Behind the scenes - afspraken op inspirerende locaties. Willem & Wendy

Behind the scenes - afspraak bij de Kamer van Koophandel gemaakt

Behind the scenes. – The last week before we go back to the Netherlands has arrived. This means: a lot of handovers and here and there some last minute stress. But it also means: looking forward to what is to come. Especially the holiday at the moment: – rest – walking – enjoying each other – and more rest. And secretly we are already preparing for our own company during the weekends. Bit by bit we will share more with you.

What are we doing?

What is involved in setting up our own business? Willem and I have made a whole schedule with actions. This states what we all need to think about and the steps that need to be taken. Of course, we first brainstorm about what we are going to do exactly, what our goal is and how we will make a difference. We determine our target group and find out what is really needed and how we can respond to this. We have many conversations at different inspiring locations … What a privilege!

Behind the scenes - vele brainstormgesprekken op veel inspirerende plekken.

Name, logo and branding

All these ideas may also be put on paper or online…: Website, brochure, e-mail. Our target group must know what they will choose, even if they do not yet know us personally! Of course we also think about the name of our company. We will release the name in February. And about who can bring that into shape by coming up with a logo. Meanwhile we have had a lot of wonderful responses from great designers. It will be difficult to choose, but next week we will make a decision! It will be difficult that we have to disappoint some designers, but their wonderful work will be noticed by someone else. We will probably fill in part of the branding as well, because I think it’s way too much fun to play around with Adobe Spark and Lightroom and so on. Hobby-time! Our talented cousin Joel will take care of the website again with his company Succeswebsites, because with this website he has delivered top-work.

On schedule and arranged…

√ Appointment registration into the Netherlands / Nijkerk again.
√ Buy a car
√ Appointment accountant
√ Complete registration form Chamber of Commerce
√ Holidays booked
√ Appointment registration Chamber of Commerce
√ Appointment for opening new bank account
And much more…

Exciting and fun at the same time! We are looking forward to it!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017 - by Willem and Wendy

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2017 - by Willem and Wendy

Merry Christmas

For unto us a child is born
unto us a son is given:
and the government shall be upon his shoulder
and his name shall be called wonderful Counselor
the mighty God, the everlasting Father,
The Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6

We are happy that we are able to celebrate the reason for the season back home this year with our beloved family. We will only be in the Netherlands for a very short time, so we won’t be meeting with lots of people, but we will give you an update soon as new developments are on the way! So stay tuned.

When we look back into 2017, lots has happened and we look back with thankfulness in our hearts. We have been able to contribute to a well running project in Nepal where earthquake resilient houses are being built. And Wendy has traveled to Afghanistan and Bangladesh to be a voice for the most vulnerable.

We also saw lots of suffering. And while suffering is hard to explain, we would love to speak with the words of C.S. Lewis: ‘God always hears the cry of suffering, God always sees the oppression of the weak and God demands we be a people who do the same.’

We believe that when we all reach out, when we all stand up and do what God asks from us, in our neighbourhood, to our friends and family or overseas, everyone in his/her place. What beautiful would this world look. Love in action.

We wish you a prosperous and joyful 2018.

Welke koers vaar jij? Ik ga ieder jaar met mijn zwager een dagje zeilen en dan denk ik ook na over de koers die ik in mijn leven vaar.
Which direction are you going? Every year I will go a day out with my brother in law and then we go sailing, we always have to find the right direction and I also think about the directions for my life.

Which direction are you going in life?

Which direction am I going? Every summer while being in The Netherlands during my contract break, I plan a day on the waters to sail with my brother in law Schelte. If it was only me on this sailboat I probably would not even be able to make it out of the harbour. But luckily Schelte knows everything that is needed to sail the right track. He gained a  lot of experience by leading sail camps during his younger years.

What do you need to sail the right direction?

I can tell you, it’s a fantastic adventure where you need to keep an eye on many different things. Plan the right route is one of those, but following the route properly is a different one. You will need to setup the sails, know how to moor and pay attention to forthcoming traffic. The rules on the water are also not unimportant – and then the weather. Sometimes there’s good wind and something there is no. Sometimes the sun is all over and other times there is rain, thunder and lightening. I very much enjoy these moments and in addition they make me think about the direction I go in my own life.

