Herentals, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
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Carefully chosen, but this is a perfect description of Pol and me. All you have to do is to replace the actors and see us :-) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmV6YNqN43o
And how others describe us? Read all the references below ;-)
There are 2 oneliners I try to live by : 'You can't change the direction of the wind, but you can change the position of the sails...'
'Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift!'
Age is just a number on paper... Real age is something that you emit! And... we are in our second youth :-)
Another saying that includes a lot of thruth : 'Parents teach their children to talk... Children teach their parents to be quiet...'
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Our will to share... our house, our life, our experiences, our thoughts, our laughs, our stuff, our entire 'us'... and we hope that you have the same best intentions.
We also want to promote CS, and this year Belgian national TV asked for our cooperation doing so. We are true believers that CS is making this world a better place, one couch at a time. Not convinced (yet)? Watch http://www.een.be/programmas/1000-zonnen/op-de-sofa-bij-gerdje
I was a teacher in infant school for almost 25 years, but since 2008 I changed my audience ;-) So now I am teaching adults, basic education. My youngest course member at the moment is 18 en my eldest 85 years old :-) My course members love to listen to my CS stories and many of them are jealous ;-) and what am I to do? Spread the word of course ;-) and some of them already registered :-)
Surfed : July 2008 : Fabio in Triest, Italy (1 night) Eleonora in Koper, Slovenia (4 nights) Sretna in Split, Croatia (1 night) November 2008 : Eleonora in Koper (again 3 nights, during our honeymoon)
May 2011 Bert in Groningen, N-Netherlands (only Pol, 1 night) June 2011 Lucienne & Chris in Oostkamp, Belgium (only Gerdje, 1 night) July 2011 Dyanne and Yossi, Ramat Yohanan, Israel (4 nights) Aviva and Avner, Ramat Har'el, Israel (2 nights) Shoham, Giva'tayim - Tel Aviv, Israel (1 night) October 2011 Yak, Broughshane - N-Ireland (2 nights) October 30th meet up in Belfast with 3 of our 4 university friends Jack, Johnathan, Sean who stayed with us last June Oct-Nov 2011 Toured with James (always returning guest) through Belfast, Dublin and Wicklow Mountains in (N-)Ireland (3 nights)
April 2012 CS weekend at Albert's in The Hague : biking through the tulip fields (2 nights) July 12-14 (2012) at Zeng and Liping Yang's in Miyun county (China) July 14-16 (2012) at Rick Coffman's (Rainbow Bridge) Zhangjiakou (China) July 2012 we stayed in a hostel in Pingyao (China) for 4 nights, but Hou Peng (Peyton) spent every single minute of his spare time with us, and guided us as a 'pro' Dec. 24th-31st : surfed a full week at Claudia and Marco's beach cottage in Mancaversa, Puglia (S-Italy)
2013 July : 3 nights at Jacob's in Treasure Beach (Black river) Jamaica July : 3 nights at Sabine and Ritchie's in Port Antonio Jamaica July : 3 nights at Sylvia's in Kingston Jamaica
2014 July : 3 nights with Thuy Ha in Ho Chi Minh city Vietnam
Planned meetings/surfings : Who knows what our 26th country/destination will be... ;-)
Eleonora (Slovenia, Koper) : Oct 08 She surprised us with her presence on the occasion of our wedding :-) James (Rep. of Ireland): Nov 17th-19th '08
Danielle and Serge (Canada) : May 12th-13th '09 Michal, Toma's, Roman and Kubik (Slovakia) : August 27th-29th '09 Saurabh (India, Delhi) : September 21st-25th '09 Eleonora (Slovenia, Koper) again (on the occasion of my 50th birthday) : September 27th-30th '09 Saurabh (India, Delhi) again : September 28th-29th '09 Teresa (Portugal, Lisbon) : October 10th-11th '09 James again (Rep. of Ireland, Cork) : December 11th-13th '09 Jenna (USA, Birmingham) : December 18th-20th '09
Ömer + 8 friends (Turkey, Trabzon) : April 11th-12th '10 Jemma (Australia) : April 26th - 28th '10 Robert and Dorothy (California, USA) : July 8-10th '10 Eka (Indonesia), Debbie (Jamaica) and Leah (New Mexico) : July 10-11th '10 Seniha & Sinan (Turkey, Bornova, Izmir) : August 6-7-8th '10 Tom, Olaf and Salim (Jakarta, Indonesia) : November 8-10 '10
Lucienne and Chris (Oostkamp, Belgium) : March 19-20 '11 Roman + 3 friends (Wejherowo, Poland) : April 4th - 5th '11 Matthew (Stevensville, Montana, USA) : April 21st - 24th '11 Johnathan and Sean (N-Ireland) and Jack and Adam (Malaysia) : June 11-12 '11 http://endaafrica.com Michael (California, USA) = Matthew's son : July 7th - 11th '11) Matthew (Stevensville, Montana, USA) again = Michael's dad : July 9th '11 Atsushi and Yuka (Sakai, Osaka, Japan) : August 21st - 24th Kris and Glenn (Seattle, USA) : Sept 3rd - 5th '11 Wei Wei (Singapore) : December 23rd - 26th '11
Aleah (Manilla, Philippines) : Febr 6th - 10th '12 Albert (the Netherlands, Den Haag) : February 21-22 2012 Michael (California, USA) again : Febr 20th - 26th '12 Jacque (the Netherlands, Veenendaal) : March 11th '12 Humphrey (Mierlo, the Netherlands) : April 4-5 '12 Bonnie and Chelsy (Taiwan) : April 7-9 '12 Pauline (la Seyne-sur-Mer, France) : April 7-9 '12 Svetla and Simeon (Bulgaria, Sofia) : April 17-19 '12 Sarah and Matthias (Mechelen, Belgium) : Dec. 22-23 '12
Mido (United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi) : June 10-12 '13 Humphrey again (the Netherlands, Mierlo) : June 22-23 '13 Michael (Vaga)Bowman again(California, USA) : August 29th - September 2nd 2013 (for the 3rd!!! time) and his dad Matthew Bowman again (Montana, USA) + Mimi : Sept and Oct 2013 (for the 4th!!! time) Humphrey again (see above) : October 12th '13 Robert Greenberg (USA, Madison) : October 26th-29th '13 Sergey from Siberia, Bela from Siberia but living in Japan, and Chris from Taiwan : Dec 7th-8th '13
Bonnie (Taiwan/London) again :-) January 10th-12th '14 Yelger Baarda from the Netherlands : March 28th-29th '14 Jelle (Aalst, Belgium) : September 7th-8th '14
Theo and Martje (Eindhoven, the Netherlands) : May 1-2 '15 Fabio Gismani (= our 1st host) (Sagrado, Italy) : May 1-3 '15
And maybe you? :-)
I like to be creative with my mind and my hands. See photos :-) Love to cook for friends and see how they enjoy it! They call me an expert in desserts ;-) And when we have guests we try to let them tast the local dishes, like these ones : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/belgian-cuisine-food_n_4617498.html#slide=1208358 Helping others gives me a big satisfaction, but people who know me better often remind me of the fact that I shouldn't forget myself...
