One Step at a Time

movingSo we are moving.

Again!

This Summer, I am celebrating my 10th year in Britain. I first came to Durham and after that lived in Canterbury, London, Staplehurst and Gravesend. In a few weeks time, it is time to start packing and say our goodbyes again.

I don’t think it ever gets any easier. The future is full of uncertainties. I am struggling to deal with questions of those showing an interest in our move. Where are you going to be? How is it going to work with the children? Have you found any schools? Will you be able to keep your job? Can your parents still come and see you? Continue reading

“What Do You Think She Is?”

A few weeks ago, my husband and I were asked to come to our daughter’s school to share something about our different cultures with the 120 children in reception. Now we both have quite a bit of public speaking experience, but standing in front of so many four and five-year-olds was a rather new experience (at least for me)!

My favourite bit was when we asked our daughter to come forward and put four different flags around her. Continue reading

Thoughts on Brexit by EU-immigrant living in England

Artwork by Eugene Ankomah

Artwork by Eugene Ankomah

Dear Great Britain,

Has it been nearly a decade
since I swapped my beautiful country
for your lovely streets;
left behind opportunities back home
to be transformed by you?

I came to you to be stretched,
to widen my horizon,
to be changed by your people,
but it was never easy
to leave everything familiar behind.

Don’t think we found happiness
because of your wealth and greatness.
It was in the giving of ourselves,
investing in your people and society,
that we became better-off.

It was you who taught us
that when you let go
of what is comfortable,
you are changed in the process
and gain so much in return.

Oh dear Great Britain,
don’t you realise
that protecting what is yours;
keeping things to yourself
will not make you any richer?

It is in the awkwardness,
in the letting go,
in the opening up,
in the giving out,
that you will find your blessings.

Tonight I am walking your streets with a heavy heart;
I worry about my future,
but even more about yours.

As I prepare myself
to give up my comfort once more
I see you holding on tightly to what is yours
and fear you might be losing out
more than you could ever imagine…

EU-Immigrant

by Mirjam Ngoy-Verhage

For my Dutch readers, you can listen to an interview with me on Dutch Radio about Brexit the day after the referendum results came out (see the right of this page: ‘Midden-Nederlandse Ngoy vanuit Engeland over de brexit’).

Four more sleeps before the open swim

Why I am JOINING A COMPETITIVE RACE

Yesterday I had one of my final training session at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in London

Yesterday I had one of my final training session at the Olympic Aquatics Centre in London

This Saturday I am hoping to complete the biggest challenge of my bucket list so far: swimming a competitive race. I am going to swim the one-mile (1600 meter) Great Newham London Swim. But no, I am not in it to compete, completing it is my main goal!

I signed up for the swim a week after  my husband Lusa gave me a bucket list for my 30th birthday and my first training session was on 20th April. I managed to swim 60 laps (1500 meter) in about an hour. Continue reading

An Adventurous Swim

great-london-swim-dome_640x240SWIMMING 1 Mile in the HEART OF LONDON

I can’t believe what I have just done. I have signed up for the Great London Swim! This is to complete challenge 3 of my bucket list: swim a competitive race (at least 1 mile). On the 18th July I will take a plunge in the shadow of the O2 Arena and Canary Wharf, then swim alongside the ExCel centre. This is a 1 mile swim (1.6 km) in the open water.

Continue reading

Our Adventure Abroad

FerryCatching Up with Some of the Family

We’ve just spent a lovely ten days back home in the Netherlands. We travelled as a family by car (from Dover, crossing on the ferry, driving through France and Belgium all the way to the Netherlands).

Little Lady loved the ferry! DFDS Seaways have a nice area for children to play. She met two Dutch girls dressed up as Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Continue reading

Black Girls Need Role Models Too

docmcWHITE MUMS MUSINGS

The first time I started thinking about the importance of role models for black girls, was before I had children myself. I was at work (Salmon Youth Centre) doing art with a group of 6-year old girls.

The kids were busy drawing pictures of themselves. I noticed that one of the black girls was portraying herself as a white girl, with blue eyes and blond hair.

Continue reading

Some Thoughts on Patience

patience‘Suffering through the present moment’

 I feel tired. These past few days (or even months!) I haven’t had much sleep at all. I was at home alone with both children and my son has been struggling with his tummy and teething.

When I am tired like this I find it much harder to be patient. I can get angry over little things, like my daughter tipping over her drink. I don’t like seeing myself like this.

Continue reading

Warm and Stylish Feet

MahabisThe Reinvention of the Slipper

Spending a fair bit of time at home with two young kids I do love a good pair of slippers and have gone through quite a few. The good news is: I think I have finally found the perfect ones that will hopefully last me a long time!

I came across Mahabis a few months ago as I was trying to get some inspiration for a Christmas present for my husband. These seemed to be not only practical but very stylish slippers. I ended up getting a pair for my husband and for myself! Don’t you think they look great?

Continue reading

Meditation through Breastfeeding

PeaceON PEACE AND Being at Peace

It is three o’clock in the afternoon. As I am writing this I am sitting on the rocking chair in Little Man’s room. He has just fallen asleep in his bed next to me and looks so peaceful.

Music is playing in the background. It is in Dutch, by a band called Sela. I shared this piece of music at a meeting with a group of young people several months ago. I was asked to talk to them about a song that is important to me.

Continue reading