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May 2013 Newsletter Happy St. Patricks Day

Stockholm City: Picture by Jessie Blijden


Newsletter Editor: Jessie Blijden Send your input to by the 20th of every month

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ACCESS Departments Editor’s Note Volunteer of the month Meet the Volunteers Departmental News Fellow Volunteers Stockholm City Cooking With….The Swedish Chef Info Board What`s on in May Workshops & More

Something missing? Send your contribution to Jessie Blijden:

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ACCESS Departments

Executive Director Deborah Valentine

PR/Marketing Event Management Roy Lie

Office Manager Qin Cai

Web Editor Sally Squirrell

ADV - Advertising tba

CSD – Computer Services John Pellet

Cancerlink Aine Campbell

CSN - Counseling Services Network Jo Hendry

CEB – Baby courses Ally Coggar Sylvia Kiwanuka Bintou Keita Elvi Kloppenburg

FIN – Finance Patricia Axelrad

CED – Community Education Christine Fischer Communications Carina Hyllested E-zine Editor Connie Moser

IRD - Information Research Alda Ntezilizaza Co-Manager: Mihai Balasel THD – Helpdesk Emma Thomas THD Training Larene Baumgarten

ACCESS Guides Prije Moodley Web-Master Monica Meier-Bahl

THD Zeestraat Coordinator Jo Hendry THD Atrium Coordinator Annelies Ras

Volunteer Newsletter Editor Jessie Blijden

VRD – Volunteer Resources Valentina Armini Ramona Necula

Social Media Matt Rees

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Editor`s Notes

Year Later Here we are, 1 year later, it has been exactly 1 year since I first started editing this newsletter and what a pleasure that has been. My only hope for this otherwise oblivious anniversary is that in some way I have touched some of you, a laugh, a smile or just a reflection. My medium of communicating with you volunteers might not be the fastest and or most fancy (from what I hear my competitor face book has games and other interactive tools which are faster, more interesting and easier to access than a PDF you receive every month about random set of activities and what not, come to think of it by the time you receive this you probably already know what’s happening.) Nonetheless I enjoy editing and writing this section and I know that some of you enjoy it (I have proof for those of you doubting Thomases , I do receive several emails from those who enjoy it) this is more than enough for me. My treat to you this month, or probably treat to myself, is a look at my trip to Stockholm, from which I just returned kicking and screaming because I did not want to come back (am not kidding I was crying in the airplane and impulsively kicked the chair in front of me because I was so mad I had to leave) Don’t worry no Chokladkakan is a typical Swedish chocolate cake I highly recommend; I had it every day while in Stockholm! Yummy yummy one got hurt. I had a wonderful time and for those of you know about my Swedish obsession, yes it met all my expectations and more. Tell you more in the rest of the newsletter, but just to give you a hint of my affection for this country as I left I booked my next trip up north  hihihi But before I continue I want to send a special apology to Larene and you readers, last month an ingredient (onion) was left in the recipe section which is not part of the dish she submitted Brazilian Coconut delight, I am leaving the recipe again this month so that if any of you made this and were left with a weird taste you can redo, I really encourage this recipe I have had them and they are delicious minus the onions of course  Larene really sorry about this mistake, hope you forgive me. But without further ado I hope you enjoy the slowly arriving spring And as always I would love to hear about your trips and travels even if just a small paragraph with a few pictures. Hej då! (Swedish for Good Bye) Happy Readings, and Be Kind to one another! Jessie Volunteer Newsletter Editor

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Volunteer of the month

Congratulations to Loredana Bertelli Loredana is a committed volunteer for ACCESS and a valued member of the Helpdesk and THIC teams. At THIC she has taken on the role of organising the ACCESS displays and has worked hard to improve the way in which partner information is promoted to our customers. Loredana also has a wonderfully warm personality and it’s always a joy to work with her. She takes her responsibility with every activity she is doing. Using her time in a good way. Always active with organising, doing things or learning more for serving the community and clients at ACCESS THIC. A very nice woman.