What would your life look like if money didn’t exist?

Interesting question isn’t it? Wendy and I did some thinking about this during our holiday. The great outcome was that our life would actually not be that much different. Okay, ideally we would like to be a bit more often in the Netherlands and at the same time travel a bit more to other places to be able to setup different projects as we both really like to build. But other than that.. wow, we’re on the right track.

Which direction are you going?

How’s that with you? Do you sometimes think about what your life will look like in let’s say ten years time? And what about now? What are your real desires? Absolutely worth to think about these kind of things. If you don’t and don’t set any goals for yourself, you might not take the best out of life. You will notice that many people, and possible this includes you as well, quickly give up on this because your dreams and desires don’t seem possible. Are your ambitions too high? Or do you see risks, difficulties and especially a lot of problems that will result in letting go of your dreams too soon? Aren’t it the challenges and the solutions to overcome those that make us stronger and give the extra added value in life?

Risks

Previously as an entrepreneur, I spoke with many other business people. What really caught me is that many of them have fear due to the risks they see, resulting in giving up instead of treating these risks as part of the game. Of course I could write a book about all the risks along my path as entrepreneur – but I didn’t do that. I looked at the possibilities and tried to continue to focus even when things got tough and uncomfortable. Growth doesn’t go automatically, but if I don’t set clear goals, I might end up wasting a lot of time on things that aren’t actually important.

Who or what motivates you?

For us this is an easy answer: Our God. From the moment we told Him: “Lord, here we are” our life totally changed. I don’t regret a second of what happened in the years that followed. All pieces of the puzzle fit. Isn’t that great? You might have different triggers that drive you through life. Your choices might be related to what you’ve seen and heard. Or they are based on what other people have been doing or certain experiences you gained throughout life.

Set goals, analyse and commit!

Anyhow – I would love to challenge you to think about this and to possible combine it with a SWOT analysis of yourself. Every month I plan half a day to review myself. What I am doing and why am I doing it. What goes well and what do I need to change to become a better version of myself. Wendy
is doing this nearly on a weekly basis since she has been coached by Discipline Sports.. I set goals and link them to myself, to Wendy, to God and the work I am doing. Really refreshing!

Nepal – the country of opportunities

Many Nepalese might not agree with the above mentioned title and see the opposite: A country with limitations, especially related to the slowing economical growth. Knowing that Nepal is completely land-locked between two dominating giants (India & China) and there is no sea or big rivers for easy transport. Banks charge you with 20% of interest if you’re asking for a loan to invest in business, etc. But what if you think the other way around. A country that is slowly developing but will continue to develop with a huge amount of opportunities as there is so much to improve, invent and to develop. What do people want? Do they think about the direction they want to go? And then what…? Only a small group of people dream about what they really want in life and try to pursue that.. and maybe.. maybe it’s not so different from Europe.

The change

I strongly believe in possibilities and to overcome problems through a different way of thinking. The people in Nepal have gained a place in my heart and therefore – apart from the work we’re currently doing – I will work together with Mark Flemming – succesful Straight Line Leadership coach. We will research the possibility to setup different seminars and webinars. We will challenge a small but dedicated group of people and support them to not only think about dreams, goals and destinations in life, but also support them to achieve this.

Limitations? Or opportunities? 

How this will look like and if people will say yes, I cannot tell and this might immediately limit me to not even start doing this. But we believe this will work. We believe we’re going to reach people and help them to not only think about their direction in life, but also help them to go for it. Remove the challenges and problems and exchange them for opportunities and solutions. The start of something new challenges me and allows the creative part of the brain. It makes me enthusiastic to develop this concept.. A nice off-site project. Keep you posted!

Terug in Nederland na een jaar, met een prachtige molen op de achtergrond

Namaste! We are almost a week back home again after an amazing holiday in the Netherlands, a month seems long, but time flew by.

We stayed on the farm of John & Marieke in Nijkerk with fantastic landscapes, cosy seats en a happy bunch of animals surrounding us.

