Period 1 is drawing to a close so students are working hard. That includes Raldi van Riessen (22), Bachelor’s student of Soil, Water and Atmosphere, who cuts a colourful figure against the grey sky.
In dark pink wide-legged trousers, a bright blue jumper and pink glasses, Raldi stands out in a crowd. Asked what her favourite colour is she has her answer ready, ‘because I can’t imagine anyone not having a favourite colour’. Raldi’s favourite colour is purple. She has the pink trousers in purple as well. Her mother knitted the jumper – not a hobby Raldi has inherited. She prefers reading, dancing and cooking.
She likes dancing alone in her room, but cooking she enjoys doing for others. She discovered that it’s a good way of bringing people together. When she came to live at the Haarweg, the people in her unit were not very close. That changed once Raldi started to cook for everyone once a week. From then on it became a friendly unit and the residents do a lot of things together. There is an outing planned soon to the Bounz trampoline hall in Arnhem.
Much as Raldi enjoys making curries or savoury bakes, what she likes best is baking cakes. And for a while her unit’s cleaning roster included an unusual task: baking cake. Great for her because ‘you could sign up for that’. Her sweet tooth goes back to a job she had in Nijmegen, where she comes from. She used to work at the market every week on a stall selling sweets and bread.
Now Raldi is revising for the very last exam of her Bachelor’s degree. She hopes she passes and keeps herself going with… sweet stuff. ‘After every half hour of studying hard I allow myself a square of Tony Chocolonely.’