With these temperatures, most people who remained on campus are turning to the buildings for some cooler spaces. Jeroen Schipper (37) does not have that luxury: as the WUR messenger, he drives from building to building to deliver and pick up mail, even in this heat. ‘It easily gets to 40 degrees in my van.’
Jeroen Schipper and his van.
© Liza van Kapel
Before Schipper is done doing his round, his mail room colleagues joke around that they will need to prepare three metric tonnes of water for him this time. And indeed, a lot of drinking takes place before Schipper starts talking about his work. ‘Apart from the heat right now, I really like this work’, he says enthusiastically. ‘I have a lot of freedom. Driving around campus, without anyone constantly looking over my shoulder. I can do my own thing.’ Isn’t that a bit lonely? ‘It certainly isn’t. I have a chat with everyone wherever I go. And then I’m on my own and appreciate the peace and quiet once I’m back in the van.’
Delivering mail by day, running by night
Besides delivering mail, Schipper regularly goes running. He currently does that at night, because it gets a bit cooler. His fanaticism has a reason: Schipper is training for the Strong Viking obstacle run. ‘I've never done that before, to be honest. A friend of mine came up with the idea. It is a 19-kilometre run, which is already a long distance without obstacles, so it will be exciting’, he says with a laugh. ‘I am not very sporty, but I really want to be able to do this. It’s nice to have a goal, something not everyone does. It keeps life interesting.’
But before the Strong Viking run, Schipper has to work in the heat some more. He will have some time off in September. ‘I really hope for terrible weather by then. I am already looking forward to sitting on the balcony with some cooling rain drops.’