Happy New Year of the Horse 1906
Inside this issue:
Image: The Hague Chinatown, Feb 1, S. Chan-Allen 1 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Volunteer of the Month: Rohini Patil
Volunteer Feature: Heiner Pierenkemper
Revisiting Cambridge: Qin Cai
The Expectant Father: Mihai Balasel
Opinions: The Best Things about Holland
Book Reviews: Genoveva Geppaart
ACCESS Departments Executive Director Deborah Valentine email@example.com
Office Manager Qin Cai firstname.lastname@example.org
Cancerlink Aine Campbell email@example.com
CSN Counseling Services Network Jo Hendry firstname.lastname@example.org
CSD Computer Services John Pellet email@example.com
CEB Baby Courses Sylvia Kiwanuka / Bintou Keita Elvi Kloppenburg firstname.lastname@example.org
CED Community Education Christine Fischer email@example.com
Communications Carina Hyllested firstname.lastname@example.org
E-Zine Editor Sally Squirrell email@example.com
Volunteers’ Newsletter Editor Sujin Chan-Allen firstname.lastname@example.org
ACCESS Guides Madhavi Mistry-Ajgaonkar email@example.com
Webmaster Monica Meier-Bahl firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Media Matt Rees email@example.com
Finance Patricia Axelrad firstname.lastname@example.org
THD Helpdesk Manager Magdalini Zografou email@example.com
THD Zeestraat Coordinator Antonio Gutierrez firstname.lastname@example.org
THD Training Coordinator Nuria Garcia Saorin email@example.com
THD Atrium Coordinator Annelies Ras firstname.lastname@example.org
“Welcome to The Hague” Project Coordinator Yenifer Nahar
IRD Information Research TBD email@example.com
VRD Volunteer Resources TBD firstname.lastname@example.org
Relationship Management Team Megha Panchariya email@example.com
PR/Marketing - Event Management Roy Lie firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Liaison Officer Jane Meijer-Zhang Community.email@example.com
2 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Well, its been a month—how are your resolutions faring? If they have been cast into oblivion, have no fear, now is your second chance to make good on them. February (or January 31 to be precise) marks the beginning of the Lunar New Year, also known as Chinese New Year for many. In this Year of The Horse, I hope we can all continue to take advantage of the best things on offer in this country. Many of you have shared great tips in this issue (see pages 12-14) so I expect to see at least Douwe Egberts, Clingandael and Panorama Mesdag chockfull of ACCESS folk! In this edition, we also read about Qin’s fruitful trip to Cambridge, Genoveva’s literary endeavours, and learn more about our Heiner’s interesting life. Importantly, Mihai will be welcoming his bundle of joy this month and we all look forward to hearing more about this! May your February be off to an auspicious start. As always we’d love to hear from all of you, especially since we have welcomed many new volunteers this month. Enjoy the wonderful winter we have been treated to so far. (I still can’t believe my shoes and boots are so blissfully free of mud and salt stains … )
Gong Xi Fa Cai!
Sujin Chan-Allen Editor
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Volunteer of the Month
The Volunteer of the Month Award for February 2014 goes to: ROHINI PATIL It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Rohini with the ACCESS Volunteer of the month for February 2014. Though we both have been in ACCESS for around two years, I only got the chance to work with Rohini for 3 to 4 months. Her calm demeanour is soothing when you are working next to her. She is a great team member, willing to learn from a fellow colleague/volunteer with no inhibitions regarding ranks. Thank you Rohini for being a great team mate ! - Megha Congratulations and well done Rohini!
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Volunteer Feature: Heiner Pierenkemper I 'm glad I found ACCESS. Never before have I met so many great people from so many different countries in such a short time. Now Sujin has asked me to write something about myself for this newsletter. Well, I was born in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Gelsenkirchen is an old industrial town in the " Ruhrgebiet " . ‘The ‘Ruhr district’ grew in the 19th and 20th century into the largest industrial region in Germany after they discovered coal in the area. Today there is still some of the industry left, but the old coal mines and steel mills have been transformed to industrial museums in the meantime. Further details: http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruhr After a serious surgery, I can no longer work in my old profession. But I have made a virtue out of necessity and made me (us) a dream come true. My friend Jan and I have in fact bought a house in The Hague Mariahoeve. The house has a Belgian wood burning stove, plenty of space for both of us and a garden with a hobby greenhouse. Jan and I have known each other since 1996, and we've had a weekend relationship for many years. Since I was young, gardening has been a passion of mine. That is why I took up an apprenticeship
as a gardener and eventually studied landscape architecture later. An important project in particular shaped my professional career and my personal life. I worked as a landscape architect from 1982 to 1987 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for the Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter project. More information: http:// fluswikien.hfwu.de/ index.php/Riyadh The opportunity to participate in such a project as a young engineer was a big challenge for me. I experienced for the first time how it was to live and work abroad. In that time I have certainly developed my second passion to travel around the world, meet people from all walks of lives and learn about other cultures.
