With 36 students of the Technical university of Delft from different faculties and different countries we are invited to design a more sustainable Texel. When hearing the assignment everyone was immediately eager. All the engineers in the making were super excited and immediately wanted to start designing innovations and sustainable adjustments for the island. You might think wow that’s a unique opportunity for Texel and its inhabitants, but there is one problem and that’s that the “texelaars” don’t like changes.
You can’t change anything, because they like how it is right now. They don’t want you to build sustainable houses, because they like their houses like they are. If you’re a mainlander and you want to live on Texel, you can be kicked off from the island, because they only want real “texelaars”. Only tourist are allowed, because the “texelaars” are dependent on them. Tourism is there income. Even their language is very ancient. “Tessels” dialect spoken in a large part of the island is very similar to medieval Dutch. The Dutch ij and ui sound like ie en uu. “Tesselaars are living (weune) in a huus and that huus protected from the sea by a diek. Other features of the Tessels dialect is his omission from ge- before past participles (dat hei'k deen - I did that) and pronouncing sk- in places where Dutch sch has listed (skéép = sheep).
Nevertheless, they have determined that the island needs to be self-sufficient in 2020. In order to achieve this, transitions are needed and changes has to made. Luckily we have Marc van Rijsselberghe one of the few pioneers of the island. He is collaboration with the mainlanders, to make Texel step by step more sustainable. He is the owner of the “zelfpluktuin” and one of the initiators in the research on saline agriculture. In the “zelfpluktuin” you can Pick your own fruit, vegetables and flowers straight from the garden”. Fresher and healthier is not possible! After picking you can quietly relax on the terrace and there is even children's playground with an excavators. How beautiful and naturally can it be. Still all the other farmers won’t follow.
Marc van Rijsselberghe should in my opinion be an inspiration for all the many conservative “Texelaars”. In order to achieve the goal of self-sufficiency the conservative “Texelaars” should think the same like he does and collaborate with the mainlanders. They should receive us, 36 engineers in making with all our sustainable ideas and innovations, with open arms, collaborate with us. We’re excited and you? Let’s make changes together!