27/01/2019 - 01/03/2019
I'm a young Belgian woman who loves intercultural learning. I've been to Slovakia and the Faroe Islands on exchange and spent the last three months of 2018 WorkAwaying in Finland, Norway and Iceland. Both on farms and in households.
I just finished my master in History and in September 2019 I will start a teacher degree. This will be in Brussels, where there is a large group of students with a different ethnical or cultural background. I wish to learn more about communication between cultures and get to understand how different cultures work so I can treat all students with respect. Understanding other cultures will also help me deal better with possible misunderstandings or negatives situations in the classroom.
People often describe me as kind, gentle, reliable, quiet and calm, but my friends know I can also get really enthusiastic and very talkative about the things I like, especially dogs and books/stories. It usually requires for me to get to know people before I get really comfortable. On the other hand, I can talk about the most deep and difficult topics with a random stranger. I do need some time each day where I can read a book, walk or watch a movie on my own to have some peace and quiet.
I love animals and nature walks. I read a lot, preferably detectives, fantasy, historical fiction, myths, sagas, legends and humour, or I spent time on crafts. While I love filling in leisure time with the above, I also like to be active. My hobbies in the past have included swimming, Tae Kwon Do and air acrobatics in a circus school. I still love those, but I’m currently practicing Aikido and International Folk Dance.
To everyone who opens their home to me, thank you very much and I’m really looking forward to meet you.
To everyone I won’t meet: I wish you the best of luck and happiness.
Thank you to take the time to read this.
Babysitting / child care
Cooking / shopping
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
The types of help listed above are those I want to help with, but I don’t have experience in all of them. I’m willing to help with almost anything and very much looking forward to learn new techniques and hone new skills.
COOKING/SHOPPING: I’m particularly proud off the lasagne I made for the first time as it worked out very well and it was for 14 people. I like baking, especially cookies and cakes and I’m fascinated by cake decorating as it is a beautiful and tasty art, although I do not really do it myself. I love to see people cook who don’t need recipes and just try out new things. It’s something I’m not yet able to do, but hope so in the future if I cook more often. On the other hand, trying out new dishes work quite well for me if I have a recipe to follow.
HELP IN THE HOUSE: in Iceland it was my job to clean the house. Both the daily clean-up and deep cleaning and reorganising cluttered rooms.
HELPING WITH TOURISTS: I’ve had a vacation job for five years in a recreational domain in Belgium, which has an outdoor swimming pool, mini-golf, boats, children’s playground, etc. We switch between many jobs, one is to take care of the tourists wanting to play mini-golf, go for a boat trip or the swimming guests. Both financially as helping them with information or questions.
LANGUAGE PRACTICE: My high school program was ‘modern languages’ of which I preferred English classes. I worked shortly for a company as a teacher, where I helped a girl who wanted to practice her verbal skills in Dutch. I’ve also had the great opportunity myself, when I was younger, of a language camp in Kent, England. Which helped my pronunciation, speaking and listening skills in English.
TEACHING: I practiced speaking Dutch with a student and I spent a year teaching 3 to 6 year-olds to swim. Considering it was the young age group, It wasn’t yet swimming, but more teaching them to hold their breath, breath out through their nose under water, to like the water and not be scared of going somewhere where they couldn’t touch the floor anymore, going underneath little gates so they had to be completely under water, balance in the water, etc. It was more a playful, fun way of getting to know the pool and gain confidence in the water.
GENERAL MAINTENANCE: I have put wall-paper on my room, painted my student homes, I knit, crochet and can do hand sewing (repairing clothes). I’ve used a sewing machine before, but that’s a while ago.
ANIMAL CARE: I have had several gerbils, 3 cats, 4 rabbits and 2 chickens of whom all were very much my pets and part of my family. Right now I have my first dog since five years and a cat, whom like each other very much. I’m usually calm and a little hesitant on first contact with a new animal, as I want for them to get to know me with their nose before touching them (for most species).
In Norway I helped out a woman with 22 hunting and breeding dogs and two horses. Cleaning out the cages and stables, scooping poop, taking them for a walk, feeding, brushing, etc. I have worked a month on a dairy farm where I helped with the cows and with feeding the calves. And I’ve taken care of the pet dogs of different families. Especially walking or teaching them tricks.
CHARITY WORK: I volunteered four years in the local chapter from AFS. A youth cultural exchange program I went to the Faroe Islands with for a year. After returning I became a youth mentor, that is a person who becomes a trusted help for new arrived exchange students (15-18 years old). Both for explanations about Belgian culture as for delicate problems arising with the host families. A job I absolutely loved doing, even though it was stressful sometimes. It did teach me how to communicate with different people and how to solve arguments between people, but that’s a skill I’m still developing and probably will for the rest of my live. As it’s not something very easy to do.
ART PROJECT: I like drawing and am relatively good at copying an image. I helped build the décor for my high school's theater play. I’ve designed my own wall-to-wall desk and I like to draw up lay-outs for houses.
GARDENING AND FARMING: Part of my vacation job was spent dealing with trees that were cut down an putting them in the woodcutter as well as weeding or helping with laying a new gravel pathway. I'am very much interested in learning techniques to grow a vegetable garden. I spent a week on a sheep farm, where we got to bottle feed some lambs and milk their cow. During my stay on a Finnish dairy farm, I also helped with harvesting vegetables.
Dutch and English very good, French: understanding passable when slow spoken, Faroese: good
Building, Farmstay, help with eco-project are all subjects I’d like to help with and learn about. How (and for eco why) to do it, learning new techniques et cetera. I can only say I have little to no experience in those subjects, which is why I didn't list them above. Childcare: I've babysat only a few times, mostly older children. Except I looked after the 4,5 and 8 year old kids in Finland. And of course the kids I taught to swim. I do love their unlimited imagination.
Dust mite, but i've medication for that.
Special dietary requirements