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Delft Mama of the week: Zsófia

Delft Mama of the week, Zsófia, is a mother of two little girls, Johannah (5) and Annabel (3). Zsófia met her husband while on holiday and after a couple of years of long-distance relationship, they decided to move to the Netherlands where he was studying at the time. “Initially, I felt bewildered when planning the move and wondered how we would combine my Hungarian and his Indian backgrounds. But we are in a neutral country and in many ways we follow the Dutch routine and we take the best of both of our cultures. Apart from the internationals, we also have Dutch friends; it makes it easier to feel at home. As a couple we are very passionate about other cultures and before having kids, we traveled to various corners of the world, which enabled us to learn a lot about other cultures, to meet local people and to taste different types of cuisine.”

Zsófia has a life-long interest in different cultures, languages and teaching, through which she found a way to feel a part of the Dutch society when first moving to the Netherlands almost nine years ago. “I was lucky to find work three months after I moved to Delft, which helped me feel less homesick. I gave English classes to business professionals and companies. The work was very exciting and challenging and kept me so busy that I forgot about homesickness. I worked there for 3,5 years, until our first daughter was born. I had a great time, I learned a lot about the Dutch working culture with the help of my fantastic manager who let me take time to learn about giving courses in a business environment, as it was something completely new compared to teaching school children in my home country. But the long hours and teaching in the evening were the reasons I stopped working as long as my children were small. In my field of teaching it’s easy to pick up where I left afterwards. I figured I’d focus my passion about teaching on my children. I want to spend as much time with them as possible. When they are home, I don’t open my laptop or my email.”

About two years ago when the previous coordinator of Bumps and Babies playgroup moved away, Zsófia was asked to take on the responsibility. “I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to meet new moms, share the knowledge and have my children interact with other kids. The group has been growing significantly in the last few years from a handful of moms attending to an average 10-15 moms.” Zsófia also attends the Tuesday playgroup by volunteering to open it once a month and is one of the leads in the new Delft MaMa program called SliDe, which is aimed to match newcomers to Delft with mentors who help them to adapt to the Dutch lifestyle and customs. “We trained our volunteers and applied for grants. We are expecting to get more requests when the academic school year starts. It’s a pilot program, so we need to adjust it still, but it’s going well as we have made several successful matches. So far I have been busy emailing companies, international schools and various organizations informing about this opportunity. They truly appreciate our efforts and they will make sure their parents at schools or companies hear about SliDe.”

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Tarja Van Veldhoven

Finnish-Delftian mom of three, married to a Dutch man with a decade long blogging history.

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