HEMINGWAY, PAPA HEMINGWAY..

Luister naar een interview met Rob Hammink over zijn rolmodel papa Hemingway..

Toen de wereld nog groot was en mysterieus trok Hemingway over haar heen. Geen computer, geen laptop. Een pen, wat papier en natuurlijk dat scherpe oog voor details, uiteindelijk dé bron voor het optekenen van verhalen.
Hemingway zocht het avontuur en vond het. Hij leefde in een tijd die oorlogen en romatiek kende. Hoe pijnlijk Ernest Miller ook aan zijn einde kwam in 1961; hij had wel geleefd en in dat leven vrouwen, reizen en taal liefgehad. In die drie belangrijke ingrediënten zie ik de erkenning door herkenning.

Persoonlijk is dit mijn favoriete boek van Ernest Miller Hemingway; De oude man en de zee

Hemingway_Hamminkway_old_man_and_the_seaDe oude man en de zee
Dit bekende verhaal van Hemingway gaat over een bejaarde Cubaanse visser die, na een onsuccesvolle periode, in gevecht raakt met een enorme zwaardvis, die hij koste wat kost binnen wil halen. Aangenomen wordt dat het karakter van de hoofdpersoon, Santiago, gedeeltelijk is gemodelleerd naar de Cubaanse visser Gregorio Fuentes. Fuentes werd in 1897 geboren op Lanzarote op de Canarische Eilanden, en verhuisde op 6-jarige leeftijd naar Cuba, waar hij Hemingway in 1928 ontmoette. In de jaren 1930 huurde Hemingway hem in om voor zijn boot te zorgen. Vanaf 1940 woonde Hemingway op Cuba en er ontstond een vriendschap tussen de mannen. Bijna 30 jaar lang deed Fuentes dienst als kapitein op de boot en zorgde er ook voor als Hemingway er niet was. Fuentes overleed in 2002 op 104-jarige leeftijd. Het schip, de ‘Pilar’, liet hij na aan de Cubaanse regering. Het boek heeft hij nooit gelezen.

HAMMINKWAY ABOUT HIS ROLE-MODEL HEMINGWAY

Listen to an interview with Rob Hammink about his role-model papa Hemingway..

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Hemingway, papa Hemingway.

When the world was still spacious and mysterious, Hemingway travelled around this magnificent globe. No computer, no laptop. A pen and some paper and of-course that razor-sharp eye for details, which ultimately was thé source for storytelling. Hemingway was always looking for adventure and actually found it. He lived in times of great wars and romance. However painful his death might have been; he had lived and in that life he had loved, women, traveling and last but not least words.. I recognize those three very important ingredients of his life, and perceive them to be my own.

My personal favourite book written by Hemingway is; The old man and the sea
Hemingway_Hamminkway_old_man_and_the_sea

Hemingway wrote this brilliant novel in 1951 in Cuba, and published it in 1952. It was the last major work of fiction to be produced by him and to be published in his lifetime. One of his most famous works, centres upon Santiago, an ageing fisherman who struggles with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1953 and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954.

ADRENALINE PUMPING THROUGH MY VEINS..

As a reporter I travel around the world in the quest of finding that thrilling story. Everywhere I go I bring my pilots logbook, my headset and flying licence in case I need to flee a country or clock some hours to upkeep my PPl-licence. During my 4-month sojourn in Singapore I intended to chart some hours for my licence. The big question wass: how and where?
Then a fateful day in April I drove across the border into Malaysia. Enroute to Malacca on the North-South highway, not too far after crossing the Second Link, I saw an almost hidden sign ‘Senai Airport’. My reflex-turn on the steering wheel was not appreciated by other cars, but hey, there was my solution. A blue clubhouse, shining under the sun, no way one can miss this place. The FRAS Flying Club was all over the place. Even more shining was the smile of Captain Muthucumar – the Chief Flying Instructor of FRAS – when I opened the door. It took all of one minute to get used to each other – an easy smile, a punch on the arm, mutual pilot respect. Maybe it helped that we both served our country as officers in the air-force and the army in our previous lives. A sure bond.