/Emma and Annelies/

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Meet the Volunteers

Niharika Joshi My name is Niharika Joshi and I from New Delhi, India. I have been living in the Netherlands for over 17 years. I have recently received my Dutch passport so I am no more an Indian but a Dutch now. I moved here with my parents in 1995, for my father’s work and have been living here since then. We had many opportunities to migrate to other countries but we decided to stay here in NL, as we are so accustomed to the place now. I joined ACCESS in February, and have been enjoying since then. The first day I was a bit terrified as I did not know how everyone would be like. Then I met Qin and a few others at that day, and straight away clicked with them. Every day I look forward going to ACCESS, as Qin always has something exciting to share, Carina’s frustration with the computers, Alda’s informative talks, Deborah’s famous smile, have talks about guys with Valentina ;) and get to meet the wonderful volunteers. I don’t want to leave ACCESS so soon, but no worries everyone; you will see me back ;) Besides doing internship at ACCESS, I am busy with finishing college. I am studying International Business in The Hague. Otherwise I am fond of reading books, spending time with friends and families and partying (right Qin :P).

Nuria receiving her Volunteer Of Month Award, Congrats again 

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Departmental News

CEB DEPARTMENT Elvi Kloppenburg, who's currently working at the Helpdesk, has joined the CEB team recently, and will start the training with Ally and Sylvia soon; she will be responsible for courses run in Amsterdam in the future. Welcome Elvi, we wish you all the best in this new challenge.

IRD DEPARTMENT Alda has been back on duty after a month of holiday, welcome back Alda, it's nice to see you again in the office. Alda will resume her responsibility as the Manager of IRD, while Mihai will continue to assist Alda in any matters within the department. Contact them at for any help.

VRD DEPARTMENT Ramona Necula will co-manage VRD together with Valentina Armini, welcome on board Ramona, we wish you all the best in your new role.

VRD INFORMATION MORNING The next Information morning will be held on 8th May 2013. All potential volunteers must first contact VRD before attending the information morning. Enquiries about volunteering should be forwarded to


Pot Luck Lunch dates for 2013: Thursday June 20th Thursday September 20th Thursday November 21st @ Zeestraat 100 from 12:15 – 14:45

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Your fellow Volunteers



Ekaterina (Katya) Cherskaya Michelle Franquet

We thank you for your time, energy and work, and we wish you best of luck

A Facebook group for ACCESS volunteers has been created, it is called ‘ACCESS volunteers’, search for it (ACCESS in uppercase!) or use below link. Please do join!


May 4 Joanna Hendry th May 5 Geetha Rajasimha th May 6 Larene Baumgarten th May 26 Annelies Ras th May 28 Martha Viera Costa st May 31 Nidhi Sharma

WE WELCOME Ana Maria Napoleão Ingrid van Rhijn Kim Schurch Navad Mor Zoe Rizokosta David Rendall Jean-Baptiste Milon ACCESS social media

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STOCKHOLM My love affair with Sweden began long before ever setting foot in Scandinavia; I had never been to Sweden before unless you count spending one full day at an airport in Iceland. I first felt deeply in love with its people and at one point with A Swede but who hasn`t right?  , they bring a sense of peace within me that is easily disturbed if I am not around them, nothing summarizes this better than a phrase from a very popular book at the moment and it goes like this, (please note that I am replacing the word Swedes in the phrase, this book has nothing to do with Sweden or Swedes); “I chose the Swedes because their demeanourcalm, quiet and introspective-did something to soothe my shattered selfi1” Reading this summarized my feelings towards this group of people and their way of life, realizing of course that it could have been any other people or civilization, it just happened to be them, due to time and space placing me in their path. On to the story of my first time in Sweden and it goes like this; My expectations, building to a crescendo of intolerable laughter as the days got closer to my departure to Stockholm, which probably annoyed the heck out of my colleges yet they all gathered and wished me good luck as the day that everyone had heard about for so long came around. I arrived in Stockholm, the airport unpresumptuous, loved it check, long bus ride to the city through what I can only make out in the middle of the night, through glimpses of a full moon, where forest of tall mythical looking trees, which I love, check. Waking up at the crack of dawn not wanting to miss anything I opened my hotel window to take a big breath of that dry Scandinavian air, only to be confronted with the face of another building, of course I had forgotten my hotel was smack in the middle of the city surrounded by building, so I eagerly armed myself with a map got dressed really quickly as I did not want to waste time and headed off to take it all in. And so I walked, I jumped on busses asking to get to one museum ended up in another, which was a great surprise in the end I heard stories of many Gustavs and his Swedish empires, read stories midsummer magic and winter wonderland Jul (Christmas) I jumped on another tour bus where the bus driver was friendly enough to tell me his life story before taking off. I walked and walked searching for the first sign that would scare me off my Swedish trail, I met people and even said things to try and solicit some negative reaction and to no avail. I felt at home, out there on my own I felt like this is the place I belonged, this city which with its dry air and busy subway lines reminded me constantly of back home New York, had an element of peace that was just not befitting to a busy metropolitan city, then I realized that whichever direction you took 15-20 minutes out, you are back in nature once again. This has to play a part in the reason for the calmness that resonates in such a busy city.

