  aray! ”  because that was what they heard me say after she bumped hard on me.
 “Aray!” means “ouch!” in Filipino language. Sometimes on sudden pain and incidents like this, I automatically express my discomfort and pain still on my native mother tongue and not translate in a foreign lingo for everyone to understand.
They didn’t see me approach as obviously they were sharing  and ridiculing the incident in a long message either as a status for their Facebook or for Hyves or any other net work link they were so busy connecting with.
I was seething with anger both from my painful leg and how the two ridiculed their apology.  I was moving closer to them to get the elevator too and carefully observed them as my  unexpressed rancor grew silently to the oblivious duo who continued to mock the incident by the rail track.
Studying carefully the very attractive woman who was obviously a high maintenance lady, a connoisseur of everything that is modern and expensive, from the impressive Stokke-xplor buggy, her very expensive elegant leather boots, her branded sleek leather shoulder bag, her tight fitting sexy glittered jeans that says Tom Ford on its brand and her flawless face adorned with make up, right in front of me was a very beautiful exotic  African beauty whom one can mistake her for either African, Brazilian or  Antillean roots.
Back in Lugano, Switzerland, I have very good friends from Angola, Sudan and Brazil, I feel at home with them, they are down-to-earth and with good, generous heart.  Here in The Netherlands I have also very good hearted friends of Antillean and British African origin friends from school of my daughters. Whenever I and my daughters go out of the house to do errands or travel, I like “people-watching,” where I observe people, watch their expressions, wonder behind those changing facial emotions and simply keenly observe their attitudes and behavior without harsh judgment.
Living here for four years now in The Netherlands, this was the first time I encountered an incident with a most arrogant attractive woman with her most disrespectful daughter.  I assumed that may be this very sexy attractive lady came from one of the former Dutch colonies – the Antilles: Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Sint Eustatius or Saba.
Standing next to the very attractive lady of “perhaps” Antillian origin, I told her firmly,
“Next time be very careful. Watch out where you go instead of typing messages on your phone.”
She was towering me with her height and at that moment I wish I was taller.  Being small has its disadvantages at times!
She looked at me arrogantly and shouted again,
Her arrogant authoritarian voice hang in the air matched with her intimidating gesture of hands in her hips!
I was shocked and hurt of her defensive, offensive scream as her teenage daughter laughed out loud beside her, raised her hand and gave me a “f*ck you!”middle finger gesture.
Elisa was fidgetting and agitated beside me. I was about to explode to reply but the pain on my leg hurts a lot.
Saying something harsh and sending her to hell with a bloody reply out of decorum or respect would only worsen the situation so I warned her firmly again, my big round strict eyes catching her gaze like a mother’s disciplinary eye when I said with slow emphasis:
“Next time please be very careful! If I were an old lady, I would have fallen already in the rail road track.”
The attractive offensive woman shouted again, “SORRY! SORRY! Can’t you understand that?”
She was baiting for discussion, I noticed the American accent on her English but I think I disappointed her and even enraged her when I said calmly but firmly in an obvious warning tone:
“Are you sure you meant when you shouted “sorry?”  Next time, say “sorry” with sincerity.”
I decided not to wait for her reply nor the elevator where all of us will be heatedly cramped in together so I and little Elisa walked slowly towards the stairs.
I limped with pain and controlled anger but more with an angry heart and active suppressed mind filled with jammed unsaid retorts.
May be I should have matched the woman’s hissing virago but it won’t be of any use.  When I looked back, the daughter of the ranting woman gave me another “f*ck you*”  middle finger sign and raised her smartphone as the glass elevator descended adjacent to the stairs where I and Elisa were going down.
On the ground floor of The Hague central station, I saw them again but more with farther distance. Both of them are typing again in their smartphones and the teenage daughter put her tablet phone in the handle of the Stokke-xplor buggy, both mother and daughter with zigzagging strides as they typed on their smartphones, walking in an alluring, sexy way without watching where they were going!
I waited until they don’t look at me anymore, I unzipped my bag & got my phone, took a shot of them from a distance:
With a limping, swollen right leg, we didn’t go anymore to the city but went back to take the tram-train (Randstadrail) to go home. While sitting on the train, I was reflecting on these lines:
“Could it be that after our holiday in Zante I became darker than my usual tan that she didn’t see me?
Was it because I was so small the she didn’t see me?
I had the big bag from Joanne and Elisa at my side, I was wearing a white skirt, so it was impossible if she didn’t see me.

