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Freddy: an introduction by Joost van Dijk, november 27th, 2016

Hey everyone!

I’m Freddy and it is my privilege to write a blog here!
As the newest member of the Mission House, I must say it takes time to get used to living here, but I like it better and better. The people here are really nice and I like them a lot, but sometimes I get the feeling they like me less. Maybe it’s just because I am new here, or maybe because I’m not… you know… human.
On the one hand, I think: they have to love me because they leave all kinds of food for me on places where I can easily get it. There are almost always fresh bread crumbles on the floor and when I don’t feel like eating bread again, they leave me some crisps or cookies. Also every time I meet one of my housemates they give me a yell of excitement, so at first I felt really welcome! They even clean my toilets occasionally. And I like each and every one of the people that live here… Well, except for the lady they call “Donna”… She scares the mouse poop out of me. But for the rest: I enjoy their conversation when they’re having dinner and a couple of them play the piano really well!
But I also hear them talking about me a lot and I am not sure if it is positive all the time. They gave me a cool nickname though: the Mission Mouse. I like that a lot, although sometimes I get a strange feeling. For example, I heard them say they wanted to take a… to take a… c…c…cat! I’m not even sure what that is, but just the word gives me a feeling that is a mixture of extreme fear, disgust and horrid. They also placed machines on the ground with food in it. At first, I just thought they were being nice again, but then I found out that the thing could easily kill me if I would try to eat the food! Maybe it’s some kind of strange hazing ritual, but I’d consider that to be rather cruel, don’t you?

Donna

Donna

The cruel hazing ritual

The cruel hazing ritual

 

 

 

 

 

 

One night I was really confused about their attitude towards me. I had just found a new room, but I didn’t really like it. I think this tall guy that sings all the time lives there. When I finally was out of the room I tried to go back to the places where they always keep food for me, but they (the people of the Mission House) were in my way! They totally blocked the road. It seemed like they had fun, so I wanted to join them, but every time they saw me they got a bucket and I felt that they wanted to hurt me. I’m not sure… maybe I’m just confused because of the differences in our cultures, but to me, it looks like they regret that they invited me in here. BUT… why do they leave food everywhere then?
Never the less, for now, I think I’ll stay here. What I totally love about this place, that it is huge. I keep discovering new rooms and also new ways to move through the house. As long as they take care of me by throwing food on the ground, I’ll be just fine :)

Thanks for reading my blog and hopefully see you soon!

Freddy A.K.A The Mission Mouse

 

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Blog October by Mirjam Verbaan, november 20th, 2016

Hi everyone,

Last week was a quite busy week for everyone because all the projects have really started now.
It’s a lot of fun to work at the project and we experience and learn new stuff everyday.
On Wednesday it was Max his birthday, which we ofcourse celebrated.
On the Saturday before Max his birthday we all went out, except for Max, to buy him a present. Because Max once talked about penguins in a story we all figured that the penguin must be his favorite animal, so we bought a really nice stuffed penguin and a postcard with penguins on it. Then on Monday we were talking about our favorite animals and we found out that penguins are not Max favorite animals at all: ‘Yeah, I like them but they are not my favorite animals or anything’. As you all understand we already bought the penguin for Max his birthday on Wednesday so it was too late to buy something else.. But even though penguins are not Max his favorite animals he still liked the present a lot and I think with this present we kind of forced him to make the penguin his favorite animal. We had a very nice apple pie and Max got to blow out the candles.
The plan was to also go bowling for his birthday but everyone was very tired so we decided to do the bowling another time ;).
Another nice story of this week took place on Friday.
Aga and I were supposed to help cooking for some people from the Diaconie, in total we had to cook for twelve people, which included everyone from the Mission House. Aga and I were done with work pretty late so when we came back we immediately went to the Albert Heijn to do the groceries. Maren and Elisa were very kind and decided to join us while doing the groceries. We decided to make something German named Kartoffelauflauf and something Polish which ended up being a Schnitzel.
On the way back from the Albert Heijn, we came across Rina and she also decided to help us cooking so we arrived with five people to cook at the Diaconie. While we were cutting all the vegetables for the very nice meal, Jeroen (the person who asked us to cook for the diaconie) came to ask how long it would take before the meal was ready. We told him that it would take like two more hours. He told us that there was a problem; the people we had to cook for couldn’t wait another two hours. Then we decided to take all the food we had bought for twelve people back tot the Mission House and to go on cooking for just ourselves. It ended up being a not so very nice meal because we didn’t cook the Kartoffels long enough ;). But after all we had a very nice evening with eachother.

