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Hello everyone! :) by Pedro Fragata, november 7th, 2015

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Hello everyone! :)

We (Mirjam and Pedro) have the privilege to be the first ones to write on the MH blog this year! :)

So we were wondering how to do it but eventually we figured it out… we will tell you some of the funniest stories that happened in the mission house until now!

But first… we arrived on 1st September which means that we are here for more than two months now… time goes by really fast!

We are an excellent team of eight volunteers coming from six countries (Austria, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Portugal and Spain) plus our amazing Dutch house leader.

On the first month we had the chance to get to know each other better and to visit all the projects that we could choose to participate in the remaining nine months. Now each one of us has already his own schedule and we are helping out in more than twenty projects!

And now some stories about us!

Melanie is Austrian and… she can sometimes speak a little bit loudly! To be honest we had noticed it before! :D But there was a day she got home and told us that she was in the church, already sitting, waiting for the service to start and suddenly a woman sits in the seat in front of her. She commented to Georgia: “Now I can’t see anything!” and obviously, the woman easily understood her! She was really gentle and asked Melanie to change seats with her so that she could see better.

And once in the first week Melanie was cooking with so much enthusiasm and swing that she (by accident) put almost the whole package of salt in the cheese sauce (but now she really proved that we can trust her cooking skills, she really knows how to cook!).

Jhoswa, born in Columbia and now living in Mallorca, has sometimes a quite funny name pronounciation. He calls Hanske “Hanssskaaa” and says Gloria to Georgia! In the first week when we lost our lovely Georgia in the Sloterdijk train station, he was going around looking for her and screaming “Gloria, Gloria…!”. He also tried to be a vegetarian but after 10 minutes he was already missing his “little little chicken”!

And Jhoswa also got caught on the toilet, kind of…! Once in a while we forget to lock it and… once in a while someone thinks it’s free and trys to get in…!!!

Relaxed Roxane is our french girl and she loves hot chocolate! Just when it rains (happens sometimes in Holland) and her bike seat is wet she isn’t so relaxed anymore. But the funniest… she got her bike stolen… by us!

She locked her bike only to itself and we stole it!

But she did it inside our parking so it was kind of a “safe” place to do it. And now she does it properly so it’s alright! :)

Joost is our big great house leader. He is always singing, whistling and humming around. If you suddenly hear a loud scream followed by some more shouts from another room it’s probably Joost singing along what’s right now on his mind. We also really love Joost’s kind girlfriend Gera and we’re already used to have her around in the mission house. We even include her on our cooking and doing the dishes schedule! It’s always nice to have her around! :)

Strong Hungarian survivor Bence got already quite close with the dangerous Amsterdam tram! They met in a “Wall-tram-wall-tram” approach! It wasn’t a fair handshake for Bence (and for his bike) but luckily Bence didn’t got hurt at all (only his bike got to be in a really bad shape…!). He is really talkative, polite and very well informed about a lot of subjects and when he starts to speak about one of his favourite topics (sports, politics) it’s almost impossible to stop him ( Waaad! ~~~ [arm wave] just kidding ;D) – private joke :)

“This is a message for Georgia Wheelan from England. Your friends are waiting for you at the information desk” – Georgia got her moment of fame and she’s now well known in the whole Sloterdijk train station while the info desk was calling her on the microphone, at least on that particular day she was! :D Our panda girl (she loves pandas!) found some amazing new high technological tools in the Mission House like the electronic juicer or the cheese cutter…! :D Georgia is also often surprised by strange German food preparing habits and she sneezes louder than you can ever imagine! ;)

Linus is from the tram-flying-city-Wuppertal and our private house pianist, especially Jhoswa loves his wonderful various plays (unfortunaltely one very important piano key got destroyed by someone’s ass, but we will fix it soon…)! He is a huge Citroën 2CV and Amy Winehouse fan and the funniest story teller of the world. Once he told us the story how Roxane got stuck in the tram line in front of a restaurant and he started to sing “stay’n alive, stay’n ali-” but then he got stuck in the tram line by himself and all the people who watched it started to laugh! :D (if you had seen Linus telling the story you would have been rolling on the floor and laughing right now… Hehe)