“I worked as a landscape architect from 1982 to 1987 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia”
My current change of residence from Germany to the Netherlands is somewhat of a ‘home game’. Since Germany is so close by I go there often to keep in touch with my family and friends. Heiner’s badge from Saudi Arabia
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Community Education Department (CED) Assistant CED Manager The assistant CED Manager is responsible for: collecting, correlating, and uploading course/workshopâ€™s info onto the ACCESS website; uploading/editing the trainerâ€™s profile every 3 months for the E-zine; participating in CED monthly meetings; maintaining good contacts with CED manager, trainers and Communications Dept.; writing up minutes of the CED monthly meeting; writing personal timely reminders to trainers regarding deadlines.
CED Internal Communication The CED Internal Communication member is responsible for: assisting CED Manager in determining trainers needs by contacting them to find out what they need to function to keep cohesion of group; assisting trainers in the planning, monitoring, and appraisal of progress by planning one on one individual feedback sessions; assisting trainers in maintaining quality control by offering to help teach trainers how to schedule and conduct evaluations; helping CED Manager maintain historical trainer resource records by maintaining a filing and retrieval system; keeping past and current records up-to-date.
CED External Communication Current project entails facilitating brochure & online intranet e-zine distribution of trainerâ€™s info with associated organisations. In this regard, the external communication member cooperates with Communications Department closely. Moreover, the team member is responsible for: assisting CED manager in planning, developing and implementing strategies to help promote trainers; creating a distribution list; focusing on E-zine Profiles & Trainer's brochures; liaising with and answering enquiries from outside organizations that may have interest in CED trainers, often via telephone and email; collating information relating to and analysing current projects of promotion; assisting in preparing and supervising the production of publicity brochure portfolios. Future projects may include brainstorming other avenues of promotion for trainers such as hand-outs, direct mail leaflets, promotional videos, photographs, films and/or multimedia programmes;
Contact: Christine, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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Open Vacancies Telephone Helpdesk Department ( THD) THD Trainers The THD Trainer provides training for newcomers before they start work at the Helpdesk Department. The Trainer has to be a volunteer at ACCESS for at least 3 months, have a good level of English and confidence to speak in front of small groups. This position is easy to combine with other tasks at ACCESS because the THD training only happens every 4-6 weeks. The THD training program has 3 sessions and you can choose to be a trainer for all the sessions or only for a specific one. Contact: Nuria firstname.lastname@example.org Volunteer Resources Department (VRD) VR Officer We need a VR officer to start from February The VR officer is responsible for supporting the VRD manager in all aspects of Volunteer Resources for ACCESS. The VR officer will participate on the information mornings and prepare required forms, keep up to date the expertise list, make name badges for new volunteers, prepare and send out the news mail for the newsletter and the birthday cards. The VR officer will be also responsible for assisting in organising the social events and advertise it among ACCESS volunteers. Please be aware that for this position it is required a commitment of 3 hours per week (on Wednesday), for at least 3 months. Should you be interested on this vacancy please send an email to email@example.com including also a motivational letter. Information Research Department (IRD) Information Researcher (IRD Team Member) The information and research team member searches, records and updates information in the database (DAISY). She/ he will be responsible for: reading, writing and summarising information; researching and recording all new information according to set procedure; deleting all irrelevant information according to set procedure; checking information which is not complete or not clear (by using Internet); ensuring information is kept up to date; assisting