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Inside/Out with Val Maasdorp, Island Hospice
December 05, 2011

Full interview with Val Maasdorp - Read and listen

Describe yourself in five words
Energetic. Optimistic. Relaxed. Easy-going. Flexible

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
My husband told me to join Island Hospice, 25 years ago. He said, go and volunteer. I'm still here.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
I've done lots of silly things.

What is your most treasured possession?
What I treasure the most is my family . . . my husband, my kids and my dogs.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I think that grief is just devastating. The loss of somebody to whom you've been deeply attached is indescribable.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
I'm not sure. I love to cook though.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Money on travel to see my kids who live out of the country. Maybe that's an extravagance? I don't think it's an extravagance.

What do you have in your fridge?
Yoghurt, salad, dog food, cheese, smoked salmon (whispering).

What is your greatest fear?
I'm such an optimist. I assume this country is going to come out of this phase with flying colours. So I don't even fear it that it won't. I don't allow things to make me scared.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
If I had pockets I would have my cell phone and lip-ice.

What is your favourite journey?
I love going to Mana Pools, Inyanga. I love going into the bush.

Who are your heroes in real life?
I think the people I see. They're my heroes because they get through the most incredible stuff and they're just ordinary, regular people of the street. So, they're more my heroes than Steve Jobs or any of those people.

When and where were you happiest?
In the bush.

What is your biggest vice?
Puddings. Desserts!

What were you like at school?
They told me that my tongue could go around the school twice.

What are you doing next?
I'll be here at Island Hospice.

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