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Hello! We are the Five Friendly Femme Fatales in The Netherlands! ;-)
We, that is: a 38 year old mum with four daughters (16, 15, 12 and 8). We live in the Southern part of The Netherlands, in the Limburg Province, in the city of Maastricht. Our household is crazy chaotic at times and loving at all times. The youngest member of the family is in a primary (Steiner / Waldorf) school and the other three are in secondary/tertiary 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.
Babysitting and creative play
Help around the house
Help with Computers/ Internet
This project could involve children. For more information see our guidelines and tips here.
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 exactly very young anymore, the 'care' will be mostly around being there for them, taking the youngest one 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 the household, general maintenance, painting and gardening. While doing household chores is not your "main" task, but we would definitely look at how you can do your share, like everyone else in the house (laundry, cleaning, cooking) - and, in the end, the adults will still end up doing more than the kids. It would be great if you are the type of person who just DOES things, rather than waits to be instructed!
Also, certain spaces in (and around) the house may need some paint or other type of renovation, so you may even make yourself useful in this way!
At the moment, we share our household with our queen (mother cat) Nala, who gave birth in April, and her 3 kittens Xana, Taveez and Nakupenda. The kittens are not yet allowed to leave the house, so they are kept indoors until the end of August. They need to be fed, cuddled, brushed and (yep!): their toilets need to be cleaned daily! (We share this responsibility.)
I want to discuss and agree on all chores, tasks, timings etc. with you (if you are 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. To respect the wishes and privacy of my (teenage) kids, I will not have a single workawayer who identifies as (heterosexual) male. If you are travelling as a couple, we can discuss.
This host offers a language exchange
I'd love to touch up on my (almost non-existent) Spanish, Papiamento or French. The kids love conversing in English (second language) and any other language. I can teach you Dutch if you are interested. All of this will have to be taking place in an organic way.
We live in a modest house (terraced) with a total of four floors, one bathroom, two toilets. Our house is a so called "split level" house. The front entrance (ground floor in the front) is on the first floor on the back. This is where we have our sitting/dining room and kitchen. Upstairs (second and third floor) is where our bedrooms are and the shared bathroom. The third floor is basically an attic. What is the ground floor in the back, is the basement/souterrain in the front. There is one big bed room there, which is in use. The door to the back yard is on the same floor, as well as the bicycles and the washing- and drying machine.
We'll need to agree on where exactly you will sleep. This could be either on the top floor, or on the ground floor (basement), but this needs to be agreed with all of us. If you are coming with a camper van or other type of mobile home for yourself, that's also great. You can park this in front of the house.
In principle, we'll expect you to join us for our meals (and take part in the cooking rota), 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 languages to our repertoire (my Spanish, for example, is quite 'rusty').
If you're interested, just contact us and let's discuss further...
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
I don't have any specific work space available for this, but, working from the home would work as long as I am at work and the kids are not in the house. Once we are all in the house (shared living space), I prefer not to have laptops, Ipads and the like in the room, so we can connect together. If you want to stay in your own room to do this, you are free to do so ofcourse.
Nothing fancy, just park it on the road side, in front of the house. Maybe not ideal, but possible.
Maximum 5 hours a day, 5 days a week