Thanks for reading the blog!

Xx Mirjam

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De Sociale Kruidenier by Kete-Rina, november 19th, 2016

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Hi everybody! Kete-Rina from the Mission House here :)

This is my first time writiung a post for Facebook however maybe some of you have read my bio on the Mission House website :)
This week was really hectic but really nice because Mirjam and I went to Antwerp with one of our projects (De Sociale Kruidenier) to learn more about this amazing project. In this post I thus want to talk about this project.

What is “De Sociale Kruidenier”?
“De Sociale Kruidenier” is a project by the Protestantse Diaconie in Amsterdam in the Nieuwe Herengracht 18 sous. It is a store where people, that live below the poverty line, can come to buy non-food goods, like laundry detergents, shampoos, shower gels or cleaning supplies, and also foods, like flour, pasta or pindakaas (it’s like the Dutch version of peanut butter ;)).image

Who can come to “De Sociale Kruidenier”?
In order to be a costumer of the Sociale Kruidenier you have to have a pass at the “Voedselbank” (the Dutch food bank) in Amsterdam. Clients can buy goods for 30% of the original retail price and up to 15€ a month, if you are single without kids.

Why does “De Sociale Kruidenier” exist?
Well, this is a fact maybe unknown to some but buying something at a store is often connected with ones pride. At a store you can chose what to buy and what not to buy. You have a choice and having this choice is really important.

When was “De Sociale Kruidenier” founded?The Sociale Kruidenier started in May 2016 here in Amsterdam. It was first founded, however, in France as the “épicerie sociale” and expanded later to the Flemish speaking part of Belgium in 2004.

I hope this short information about the Sociale Kruidenier gave you a look into this project and its history and philosophy. If you’d like to learn more about this project go to http://www.socialekruidenier.nl/over-ons for more information (Dutch).

At the moment I am at the airport to fly back to Munich to visit my family, so as the Dutch say: “Tot zo!”

 

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A big old blog by Georgia Whelan, juni 8th, 2016

 

Why hello there Georgia here!

Firstly I’d like to apologise for the lack of blogs recently but as your about to read we have been extremely busy these past few months. So in no particular order..

The month of May was a really nice and also very busy month. The main event being our group trip to Italy. We went to Naples Pompeii and Rome. My personal favourite being Naples.

We did tours and visited many places. On the first day we went to the beach and although it was quite a travel away we still had fun with such clear blue water and sunny weather we made the most of it! (We also discovered the knife and fork tax.)
The rest of the days we walked a lot visiting the cities Seeing castle’s with beautiful views, touring and just in general seeing what Italy had to offer. Naples had the best food of all the places we visited and I can honestly say we ate the best pizza ever there! We also stayed in such a nice hostel which I would highly recommend (i was not bribed tp make an  advertisement I promise.)  We spent our last night in the airport which was an experience to say the least but I nor any of the others will be doing it again in a hurry. it was nice to be back in my own bed again.

We like to put lots of effort into people’s birthdays here in the mission house and when there’s no birthday to celebrate we make one up. Melanie celebrated her mission house birthday last week {as she will not be here on her real birthday.}  It began with a lovely bike trip to the beach. Me and Linus travelling by tandem. After the trip we came home had carrot cake made by Mirjam and gave her present.
Later in the evening we hosted a cocktail party which looked rather professional even if I do say so myself and was a very nice evening.
As your probably aware our lovely house leader is from the other side of Holland called Steenwijk. Well earlier in May we spent the weekend there with him his girlfriend Gera and her lovely family. We did lots exciting things and enjoyed our time away from the busy city to take in some fresh country air. We discovered a really nice village, went to their church, we went on walks, a boat ride, enjoyed picnics and BBQ’S and met their lovely friends. It was such a nice weekend and the weather was perfect. However nothing is perfect and so three of us {Jhoswa, Linus and myseelf} came home injured  but hey we still had fun even if we did have to hobble home.

