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Delft Mama of the week: Oriana

After the fall of the Berlin wall at the brink of her teenage years, Oriana and her parents moved to the Netherlands. Things weren’t changing in their native land of Romania as much as they had hoped and the family decided to look to the west for future. Before settling in Delft Oriana moved around the country from Drenthe to Limburg and from Nijmegen to Amsterdam. Now Oriana lives in the center with her husband Wim and their 12-year-old daughter Maud.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Oriana

Bicycles and traffic for the newly arrived

It’s the time of the year a lot of people working in sync with the academic school year have just found themselves relocated in the Netherlands. A new wave of people arrives every summer and face similar challenges every autumn after the sparkling, upsetting, amazing period of settling in. One of the things that fascinates and often intimidates most newbies in the Netherlands is the bicycle culture and the unique traffic in general.

I have met a number of newly arrived parents in the last couple of months. They have been equally curious about many things, but especially about things to do with traffic. Can you keep your foreign driver’s license and if so, for how long? How different is it cycling between the cars than on a sidewalk? Where do you get your bike and more importantly how do you lock and store it? What are the general traffic rules?


You can always decorate your bike to make it easier to recognize when you need to spot it in a sea of bicycles.

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Delft Mama of the week: Maya

Ten years ago our mom of the week, Maya, met her Dutch husband Erwin. Now they are parents of a six-year-old Naama and Boaz who just turned four. Maya grew up in Israel, studied and did the obligatory military service there before moving abroad. She was familiar with the Netherlands before meeting her husband, but never thought she’d be living in Holland – but as faith would often have it, it’s exactly where she ended up. Just like most expats, being far from extended family has taught Maya other ways of having a safety net around her, and she feels Delft MaMa is now her family, too. “For me Delft MaMa is one of the strongest attraction points of Delft. For all of us who don’t have a family here, this group of wonderful people is it”, Maya declares.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Maya

Delft Mama of the week: Sandra

Delft MaMa of the week, Sandra

Sandra and her husband Nicola met over seven years ago when they were both fresh international students at the TU Delft. With a background in Computer Science, she made her masters in Management of Technology and is currently fully embracing motherhood with their three-year-old son Gerardo and a nine-month-old daughter Minerva. Sandra joined the Delft MaMa community when Gerardo was about half a year old but she wishes she had joined earlier. “The first few months of being a mom were really overwhelming. All the time I saw mothers on the streets with ‘omas’ around and thought I couldn’t have that being away from both families. When I joined Delft MaMa it made things easier”, Sandra says. The community made her feel welcome, but it also helped to get to know individual mothers who previously had been in the same exact position. Once she met with mothers who have gone through different phases with their children, it dissipated Sandra’s fears. She tells how her sister is about to become a mother for the second time in a city of five million people, but hasn’t managed to find a community of mothers where she would feel like home. “With DMM community you are sure you share the fact that you are an expat and you are raising children here, or maybe you are Dutch, but you are raising your children in an international way. It makes it easier for you to find people with the same ideals and goals”, Sandra joyfully says.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Sandra

Delft Mama of the week: Manuela

Manuela and her family

Whenever I interview moms of the week, I ask them to nominate one or more mothers to feature in the future. This time I was going to meet with one of those mothers who has been recommended to me over and over again. Manuela is well known among Delft Mamas, not least because of her collaborations with other mothers for work. She’s a mother of three girls: a six-year-old Sophia, Mireya who is almost five and a three-year-old Elodie. When she moved to Delft in 2010, she knew from her several previous moves that she needed to find a community around her the sooner the better, and she was referred to Delft MaMa where she instantly found her place.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Manuela

Game of Potties

There are lots of methods about potty training your children from blocking your agendas for a week, stacking up your fridge and locking yourselves in the living room – to holding your baby on top of the toilet and whistling. Whatever your method ends up being, the warmer months are possibly the most auspicious time of the year to do so. Accidents are much easier to clean up and you don’t have to worry about your children not wearing enough, or wetting their pants when it’s freezing cold.

I remember hearing about six-month-old babies being potty trained when my daughter was a few years old. To me that seemed like a distant dream and now as a mother of three, I can admit that’s what it was for us: a far fetched fantasy, not our cup of pee tea. Our process of potty training didn’t include locking ourselves in, shushing or whistling to encourage the flow, but it included so many other phases.Read More »Game of Potties

Delft Mama of the week: Renée

Renée and her two girls

It was a chilly Tuesday morning that was going to turn into a warm afternoon. I met our mom of the week, Renée, at café Kek in the center of Delft right after she had dropped her daughters Sophia (9) and Isabella (7) off to school. She was cycling from Ypenburg, which by land belongs to The Hague, but the phone numbers were the familiar 015 of Delft. If she could have, Renée would have bought a house that was built half in Delft and half in The Hague. Ypenburg was the closest compromise. Luckily for her, the day was going to be a warm day (warm for Dutch September). Renée wasn’t quite ready to give up her feeling of summer just yet, after having spent the entire holiday in Australia with her girls.
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Delft Mama of the week: Caroline

Our mom of the week, Caroline, invited me to her house for coffee. She was raised by a Colombian mother, so it was an invitation I absolutely had to accept. The smell of freshly baked something good hit me when I stepped in the hallway of her lovely home. Her children, Isabella (3) and Jack (8 months) were playing in the living room under a skylight while she prepared their treats – and mine.