with transferring information coming from other departments to our database, if necessary (including updating, creating or deleting information). Current project: Expanding DAISY - researching and recording information regarding the following cities in all the main categories (Childcare, Education, Employment, House, Legal and Admin, Leisure and Entertainment, Medical, Other Services, Social Services): Amstelveen, Breda, Delft, Eindhoven, Groningen, Haarlem, Leiden, Maastricht, Nijmegen, Schiphol, Tilburg, Utrecht, Voorburg, Wassenaar. The goal is to improve DAISY and make it more global, as now the majority of the records are from Amsterdam and Den Haag. Should you be interested in this position, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Note: New volunteers must finish the probationary month before applying for any vacancy. 7 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
February Birthdays: 3rd Idowu (lola) Funmi -Adeshina 5th Andrea Perez 9th Sylvia Kiwanuka 12th Zoe Rizokosta 13th Miroslava Semagina 17th Peter Paffrath 23rd Hafizh Atfin
m Potluck Lunch progra 2014: of the The first Potluck Lunch nday, year is scheduled on Mo 24th February. m for The Potluck Lunch progra 2014 is:
Information Morning: The next Information morning will be held on 19th February 2014. All potential volunte ers must first contact VRD before attending the info rmation morning. Enquiries about volunteering should be forwarded to email@example.com
Thursday 22nd May Friday 18th July r Wednesday 22nd Octobe er Wednesday 17th Decemb
Dear volunteers, Zein Childcare is looking to hire experienced and qualified chefs and Childcare workers. If you are interested, please send your CV and motivation letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
25th Ingrid van Rhijn Goodbye: Ponie Schurch Marina Djurica
We welcome: Hima Mehta Brenda Couture
The ACCESS drinks on January 21s t at Pavlov was well attended.
Sarah Edgcomb Sunita Marwaha Luminita Vasilescu Maarten Kop Poonam SharmaVoorhoeve Laura Arismendi Maria Krawczyk Shawna Snow Helen Marshall
Microsoft Office Q&A Session CED trainer William Rumley-van Gurp from Candles Flame Training is offering another Question & Answer session on Microsoft Office applications where issues and questions you have can be resolved. The workshop is for a maximum of 5 volunteers and will be held on Tuesday 4th February from 11:00 to 12:00 in the Conference room, on 4th floor, Zeestraat. Should you be interested in attending please let us know by sending an email to email@example.com before Sunday 2nd February with the questions you would like to ask so that the trainer can be informed before the workshop. The places will be offered on a "first come, first served" basis as usual.
8 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
World Cup Hockey : Call for Volunteers Drinks Reception Location: New Babylon, The Hague http://www.ambassadevandenhaag.nl/english/ In June 2014 the World Cup Hockey will be played in The Hague. The Dutch National Hockey Association expects thousands of hockey fans from all over the world to visit The Hague. This is the biggest sport event ever in The Hague! Do you want to know what you as international citizen can experience during the World Cup and how you can be involved? Then join the World Cup Hockey drink! The Ambassade van Den Haag is looking for volunteers for the City Host programme for the World Cup Hockey 2014. At the drinks they will inform you about World Cup activities, the The Hague Hockey Plein and how you can represent The Hague as an ambassador of The Hague. The languages they are particularly looking for are: Spanish, Hindi, Malaysian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese. You can find more information and also register until 10 February to be a volunteer via their website. Reception takes place: When: Thursday February 6, 2014 Time: 17.30 â€“ 19.30 h Where: New Babylon (Anna van Buerenplein 48) Pop-up Store Please rsvp via firstname.lastname@example.org
9 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
By Qin Cai Last Christmas, my children and I went back to Cambridge, the famous university town in the UK, to visit their English family and some of our friends. It amazes me still how breathtakingly beautiful Cambridge is every time I am there after having visited the town so many times and even lived there for more than three years when I first came to Europe back in the late 80’s, and its ancient college buildings and the hustle and bustle of student lives still strike me with awe.
