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Halfway through…

by Maikel van Ruiten on June 17th, 2010

My first Poetry International Festival is altogether an overwhelming experience. From September until June 11th we have worked so hard to make this festival happen. And when the City Theatre doors opened for the first time, I had no idea what was coming.

Now, after some volunteer management, some Spoon River Anthology organising and many, many phone calls, we are halfway through the festival, and suddenly it strikes me . . . What am I to do with my life when that moment of bittersweet goodbye arrives on June 19th? Luckily for me that moment is still far away and I am enjoying every minute of the festival.

The poets seem to be having a nice time as well here in Holland. Trips to Kinderdijk and Delft have already been made and the Hidden Garden project was a wonderful way for the performing and non-performing poets to get to know the city. Much admiration goes out to Mr. Ledo Ivo, who walked the whole day and seemed to have a wonderful time. Mr. Ivo is becoming a festival favorite among the personnel because of his high spirits and enthusiasm at age 86.

I am very proud of this festival’s volunteer team who show up in the same very good mood every day and provide a lovely lunch, hand out information and guide the audience into the auditoria. Also I would like to point out our drivers who pick up the poets from the airport and make sure that they arrive safely in Rotterdam. It’s easy to take all of them for granted but all these volunteers make sure that our organisation continues to run smoothly. They are the backbone of our festival.

My phone rings. A volunteer tells me a festival guest has arrived safely. Did I already mention the importance of volunteers?

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