365 days without you. We are still speechless by your loss. You are in our hearts.
We are six tropical doctors, and together we are CapaCare Netherlands – all we have been doing the same work as you did. We consider us close colleagues and friends. All we experienced that working in Masanga defines part of your personality. This experience, hard to explain to many, is something we share. It creates a bond.
This year without you has brought us insight in our organisation, we learned lessons and are finding ways to do better, in a sustainable manner. Our motivation is enormous, although, honestly speaking it is not easy, as our emotions remain so tangible.
As CapaCare Netherlands, we are thankful for all the support we received from both outside and inside our organisation after your passing. This makes us feel you are still a part of us. Our organisation acknowledges to be very grateful to have had you as program coordinator in Sierra Leone; all your hard work and dedication, it left a big footprint behind. Not only in the students you have trained, but also in the long term collaboration with the ministry of Health in Sierra Leone. Your efforts, this footprint remains visible in our organisation. Most evidently, in the students who become the next generation health care providers in Sierra Leone and who will contribute to better health care services all over the country. They will carry a part of the knowledge you have shared with them for the rest of their professional careers.
We miss you Wouter. We miss your genuine smile, your endless energy, your motivation to do always better and finding solutions, your positivity and your warmth, and of course your hang to adventure. We keep you in our hearts for all the days to come.
On this date of your passing we want to end with the song we played in the church where we all came together to mourn. We believe that the celebration of your time with us, as we did a year ago, should be repeated. By coming together, this year in an alternative manner, we will keep your memory and energy among us. Like in some African traditions, where a funeral is spread over several occasions in several years, in time emotions will change. From bitter pain to joy, as we realize your life has been so inspiring to the people around you.
In this song we imagine us sitting in the Tree House (is name of one of the houses on the compound in Masanga) together once again, playing the guitar, singing one of your favourite songs and talking while listening to the sounds of the Masanga jungle.