This is the News page of
Marinela Olaroiu and Wim van den Heuvel

About us

18 April 2020
A week after Roman-Catholic Eastern, it is Orthodox Eastern. Still a lot of restrictions because of covid-19. Hopefully, we get used to the space we have to give to eachother, always. It is a lesson not to be forgotten. Happy Eastern ! Paste Fericit !

1 April 2020
After the spring the snow comes! Indeed strange times. The peach and plum trees are full in bloom. The daffodils bow to the snow. It produces beautiful pictures (see also personal)..

1 April 2020
Paliatia vol 13, no 2 has been publshed. See

30 March 2020
Although it is probably forbidden, we had to go outside the town to check our cottage in Varvor and do some reparations and preparations for the spring. So we protected ourselves and moved on. We managed and fortunately no checkpoints.

23 March 2020
For over a week we lived in springtime. But this morning we discovered it is winter (see also personal). We are adviced to stay inside as much as possible, not because of the winter, but due to the corona-virus. We expect it will take some days...........some more days..........

15-16 March 2020
We drove to Bucharest for other planned meetings. But - not unexpected - most of these were cancelled. So we had time to meet Dragos and Andrea and to spend time with family.

13-14 March 2020
Being earlier in Craiova than planned, the first job is to cut the grapes and clean the garden: pleasant work with plenty of sun and not to many people around (as adviced by the health authorities).

8-11 March 2020
We have appointments for conferences and meetings in Slovakia and Romania, so we started to travel through what was becoming 'corona Europa'. On our way we were informed that the conferences were cancelled. The planned visit to the museum Danubiana was short (see also personal). Arriving at 10 o'clock, we were told that the museum was closed starting this morning by ministrial order because of ... the corona virus. We continued our travel through Hungaria and were lucky enough to pass the Hungarian-Romanian border at Nadlac three hours before the virus-check at the border and closure of the border started. We arrived safely in Craiova, where the spring welcomed us.

1 March 2020
The first issue of 2020 (volume 3) of Romanian Journal of Family Medicine, of which Marinela is 'editor sef', is published: see

26 February 2020
Wim participates in various advisory committees, which focus on long-term care. Today, there were various meetings dicussing how to improve this care. As in all health care, persons, who need care, are considered the main object, the most important. We all seem to agree on that. Regulations and measures are designed to serve the person in need, at least that is what we want and say. However, we have to ask ourselves not only 'how to realise it', but also 'do we realise it'. The answers may be surprising.

15-16 February 2020
Stormy weather! A perfect time to visit Dacia Felix in Tongeren, Belgium. Wonderful !! (see also personal) We stayed overnight in Liege to celebrate our being together.

13 February 2020
A policlinic visit to some hospitals - like in our neighboorhoud Zuyderland - may turn into a 'dehumanising' experience, as we experienced. For a 5-minutes check, you are asked to come 20 minutes in advance. After arrival on the requested time (08.40) and registration, we wait, just wait and wait. After 80 minutes, you dare to ask what is going on. It seems you have been 'forgotten'. Nobody is responsible. You are a patient (although not sick) and have to behave as a 'patient'. We have had such experiences before; yes, in the same hospital! Just imagine, you need acute care.

6-8 February 2020
It took some time, but we did the most work to 'rearrange' the souterrain of our house. Now it is ready for art exhibitions.

4 February 2020
Today the first 'working' meeting of the programme committee 'Better at home' was held. The various research proposals to analyse the key problems in taking care for people with chronic health problems at home brought in-depth discussion on the way the committee has to work.

20 January 2020
Today, various craftsmen start to paint the walls in our souterrain and to replace some doors. The work is expected to take about 3 days, but unfortunately they stopped after the first day, due to weather condition. After some consultations, we decided to finish the job ourselves.

14-15 January 2020
A new committee 'Better at home' is installed by the director of the Health Research and Development Council on the 14th in The Hague. Wim is a member of that committee. The next day the programme committee on long-term care and support held its meeting in Utrecht.

10 January 2020
The new volume of Paliatia has been published ( !

8 January 2020
The programme to stimulate scientific research in nursing sciences and to build a research infrastructure ends today officially. The committee did a good job, accordingly to the 'self-evaluation', thanks to the excellent work of the Health Research and Development Council (ZonMw) staff. For Wim it was a honour to chair this committee for 11 years.