Marillenknoedel-and-chocolate-lover-Mirjam is from Austria and she’s known as our zen girl in the house because she always finds the right balance between calm and pro-active! :) except this one time when she experienced to walk out of the living room only wearing her socks so she slipped on the floor (totally unbalanced), and she found herself just totally slidiiiing like if she was ice skiing and trying not to fall and at the same time she just commented to Joost who was also in the living room “oh Joooooost – you cleaned the floor very well today! ” :D so you all know how muuuch effort we put in cleaning! ;)

About Pedro, he’s from Portugal and he always uses funny sounds when he’s talking to explain himself better. “We have to buy such a pffffffffffff to clean the wooden furniture” (and while he does the pffffffffff sound it really sounds like a spray! Pedro also learnt in the meanwhile the dutch way of fixing a flat tire on his bike: without removing the wheel from the frame (it was the first time he did it like that but it makes sense and it’s really practical and fast way to do it).

Ah… he was also trying to do a wheelie in his bike buuuuuut… he wasn’t able to measure the rear brake to keep the front wheel in the air so he had to jump back… he managed to land on his feet but still everyone around was laughing really hard (including some guys that were passing by on a motorcycle!!!).

And the funniest thing was when he was caught in the toilet by Melanie while she was making a skype video call with her boyfriend and was showing him the (whole) house, including the toilets…! We all laughed for 5 or 10 minutes, seriously…! :D

To finish this first blog entry we wanted to say that we are really grateful for this opportunity of being part of the Mission House team for these 10 months! We are really honored to be here and in each other’s company and we are appreciating every moment of this challenging and amazing opportunity that we were given while we can actually make the difference helping people! :)

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Koningsdag, Dodenherdenking, Bevrijdingsdag and more..! by Hanske Mulder, mei 12th, 2015

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Hello everyone!

It’s me, Lilli, and today I would like to share some “Mission House moments” with you:

Last Monday everybody was celebrating the Kings Day. Seemed to me like every inhabitant of Amsterdam was in the street plus many visitors because there were so many people! It was amazing: in almost every street a party, a “vrijmarkt” or some other great activities. Also the parks were really “gezellig” because a lot of people did for little money some playings with the visitors where they were able to win something. And if you are exhausted by so much party and so many people just sit in the gras and enjoy the sun! In the whole town you had always background music – either from a boat on which groups and families were celebrating the 48th birthday of the King Willem-Alexander with great music or from a stage near your current location or from a private balcony etc.

Of course we also wanted to have a slice of the pie and so we tried to sell cake and lemonade in front of the hermitage – we didn’t really succeed but sitting in the sun on one of our couches, enjoying the nice weather (and having a beer) – THIS was worth for one try!

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On Thursday we had a really sociable evening while playing volleyball in our garden and watching Harry Potter at the television. Ik hou van Family Time! (I really like family times ;) )

At the weekend there were a lot of guests in the Mission House and Ola was absent, so we didn’t have so many shared actions.

This Monday and Tuesday there are two special days in the Netherlands: Nationale Dodenherdenking (Remembrance of the Dead at the 4th of May) and Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day at the 5th of May). So the King of the Netherlands Willem-Alexander was in Amsterdam to take part at the ceremony for remembering all civilians and members of the armed forces of the Kingdom of the Netherlands who died in wars or peacekeeping missions since the outbreak of World War II. And some members of the Mission House even saw him! At 8 pm there were two minutes silent in the whole Netherlands, all cars stopped even tram paused and all people thought about the victims – in silence of course. It was a really special moment.

At the Bevrijdingsdag the Dutch people celebrate the liberation of their nation after the German occupation. There will be a lot of festivals, concerts and “vrijheidsmaaltijden” where neighbours, organisations, hotels etc. cook for a little money a tasty dinner for everybody who would like to join. So gezellig!

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OH I talked so much about national holidays in the Netherlands – maybe you are a lot more interested in what we actually really work?

