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Hello! We are the Five Friendly Femme Fatales in The Netherlands! ;-)
We, that is: a 37 year old mum with four daughters (15, 13, 10 and 7). We live in the Southern part of The Netherlands, in the Limburg Province, in the city of Maastricht. The only male in this house, is our cat (who is the best male you could wish for!). Our household is crazy chaotic at times and loving at all times. The youngest three members of the family are in a primary (Steiner / Waldorf) school and the oldest is in secondary education. I (mum) work in an international school with young people (11-20) from all over the world, as a teacher, facilitator and advisor for experiential education, while I am studying to obtain my teaching qualification in Geography / Individuals & Societies.
Next to education, we love to dance, sing, perform theatre and make or listen to music a lot. We're also fond of other types of arts, cooking and enjoying wonderful meals together (the majority of our meals are vegetarian and we're minding consumption of dairy (and are conscious about what we eat and drink), but we do enjoy some meat from time to time - of animals that have lived a good life) and having really good conversations. In summer, our favorite activity is swimming (or anything else in the water) and we go on visits to the Northern part of the country relatively frequently during the year, to see family and friends.
In terms of cultural exchange, there's lots of room for you to taste different aspects of culture in The Netherlands. While we live in the South of the country, where it's quiet and beautiful, I (mum) grew up in the North (where it's also quiet and beautiful) and have many connections in Amsterdam (the capital), which you may want to visit and see if you explore the country. On top of that, a part of our home / heart is in Africa, which is where the girls' roots are and where I lived during earlier years in my life (which can still be noticed in our choice for music, food etc.). In general, our (personal) environment is quite international and intercultural. Through working with the children, you could learn much more about many aspects of our culture.
And, ofcourse, I almost forgot: we cycle!! The Netherlands is a country with a great infrastructure for bicycles, so we cycle -rather than drive- for basically everything we need (to do), at least around our city. If you come live with us, we'll get you a bicycle and you need not be afraid of rain and other weather circumstances!!!
The most important aspect of the help we are requesting will be to care for my girls when I am not home and there is no nanny (I have a nanny who is in for only two days a week). This is at least one (full) day a week and will be more hours / evenings and could potentially take place in the weekends. As the children are not extremely young anymore, the 'care' will be mostly around being there for them, taking them to and from school, helping with homework, paying attention to them, listening to them when they need it and undertaking activities (e.g. fiddling, arts, playing games, reading) with them, but it also requires some pedagogical skills. While my regulations in the house are all aimed at giving everyone in the house authentic responsibility, there are some basic rules (e.g. around the use of digital devices, bed times etc) that need to be complied with. If you have experience with teenagers, this would be an absolute plus! (It can get extremely uncomfortable with teenagers in the house; you need to be able to deal with this.)
Next to care for the kids, there are other things in the house I may need help with, like general maintenance, painting and gardening. I am not 'hiring' you to do general household chores, but we would definitely look at how you can do your share, like everyone else in the house (laundry, cleaning, cooking).
Also, the (guest) room we have in mind for you, may need some paint or other type of renovation, so you may even design to your own taste if you feel like (we can provide paint).
I want to discuss and agree on all chores, tasks, timings etc. with the right person up front (via phone or internet video call).
One expectation I will definitely have, is for you to obtain a certificate of good conduct from your local authority.
English & Dutch (and a bit of German & French)
We live in a modest house (terraced) with three floors, one bathroom, two toilets. Our house is a so called "split level" house. The front entrance is on the first floor (not ground floor at the back), where we have our sitting/dining room and kitchen. Upstairs (second and third floor) is where our bedrooms are and the shared bathroom.
The (guest) room that we have envisioned for the workawayer is situated on the ground floor (where nobody else sleeps). This space can be made the workawayer's own -private- space. The door to the back yard is on the same floor, as well as the bicycles and the washing- and drying machine. The room is appr. 15-20 m2 and already has a bed in it, as well as another bed and a sofa bed (we can discuss on how to furnish the room).
In principle, we'll expect you to join us for our meals, unless otherwise agreed.
If you are up for living with 5 'femme fatales' for a while in The Netherlands and live, laugh (and cry) and learn with us, while exploring a new country, you're welcome to contact us! Maybe we will be together soon!
We speak Dutch and English and I know a little bit of a few other languages (French and German being the more prominent ones). It would be great if the English of the children can be brushed up and I'd be happy to include another language to our repertoire.
If you're interested, just contact us and let's discuss further...
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