Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas at Femke's school

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Femke + friends singing songs, parents are watching and glowing with pride..

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Holiday to Oman

A few weeks ago we went to Oman, a beautiful country in the Middle East. An example for all other countries in that area. Good roads, clean cities, no high rise buildings, trees planted everywhere, charming bazaars. The mountains and country side are amazing.
The sultan has really made an effort the past 40 years to modernize the country and has foreseen that its natural beauty (beaches and mountains and green wadi's) will attract many tourists.
A few down sides: it is expensive (a tourist visa was already 45 Euro's) and the beaches/in the evenings the boulevard and bazaar are packed with men from Pakistan/India/Philippines (who are in Oman to earn money).
Here the best photo's we took from Oman.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our beautiful girls

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Desert trip ...

Friday 5 November we went on our first trip to the desert.. with 2 other families, 3 4WD's, 6 children, 7 adults, a 255 km drive into the desert near Cairo.
What an amazing trip. Surprisingly beautiful, surreal to have a BBQ in the middle of nowhere, the kids LOVED it, running around, playing in the sand, collecting shells and stones.
Check out the slide show below..

Monday, November 1, 2010

Femke then and now...

When I was browsing through old pictures, I came across this one from a 4 month old Femke... And see how she looks now... Amazing that a baby face can show so clearly how she will look many years later..

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween at Femke's school...

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Best of Lente- 5 months old

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Monday, September 27, 2010

Toddler Art

Friday, September 24, 2010

Back in Town..

After 1 month break in The Netherlands and hardly access to the internet, finally a post again from us! This picture was taken in Veere, in the South West of Holland, near the place Arthur was born and grew up. Our jackets reveal that it was cold those days.

Arthur's mother was on a holiday herself, so for 4 days we stayed alone in her apartment and borrowed her car. It was nice for a change to do things as a family of 4..As all expats do know, when you're in your home country, one usually does things with parents, siblings, friends and is therefor hardly alone.
With a tourist guide of the province Zeeland we enjoyed so much the beautiful country side and charming villages that characterize Holland. It is in those moments we miss 'our' country, although we don't have concrete plans to move here (yet).

It was a long time ago that a picture was taken of the two of us. We've been together now for 10 years, we have 2 wonderful girls and exciting plans for the future.. but it needs work to find the time to do things together. That's why I like this picture so much: it reminds me that there is an 'us', next to being a family.

In Middelburg we were just walking in the streets, when suddenly Arthur said to me, Look behind you, and this is what we saw, this beautiful church, in the middle of many houses! We decided to go inside and it happened we were just in time for a tour.

The climbing of the stairs to the tower was narrow and difficult so we left Lente downstairs with a nice lady. When we were on top we could hear her crying echoing in the church.

Beautiful views on Dutch houses. We had so much luck with the weather this day.

Femke, now 3 years, is a very good travel compagnion. It seems she has inherited our love for travelling, likes to get on planes and trains, go for long walks, mingle with strangers, and is luckily not so affected by change of routines (sleeping in her own bed etc)...

For a few seconds we were puzzled when we saw this picture, because WHO HAS TAKEN THIS PICTURE?? Well, Femke of course..

We concluded that IF we would move back to the Netherlands, the town of Middelburg would be high on our top 5 list. It is charming, clean, with a few nice parks.

Even the grafiti is part of Dutch culture.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Mum & Femke

Fun at the beach

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garbage city in East Cairo

Cairo has a major garbage problem. It has a reputation of polluted, dusty & dirty city. Ofcourse not all areas can be identified like that.
We live in Maadi, a residential area in the South of Cairo.
Garbage is picked up every day here, many streets do look clean, but then all of sudden around the corner it is messy and smelly and garbage has piled up.
Garbage City is an area in the East of Cairo, where the poorest of the poor, live. Their job is to collect garbage from all over Cairo and do the sorting of garbage in and around their houses. To quote "The Zabbaleen generally perform this service very cheaply. Waste food is fed to livestock, mainly pigs; what cannot be repaired or reused -steel, glass, textile and plastic bottles- is sorted by hand and sold as raw materials; some material is burnt as fuel. It is claimed that Zabbaleen reuse or recycle 80-90% of the waste they collect (a figure that the most modern waste management systems can only dream of), however this must be put into context of the fact that the Zabbaleen concentrate on wealthier areas.."

These blackandwhite pictures of Garbage city are amazing; they are recent pictures but could easily have been from a century ago.

Here an articile about the subject

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Femke- almost 3 years old!

Only a few more weeks to go and Femke will turn 3 !
Her first 2 birthdays she cannot remember, but this one for sure. At the nursery they already celebrated birthdays of classmates so she understands the concept now.
She sings the birthday song every day and repeats that we will go to Holland, and oma (grandmother) will pick us up, there will be cake & candles & presents.

Our little baby is not a baby anymore. She speaks better English and Dutch every day, sings songs, can do the Alphabet song, does imaginary role play alone or with friends or with daddy, is potty trained, likes to jump from heights, loves to dance, smiles a lot, is sometimes very jealous and wants attention from mommy (especially when she is breastfeeding Lente!), is sometimes very naughty although her teacher say she is a good girl in school, loves the songs from Paddy Casey, remembers so many experiences she had, has a favorite boyfriend Thomas whom she met almost 1 year ago at the beach (they are still friends), loves to make Lego towers and playing with blocks (?), loves books but has no patience to listen someone reading it to her......

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