Our gratitude is massive.. We have enjoyed all the time we were able to spend with friends and family, the lovely food, the clean air, and just… being back in the beautiful Netherlands. How wonderful it was to cuddle our nephews and nieces. We caught ourselves (just like our uncles and aunties in the past) thinking and being amazed they are growing so fast, how well they can chat and how incredibly smart they are. Dear all, thanks for your openness, hospitality and happiness. You’re all welcome in Nepal, so that we can return the favour! 🙂 Not seeing each other for a year is quite long and unfortunately we have not even been able to meet everyone we wanted to meet.

Party

My sweet sister, brother in law and darling Wendy arranged a special party for my 40th birthday (18 years old with 22 years of experience). In summary: it was an incredible valuable time!

Next… back to Nepal!

It’s great to arrive back home in Nepal with an enthusiastic team of Nepali people who all continued the planned activities and more. Medair’s DRR (disaster risk reduction) reconstruction programme goes really smooth. We are even ahead of the planned targets. 183 families are living again in their own new and secure house. Only 1080 to go. We are looking forward to the time to come, where a lot will be happening again.

Photo’s

Below you’ll see a small impression of the encounters we had. Enjoy with us, looking back to great memories. Who knows you might see yourself in the pictures! 🙂

With John &; Marieke in the nicely decorated hunting hut on their beautiful farm.

With John &; Marieke in the nicely decorated hunting hut on their beautiful farm.

A fabulous day with family Roose in their garden and on the road

A fabulous day with family Roose

As well as lovely meetings with our families Van Amerongen, Halma en Floor

As well as lovely meetings with our families

And a lovely time with friend Marielle, inclusive photo shoot

And a lovely time with friend Marielle, inclusive photo shoot by Carla Manten

And again... family fun. In beautiful places

And again… family fun

Family and friends... a very important part of our visit

Family and friends… a very important part of our visit

Back home also means sea, hightea, play garden - lovely time out with family and friends 

Also sea, hightea, play garden – lovely time out with family and friends

On top of that a lot of cuddling with nieces and nephews

On top of that a lot of cuddling with nieces and nephews

Besides that being on the water a lot, beautiful weather, back in the beautiful Netherlands

Besides that being on the water a lot, beautiful weather, beautiful Netherlands

And not to forget... Willem's birthday party - 40 years old, on the farm of John & Marieke

And not to forget… Willem’s birthday party – 40 years old, on the farm of John & Marieke

And enjoying very Dutch stuff, like clogs, cheese, mills, meadows full of Dutch cows etc.

And enjoying typically Dutch stuff, like clogs, cheese, mills, meadows full of Dutch cows etc.

Wooden sign with text: God thinks you are wonderful / Je bent geweldig!

God thinks you are wonderful. Do you have to change for that? Wooden sign

‘Change’ is a topic that keeps coming back to me in the last period. Since a long time, I have a strong interest in change management because everywhere time is moving on and we all change as human beings and as organisations. Sometimes known and unknown.

Within organizations, many projects are being launched that should lead to change, but unfortunately, the minority of those changes is successful, and so the vast majority is a failure… unless learned from it.

Not failed

Thomas Edison, one of the world’s most famous inventors once said, “I have not failed. I’ve only found 10,000 ways that do not work’.

Some people have a huge hatred to change and prefer to sit where they are at, preferably in a stable environment within their comfort zone. Others would like to change, but are afraid to fail and therefore stay wherever they are. Yet another group of people tries to change but eventually returns to their old pattern and the last group are people who love to change, who come up with new ideas and look for something different. People who always set new goals!

As humans we change, that’s a fact

Our thoughts have an impact on changing. On all we dream, dare and do. On what we see, find, think and say. The way I think is everything, but who challenges me in thinking what I think? Who or what do you challenge? How do you look at yourself? Do you like yourself? Do you think you’re better than others? Or do you struggle with yourself and see yourself as inferior, as a failure?

I think we all have experienced something from the above, right? But how would life be if you realize every day you’re wonderful? Imagine that.. or better say take a few seconds and say to yourself, “I’m awesome!” Because that’s how God sees you. His focus is not on your failure and trying again but on the fact that He finds you a great person.

Triggered? Take half an hour to watch this Youtube video from Joyce Meyer. Are you busy? The fact that you are wonderful, never changes! That’s worth half an hour, isn’t it?

