Wednesday, November 24, 2010

van Doorn Update!

from the Colonel Sander:
I'm enjoying a week of vacation, which gives me the opportunity to catch up with all kinds of things I was planning to do for a long time. I was working on a grant proposal until two weeks ago, and last week I was in the US for a workshop (in Durham, NC). The grant proposal was a huge amount of work, but Christel and I decided it would be good to give it a try, because it can gives us an opportunity to return back to the Netherlands. For three months I did almost nothing else except thinking about the grant proposal and writing it. I'm really glad it's over now. After I submitted the thing, I thought of one of your sermons and had my hair cut, to mark the transition back to normal life. 
Christel is doing well. She still goes to German classes. She met someone from Ecuador, another mother with two young children, with whom she likes to hang out. Jaleesa goes to a play group once a week, and then once more to another play group in church together with Kirsthe. She is starting to use a few words of German, and we have the impression that she understands quite a lot. She's all excited that it's winter, and she asks us every day whether it will snow today. She made a couple of nice drawings on the wall, on our bed and on Kirsthe. Kirsthe started to walk and talk this summer. She has a great sense of humor and loves music and dancing. 
We still miss Santa Fe a lot. Google Earth is out favorite way to feel 'homesick'. We still like Switzerland as a place to live, but the people are very closed. We have been regular visitors to the same church for over a year now and made only four new friends (two couples). Unfortunately they all moved, so we're back to nothing again. We decided to visit an international church again, to see if we are more lucky there. Most other foreigners we talk to have only foreign, no Swiss friends. 
We had a great summer's holiday in the mountains. We went camping with the kids for the first time, which went really well. We are already making plans for next year: one of the guys I collaborate with went to Vancouver for a postdoc, and he has asked me to come for a visit. I would like to go with Christel and the girls, and take a few weeks of vacation to travel south along the Rockies, all the way to Santa Fe. Would be great if it all works out! 

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