Less than a month ago I had the honour of visiting Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela and countless other non-white opponents of Apartheid were imprisoned for years. It was not the sight of the tiny cells, the bleak courtyard or the high fences topped with rolls of barbed wire that made the biggest impression on me, but the stories of our guides, who were ex-prisoners.
I didn't buy anything in the souvenir shop at the jetty, but I did pick up a couple of chips of limestone from the quarry to give to my daughters back home.
What does all this have to do with Wageningen? Not much, perhaps. Nothing, perhaps. I'm not sure. A lot perhaps. Everything, perhaps. It was an honour to visit Robben Island. Yes, an honour. But the prisoners who were robbed of their freedom here and endlessly mistreated and humiliated won't have felt that way.