I finally finished it. Chapter 4 was very hard. The snake is the one in the creation story. It fits for the section on women described earlier and what came after that, which was an in-depth analysis of politics within the Dutch Reformed Church. In the 20s there was a big split between creationists and liberals who thought that the creation story wasn't to be taken literally. The liberal wing eventually broke away completely in 1946.
Recently, I saw a Dutch TV video showing a creationist who has built a replica of Noah's Ark.
It looks like Mak's father was a minister. The chapter ends with a sermon and the family setting sail for the Dutch East Indies, called Indië.
Reading this, the old European attitude that, "Everything else is India," strikes me as strange. Columbus Day was recently celebrated here, and we always hear the story of how he was looking for India. Consequently, we have the West Indies and the East Indies, which includes places in Asia found by Europeans that weren't India itself or China.
Linguistically, this is still very rough going. I still do a lot of dictionary work. I am on page 125, which means I am 1/4 of the way through. There have been a few breakthroughs listening, in which I understand everything for a minute or so, but often, I don't understand what is being said at all.