So I decided trying to describe for you my work as exactly as possible :)

On Monday mornings I work at the „re-play“ project. Here parents come with their very little children (0-4 years) for playing with them. The special thing is that many families in Amsterdam Oost have a migration background and so the Dutch is not their first language. At “re-play“ they can exchange views about their children, other news and at the same time improve their Dutch language. I am helping with arranging a little meal (buying and cutting fruits), preparing a craft action and of course, we can play with the children and talk to their parents!

In the afternoon I am helping at a „buurtmaaltijd“ (neighbourhood meal). People who normally don’t find the way to restaurants can enjoy a meal for only 5€. That’s big fun to serve the food for them and nothing has to be perfect like in a ‘normal’ restaurant! ;-)

Tuesdays I help feeding multiple disabled children and young adults. We pick them up from the bus which brings them from school to ‘Amsta’, the location where they live in little groups and at 5 pm they have dinner. After the meal we often go out to the Vondelpark if the weather is nice.

On Wednesday I work at the “De Tweede Mijl”. It is a shelter where drug/alcohol addicted or homeless people but also very poor ones or refugees can have coffee, tea, lemonade, sandwiches, a hot soup or a footbath – for free. It’s really warmhearted there and after few months you know many visitors and you see them every week…

Every Thursday I go to the “Hospice Kuria” for a few hours. It’s so familiar there! We volunteers do everything what has to be done in the background like doing the groceries, go to the pharmacy or to the bakery but also wash the laundry, iron, controll the cupboards etc. while the nurses take care of the patients. However when Dutch is improving with the time the volunteers can also go to their rooms for offering some tea, having a talk..

Last but not least: On Fridays I have another great project. I work at the “Huygens’dok” tog10931521_996225690406368_2243078628107882504_nether with deaf people but also normal hearing ones. The customers can decide to order either in sign language or in Dutch. Young deaf people can do a apprenticeship (waiter/cook) there for free and people who have also problems at the “first employment market” are also here for helping. We are baking cake together, cut the vegetables, prepare the sandwiches, take the orders, make coffee, serve the food and drinks and so on. It is sooo much fun and feels absolutely not like work!

Now I hope you got a little view into our work and also an impression about what it means to live and work here in the Mission House. However if it sounds like a lot of work, many tasks, etc. don’t be afraid! We have also enough free time to discover the town, to do sports or other things we like. And at work we are never alone, we always have somebody who is helping (or introduced us in the first weeks). In my first 8 months I always knew who I can ask if I had a problem, so it’s really enjoyable – and I’m sure we all enjoy our time here!

You got it – I’m finished! Have a nice spring time! Now I will go for a ride with my bike through beautiful Amsterdam.

Vriendelijke groetjes uit Amsterdam en tot ziens!

 

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It’s Spring! by Hanske Mulder, maart 30th, 2015

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Hello World :)

It has been a while since any of us from the house updated the blog!

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Last week before christmas by Hanske Mulder, december 16th, 2014

Hello everybody, I want to tell you about last week. On Monday we had a really nice Zinmoment prepared by Erwin. We talked about what „Living together“ means for everybody and discussed about that. It was very interesting because everybody get a new view how the others want to share life in community.

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A Little Update… by Hanske Mulder, november 29th, 2014

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Hello!

Our blog has been rejected for the past few weeks – Erwin, Julius, Lilli, Helene, Ola, Salome I’m looking at you ;) – but I’m going to provide a little update now! read more

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Anyone there? by Hanske Mulder, oktober 12th, 2014

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Hi! It’s A’kos.

Let me tell you about what we did in the house the last week!

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An update from the Mission House! by Hanske Mulder, september 23rd, 2014

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Hello everyone,

It’s Gemma! This week I’ll be updating you about life in the Mission House… biggrin read more

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Projects visiting ! by Hanske Mulder, september 15th, 2014

Hello everyone !

It is Hélène, from the new Mission House team. This week the blog is mine to tell all I want !

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Arrival and first week by Hanske Mulder, september 13th, 2014

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Hello and welcome everybody to the blog of the new mission house generation 2014/15!

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