Merry Christmas and a Happy, Prosperous 2020.

















9 December 2019
The next issue of the Romanian Journal of Family Medicine - of which Marinela is editor-in-chief - has been published, see

6 December 2019
Time to start rehabilitation. Is there a better way than to start with ‘Sinterklaas’ himself? (see also Personal).

2 December 2019
We enjoyed the visit and stay of Dragos with some friends. It was not only a cosy weekend, it also helpful for the ‘healing proces’.

27-29 November 2019
A ‘forced stay’ of Wim, chaperoned by Marinela, in a hotel-hospital (Rotterdam/Schiedam Franciscus Vlietland) is a learning experience. The progress in surgery technology, the efficiency of the treatment process together with the ‘human touch’ made it an inspiring source for writing and research (see also Personal).

26 November 2019
A meeting at ZonMw in The Hague opened the opportunity to look for the ‘lessons learned’ in stimulating nursing research. Some lessons could be useful for the next programme on ‘nursing and caring’?

5-21 November 2019
A busy time – a consequence of being abroad for some time – with a lot of meetings, editing journal articles, check-ups, shopping and maintenance.

1 November 2019
The Dutch Health Research and Development Council Conference (ZonMw) organized a final conference of the research programme ‘From Knowledge to Action’, chaired by Wim.

23-26 October 2019
We attended the 'National Conference of Family Medicine' in Bucharest. Marinela presented an overview about how General Practitioners work in the Netherlands.

21 October 2019
After the conference in Poiana Brasov we needed a break. We choose Sinaia and enjoyed our stay at ‘La Tunuri’. This hotel is situated in a monumental park with a view on the Peles Castle: an old dream (of 20 years ago) came true!

17-19 October 2019
Another invitation came some time ago to participate in the National Conference on Palliative Care in Romania, to be held in Poiana Brasov. The title of the conference 'MISIUNE, VIZIUNE, VALORIS. Marinela and Wim were asked to prepare a workshop on the impact of (top) research on (clinical) palliative care practice. A challenge we accepted with pleasure.

10-12 October 2019
The annual conference on family medicine is a real event each year, with when - you are lucky - a beautifull boattrip on the Danube. We were lucky. Marinela presented one lecture on 'Palliative care in familiy medicine' and Wim one lecture in English (translated by Marinela for participants who doubted about their English) on 'From frailty to resilience'.

3 October 2019
Today is time for tuica. Wonderful weather, we start at 9.00 in the morning. We plan to distillate 3 ‘kazans’, but the gas supply is inefficient today (actually for the last months): we reach 8 liters at 19.00. The good news: the quality is +++++. And the help of Mihai was really needed. (See also Personal)

29 September 2019
We organized a diner in a Lebanese restaurant in Craiova with friends and family. The quality was good, the taste provoking, the service was poor. We enjoyed the wonderful evening with Nela, Tatiana, Lucy and Gaby ……….… We almost forgot Teo? Of course not!

25 September 2019
A day for relaxation with Dragos, who came to visit a football match in Craiova and to support us to solve some technical ICT related problems. Now we feel ‘protected’ again.

23 September 2019
RAIN! Not much, but after 2 months it seems like a miracle. We had never thought – after living so long in the Netherlands – that we were excited about rain!

14-19 September 2019
Still no rain, but we cannot wait longer: we had to pick all the grapes. The quality of the ‘most’ is good; the quantity of wines is small: all together (various red and white wines) we will have about 150 liters. The remains are preparing to become a good tuica.

3-11 September 2019
For some medical consultations and planned meetings, we had to travel (by air) to the Netherlands. Unfortunately, it was also the time of strikes at KLM, which resulted in some annoying delays. Also, one of the planned meetings was cancelled. All together, we had full agenda and were happy we had some time to visit friends in Schildwolde and Spaubeek.

1-2 September 2019
We started to pick the first grapes. These are some nobles ones. The heat threatens to dry them out. We expect about 15 liters of nice wine. The other grapes have to wait a few weeks (hoping for rain).

6-17 August 2019
The rain has stopped a week ago and now the heat (canicula) is ruling our life. We spend days in Varvor – in the forest – to clean it, to make some walking space and to build a few terraces.

