It can go that fast. Talked to Tim on Tuesday and an interview in Leidsch Dagblad on Thursday 24 December
New school next to the scene of the accident
Perhaps the fatal fall of Ton van den Brink will bring something positive after all.
Jan Post from Sassenheim thinks every day about his brother-in-law who slid down a mountain in Nepal. In his spirit, two years after the accident, Post worked to complete a school project around Sailung Mountain.
"It could have been his heart." Jan Post can only guess at the facts, but considers heart failure a plausible explanation for the fatal mistake that struck his esteemed brother-in-law. On a seemingly harmless walk led by a guide, he slid into the depths without will.
In the meantime, Post - sporty in all its fibers - experienced firsthand how vulnerable the heart can be. During a routine check-up, he was found to have survived an unnoticed small infarction. After a major intervention, the organ is back in order, Post runs half marathons again and his heart is overflowing with good intentions.
"Everything came together," Post explains the turnaround. “After Ton's death I wanted to continue his beautiful work. I quit my job as VP Research International after careful consideration. I could afford that and above all I can now devote myself fully to Ton's school project in Sailung. To start with, I went there for four weeks, because I only knew the village from the stories. ''
What follows is essentially a success story, with of course that sad undertone. To begin with, brother-in-law ('Uncle Ton') had left his mark around Sailung. The local young man Krishna sponsored by him turned out to be a local pacemaker after training in the capital Kathmandu. To Post's surprise, Krishna named the building-under-construction school Ton Memorial School Sailung.
Post, meanwhile, used its networks to speed up construction. “Until now, the children were in a room with a corrugated iron roof. Nepal is a poverty-stricken country. Since I've been there, I also know how cold it can be. A proper school building is not the only thing Sailung can use. Thanks to my contacts, more and more cooking stoves are now being installed in the village, so that children at home are not bothered by smoke from an open cooking fire in the house. ''
Not all facilities are equally expensive by Dutch standards, but Post tries to get money from every nook and cranny. The tragic story of the namesake often brings out the best in people. "Whether it concerns companies that I approach, the Rotary or a foundation like De Wilde Ganzen, I find a sympathetic ear everywhere." A school may appeal to the imagination. “Everyone understands that good education can help Nepal further. A solid building can help. The base stands. Now we are ready to purchase window frames. You can sponsor one for 98 euros, optionally with your name on it. ''
Money is not the main concern of the industrious Sassenheimer, who runs the foundation with his sister and a Leiden couple who once adopted Krishna's brother Sagar. Post considers logistical bumps to be the greatest challenges, such as the relocation of a sea container to Sailung. “Nepal is not by the sea, so a detour is needed. Because of my previous work I still have contacts in India. To the left or the right, that container will come to the right place.
Post enthusiastically describes the work on site. “For example, when the required bulldozer has arrived in the village, villagers from all sides gather together. In no time they build an access road to the construction site in order to work more efficiently. The foundation and concrete work must be earthquake-proof. Still, construction is progressing quickly. It started in October and we hope to be ready before the summer. ''
In such a school, children can receive better education than their often illiterate parents. “In order to improve living standards, proper education is of great importance. The Ton Memorial School Sailung Foundation is committed to this. That was Ton's dream too. ''