Flying-Malaysia
Flying in Malaysia

We talked about our passion: flying. Pretty soon I discovered that Malaysia is a cheaper place to play amongst the clouds. As it would take a long time to convert my license to an equivalent Malaysian one, Muthu and I agreed to conduct a joint number of flights together. And I have to admit: it was helpful after all to have a navigator who knows the area inside-out. I would undoubtedly have mixed up one island with another.
We made a few great trips. The best one was the farthest trip we planned – out to Pulau Tioman. As it turned out, Muthu was not only a great navigator, he also turned out to be a most entertaining travel-mate altogether. He was well informed, pointing out fishing villages and describing in details the common catch of fish, how they were grilled and other spots of interest. 
Having flown over many skies, witnessed spectacular sceneries and sunsets, having to flee from life-threatening hostile situations in the Congo from combat child-soldiers to having plunged hundreds of meters on deepsea diving trips, I have become blasé over the years. “Not much can set me on fire these days anymore and the sad thing is, I can’t do anything to change all this.” I declared matter-of-factly to my friends whenever I started to yawn as they excitedly relate their ‘adventurous’ 3-hour jungle trips. Premature ‘jadedness’ it was, until Muthu and I reached the airdrome of Pulau Tioman airport.

Tioman_runway
Pulau Tioman Airport Runway
Source: Wikipedia

In all my years flying, I had never seen such a complicated circuit, requiring focused maneuver – steep mountains, crosswinds, short turns and a unconventionally short runway. It presented such a challenge that, while drawing from my reserve of flying skills, my sloppy attitude got swept away immediately.

For the first time in a long while, adrenaline was pumping through my veins. The landing would be tough and utmost concentration was needed as the line between life and death was thin. Muthu, on the other hand, was the exemplary cool dude a la The Fonz in “Happy Days” – the difference being that Muthu has more stylish hair.
On downwind he trimmed the Cessna 172. Flaps and speed were set. “Now you just stay away from the mountain slopes. They are rather hard when you crash into them”, it sounded as if he was telling his wife he needed new shoes. I followed his instructions all the way and made a rather rough landing on the 992 meters runway. “Let’s do it again”, came through my headphone.
Perspiration was trickling down my back like the highest waterfall in the world: the Angel falls in Venezuela on which I wrote an article last year. The second landing was smooth as a soft boiled egg in the morning sun. A cup of coffee never tasted better, afterwards. Thank you, Muthu, for humbly planting my feet back on the ground, metaphorically.

Rob Hammink

The Flying Dutchman

Watch this clip to see a plane landing at tricky Pulau Tioman Airport Runway

ANDRÉ KUIPERS EN EEN CAPSULE NON STOP DE WERELD ROND..

In 1995 kwalificeerden André Kuipers en ik ons voor een prachtig avontuur: op 12 kilometer hoogte in een capsule non stop de wereld rond. O ja, hangend aan een zeventig meter hoge ballon. Dat bizarre plan kwam uit de koker van avonturier Henk Brink, die een wedloop was aangegaan met de Amerikaan Steve Fosset.
Zowel Kuipers als ik hadden gereageerd op een landelijke oproep. Brink had in jachtvlieger Wim Hageman al zijn tweede man gevonden, maar zocht nog een derde. Vliegers, militairen en gelukzoekers dromden in duizendtallen samen voor de Rai waar psychologische tests werden afgenomen. Slechts een groepje van twintig mannen kon door naar de Ardennen waar we werden getest op doorzettingsvermogen, claustrofobie en teamgeest.
Zowel Kuipers als ik vielen toen af. Het is minimaal ironisch dat Kuipers vele jaren later de zwaarste keuringen tot astronaut overleefde.
De ballon van Brink is voor deze ruimtereis overigens nooit van de grond gekomen.

OVER REPORTAGES

Tekst en foto’s.
Ik heb altijd geprobeerd om tussen de twee disciplines een natuurlijk huwelijk te sluiten. Lastig, soms. Zeker in gespannen situaties, wanneer tijd niet je beste vriend is. Schrijven is een exploderend proces: je hebt een onderwerp en dat werk je, jonglerend met woorden, uit. Daar moet je rust voor nemen. Fotograferen voltrekt zich langs de lijnen van de implosie: je hebt allerlei prikkels en die sla je in 1/15e van een seconde, of sneller, plat tot twee dimensies. Er zijn weinig journalisten die op beide fronten goed werk afleveren. Ik heb respect voor mensen die deze creatieve spagaat maken zonder dat het ene fenomeen onder het andere lijdt.

ABOUT MEDIA COVERAGE

Writing and taking pictures.
I have always tried to combine the two in a natural marriage which at times, can be difficult, especially in tense situations when time is of the essence and not acting as a friend in need. Writing is an exploding process: you have a subject which develops while you’re juggling with words. It takes a bit of time and ease of mind. Taking pictures on the other hand, is an imploding process: there are all kinds of stimuli and in 1/15e of a second or faster, you flatten them into two dimensions. There aren’t that many journalists that deliver great quality in both fields. I have great respect for people who are able to meet this creative challenge without having one phenomenon suffer from the other.