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Delft Mama of the week: Lucie

Even though our Delft Mama of the week, Lucie, has a BA in English as a second language and she did a master’s in English in women studies, she never dreamed of setting up an international network of moms until she did just that. Our mom of the week is the mother of a 12-year-old Loic, but she is also the founding mother of Delft MaMa. Now nine years, awards and countless nominations later, the group Lucie set up has expanded from twenty moms to several hundreds of parents and her legacy is living stronger than she had ever imagined.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Lucie

We’re so thankful Delft was recommended to us

The American couple Lisa and Dan VanBuskirk moved to Delft in 2008, about 350 years after Dan’s ancestors left Holland. The couple have been married for 12 years and dated nearly four years before that. They met when they were both in the U.S. military and it was Dan’s military assignment that brought them to the Netherlands for four years. “We had both lived in the United States our entire lives, though we did travel internationally, including to the Netherlands for work and pleasure. We thought Delft was beautiful when we arrived and for our entire stay.”

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Delft Mama of the week: Agnès

Delft Mama of the week, Agnès, is for the second time on the blog spotlight after her love story with her partner was published last April. Their son, Max, was born in Delft, but Agnès believes that motherhood would have changed her tempo even if they lived somewhere else. “I’m going at half a speed of what I used to. I used to be always on schedule, because I was working and I had an extensive social life in Barcelona where I come from. I had my family there, so most Sundays we had the Sunday roast at my grandparents place. I was always squeezing a lot of things to one. When we moved to Delft, suddenly I had an empty diary. I have been able to fill that agenda with different stuff of my interest, like the Indian Film Festival in the Hague that I am going to take part in the coordination of. But I’m also taking less commitments. I do like to have a slower tempo.”Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Agnès

Living abroad gives you new angles

This year Kerry and Arne have been married for eight years, but the story of this couple started already back in 2006 in Turin, Italy, where they both traveled as part of the National Speed Skating Team of Canada to join the Olympics. They returned home as national sport heroes and most of all – in love. Kerry and Arne married in 2008 and being in their late 20’s, the couple retired from sport and were given the chance to pursue other goals in life.

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Delft Mama of the week: Carolina

If you don’t bump into Carolina enjoying the tranquil streets of Delft, you might just see her enjoying her day in Café de Bonte Haas in Wateringen, as she lists the area around Den Hoorn as one of her favorites. She has felt the same way every since she first visited the Netherlands after she started dating a Dutch man who was working with a temporary contract in her hometown of Córdoba, Argentina.Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Carolina

Delft Mama of the week: Karen

Born in the States and raised in California, our mom of the week, Karen, is a mother of a nearly 4-year-old Isabelle and a wife to Dutch Michel. To reduce paperwork and for the feeling of security, Karen has a dual citizenship after becoming Dutch last year. “I don’t feel any different though. I have a new passport now and luckily I didn’t have to give up my American passport. I’m Dutch these days, but it feels like it’s just on paper; it doesn’t seem real. It feels like no one’s ever going to consider me Dutch and I’m okay with that. If I get to the point that I speak Dutch 24/7, people might consider me Dutch, but at the same time I don’t think that’ll ever happen. I need to hold onto that little bit of me that comes with the language. It’s so important. Your language is a part of who you are. I speak Dutch everywhere I go, except at home.”

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Delft Mama of the week: Rachelle

I asked to meet with Rachelle, because we have known each other for a year and a half, thanks to playgroup, and because she has been writing the most interesting things on Facebook lately. Recently Rachelle went on a retreat for the second time and came back updating her status about all the things that make her happy. To me it seemed as if she was undergoing what I called “a happiness challenge”, but instead of only talking about happiness, we had a long interview during which she talked openly about her personal grief, growth and depression. Listening to her wisdom, I realized seeing the happiness posts on Facebook were her yang, but it all came from her yin. “That’s the thing about depressions that people don’t realize: when you’re depressed, you usually stay at home and the days you feel better, you go outside. Nobody knows there’s something going on underneath the surface. People just don’t see it. I’ve been very open about this, because I think people should be more open about depression.”Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Rachelle

Delft taught us the kind of family we want to be

This story starts our new series called Post-Delftian Lives. We look into families who used to live in Delft and have later relocated either back to their homeland or yet another country. We get to hear how the transitioning went, what were the greatest challenges, relieves and what they ended up missing about living in Delft. Our first story tells about a Chilean-Spanish family who spent two great years in Delft and have been back to Chile for over a year now. Welcome to Post-Delftian Lives.

leti's familyLeticia and Benjamín, moved to Europe after dating for eight months. Their first stop was in France, from where the couple returned to their howetown of Santiago after a year. Little Madgalena was born in Chile in 2012. When Benjamín was accepted to do his masters at the TU Delft, for the second time the family packed up their lives and flew over to Europe, this time around completely unaware of their destination. “We didn’t know much about The Netherlands; it wasn’t a country that we wanted visit or anything, and Delft didn’t exist in our thoughts. After Benjamín was accepted, we saw some pictures, but that was all. We only knew that Dutch people love bikes and cheese, canals and football – the clichés. Of course everything changed when we arrived.”Read More »Delft taught us the kind of family we want to be

Delft Mama of the week: Miriam


Delft Mama of the week, Miriam, is highly involved in various children’s activities in the city. She has been attending the playgroup on a weekly basis with her daughter Freddy (3) from the first week they arrived in Delft two years ago. During the spring, Miriam and her husband Nathan, volunteered to work with the refugees through Welkoms Maaltijd and have enjoyed it immensely. “I care passionately about the refugees and I really want to be able to do something with them. With DMM I had an opportunity to start: the previous coordinator was moving away and she was looking for someone to take on the role. I thought it was a great opportunity. My experience working in charities and in management in general, my interest in this area, and also having lived in countries that weren’t my home, all give me a tiny bit of an insight into what people might need when arriving in a foreign country. The Welkoms Maaltijd format might change after the summer break, but I do hope we will be able to keep it going in some way, and I can continue contributing in the future.”Read More »Delft Mama of the week: Miriam