This month is our final month in the mission house. Although it is sad we are determined to make the most of our time here and enjoy it together before we leave to live the rest of our lives. for this i wish all of my flatmates the best of luck.

This weekend we had the pleasure to spend the weekend with the new generation of mission house volunteers who will be replacing us in September. We spent this weekend getting to know them and they are a lovely group and I’m sure they will have lots of fun and you will be hearing all about their adventures soon. We had plenty of fun playing games and having a BBQ, doing a green light tour (positive things) in the red light district and a boat ride which didn’t go according to plan after a boat malfunction and ended with the us travelling side by side with the new generation holding the boats together.

For sure we did many more things however i think i could go on forever if i write them all. i hopw you enjoyed this blog and the pictures from the fun things we have been doing.

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Mission House life lately by Joost van Dijk, maart 26th, 2016

Hey, everyone! Here is Joost again :D

So… where do I start.? Lately, we have a loooot of guests in the house, haha. I don’t even register anymore who is who and from who every guest is, but it’s nice. For example, a friend of Jhoswa came with his parents and they were so friendly! The dad had amazing stories and they even left two recipes for us for delicious food!
Right now Bence is really happy because his cool friends came over to the Mission House and a while ago Melanie had a bunch of friends here.
That’s one of the fun things about the Mission House: most of the time it’s full of awesome people :D

12805975_10206071823263138_3240569835056764700_nAnother thing I would like to share is a very nice breakfast we had some time ago. That Friday we had a nice party in another voluntary house. There was amazing food (mostly made by our group, so it had to be amazing) and cool people who also come over to the Mission House once in a while. We al943974_10209045519714243_7726558568579706471_nready agreed on going to the HEMA for a nice breakfast the next morning and for that, we had to leave early. It was a challenge to wake some people up, but in the end, we went with a nice group (as some stayed in their bed XD). Arriving at the HEMA, there was no “normal” HEMA-breakfast, so we all choose something and went outside. Me and my girlfriend Gera remembered a nice spot to chill, so we went there. It was really nice to share this moment with lovely people!

This week we went to a bar near the Mission House and had a good time there. The conversation went from one weird topic to the other, as it supposed to be with friends20160323_204442.
Now it’s Saturday and while I’m writing this I hear voices and laughter and I smell the delicious smell of cake being baked. Yep, the Mission House life is amazing!

It’s hard to face but the end is coming near now. People start to think about study or work for next year, people start to miss home, their friends and their   family and sometimes people feel like their doing a routine. All normal things, if you ask me. But, as we already facing the end, I really look forward to the next couple of months. The better weather is coming and already arriving and I believe that’s going to do a lot of good for a lot of people! Hopefully, you’ll see the pictures and hear the stories of us going outside; chilling in the park or going to water and doing activities in the sunny weather very soon!

Ok well, hope you enjoyed reading and see you later!!

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by Mirjam Egger, maart 4th, 2016

Hello everyone! ;)

Tomorrow Linus, Bence, Jhoswa, Melanie and me (Mirjam :)) are going to our mid-term-training in Den Haag. I’m really looking forward to it because the others, who already were on training, told us that it had been really nice and a lot of fun.

This time I want to tell you some stories from one of our working places: “Not for Sale”.

dignitanfs
Not for Sale is a worldwide anti-human-trafficing organization. Here in Amsterdam they have a little store and a really cozy and delicious restaurant called “Dignita”. The crazy thing is, that the store is literally in the middle of the red light district, between the sex palace and a love boutique!

