Radio Oostvaart

Today's conversation
between people and animals
in the town' the country
and at the farmer's

Foreign Correspondents

The fact that the vodcasts can be seen all over the world on the internet makes us curious about how Radio Oostvaart is viewed outside of the Netherlands. For each area, we have found two people abroad who are both interested and involved in the subject in question. They will describe their thoughts when watching the vodcasts. How do the images affect them? What memories do they evoke? How different is their relationship with the animals in the place where they live?

Kieko Hirano

Kieko is an English teacher at a secondary school in Mito, about 100 kilometers from Tokyo. She lives with her husband and Lala, her dearly-beloved, smart, obedient and adored-by-children dog. Lala is thirteen. "I got her as a puppy and immediately found her fun and affectionate." She’s called Lala because the name reminds you of singing, and that makes Keiko cheerful. Kieko’s husband takes Lala out for a long walk every day, and in the weekend, they often go to a lovely park.

Inga Racinska

Inga Racinska lives in Marupe, a small village just outside Riga, the capital of Latvia. As a biologist, she works at Latvia's Engure Lake, conducting field research for donors on behalf of project proposals. Her favourite animal in the area is the crane, but she doesn't see them often. "Engure Lake is most of all a paradise for the many different kinds of ducks that swim around in it." At home, Inga has two 'very intelligent' shepherds. Her favourite animal is homo sapiens  or maybe the wolf, she is not quite sure.

Geraldine Nooter

Geraldine Nooter and her dog Ringo at a cherry blossom picnic in Tokyo.

Geraldine Nooter is currently living as an ex-pat with her husband and children in Tokyo. She is a full-time mother.

Ringo the dog and Momo the cat joined the family after Geraldine moved to Tokyo; their names mean "apple" and "peach" in Japanese. The two animals are convinced that they are brother and sister. Geraldine tells them that although they sleep in the same fruit basket, they have different tastes. But they refuse to believe her.

"When I take Ringo out for a walk, Momo stays at home and cries", says Geraldine. "Cats are not allowed out in Tokyo, and Momo is an extremely expensive Scottish Fold. Dachshund Ringo was a Valentine's present I gave myself because when I saw him, it was love at first sight. Ringo functions as a bridge between the Japanese culture and me. The Japanese are usually extremely reserved, but when I take him out for a walk, I suddenly find that I make instant contact!"

Geraldine's dogs (PDF)

Zainab Kandoro

Zainab Kandoro from Tanzania is married and has six children. The village where she lives is called Mkanyageni. Zainab is a cattle farmer: "I've always wanted to work with animals and cows are my favourites."
Zainab keeps five cows and three calves near her home. "Each cow produces six to eight litres of milk. But three of them are pregnant right now so only two can be milked.
Each day the milk is taken by bike or on foot to a collection point, and Zainab is paid twice a month.

Ray Brown

Ray Brown lives in Boston in the USA and has been working for the last 12 years at a classical music station. He launched his own radio program, Ray Brown's Talking Birds, a year ago. "It's an interactive show where, for instance, listeners can guess which bird is making a particular sound." The show has become an unexpected hit.

His favourite bird song is the sound of the American night swallow. "It's not because it sings so beautifully but because it heralds the beginning of summer." This bird is rarely heard but, according to Ray, that's its charm and what makes it so special.

Ray Brown has no pets, not even birds. Especially not birds. "I love animals for their freedom so it would feel wrong to shut them up in a cage."

The Muilwijk family (Kees, Annie, Mark & Christiaan)

The Muilwijk family (Kees, Annie, Mark & Christiaan) lives in Lacombe (Central Alberta) in the beautiful country of Canada. They and their entire dairy farm moved here from Holland just one year ago.

Canada means space, silence and every opportunity to make a good living out of farming. Apart from the flourishing economy, Canada still has plenty of real nature, something that the Muilwijk family feels is no longer to be found in the Netherlands. They constantly wonder why Holland is trying so hard to create and imitate nature while, ironically, the beautiful and unique Dutch peat meadows are being transformed into unsustainable "fake nature".

It is from this point of view that the Muilwijk family will comment on the Radio Oostvaart vodcasts.

For information about the family's move to Canada, please check out at their website

Diny Frauenknecht

Diny Frauenknecht lives with her friend Jaap in Jos, Nigeria. A few years ago, they emigrated to Chile but were homesick for Africa. In Nigeria, Diny and Jaap have a small business with mushrooms, strawberries, cucumbers and paprikas.

The Nigerian attitude to animals is a primarily practical one: cats are for hunting rats; a dog is for guarding or to be eaten. Diny has two dogs: "A three-year-old Alsatian and a two-and-a-half-year-old Labrador. The Alsatian is very vigilant and playful; the Labrador is a dreadful guard dog but is very sweet!"

The dog's diet includes foniopaddy, a locally cultivated grain that is extremely rich in protein.

Diny's garden measures 3000 square metres, and the dogs spend most of their time there.  But if it's really hot, Diny and Jaap take the dogs swimming. However, you have to watch out for all the cows and goats that are roaming around.

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