“Cambridge Science Park […] is home to over 100 companies, and continues to attract new businesses, from small start-ups to subsidiaries of multinational corporations
Cambridge is primarily well known for its long and outstanding history of 31 colleges which are governed by their own statutes and regulations, but are integral to the make-up of the University of Cambridge. The oldest college is Peterhouse, founded in 1284, but the most famous college is King’s College, well known for it’s Chapel and the King’s College Choir which sing and is broadcast live on BBC on Christmas Eve every year. Trinity College is also well known where Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) spent some productive and creative years there as a student, research fellow and professor, and discovered the Theory of Gravity. According to the wellknown story, it was upon seeing an apple fall in his orchard at some time during 1665 or 1666 that Newton conceived that the same force governed the motion of the Moon and the apple. Apart from all these stories surrounding Cambridge, in recent years, it has been catching up with the rest of the world. Our friends, the Massams, who used to live in
10 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Leiden, NL, for four years before moving back to the UK and now live in Cambridge, hosted us for a Christmas Eve lunch in their newly renovated terraced house overlooking a long and wide English garden. They told us that Cambridge Science Park, established by Trinity College in 1970, is now the UK’s oldest and most prestigious science park. It is home to over 100 companies, and continues to attract new businesses, from small start-ups and spin-outs to subsidiaries of multinational corporations. It has followed a long tradition of scientific research and innovation from Sir Isaac Newton onwards. After the Christmas feast with our English family and friends, I also met my old colleague/friend, Catherine, from the days when we both worked at Royal Opera House, for a girls’ day out. We visited the exhibition ‘A World of Private Mystery: John Craxton, RA (19222009)’ at The Fitzwilliam Museum, a fresh retrospective from his beginnings as a young hope of post-war British art, creating dark, meditative images of the natural world, to works of incredible vibrancy, light and colour from his later life in Crete. However it was special for us also because he had worked as a designer for some of the productions at
Royal Opera House in his later years. After The Fitzwilliam Museum, Catherine and I took a stroll along river Cam and saw some people punting in the December chill, an activity usually popular during summer months which brought back to me some happy memories. There was also a lively market in the centre selling local produces. We stopped at a Café for some English tea and scones with Cornish clotted cream and jam. This visit to Cambridge was short but sweet, I think that the charm of a place like Cambridge can never fade with time, its attraction stays in your memory which makes you go back again and again, every time one discovers something new, and the sense of fondness is then renewed. P.S. EasyJet has daily flights from Schiphol Airport to Stansted Airport, then it is a half an hour journey by train to the centre of Cambridge.
Our Stories nt Father The Expecta By Mihai Balasel In my selfishness of doing (most of the time) useless things in my free time, I neglected way too long the ACCESS Newsletter. Therefore please allow me to start all over again, by writing some thoughts here. The subject that I want to approach cannot come more easily than this. Every man can become a father for the first time in his life only once. And this "once" for me is expected somewhere in the middle of February. Funny thing, both my dear wife Elina, and dear friend Valentina (for different, but quite similar reasons) wish the date to be 14th of February. Thinking of it, I would be happy with this date too. Because of two reasons: I will finally start to celebrate Valentine's day (even if for a total different reason) and I will never forget to call Valentina and congratulate Igor for her name day (we have to go Dutch in this cases...). Everybody that knows me well, can somehow see that maybe I am not yet ready for this new life stage. And I agree with them. Now, with less than one month to go, I don't know if I'm ready to become a father. But I know for sure that I am more than ready to have a child—a daughter, in fact. I already managed to confuse you, right? We have to attribute this confusion to my wife's hormones, which are 11 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
transferred into my words. Sorry, I retract the last sentence as I am a very lucky husband and father to be. So far more than 35 weeks have passed since, you know..., and in all these weeks, it was not even one day when I had to wake up in the middle of the night, jump on the bike in stormy weather, go and look for real Spanish strawberries, Israelis dried plums or homemade Romanian zacusca. I do think she is definitely the perfect mother to be. Maybe my friendly advice, just before signing the marriage papers, helped her to remain the same special person I fell in love with. Back then I said: "Darling, you know I love you, but, in case tomorrow I sense even the slightest difference in your behavior towards me, I'll divorce you in a second!". Back then she laughed more than smiled but I know she did understand I meant trouble. Most probably in order to return the favor, she did "convince" me to be present in the room, when the birth will take place. This time I just smiled (frightened), and I also understood. In her vision, I guess she wants to transfer her labor pain into a much easier to bear worry over a fainted husband. As you can see, there is a lot of fun in our family, even now, before the actual birth. And we cannot wait to experience the after birth period! My wife is getting more beautiful with every day that passes and our daughter seems to party every night in her balloon, as our hands are vibrating on my wife's
Ed. Note: Elina, you look great. All of us at ACCESS wish you a wonderful birth and a conscious husband!
“My wife is getting belly like a Dutch bike on a bumpy street. Story to be continued in February...
more beautiful with every day that passes and our daughter seems to party every night in her balloon...”