In the last few years Not for Sale in Amsterdam developed the concept of selling soups and salads to the women behind the windows in the red light district (kind of to their neighbours).
For Not for Sale it’s important to deliver healty and nutritios food to the women and maybe to have a nice chat with them. In addition to that they also offer cooking trainings to women who have been trafficed and are now living in a savehouse in Amsterdam.
rldSo actually the soup which is sold to potential victims of human trafficing helps other victims of human trafficing to get a cooking diploma. Nice concept, right?
The organization is mainly based on voluntary work, what means that all the members of the mission house have a really important, needed and diverse function in the work of Not for Sale.

We either work in the store, cut salads in the kitchen, answer the phone orders, deliver the soup from the restaurant to the store, look after children while the mothers attend the cooking training or are on the street to get the soup orders.

But working for this organization includes sooo much more than you would ever expect! Just some examples are:
Riding a huge and heavy bakfiets through the dangerous traffic of Amsterdam, burning bread in a strange microwave oven, sewing by hand courtains shorter, trying to fix a fridge that makes really loud and mysterious noises, drawing the black board in front of the restaurant or drinking hot chocolate in the sex palace, offered by the security guard!

rijksmuseum       tafel      volles bakfiets
There a lot of crazy stories to tell from our working experiences in Not for Sale! But I think we all really like to work there because we feel that our help and our different qualities are really used and valued in this project.

I hope I could give you a short view inside one of our working places. But I need to stop now because we have open meal today (with hopefully a lot of guests ;)) and the others are already preparing everything. Mmmmh it smells delicious… Eet smakelijk!
Enjoy the rest of the week!

Groetjes
Mirjam

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Mission House routine: doing a lot by Roxane Courthial, februari 15th, 2016

ts of amazing places in the Netherlands which really worth to be seen, but Amsterdam still has something special that nothing can replace.Hi everyone !

Hi everyone !

Here we are for a new post on this blog!

So much things happened these last two weeks..!

First, Pedro and me (Roxane) went on training in Den Haag, it was lots of fun but we cannot say more about it because some of the others did not have been yet and I would not like to spoil them… We came back after 3 days, glad of these days but also glad to be home again. I always have this good feeling when I go out of the metro station and see our house, “our” canal, and feel the Amsterdam atmosphere again. I know there are lots of amazing places in the Netherlands which really worth to be seen, but Amsterdam still has something special that nothing can replace.

 

I have been with my mentor to the “food soul festival” in the North of the city and… we ate and enjoyed it really much haha ! Bence also met again his mentor : they watched the Super bowl 2016 together and he came back really early in the morning. He was so brave to go to work after only 2 or 3 hours of sleep !

Joost, his girlfriend Gera, Georgia, Mirjam, Melanie, Jhoswa and me decided to go the beach a week ago and despite of the extremely agressive wind, we had an amazing day and stayed there to have dinner. The restaurant was quite strange and first, not everybody was happy with it but when we are together, we usually do not care about the conditions and at the end we all liked it!

This week end, we were invited to Hanske’s parents house with the volunteers from the World House, Inma and Flora and those from Oudezijds, Corinna and Inese. These days enabled us to reflect on our year here, professionaly and personally. So each of us did his own body map and presented it to the others. It was a deep and interesting moment. We also watched a movie from Hanske’s husband and it was a new tool to lead us to reflect.

Nevertheless, we did not only had deep activities. We also all went to bowling and I could discover how bad I was in it; but for Inese for exemple, it was a big success. It was her first time and she did really well ! Hanske and Jhoswa faught for the champion title.

This is not all, we’ve been to lasergame. None of us was used to do it and we were like children ! We felt really tired after running and hiding everywhere but a really good dinner was waiting for us and to be honnest, we ate a lot the whole week end ! Hanske and Kees-Jan took well care of us.

And I was about to forget one the biggest event these last days……….. Joost birthday ! I think he really appreciated it. We all had roles and had to simulate something. For example, Jhoswa called him, saying he was at the police station, Mirjam had to say she was in love with him, Melanie had to say she was pregnant, etc… And Joost had to deal with all this. From the beginning he guessed it was part of the surprise but it was still really crazy ! After this we had a nice party together and with some friends. We could admire and taste the birthday cake: a Snikers cake home-made by Mirjam, lekker!