For I know I am darker brown than my usual normal tan, could it be I was too dark that she didn’t see me? And I was too small that she didn’t see me and thinking about her ancestral roots as I figure out from her beautiful exotic dark looks, I tried to understand where she may had originally come from, why she behaves that way, may be for her that was normal to behave that way and her haughty defensive ways goes down to a sad history of long time ago slavery when it comes to African looks, she may be Brazilian, Antillian or from a colonized country where African slaves where maltreated in the past and where many people tend to overlook and have wrong assumptions whenever some see a person of native African origin or looks.

At times knowing or having an overview of history of people, their ethnicity and roots help you understand why they behave on such a way as if everyone is an enemy in the society, why they carry a louder tone in their voice, why instead of being sympathetic they become immediately defensive especially if when it comes to one who has a darker color in skin. May be their frank, rude manners are not the same to the mild, subdued,  respectful, meek, ways of others.

Inferiority complex, problems in the family privy to the public, characters unknown from a mere stranger, harsh coping mechanism and negative reactions when all these are  misused together end up being arrogant, disrespectful, defensive and offensive to others.

I noticed the offensive woman’s expensive branded pants, her carefully cosmetically painted face, high heeled leather boots, the alluring sway of her hips, the tight dark  figure hugging blouse with deep plunging V to show a pair of sexy breasts bulging indentions and the kinky straightened hair of the woman’s fat disrespectful teenager.

Branded goods, well groomed looks, physical allure won’t uplift anyone’s respect especially when they have rotten behavior and bad attitudes.

The real beauty and essence that still catch and pave way to a harmonious road are the ones with respectful ways.

I observed the other people around the station:  many were busy walking and at the same time sending messages or answering their phones. Many are enslaved by modern gadgets. Many are elegantly dressed with matching bags and shoes along with their fashionable clothes. Many are up to date to have the latest modern gadgets. Many are busy updating their status in the internet!

Many forget that elegance in personality are not merely physical looks or expensive apparels.  Many ignore that danger does not take a rest and it can happen anywhere due to reckless attitudes of people who are enslaved by modern gadgets. Modern society may have advanced so much technologically but this big leap had its worse decline on the attitudes, behavior and values of every consumer, that even simple, basic humane nature when it comes to safety awareness and respect are quite neglected as many become enslaved as cold as their gadgets.

How many incidents in our life that we give and receive a truly sincere apology?
A sincere apology that comes from the heart if we offended someone.
A humble acceptance that comes from the heart if we were the one hurt?
To accept the situation, forgive the offenses, let go of it.
Each of us have unique coping mechanism on how we would handle such situation like what I shared here today.
Even keeping one’s anger is not good but it was a smart move especially when the offensive woman became defensive and started to make a dramatic gesture and scene out of it.

 I just patiently shut up even if deep inside I want to say something worse that would have shaken her but then amidst any misfortunate mishap,

Don’t forget the human essence, in the boundaries of mankind amidst the courtyard of colours,

don’t forget the human essence, give due respect to everyone

There are times it is wise and better to walk away with a humble, hurt heart than engage with rage with a defensive and offensive woman who was unaware of the danger she caused and the mean way she spoke.

Angelica Hopes

Summer 2013

The Hague, NL

Landscapes of a Heart, Whispers of a Soul
Copyright © Angelica Hopes
All rights reserved.

