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she died while connecting a printer

published: 2014-06-03

It’s late, past midnight. I drink a beer and am rounding up my research for this evening. I simply had to know, right now, how – in factual terms – the Dutch lived in those forts in Ghana. How many of them lived there? Were they all company-employed? What were their positions, jobs, ranks? How did they co-exist and interact? What percentage of them died, returned, stayed? How was daily life organized?
I poke around the web, find a useful piece or two, but mainly I’m distracted by all the other stuff you come across on the web. On closing off I do one more google search and click on one of the hits. Not expecting to see anything of interest I scroll up and down a bit. The website is about some archeological, maritime project. It seems some people have gone and searched for Dutch shipwrecks along the coast and that this was funded by our government.
Then my mouse hits the last paragraph; a post scriptem is what the editors of the website call this section. I take a moment to look at the photo of a lady my age. She leans against a Landrover with her arms crossed. She is wearing an army-coloured tank top. The website explains they are sad to have learned of her death while working on the project.
She didn’t die of a diving accident, the website states. She died while connecting a faulty printer.
I scroll back up and read about the project. There are various photos of her at work: on a boat, writing things or drawing things, and under water, taking photo’s. Concentrated and with focused intent, so driven to her cause motivated. I envy her evident sense of purpose. And yet, she never finished her life’s work.
She died while connecting a faulty printer.

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