29 July 2019
Time for a second medical consultation. The advice is again a treatment with electrotherapy

25-27 July 2019
In a few weeks our garden in Varvor has turned into a jungle. We need help to find our way. Fortunately we have Mihai!

12-22 July 2019
Our friends from Spaubeek - Margot and Fons - have honored us with a visit. We enjoyed being together and exploring Oltenia a bit, urban and rural parts. At the end we made a small tour and visited Sibiu, Shigisoara, Brasov, Sinaia and Bucharest (see also personal).

29 June 2019
Today a special day: Teo's hair needs to be cut. The honor is up to Nasu. After the ceremony, which included cutting the first piece of hair and a prediction about the future profession of Teo, there was a festive barbecue with friends. A beautiful tradition!

24 June 2019
Traveling and working in the garden have a price: back pain. A medical consultation is required, including an X-ray. The advice is - as a first step - a treatment fan for two weeks: physical therapy. Fortunately there is another distraction in between: a farewell concert for Alexandru Racu by the corala academica a filarmonicii “OLTENIA” Craoiva led by Florian-George Zamfir and 3 violin concerts (Bach, Beethoven and Brahms) by the symphony orchestra "OLTENIA"
with Gian Luigi Zampieri as conductor and Florin Croitoru as soloist

21-23 June 2019
When we are back in Craiova after 6 weeks, the garden looks very different. High temperature and lots of rain have been successful: wheelbarrows full of weeds (see also personal).

18-20 June 2019
After some busy weeks in the Netherlands we are on our way to Craiova again. We have partly taken a different route: we visit and spend the night in Leoben (Austria) and Belgrade (Serbia).

25 May 2019
After 10 days being back in the Netherlands, the garden is ‘presentable’ and we are ready for a barbecue, just in time.

21 May 2019
After 4 years we meet again with Wim’s sisters (in law) and brothers (in law). This time the place to be is Nuenen, where we also met 10 years ago. A warm and pleasant meeting which showed evidently, that we are getting old.
Afterwards, we met Vincent in the park.

14 May 2019
Wim had an inspiring meeting with the committee on ‘Long-term care and support’  in Groningen, followed by an interview with former colleagues of the department of sociology to document ‘narrative history’. Walking through the city of Groningen we meet people, which we did not see for 20 years; a special experience.

10-13 May 2019
Today we leave, going back to the Netherlands. How will our garden look after 6 weeks? For our way back, we choose a road we have explored for the last time 15 years ago. First stop at the baroque city of Oradea. The next day along the Tartar mountains to classic Cracow. Our last stop is in amazing Dresden.

7 May 2019
Pomana today, to remember the death of Marinela’s mother 7 years ago. We start at the graveyard and afterwards we bring her favorite dishes and drinks to family and friends.

27-29 April 2019
King day followed by ‘Orthodox Easter’: days for relaxation and meditation in our garden and visiting friends.

20 April 2019
In preparation for 'western Easter' a concert visit is appropriate: Placido Domingo jr and friends in Polivalente in Craiova. And what kind of friends: Irina Polivanova and Laura Bretan.

9 April 2019
A wonderful daytrip with Luminita and Lauer to Polovragi, a pearl in Romania: an impressive landscape, a wonderful nature and caves. A slippery walking tour through the main cave and throughthe women's cave - partly crowling - where a colony of bats lives. A visit to the 500-year-old monastery of Polovragi is a must (see also personal).

1 April 2019
A wonderful day to prepare the ‘garden’ around our cottage in Varvor for the summer: cutting some trees, cleaning the garden and plant some flowers.

21-23 March 2019
We attended the multidisciplinary, international conference on ‘Oncology in Medical Practice’ in Bucharest. Marinela presented two invited lectures: one on palliative care and one about ‘stop smoking alternatives’. Wim’s invited lecture dealt with ‘National screening programs on cancer: 40 years Dutch experiences’.

14-18 March 2019
In preparing the garden for spring and summer, the highest priority have the grapes. So pruning the grapes plants first in Craiova, followed by the plants in Varvor and Varvor de Sus. Four days of hard, but nice work in real spring time weather.

6-9 March 2019
Three days to travel quietly – along the highways and places we know so well by now – and enjoying as usual from our stops (in Ried in Inntal and Arad this time) to arrive around 1 o’clock in a sunny, warm Craiova. Welcome home!