1 Phrase is from The Life of Pi chapter 1 pg 3 and refers to the sloth, I replaced the word Sloth for Swedes 

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STOCKHOLM There were green parks and water, water and more water, Stockholm is actually a formation of many islands connected together. A city with more than a functional metro system, I proved it, standing at midnight in the city out skirts waiting for a train lasted 5 minutes and the one after was only 10 minutes away, how awesome is that  I was taken around the old city, Gamla Stan and shown the narrowest alley way, I was told stories by locals of a Stockholm bloodbath by the Danish of long ago which they seem to have never forgotten, I went searching for the Viking look a likes in museum and I went up small sphere that went up a bigger sphere (really scary but fun this last one). Of course what got to me was all the celebration and mysticism surrounding Midsummer and as soon as I landed back in NL I booked my tickets to celebrate midsummer Swedish style. Overall my expectations and hopes of Sweden were all met, the people, the culture, and the language, oh every time I heard Swedish my heart skipped a beat, Jag älskar svenska-I love Swedish.

My Tips for Visiting Stockholm; 1. Purchased the city Stockholm card, Stockholm is very expensive more so than any other European country I have visited and this cards gets you into all museums for free (there might be a few that are discounted), it provides you with free transportation all around Stockholm and some other perks such a free sightseeing boat ride. You can choose how many days you want to use the card for 1-5 days I bought the 5 days for €135 Euros and it more than paid for itself with the transport. 2. Situate yourself with a hop on hop off bus tour first, trust me it is worth it in the beginning so that you know where you are for the rest of your visit. 3. Once you have a lay out of the city you can walk about just anywhere, everything is that close. 4. You must go up the Globen located at Globen City, see picture here which gives you a view of the entire city from really high up. Also free with the Stockholm card. 5. Try a site called Couch Surfing, so far I have used it to meet people and have them take me around the city, which was worth it.

This is Globen City: a sphere which I took to the top, you can see the small glass sphere which I took up, a bit scary but well worth it! 

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Cooking With…The Swedish Chef: a few items in a Swedish Smorgasbord

Larene`s Brazilian Coconut delight (not Swedish but left here due to last month’s mistake sorry!!)

Smoked Gravlax (Salmon)

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1 can of condensed milk 100grs of grated coconut 1 tbsp of unsalted butter Extra grated coconut and clove for decoration


Mix all the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sweet release and stay consistent background. If you are not sure about the consistency please put on the side a little bit of the mixture. Once it cools down, try to make a little ball with 2 fingers. If you can do it, please turn off the heat and pour the mixture in a light buttered plate. Let cool, make balls and pass them in the coconut. I suggest that you use a little bit of butter in your hands before make the balls. If it gets too stick, please wash them and re-apply the butter. I am sending enclosed a picture so you can see how to decorate your Brazilian coconut delights. The Brazilian name of this sweet is ‘Beijinho de Coco’ which means ‘Coconut little kiss’. Enjoy it!!!!



Marinated Cucumber Salad          

1 cucumber ¼ cup vinegar 1 Tbsp lemon juice 2 Tbsp sugar 2 tsp salt 1/8 tsp white pepper 1 tbsp celery seed ¼ cup finely chopped onion 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley 1.