De Boze WC – “The Angry Water Closet”


On the first day at Hotel Dinos in Tsilivi, Zakynthos, my four year old Elisa pulled me to the toilet, “Mommy, come!”

She asked, “How come the WC is angry?”

I told her that the sticker symbol means, “The toilet bowl is not actually angry but it will be sad and angry if you throw toilet paper in the bowl.  The cross means don’t throw any toilet paper on the bowl.”

After she came out of the toilet, she asked me again, “Mommy, the WC is still angry but I did not throw any toilet paper in the bowl!”

So I explained to her again about inanimate objects such as sticker symbols as sign to be respected when it comes to cleanliness, safety and for what is good for others too.

What strikes me on my little girl’s remark is the mention of “still angry.”

That’s one of the frequent state and feelings that even both adults or children have difficulty to control. The cause of anger, our reaction to anger and our ways to conquer anger.

Part of being a parent, we guide and give children control over their emotional world. Various emotional reactions rise from situations such as anger, defiance, negotiation, lying, self pity, pressure, frustration, alienation, being the victim, whining, competition and inequality.

Give them tools they need to control their emotional world like teaching them how to use their emotions productively, holding them accountable for the emotional games they play, let them be aware and understand that they have their choice to use or not to use which particular emotions coming from sensations they need to be aware of and what is its impact around them.

Musings of a Parent © 2013 Ana Angelica Abaya van Doorn

Author of  the books:

1. Rhythm of a Heart, Music of a Soul – for book order with Author’s signature, please email me at angelicahopes@gmail.com

2. Landscapes of a Heart, Whispers of a Soul – The book is now available in iTunes.

Read a sneak peek by clicking this link:  Landscapes of a Heart, Whispers of a Soul – in iTunes
Note: To view this book, you must have an iPad with iBooks 3 or later and iOS 5.1 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Ugo Foscolo


While roaming around the city capital center and harbor of Zakynthos, I searched for the bust in honor of Ugo Foscolo.

Two days prior our departure to Zakynthos, my husband, Camiel sent me SMS of a great poet who was born in Zante – how the Italians call Zakynthos. I googled Ugo Foscolo and poets on Zakynthos as I found 3 more great Greek literary writers/poets/journalist  from the island: Dionysios Solomos (the Greek National Poet), Gregorios Xenopholous (writer-journalist) and Andreas Kalvos (poet).

Edgar Allan Poe also visited Zante and wrote this sonnet:

“Fair isle, that from the fairest of all flowers,

Thy gentlest of all gentle names dost take!

How many memories of what radiant hours

At sight of thee and thine at once awake!

How many scenes of what departed bliss!

How many thoughts of what entombed hopes!How many visions of a maiden that is

No more- no more upon thy verdant slopes!

No more! alas, that magical sad soundTransforming all!

Thy charms shall please no more–Thy memory no more!

Accursed groundHenceforth I hold thy flower-enameled shore,

O hyacinthine isle! O purple Zante!”Isola d’oro! Fior di Levante!”

Ugo Foscolo

All’amata, Ugo Foscolo

Meritamente, però’ch’io potei
Abbandonarti, or grido alle frementi
Onde che batton l’alpi, e i pianti miei
Sperdono sordi del Tirreno i venti. 

Sperai, poiché mi han tratto uomini e Dei 
In lungo esilio fra spergiure genti 
Dal’bel paese ove or meni sì rei, 
Me sospirando, I tuoi giorni fiorenti, 

Sperai che il tempo, e i duri casi, e queste 
Rupi ch’io varco anelando, e le eterne 
Ov’io qual fiera. dormo atre foreste, 

Sarien ristoro al mio cor sanguinente; 
Ahi, vóta speme! Amor fra l’ombre inferne 
Seguirammi immortale, onnipotente.

U.Foscolo – All’amata

Who is Ugo Foscolo?