Have a great week! We look forward to your comments.

A bit more about our daily life in Kathmandu.

I still remember the moment Wendy and I said to each other: ‘We are already going for a break in six months to our second home in The Netherlands, time flies’. Now its four months later and I can only affirm it. Meanwhile we are living in Nepal for already more than one year, where according to their calendar it’s 2074 instead of 2017. Workwise it has been an amazing year with so many highlights and we are grateful Medair is here in Nepal to serve the people who are the survivors of the 2015 devastating earthquake, but that’s work… and this blog isn’t about work. This time you’ll get an update about us.

For those we don’t like to read the long story I can keep it short: We are both doing great! Done!

Want to read more? We fit right in, and became familiar with the Nepalese culture, although I still frequently sweat while eating the Nepalese food with way too much chili included for me – I guess some things you will never get used to. Also we often need to jump aside on the streets due to the huge amount of motorbikes believing that there is no difference between the roads and the sidewalks. Most of our time is related to work though, which we both love to do and only gives us energy.

We moved several months ago to a different main location with less traffic and less noise. Due to the solar panels on the roof we often enjoy a hot shower (I know, it sounds so normal, but it isn’t… really). The building we use is combined for work and private so we live and work in the same place which of course has its benefits and disadvantages. We mainly see the positive side from a financial perspective but also the reduced travel time which now only takes us ten steps on the stairs. Since a few months we adopted a street dog named Whisky who really feels at home. She’s a fantastic, sweet and enthusiastic dog.

From a healthy perspective, we both do workouts three evenings a week on the roof of a six story open building resulting in a great view, called ‘The Pump’: nice breeze and of course work out like crazy. I believe I’ve lost about eight kilograms compared to when I left to Nepal last year (which you can see for yourself in a few months’ time). Of course you knew already from Wendy, but if not… please see her stunning pic below.

During the evening hours we choose to be a bit more disciplined in terms of activities which resulted in one evening for study purposes (online training), one evening related to the website and one evening of Bible study. Well… we could of course also fill our evenings watching three series of Suits on Netflix.

Since a few months we became member of a nearby church called KICC. Not much later I joined the worship team playing the piano. This is still my favorite way to worship, seeking God or just to be inspired or create an empty mind (multi-purpose), hence we also bought a small digital piano for our home and luckily Wendy is not complaining…

During the weekends we frequently go out having quality time together enjoying a good dinner and a glass of wine. There are plenty of nice restaurants close by.

So private wise we have actually a lot of freedom and not many obligations which is pretty relaxed although we of course do miss our family and friends. Wendy and I are the only two expats in the Medair Nepal team (one more is being hired) which is totally different compared to our previous team in South Sudan which included about 60 expats in total.

Life starts early in Nepal, many people become active around 05 AM and even we changed our habit slightly and wake up around 6 AM, however after 8 PM you hardly see any people or cars on the street,  the more touristic locations excluded.

Hooting

Speaking about traffic, Kathmandu is full of cars, motorbikes and buses. It is the first country I decided not to drive a car (I wish I could drive a motorbike but that’s not part of Medair’s policy – and they probably are right about that), so we walk a lot or use a taxi (there is one available at each corner). Everyone who is visiting Kathmandu for the first time is surprised about the massive amount of hooting (although probably still quiet compared to Delhi). It’s normal that you first press the horn; followed by driving and finally you also look if things are still going well meaning that your hearing is crucial. During the day there’s a lot of traffic and even while standing in a jam, it was completely normal to continuously press the horn even if you actually know it won’t make any difference. I wrote ‘was’ as since this week it has spontaneously been decided that hooting is not allowed anymore. You know what’s amazing? How fast people stick to this sudden change, although I think I know the reason behind it: There are hundreds of police officers walking on the streets using their whistles the whole day (this should also be stopped) and ‘trying’ to lead the traffic but who also suddenly started to bill people if they use their famous horn, resulting in more than 2,000 tickets in a week time..

Well, that’s a bit more about us and our daily life in Nepal. We are curious if there are certain things you would like to read more about. Any suggestions let us know and we’ll keep you posted.