Opinions: The Best Things About The Hague and The Netherlands Editor’s Note: No matter how long we have been in a city or country, it is always useful to learn (or be reminded) about the best things that make our lives a pleasure. We can sometimes take for granted the advantages of living in this country and fall victim to the “grass-is-always-greener” syndrome. For newbies, discovering the secrets to why some expatriates choose to live here for so long may take lots of trial and error. Hopefully, your opinions in this month’s newsletter on the joys of The Hague and The Netherlands will inspire all of us to make the most out of our time here.
“The Parks of Holland will always be my number one enthrallment. The big giant naked trees, the sticks and twigs and the rotting fallen logs on the forest floor in winter, for me, is a sight as beautiful beyond any earthly description of beauty. The endless carpet of fallen leaves and the radiant mix of colours in autumn makes me think of a world of limitless possibilities. And not forgetting the beginning of life in spring, when waves and waves of fresh air hit your nostrils, and you can almost hear bees and wasps singing to you, or begging you to sing along. Additionally, I find the little bicycle, horse and pedestrian paths that snake endlessly into the mysterious woods, quite a lovely addition to the parks’ splendor and accessibility. It is not only what is on the surface that fascinate me, I love to sit on a park bench on a summer evening and think of all the warms and underground creatures that are crawling right beneath my feet, totally invisible to my naked eyes. “ - Esther K. Peeters
Clockwise from top: Veluwe, Clingandael, Clingandael, Zuiderpark. Images courtesy of Esther K. Peeters 12 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Opinions: The Best Things About The Hague and The Netherlands “What I love about The Hague/ Netherlands I love the small buurts who all seem to have a shopping street or area or weekly market with speciality shops rather than the big get-it-all-here-supermarket. I love the fact that the Gemeente denies Albert Heijn the right to open in some of these streets/areas. I love to be able to smell and feel the fresh veggies, taste the cheese and weird stuff I would never else buy, and flirt with the Stroopwafel guy. I love Stroopwafels! I love the size of The Hague, a true charming, small big city. I love its range of fantastic restaurants - also goes for Amsterdam and Rotterdam, and in the Netherlands as a whole I am sure. Coming back to Europe from the Middle East, I love the 4 seasons. I love the canals, and is fascinated by the fact that we live below water. If you haven’t tried to rent your own sloepje yet, you must! I loved cruising Utrecht’s canals last summer with family visiting. This summer I am going to love cruising Amsterdam’s canals. (sloepdelen.nl)”
“Cycling around The Hague because it appeals to my efficient nature in getting fit and getting where I want to go at the same time. The only drawback is that I am always late for everything as I always think 'oh it's so close, only round the corner' The beach for the fresh air, I need to get there more often. The Hague feels like my town now because after two years I am now bumping into people I know in the street. For the languages e.g. Meeting an Irish girl at a party and continuing to talk Dutch to each other rather than switching to English. The galleries because there is always something going on. Working with ACCESS because of the positive and can-do attitudes of everyone involved plus making friends, learning new things and the freebies.”
- Carina Hyllested
- Sally Squirrell
“What I love in Holland (specifically in The Hague) is the cleanliness of the city. Cleanliness when it comes to waste management, organized because of visible bike lanes specially in the main roads It is well mantained and organized. As an individual who came from a chaotic, polluted and over populated country, I love and embracing the new environment here. “ - May Faith Beliran
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“The amount of Public transportation that gets you from A-B is amazing...the staff sometimes are grumpy but the availability to hop on a tram, train, or bus is pretty impressive.” - Christine Fischer
“The best thing about Holland is the change of seasons! After a wet autumn and a cold winter (always a surprise) I am always looking so much forward to the first bulbs popping out and the new leaves on the trees. I love every single day that the sun is shining and the weather is just lovely. If I lived in a country where the sun shined every single day I would not appreciate it so much any more!” - Truus Gale
Opinions: The Best Things About The Hague and The Netherlands “I like things in Holland perhaps most people don't, first, the weather, well...not that I am self-punishing that I would say I like the weather in Holland, the truth is that most of the time the weather is unpleasant, so after living here for a number of years, I have stopped worrying about the weather when I try to plan things to do, just go ahead with the planning and deal with the weather and the situation as a result of poor weather when the day of your planned activity is here, if by any luck the weather is good on that day, your feeling of appreciation will give you added pleasure to the activity you planned. I also love the vast Dutch sky due to the flat landscape, often when I look at the rolling pinkish clouds aganist the golden sky in the evenings, I think of those Dutch paintings of the Golden Age and J M W Turner. Other things I like here are Nieuwe Harings and Oma Fiets!”