Italian writer, was born at Zakynthos in the Ionian Isles in 1778. On the death of his father, a physician at Split (now in Croatia) , the family removed to Venice, and in the University of Padua Foscolo completed the studies begun in the Dalmatian grammar school.

Amongst his Paduan teachers was the abbé Cesarotti, whose version of Ossian had made that work highly popular in Italy, and who influenced Foscolo’s literary tastes; he knew both modern and Ancient Greek. His literary ambition revealed itself by the appearance in 1797 of his tragedy Tieste–a production which obtained a certain degree of success. Foscolo, who, from causes not clearly explained, had changed his Christian name Niccolo to that of Ugo, now began to take an active part in the stormy political discussions which the fall of the republic of Venice had provoked. He was a prominent member of the national committees, and addressed an ode to Napoleon Bonaparte, expecting Napoleon to overthrow the Venetian oligarchy and create a free republic.

The Treaty of Campoformio (October 17, 1797), by which Napoleon handed Venice over to the Austrians, gave a rude shock to Foscolo, but did not quite destroy his hopes. The state of mind produced by that shock is reflected in his novel The Last Letters of Jacopo Ortis (1798), which was described by the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica as a more politicized version of Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, “for the hero of Foscolo embodies the mental sufferings and suicide of an undeceived Italian patriot just as the hero of Goethe places before us the too delicate sensitiveness embittering and at last cutting short the life of a private German scholar.” The story of Foscolo, like that of Goethe, had a groundwork of melancholy fact. Jacopo Ortis had been a real personage; he was a young student of Padua, and committed suicide there under circumstances akin to those described by Foscolo.

After the fall of Venice Foscolo moved to Milan, where he formed a friendship with the poet Giuseppe Parini, whom he later remembered with pride and gratitude. Still hoping that his country would be freed by Napoleon, he served as a volunteer in the French army, took part in the battle of the Trebbia and the siege of Genoa, was wounded and made prisoner. When released he returned to Milan, and there gave the last touches to his Ortis, published a translation of and commentary upon Callimachus, commenced a version of the Iliad, and began his translation of Lawrence Sterne’s Sentimental Journey. He also took part in a failed memorandum intended to present a new model of unified Italian government to Napoleon.

In 1807, Foscolo wrote his Carme sui sepolcri, which may be described as a sublime effort to seek refuge in the past from the misery of the present and the darkness of the future. The mighty dead are summoned from their tombs, as ages before they had been in the masterpieces of Greek oratory, to fight again the battles of their country. The inaugural lecture on the origin and duty of literature, delivered by Foscolo in January 1809 when appointed to the chair of Italian eloquence at Pavia, was conceived in the same spirit. In this lecture Foscolo urged his young countrymen to study literature, not in obedience to academic traditions, but in their relation to individual and national life and growth.

The sensation produced by this lecture had no slight share in provoking the decree of Napoleon by which the chair of national eloquence was abolished in all the Italian universities. Soon afterwards Foscolo’s tragedy of Ajax was presented, with little success, at Milan, and because of its supposed allusions to Napoleon, he was forced to move from Milan to Tuscany. The chief fruits of his stay in Florence are the tragedy of Ricciarda, the “Ode to the Graces,” left unfinished, and the completion of his version of the Sentimental Journey (1813). His version of Sterne is an important feature in his personal history. When serving with the French he had been at the Boulogne camp, and had traversed much of the ground gone over by Yorick in Sterne’s novel; and in his memoir of Didimo Cherico, to whom the version is ascribed, he throws much light on his own character. He returned to Milan in 1813, until the entry of the Austrians; from there he passed into Switzerland, where he wrote a fierce satire in Latin on his political and literary opponents; and finally he sought the shores of England at the close of 1816.

