As the daughter of a Dutchman, living by water and sailing boats of all shapes and sizes is as normal as planting tulips and eating droppies (salted licorice, eaten kilos at a time). I have enjoyed sailing on the bay for the whole of my life. As for the steel, Hamilton is a steel town. My only employment before we started a family was in metal fabrication, so I’ll always have a place in my heart for all things iron and ore. I grew up in the factory, starting on the floor when I was 12, only stopping when I was 5 months pregnant at 23. Needless to say, I had a much different life experience growing up than the kids I went to school with.
Hamilton is the home of famous funny men Martin Short and Eugene Levy, both from west Hamilton (but not the mountain). Justin Bieber’s hometown is an hour away in Mennonite country, for those who care.
After my life of steel came a degree in Psychology, a Certificate of Teaching English as a Second Language, and many (many) years of volunteering in the areas of Palliative care and teaching ESL.
As for the creative side, free-lance writer, musician and photographer best describe me. I also enjoy linguistics, so besides English and Dutch (the language of my parents’ Motherland), learning Arabic and most recently, Korean, keeps my mind moving. My love of Arabic and Korean has less to do with wanting to speak the language and more to do with my insatiable desire to write, although speaking is a natural by-product of my studying. I find the Arabic script beautiful and very relaxing to write. As an ESL teacher, I’ve had exposure to so many different cultures and languages. Hamilton is a hub for new immigrants (they land in Toronto but it’s too expensive to stay there). And as my circle of friends include Syrians and Koreans, it makes sense to use this opportunity to broaden my linguistic endeavours.
Everything I’ve laid out about myself in this post means nothing to me when compared to what means everything to me: faith and family. My faith defines who I am (or more accurately, Whose I am). And being a homemaker, surrounded by my husband and children, as well as my parents and siblings throughout the week over koffie en lekkers, fills my heart with so much joy. But every once in a while I find time to slip into my studio and take a hundred photos. (I must say, the digital camera is efficacious in this regard.) It’s all part of a day in the life of me.