Where I prefer to work with paint, clay or flowers, Pol prefers a pencil or software on his computer to be creative : He can make beautiful drawings, and the last thing he designed on pc is our new kitchen which we hope to install soon :-) Further on he enjoys to assemble things we filmed and took photos of into a real movie with comments, music etc...
Music? Although we are no partybeasts we love to dance, whatever... Rock and Roll, salsa, bachata... If sports includes dancing then we are true sporters :-) Just kidding... It's just our way of preventing our muscles to get stiff and old, and more... just amusing to do! Can you find us on this dance floor (January '14)? https://www.facebook.com/RadioModern#!/photo.php?v=10201562900061020&set=vb.1433098190&type=2&theater 48th second and again from 1.10th on ;-) Books? Reading? We are not really someone who feed themselves on reading books, but I get a kick when an adult illiterate in one of my course groups tells me that it is because of me that he/she could read aloud a story to his/her grandchild for the first time...
Movies? Pol makes movies : about our trips, or to give as a present etc... You should see them! Sometimes I think my own life is a movie... but if you insist :
Giving birth to my two sons was the most forfilling experience in my life. Raising them to respectable young men was even a bigger challenge but I must admit that I succeeded ;-)
Crossing Sinaï desert by quad left a deep impression.
Snorkeling in the Red Sea in Egypt and discover all the underwater beauty.
Beating my acrophobia climbing Chitzen Itza in Mexico, and I did it :-)
Admiring all the Chinese people who live in such an overcrowded envirement each day...
I reunited 2 long lost lovers after 46 years!!! Matthew was our CS guest and during his stay in Belgium he wanted to meet his girlfriend from back in the sixties again. I played the detective, found and contacted her. They shared again a wonderful time together after all these years... :-) Thanks to this all we all are friends forever now :-)
Floating in the Dead Sea feels like relaxing on a waterbed :-)
We helped hundreds of baby turtles cross the beach in Jamaica, from their nest into the ocean. What an awesome experience this was!
The best that happened was running into each other, Pol and me, and often we hear people say that they envie us because we are such a 'complete' couple :-) Isn't that something?! :p
An unexpected and unforgettable romantic evening at our spot on the beautiful Croatian coast Pol surprised me with and with 1 candle, 1 bottle of wine, 1 tiny little tent and the CD-player in the jeep playing this song : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NGZMo99GaR4&feature=related while the entire camp ground was so silent, respectfully enjoying 'our' moment but staying in the background, and thousands of twinkling stars were witness... Afterwards Pol designed our wedding rings himself inspired by this precious place and moment, and a talented goldsmith created them. *blush and goosebumps* This spot and this song remain special to us. We would like to spend the rest of our lives there......
During all our travelling and trips by jeep we realise that, no matter our complaints so now and then..., we are lucky to be born at the right moment, on the right spot and that we have no right to complain at all!
When a splinter/sliver is irritating you, just rub it a few days with a 1/2 olive and it will come out :-)
We had guests who were interested in my sculpturing and wanted to learn... so we did :-)
I can teach you how to make the best chocolat mousse in the world :-)
And if you want to learn more... why don't you join one of my courses or just ask? :p
I want to teach more than the words on the paper show... I would never be able to teach without sharing my thoughts, my experiences, my 'reading between the lines', my heart...
And finally... Pol is teaching me to ride his Yamaha Dragstar :-) My boys first laughed at me, but now they encourage me and they are proud to have a 'cool' 52y old mom driving a motorcycle, but they are jealous because my driving licence permits me to without having to go to driving school again. Yeehaaa! Vrrroooommmm...
Pol is always in to let you taste the best belgian beers :-) or show you anything you want him to learn to you. He is a kind of Dr.Doolitle as well. I think he can talk 'with' animals... Difficult to explain, but when you see him with them, they seem to listen to him, love that finally someone understands them and relax... Kind of animal whisperer...?
Austria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United Kingdom, Viet Nam
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