 

This is pretty all that happened in the Mission House, I hope you can see through all this how happy we are to be here and to live this experience,

I wish you a good day,

Roxane

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birthdays, bingo and the opera by Georgia Whelan, januari 31st, 2016

Blog
Why hello! This is my first time writing the blog however I do believe that you may have been informed about who I am from previous blogs. (especially our first which was written by Mirjam and Pedro) For those of you who don’t My name is Georgia and I’m from England. I would like to firstly give a warm welcome to anybody reading this and hope that your week has also been a nice one.

Life in the mission house is normally filled with love and laughter and this week was no exception!! I believe that one of my favourite parts of this week was family time which was prepared by Jhoswa who decided that we would have a games night!! :} I do love games however this time was even more exciting!….. well at least for me it was as I got to bring out my own game. This wasn’t just any game. This is a hand crafted original game of panda bingo, created by my sister Kathryn (thank you Kathryn) and personalised with my very own name. And so with the addition of some junk food, a bit of music and good company we played the night away.

This week has also been a cause for celebrations. Firstly our lovely house leader turns 22 this weekend and even though we will not be with him on the day itself on behalf of all of the mission house we would like to give him a hugeeeeeee happy birthday!!! As well as this I’d also like to reassure him that he doesn’t escape all of our mean plans because he went back home for the weekend it just gives us more time to plan. After all you are our house leader it would be unfair to leave you out on all of the fun. (Muuuhahah)

Furthermore I’d also like to congratulate Joost’s lovely girlfriend Gera on becoming a nurse we are all very proud of her and I am sure that she is going to make a lovely nurse! So happy graduation Gera.

As you have probably heard many times already from us we are very much so like a family. We share and care for each other, we learn each others likes and dislikes. For example, I know not to give Roxane honey, I know that Jhoshwa really cannot cope with anything that resembles spice and I know that the smell of fish let alone the taste is more than enough to put Linus off.
However this week has felt more like a family than normal for some more than others! This may have been something to do with the addition of not just one sister but two as we were honoured by the appearance of Roxane and Jhoshwa’s sisters Chloè and Daniella.
It had been lovely to spend time with both of these beautiful young ladies. One of which is celebrating a birthday in the mission house. Happy birthday Daniella! As she is a guest it seemed unfair to make games to humiliate her so strangely enough we just let her enjoy her party which I hope she did. ☺

on Saturday Roxane, Linus, Mirjam and Pedro also went to enjoy some classical music at the opera. so as they dressed up smartly in their finest attire they went to the show and from what i can tell they enjoyed themselves!

 

 

 

gera graduationjoostlittle pedro big linusroxane and chloe

 

linus baloonbingoconcertdaniella
i hope you all enjoyed this weeks edition of he blog
Farewell for now
Georgia

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Celebrating a birthday in the Mission House by Joost van Dijk, januari 24th, 2016

Hello all! It is Joost, the so-called “house leader” of the Mission House (this year). This is my first blog, so first I share some of my experiences in the Mission House :).

I think it’s really great to be house leader of the Mission House. I’m so lucky with the group this year: I really think it couldn’t be better. Everybody is so lovely on his or her own way. This sounds cliché, but we are really like a family. We do so many fun things together and I also think it is great that no matter who you put together: it will be fun. As last Friday, I went with Linus, Pedro and Mirjam to a bar, yesterday during the day wbar met MHith Roxane, Jhoswa, Mirjam and Bence to Ikea and last night we partied at the place of family of Jhoswa with that group plus Linus and Pedro and others. On this moment, another large group is at the cinema and that’s how it goes throughout the year. No matter what person you put with another person: they will do great! No one is left out, even though we are so different. We can enjoy each other’s differences and we complement each other. Sometimes it feels like I have eight children (even though I don’t know the feeling of having children yet :-P), sometimes as if I have eight brothers and sisters and sometimes as if I have eight daddies and mommies.
We’re almost halfway through the year … it’s going so fast! Fortunately, we have lots of super nice stuff planned ahead of us!

