This is Anne Van de Ven. She is the 26-year-old Dutch woman who died in the Florida Bus tragedy.
According to a Dutch publication, Anne had quit her job as a primary school teacher so she could travel around the world. She explored South America, China, Laos, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo and Indonesia and had planned to go to Australia after visiting the Philippines.
Anne had been here for almost two weeks when she boarded that ill-fated bus with her friend Annemiek Verwegen. Annemiek survived the crash but is in serious condition.
Anne chronicled her travels online – on a page that has now become a virtual memorial, where the people who knew her have been posting messages of shock and grief and remembrances of a girl they described as “sweet” and “sparkling.”
She was loved.
This was the last thing she had written in her travelogue: “A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers. My year visa for Australia is inside. Let’s see if these flowers bloom in late February… But first I’m going to thoroughly enjoy in the Philippines with the beautiful Annemiek at my side.”
She liked the Facebook page “Places To See Before You Die.” The last place Anne saw was Bontoc, Mountain Province, all because of irresponsible bus operators who care more about profit than people’s safety.
How many more Annes and Tados need to die before they stop gambling with people’s lives?
On the eve of her last Christmas, Anne had written, “I walk around the globe, visit exotic places, meet new people, different cultures and live my own vision of freedom. I chose to be a professional dreamer. And when I lie awake at night and think about all the misery in the world, I try to think of what I do like, because my sense says that it could go either way.”