Wash and peel cucumber. Cut into paper-thin slices and place into a wide-mouthed jar or other covered container. Add the rest of the ingredients. Cover the jar and shake well until the sugar is dissolved. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least a week.

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1 Boneless 3 ½ pound -4 pound salmon filet, skin or no skin 1 cup Pack brown sugar ¾ cup salt 1 tsp dill seed 1 tbsp ground pepper 1 bunch freshly chopped dill

1. Cut the salmon fillet in half down the middle, using the line where the backbone was as your guide. Combine the sugar, salt, dill seeds, and pepper. Rub well into all sides of the two fillet halves. 2. Place one fillet, skin down, in a large casserole dish. Cover with the chopped fresh dill, then place second filet on top, flesh down. Allow to sit at room temperature for an hour or two so that the salt rub melts into the fish. Cover with plastic wrap, then weight down with rocks or canned goods. Refrigerate for 48 hours, turning the fish “sandwich” and basting with the accumulated juices every twelve hours. 3. On the day of serving, rinse the cold-cured gravlax and pat dry. Allow to air-dry on rack at room temperature for at least two hours. 4. Prepare your outdoor smoker according to the manufacturer’s directions. Smoke the gravlax for two hours over low heat, about 250º (this part can be done in a Grill)

Info Board

AMSTERDAM HERITAGE DAYS On Sunday, May 26, the golden times will be revived during the 2nd edition of the Amsterdam Heritage Days. Amsterdam takes pride in its cultural heritage, now more than ever. To celebrate 400 years of canals, the Office for Monuments & Archaeology has organised four editions of Amsterdam Heritage Days. Each edition will feature a special monument that will cast open its doors to the public, allowing a unique insight in a specific historical period. Dates May 26, July 14, September 14 & 15 Time: from 10:00 to 17:00 Entrance*free* An Information Centre is available during these dates in the building De Bazel/Stadsarchief, Vijzelstraat 32, Amsterdam The 2nd edition programme will be available on May 6 at our website

ENGLISH WITH EMMA THOMAS Qualified, native English teacher offering English language lessons to all levels and to adults or children.

Please contact me if you’re interested: or 065 5720743

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What’s on in May

GUSTAVE CAILLEBOTTE The French painter Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894) was a member of the Impressionist movement, although his paintings are in a much more realistic style. His subjects include interiors, portraits and still lifes, but he is most famous for his depictions of urban Paris. Caillebotte, who came from a wealthy family, was also a patron of his fellow Impressionists, buying works from Monet, Renoir and Pissarro. He was also noted for his early interest in photography. The exhibition lays its emphasis on Caillebotte and photography, with photos of Parisian boulevards hung alongside his paintings which are full of life and movement. When: until May 20 Where: Gemeentemuseum, The Hague

HAND MADE: LONG LIVE CRAFTS and Made A wide selection of hand-made objects dating from the Middle Ages to the present day. Among them are a 16th century harness, the Clay Furniture of designer Maarten Baas, elegant lace and embroidery work and the iron ship known as The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman by Grayson Perry. When: until May 20. Where: Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

OPERA DAYS The annual opera festival takes in existing and new works together with activities such as a special walk taking in three operas in surprising locations. Among this year's highlights are Katia Kabanova by Janácek, Don't Look Back Baby which is a contemporary work based on the Orpheus myth, and the music theatre piece Moby Dick. There are also war songs by Heiner Goebbels and Monteverdi, a live version of the film Nine which was in turn based on Fellini's film 8½, and The Secret History of Yodelling. When: May 25 to June 2 Where: Schouwburg and other venues, Rotterdam

THE FASHION WORLD OF JEAN PAUL GAULTIER Jean Paul Gaultier, the blond-haired French designer, has been at the top of the fashion world for three decades. In the 1980s and 1990s he became famous for putting men into skirts, for the conical bra worn by Madonna during her Blond Ambition tour and for his over 900 absurd costumes for Luc Besson's film The Fifth Element. Gaultier is now 60 and he remains as provocative as ever, although things have been quieter of late while he was working for Hermés. Lately, he is being recognised for his virtuoso handwork, the fantastic finish of his clothes and his eye for detail. This exhibition contains 140 original creations from the early 1970s to the present day. There are also photos of his designs and his fashion shows taken over the years by Dutch photographers such as Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Anton Corbijn and Marc de Groot. When: until May 12 Where: De Kunsthal, Rotterdam