During the eleven years passed by Foscolo in London, until his death there, he enjoyed all the social distinction which the most brilliant circles of the English capital confer on foreigners of political and literary renown, and experienced all the misery which follows on a disregard of the first conditions of domestic economy. His contributions to the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Review, his dissertations in Italian on the text of Dante and Boccaccio, and still more his English essays on Petrarch, of which the value was enhanced by Lady Dacre’s admirable translations of some of Petrarch’s finest sonnets, heightened his previous fame as a man of letters. However, he was frequently accused of financial sloppiness, and ended up spending time in debtor’s prison, which affected his social standing after his release.

His general bearing in society had not been such as to gain and retain lasting friendships. He died at Turnham Green on the September 10 1827. Forty-four years after his death, in 1871, his remains were brought to Florence, and with all the pride, pomp and circumstance of a great national mourning, found their final resting-place beside the monuments of Machiavelli and Alfieri, of Michelangelo and Galileo, in the church of Santa Croce.

Reference Source: The Italian Almanac

Blessings of Challenges and Wisdom


As I happily follow and read the news on World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil, it gave me again reflective thoughts of how WYD 1995 had changed my life paving way to my harder, darker, sadder struggling years in Switzerland where worst bitter circumstances I have transformed into a better determined awakening, sharing and inspiring. A wholesome moral, logical, emotional, professional, intellectual, spiritual and maternal growth emerged out of those struggles, as you find me nowadays sharing daily thoughts of inspirations.

Looking back through all these years, God blessed me with challenges as I embrace many graces of wisdom. Without losing faith in God, years after my awakening and my prayers in Mont Saint Michel in 2006, He answered my prayers as He blessed me, Teresa and Giulia with Camiel and Elisa in 2008 and 2009.

God never forgets nor forsake a used, battered, strong, faithful, repentant, meek and generous heart.

Angelica Hopes Reflections on WYD 1995

Summer 2013
Hotel Dino’s, Tsilivi
Zakynthos, Greece

Odyssey of a Heart, Home of a Soul
Copyright © Angelica Hopes.
All rights reserved.

Big Feet


We were eating a delicious, healthy light lunch of tzatziki and Greek salad when Elisa said: “I want to be bigger.”
We asked her, “Why?”
Elisa replied, “Because I want a bigger feet.”
So we were curious, “Why do you want to have a bigger feet?”
She answered smiling, “I want to be the boss.”

Camiel told her, “We’ll see. First eat well so you will be stronger and bigger.”

Elisa smiled back, “aw Papa!”

I was very amused and reflected…

So, are you a boss?
Do you have big feet?

Take a look at your feet, is it big? Is it small? You are not yet a boss? Then you’ve got some road to walk and work on to be one.

Big or small feet, boss or not: never tread on the rights of others nor trample on the good will and good deeds of others.

A respectful, honest, fair, productive, compassionate, understanding, humble, supportive, precise, systematic, industrious boss is good to have yet to have one with all those qualities combined is a great luck in any working atmosphere.

Angelica Hopes

Summer 2013
Hotel Dino’s, Tsilivi
Zakynthos, Greece

Odyssey of a Heart, Home of a Soul
Copyright © Angelica Hopes.
All rights reserved.

I Love Greek Salad


How to make a Greek salad (this is good for 6 servings)

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges, or 8 cherry tomatoes, divided into halves
1 small cucumber, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 green pepperoni thinly sliced
1 small red onion, cut into thin wedges
1 recipe Greek Vinaigrette
2 small pita bread rounds, cut into wedges
Mediterranean herbs

Ingredients for Greek vinaigrette
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons snipped fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

In a salad bowl combine salad greens, tomatoes, pepperoni, cucumber, onion, olives, and shredded cheese. Add Greek Vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Sprinkle and garnish with Mediterranean herbs (marjoram, oregano, basilico, dill) You may serve it with pita bread wedges or French bread.

To make s Greek vinaigrette
Using a screw top jar combine olive oil or salad oil, lemon juice, oregano, salt, and pepper. Cover. Shake well.

Odyssey of a Heart, Home of Soul
Angelica Hopes