“Douwe Egberts: Being a caffeine addict, finding a good coffee shop was a priority when I first arrived in The Hague. I needn't have worried! Everywhere here sells good coffee, but Douwe Egberts on Noordeinde is my particular favourite. Latte Macchiato is my usual tipple - to be enjoyed when chatting with friends, or just sitting by the window watching the world go by. They also have a nice selection of cakes and pastries and a well-stocked shop if you're looking for a special gift.”
- Qin Cai “I am new to Holland having just lived 3 months here. Firstly and what I like most is that all Dutch people speak English... and also understand French and German which is really important for expats. Secondly, you can cycle anywhere in the land without fear of being laughed off the road. Every single road in every town and city almost without exception has a bike path on both sides and everyone cycles here from grandparents to business men in suits. The third thing I like is that you can fill your house with fresh flowers for almost no money at all. And then comes the beer which is great. There are a lot of interesting things in Holland for example the scrumptious cheese, the pretty canals and crooked houses, the parks, the wonderful coffee.” - Buli Spahiu
- Jo Hendry
“What I like most of The Hague is ”my” hofje (see December newsletter). I could never have imagined before that I would love the house where I live so much. It is the atmosphere, the garden, privacy and still options to socialise. In my view much better than an apartment.” - Genoveva Geppaart
“Holland is dear to me because of: water channels and fields full of colorful tulips, impressive sport culture, family life, millions of fiets and fietsers, goat cheese (belegen) and herring, windmills and Giethoorn (small Venice of the North).” - Mihai Balasel
“Probably a lot of people know the Panorama-Mesdag Museum, which is nice and old fashioned: http://en.denhaag.nl/en/residents/culture-and-arts/to/Panorama-Mesdag.htm But the history and where to find other Panoramas is probably not so known. You might be inspired to check if there is a Panorama around, while planning your next trip: http://www.panoramacouncil.org/en/what_we_do/resources/panoramas_of_the_world_database/?display_all I am fond of gardening. This might be something interesting to those who share the same interest: https://www.facebook.com/StruinenInHaagseTuinen We all know the boat cruises in Amsterdam. Did you know, there are also such tours here in Den Haag. Those are less touristy. http://www.rondvaartdenhaag.nl/ Last but not least; Did you know that Den Haag is also the capital of Indonesian food? The most and the best Indonesian restaurants are located in our city. http://www.garoeda.com/?lang=en “ - Heiner Pierenkemper 14 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Book Reviews by Genoveva Geppaart Standing alone in Mecca (by Asra Nomani) This is the true story of the author, a Muslim who was born in India and moved to the US when she was 4 years old. She was a single mother and had to face several gender related obstacles before she could make the hadj (pilgrimage to Mecca).
I Dreamed of Africa (by Kuki Gallman) At the age of 25, Kuki Gallmann moved to Kenya with her future husband, where they established a vast ranch. However, Africa's beauty does't come without a price, and when tragedy strikes, Kuki finds herself pregnant and alone with her young son and
She struggled with Islam because of its treatment of women. During the hadj and later, she discovers that these gender-issues are not from the original Islam, but human interpretations. She decides to stand up for her rights to pray in the same room and with the men in her mosque in the US.
(religious) journey of the author. What makes this book special is that somebody who struggles with the unfriendly approach to women in Islam doesn’t stop being a Muslim but “fights” from inside and keeps connected to her religion.
It is partly a historical story and partly a story about the 90,000 acres of African land different cultures and tradito oversee. tions, this book is worth While reading you are taken reading. Personally, I like the book more than the to a completely different country with different cus- movie. toms and little possibilities to keep in touch with the outside world. They need to manage everything on their own. If you like to read about life in foreign countries with
Snow child (by Nicolas Vanier) This book was originally published in French as “L’enfant des Neiges”. It has been translated into German as “Das Schneekind” and Dutch as “Sneeuwkind”. Unfortunately there is no English translation available. The author, his wife Diane and their 2-year old daughter Montaine travel for a year through the Canadian wilderness. They start in Prince George (British Columbia) and travel via the Rocky Mountains to Alaska: 700 km on horseback and 700 km by dogsled. After autumn but before the beginning of winter, they have to wait until the rivers are frozen in order to be able to continue their journey and spend their time in a self-built wooden cabin in the mountains. During the whole expedition, the dog Otchum joins the couple with their little girl. Montaine calls him “Tsjoom Tsjoom” and he is her best friend. Both Nicolas and Diane have a lot of experience travelling through the wilderness. Usually they travel without any communication equipment but because of Montaine they have a radio they can use to get in touch with ‘civilisation’ in case of emergency. They hunt, fish and find their own food. There is a contract between the beauty of nature, with Montaine growing up during the journey and the harsh reality of an area with temperatures of minus 50 degrees celcius, where you struggle to survive. It is a wonderful story and It feels as if you are making the expedition yourself; feeling the love for each other and especially between Montaine and Otchum.