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What’s on in May

OUR QUEEN On April 30, Queen Beatrix abdicates in favour of her eldest son Willem-Alexander. To mark the occasion, 145 photos from photo agency ANP are on display. They mark her 75th birthday (last January) and her 33 years on the throne. When: until May 25 Where: Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

STARBUCKS BOOK CLUB Dutch author Herman Koch talks about his internationally successful novel The Dinner at the first Starbucks/American Book Center book club. This is your opportunity to discuss this psychological thriller with the writer. When: May 17 Where: Starbucks 'The Bank', Amsterdam

VAN GOGH, MY DREAM EXHIBITION While the Van Gogh Museum is closed for renovation, the Beurs van Berlage is using its old ice cellars for an exhibition that aims to suck the visitor into the life and work of Vincent van Gogh. They are even using 3D animation. All the work on display is reproductions of Van Gogh's paintings which have been digitally manipulated back to their original colours - much brighter than we see today. Seven of the paintings are brought to life by 3D animation. For instance, the flowers in Almond Blossoms move gently in the wind and now and then a petal falls. In another 3D animation, the visitor is drawn into three paintings: from outside Van Gogh's yellow house into the small room with the single bed and out again through a landscape hanging on the wall. When: until May 19 Where: Beurs van Berlage, Amsterdam

Thanks to Rohini for sourcing & collecting these special events!

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Workshops & More

FIRESIDE CHATS – FREE FOR ACCESS VOLUNTEERS IN 2013 WEEKLY DISCUSSION GROUP:  Thu, May 2, 11 AM - 12 Noon ALSO Evenings from 19:00-20:00    

Topic – Reviewing Music: 1960 What? by Gregory Porter Thu, May 9, 11 AM - 12 Noon ALSO Evenings from 19:00-20:00 Topic – Reviewing Music: Killing in the Name. Rage Against the Machine Thu, May 16, 11 AM - 12 Noon ALSO Evenings from 19:00-20:00 Topic – Reviewing Music: Blowin' in the Wind by Bob Dillon & A Change Is Gonna Come by Sam Cooke Thu, May 23, 11 AM - 12 Noon ALSO Evenings from 19:00-20:00 Topic – Vacation Thu, May 30, 11 AM - 12 Noon Vacation

Daytime discussion groups are done on Thursdays at Bagels and Beans, but also can be done on demand at alternate locations and Evening discussion groups are done on Thursdays at Valkenboskade 131, but also can be done on demand at alternate locations. Fireside Workshops: € 35 per person Workshop: Each meeting will focus on diversity issues that specifically affect expats and internationals. These sessions are created to help groups. Whether the group is composed of members of a board room or sports club, everyone benefits from learning ways of dealing with homesickness, stereotyping, difference, etc. Workshops are done on demand and can be held at the ACCESS office or at alternate locations.   

Topic - Homesickness - How to keep your identity when your home keeps changing Topic - Packing your bags - Preparing for your trip home -(Reverse) culture shock. Topic - Globalization is knocking, are you going to answer? - Workshop that focuses on helping people become comfortable with talking about diversity issues.


€ 500 per person Seminars: A deep exploration of the pervasive influence diversity has on one’s own identity. Seminars can be done on demand and at alternate locations. Each seminar will focus on a particular piece of research/ literature in the diversity field. Seminars are done on demand and can be held at the ACCESS office or at alternate locations. This seminar explores the work: Understanding Race, Ethnicity, & Power. By Elaine Pinderhughes. Students are expected to order and purchase this item themselves. Delivery can take time so best to order this item at least two to three weeks in advance of the seminar.

/Christine Fischer/

Thank you to all the volunteers who made the May Newsletter possible, until next time, Vi Ses (Swedish for see you soon)!!!

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Volunteer newsletter May 2013  
Volunteer newsletter May 2013  

For and by ACCESS volunteers