Anyway,IMG-20160109-WA0022 I wanted to especially talk about birthdays in the Mission House, because my birthday is in a week. The weekend after it we will celebrate it here and I fear the worst!
Each anniversary the other people secretly think of terribly humiliating games. And the worst thing is: the Mission House heroes are very creative. For example a B-Day girl was made-up and fed by two blindfolded boys, others had to imitate all kinds of wild animals, others had to pose for very embarrassing photo’s, people were sprayed with a water gun and some had to taste the weirdest flavors.
Do you understand now why I’m a little afraid? Yet I also look forward to it, because besides the humiliating games are always delicious cakes and great gifts! And yet I’m not particularly looking forward to the cakes and gifts, buIMG_1028t just to the joy of partying together. We party a lot in the Mission House and next to all the hilarious moments, friendly guests, delicious food, and great music celebrations are the best, because of the love and unity that we experience on a party. Whether we talk quietly, dance wildly, play games or watch movies: the important thing is that we share beautiful moments together.

IMG-20160103-WA0042A party can have delicious snacks and drinks, the coolest games, the coolest people, the best music and the nicest surrounding, but a party is nothing without love. The moments that everyone is being their selves, everyone is accepted and that there is unity are simply the best. Whatever we celebrate with a party, in the end,   we celebrate each other. We celebrate how beautiful, fun and different we are, and actually if you aren’t doing that at a party, it is not a party after all. And, party or no party, I think celebrating each other is what we do and should do this year in the Mission House and even in every area of our lives.

Sorry, I’m the house leader, so I have to write some deep stuff XD

Thanx for reading and see you next time!

Joost

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MH fun of the last weeks by Mirjam Egger, januari 17th, 2016

Hi there!

Time for a new blog entry…

As you already know from Melanie we all really enjoyed our New Year’s Eve party.

It was also quite cool to have the weekend after for a relaxed start in 2016.

The highlight was our ice skating eveningIMG_2343:

We went to a place in front of Rijksmuseum and it was just fabulous to skate with the view

on that beautiful building and all the lights!IMG_2341

For Pedro it was the first time on the ice – that made it also really funny and we all had to laugh

so hardly when we saw a video of him afterwards heading towards a co-worker who was telling us to

leave in 10 minutes… Suddenly Pedro slipped so he was clinging to that man who saved him

from falling in that way.

This was an amazing conclusion of our common New Year’s period!

Finally everybody started working again – it was quite different to get back to all the

everday occurrences, but it was nice to see all the people from our working places again.

The top event in the last two weeks was Georgia’s birthday.

On the day itself we celebrated with her parents who came to visit her – it was such a funny evening

and we had a lot of fun! Mirjam prepared PANDA cake pops which were absolutely fantastic!IMG_2344

Unfortunately Jhoswa’s wisdom teeth got drawn out a few days after that

and we were all worried that he could not participate in the upcoming party for Georgia

with some friends and people we know from work. But we gave him a lot of fruits, smoothies and

cooling packs – so finally he was okay and we could celebrate all together.

Today we all did different things to enjoy wonderful winter whether: The sun was shining and our garden was a little white!

( We still don’t give up our dream of seeing a really white Amsterdam )

Mirjam, Melanie and me went on a ” Canal-Bike-trip ” – we went through all the canals on a pedal boat which was HUGE fun!

We had snacks and a blanket because it was freezing – that was perfect.

You really had a different view on all the buildings and in combination with the sunshine it was an awesome experience which

we will never forget…

We really wanted to surprise all the others in the MH from the boat – therefore we got really frustrated when we recognized

that crossing the Amstel with our small plastic boat was – mhmmmm – ” not wanted “.

After a small debate IMG_7444 we decided to go ( quite under stress – so we went as fast as we

could ) and finally nobody of our family

was there – but at least we felt really COOL! We laughed a lot and gained nice memories…

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All the best

Linus