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What’s On in February
Holland Dance Festival The largest dance festival in the Netherlands presents big international dance companies, smaller groups and individual dance artists. The range is unlimited, taking in dance styles from Urban Dance to classical ballet and from tango to modern dance. It kicks off with the gala evening Source of Inspiration, during which the (Jirí) Kylían Ring will be presented to someone who has made a significant and inspiring contribution to dance in the Netherlands. Among those taking part are the foremost Australian group Bangarra Dance Theatre and the much-praised Gauthier Dance Company. www.holland-dance.com/page/festival When: up to February 15. Where: Danstheater, The Hague, War Horse Forget Steven Spielberg's film version of Michael Morpurgo's children's book. The original theatre production of the story of a boy who becomes a soldier and the horse he loves is far superior. For a start, it has the most amazing puppets. The action moves from rural Devon to the trenches of First World War France. This is a live transmission of a reprise from the National Theatre in London. Pathé cinemas, Amsterdam, , Groningen and Rotterdam, www.pathe.nl When: February 27. Where: The Hague Wildlife Photographer of the Year The South African photographer Greg du Toit won this year's prize with his extreme close-up of elephants. The young photographer of the year is the Indian Udayan Rao Pawar for his shot of a mother crocodile carrying her brood across a river. Other photographs on display are by the winners and runners-up in categories such as behaviour, underwater worlds, nature in black and white and urban wildlife. www.museon.nl When: until February 23. Where: Museon, The Hague UNDERSTAND YOUR BRAIN, STAY HEALTHY & CHANGE YOUR HABITS! Stefanie Thomas organises 'BRAIN HEALTH & PERFORMANCE', a six-part workshop to understand your brain, stay healthy and change your habits! 1. Secrets of the Brain - Mon 10th February 2014 2. Brain Stressors - Tue 18th February 2014 3. Get smart with Sleep - Tue 4th March 2014 4. Fuel your Brain - Tue 11th March 2014 5. Movement and Brain Health - Tue 25th March 2014 6. Changing Habits - Tue 1st April 2014 €45 per workshop or just €249 (incl. BTW) for all six! STEFANIE THOMAS is a Professional Health & Performance Coach. She is also qualified as a Fitness Instructor, a Metabolic Typing Advisor, a Precision Nutrition Trainer and a Holistic Life Coach. Email Stefanie@stefaniethomas.com When: 10 february at 8:00 PM to 10:30 PM Where: Netherlands Den Haag Westvliet Gym, Westvlietweg 55, 2491 ED Den Haag
16 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
What’s On in February
A Russian Taste for French Art: Gauguin, Bonnard, Denis The work of the French artists Pierre Bonnard and Maurice Denis, part of Les Nabis group for a while, and Paul Gauguin was popular among Russian collectors in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Their work focuses on colour, emotion and symbolism. Many of these paintings are exhibited alongside works by their French predecessors, contemporaries and immediate successors, and also includes a small selection of sculptures by Auguste Rodin, Auguste Malliol and Paul Auguste Bartholemé. In 1908, Denis was asked by the wealthy Russian collector Ivan Morozov to decorate the concert hall in his mansion. The exhibition includes a reconstruction of this interior, with seven paintings and six decorative panels. www.hermitage.nl When: until February 28. Where: Hermitage, Amsterdam Skating The best of the country's skaters gather for the Dutch championships for all-round and sprint for men and women. The venue this year is the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam, which is being turned into an ice rink. Where athletes once raced around the track, there is now an ice track. Among those competing are Sven Kramer and Ireen Wüst. www.olympischstadion.nl When: February 28 to March 2. Where: Olympic Stadium, Amsterdam Suzanne Vega The American folk-rock singer-songwriter performs a selection of her songs, old and new. www.paradiso.nl When: February 16. Where: Paradiso, Amsterdam, Swan Lake On Ice The stage of the Nieuwe Luxor theatre will be frozen over when Russian troupe the Imperial Ice Stars bring their version of the 19th century classic ballet Swan Lake to the ice. Among the 30 skaters are Olympic, World and European champions. The choreographer is Tony Mercer, widely regarded as the world's foremost creator of theatre on ice. www.luxortheater.nl When: February 12 to 23. Where: Nieuwe Luxor Theater, Rotterdam Tennis Top international players will compete in the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament. Among them are Juan Martin Del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Richard Gasquet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. The tournament also offers special entertainment on Ladies' Day, Kids' Day and Family Day. www.ahoy.nl When: February 10 to 16. Where: Ahoy, Rotterdam
— Many thanks to Rohini Patil for compiling ‘What’s On’ —
17 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Workshops Fischersfiresidechats -- Topics in 2014 Weekly Discussion Group: Chats help international orientated people become more self-aware so they can live more diversity empathic lives. 11 AM - 12 Noon or 7 - 8 PM Fireside Chats Daytime Or Evening Each meeting will cover a new topic on diversity ranging from racial identity, ethnic identity, racism, gender, orientation, accessibility, to power issues and much more. Daytime discussion groups are done on Thursdays at Bagels and Beans, Thomsonlaan, while evening discussion groups are done on Thursdays at Valkenboskade 131. Any topic can be done on demand at alternate locations and alternate dates. To register and know more please check out : http://www.fischersfiresidechats.com/ And remember if you can't attend the discussion but have something to say -- feel free to make comments about the topic at Fischersfiresidechats on Facebook. Christine Fischer holds an M.A. & a M.Ed. in multicultural counseling psychology from TC, Columbia University, NYC. She created FischersFiresidechat discussions, workshops, and seminars to foster warm, informal, yet informed environments for learning cultural competence. Her programs cultivate awareness of one's own cultural worldview, attitudes towards cultural difference and a variety of cross-cultural skills. January 2014 Jan 16: Reviewing Music: 1960 What? by Gregory Porter Jan 23: Reviewing Music: Killing in the Name. Rage Against the Machine Jan 30: Reviewing Music: Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dylan & A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke February 2014 Thu Feb 6: Challenge the “ism” Thu Feb 13: Definitions: Learning the terms of diversity Thu Feb 20: Systems of Racism: Recognizing privilege Thu Feb 27: Color outside the Lines March 2014 Thu Mar 6: Order – How is the world ordered? Thu Mar 13: Gender Imbalances in Language Thu Mar 20: Empowering through Language
18 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014
Thu Mar 27: What is Normal? Learn to question the ‘norm’ April 2014 Thu April 3: Adaptation Thu April 10: Recognizing Assumptions Thu April 17: Recognizing similarities rather than differences Thu April 24: People versus labels May 2014 Thu May 1: How old are you? Confronting age bias in daily life Thu May 8: Learning to appreciate one’s own cultural background Thu May 15: Challenging Euphemisms: Humanizing Language Thu May 22: Persuasions or Prejudice Thu May 29: Socio-historical Identities
June 2014 Thu June 5: Categories – How do we create descriptions Thu June 12: In or Out? Discuss attitudes towards sexual orientation Thu June 19: Battling Bullying Thu June 26: Look at this – Challenging appearance based discrimination July 2014 Thu July 3: AsymmetricalRecognizing unequal treatment Thu July 10-31: Vaca August 2014 - Vaca September 2014 Thu September 4: Analyzing First Impressions Thu September 11: Issues, Motivations, Barriers, and Purview Thu September 18: Exploring the Impact of –Isms Thu September 25: Media literacy
October 2014 Thu October 2: Recognizing the Diverse Needs. Thu October 9: Establishing common ground Thu October 16: Challenging Appropriation and Defamation Thu October 23: Breaking Bias Thu October 30: Let’s Play Dress-up : Clothing – More than just fashion November 2014 Thu November 6: How Diverse is it where you are? Thu November 13: Understanding Agency Thu November 20: Diversity in Leadership Thu November 27 – Thanksgiving December 2014 - Vaca
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19 ACCESS Newsletter February 2014