AWC Going Dutch Jan Feb 2021

American Women's Club bi-monthly magazine for Jan/Feb 2021

American Women's Club bi-monthly magazine for Jan/Feb 2021


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Going Dutch

January/February 2021

The Magazine of the

American Women’s Club

of The Hague

Table of Contents


Despite coronavirus restrictions, the

AWC managed to have some fun

activities this fall

5 Officers and Chairwomen

6 Fall Activities

8 Message from the President

10 Kick Off: Icebreaker BINGO

10 February General Meeting

12 Ramblings from the Editor

14 Ongoing Activities

16 Book Lovers

18 AWC and the Arts

20 Lessons from COVID-19

22 FAWCO Corner

26 Calendar

28 Tribute to Martin Luther

King, Jr.


A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.

30 - 47

Our Members reflect on what the

AWC means to them


30 Georgia Regnault

32 Mary Adams

34 Suzanne Dundas

37 Emily van Eerten

38 Jo van Kalveen

40 Eileen Harloff

41 Michelle Voorn

42 Roberta Enschede

44 Melissa White

47 Melissa Rider

48 Classifieds

49 Advertising Rates

49 Index of Advertisers

50 Toy Drive



Melissa White

2020-2021 AWC Officers

Committee Chairs

AWC Clubhouse

Johan van Oldenbarneveltlaan 43

2582 NJ Den Haag

Tel: 070 350 6007



Going Dutch Magazine


Clubhouse Hours

By Appointment Only

Dues (Effective 2020-2021)

€ 110 per year (€ 66 after January 1)

€ 90 business, professional

€ 55 valid US military ID

€ 35 student

€ 35 Outside the Netherlands (Going

Dutch magazine not included)

Add € 15 new member registration fee

Deadlines: Submissions are due no later than the last Monday of the month preceding the publication month.

For example, for the March/April issue, submissions are due before Monday, January 25.

Please Note: Articles submitted to Going Dutch will be published subject to space limitations and

editorial approval. All rights reserved; reprints only by written permission of the Editor. Please email to:


Legal Notice: Articles in Going Dutch express the views and opinions of their authors alone, and not necessarily

those of the AWC of The Hague, its Members or this publication.


Design and Layout

Teresa Mahoney


Leidse Schouwburg in Winter 2018


Greetje Engelsman, Melissa White


Celeste Brown, Jane Gulde, Diane Schaap,

Debbie van Hees

Advertising Manager & Invoicing



Mary Adams, Molly Boed, Barbara

Brookman, Jane Choy, Suzanne Dundas,

Greetje Engelsman, Roberta Enschede,

Eileen Harloff, Georgia Regnault, Melissa

Rider, Asmi Sen, Jo van Kalveen, Anne van

Oorshot, Emily van Eerten, Michelle Voorn



AWC Bank Account Number

IBAN: NL42ABNA0431421757

KvK Den Haag

40409274 BTW or VAT: 007408705B01

Honorary President Diane Hoekstra

President Barbara Brookman


Vice President Melissa Rider


Treasurer Sarah Dunn


Secretary Mary Ellen Brennan


Club and Community Development


Carin Elam


Clubhouse Administration Officer



Communications Michelle Voorn


Front Office

Liduine Bekman, Siska Datema-Kool,

Jan Essad, Deana Kreitler, Hannah Gray,

Georgia Regnault, Lindsey Turnau

Activities: Sarah Partridge

Arts: Jane Choy

Assistant Treasurer: Teresa Insalaco

Board Advisor: Jessie Rodell

Book Club Daytime: Teresa Mahoney

Book Club Evening: Dena Haggerty

Bookkeeper: Lori Schnebelie

Caring Committee: Naomi Keip

Chat, Craft & Cake: Suzanne Dundas

eNews: Michelle Voorn

FAWCO: Molly Boed

Front Office Coordinator: Hannah Gray

General Meetings Programs: Open

Heart Pillows: Jan de Vries

Historian/Archivist: Georgia Regnault

Holiday Bazaar: Georgia Regnault

IT Administrator: Julie Otten

Kids’ Club: Open

Lunch Bunch: Greetje Engelsman

Mah Jongg: Jen van Ginhoven

Membership: Heather DeWitt

Movie Network: Tina Andrews

Newcomers: Jo van Kalveen, Hilde Volle

Parliamentarian: Georgia Regnault

Philanthropy: Open

Pickleball: Barbara Brookman

Social Media Facebook and Instagram:

Michelle Voorn

Social Media LinkedIn: Julie Otten

Tennis: Molly Boed

Thirsty Thursday: Open

Tours: Liduine Bekman

Volunteer Coordinator: Laurie Martecchini

Walkie Talkies: Emily van Eerten

Webmaster: Julie Otten

Women with Dutch Partners: Michelle


AWC Mission Statement

The AWC is an association formed to provide social and educational activities for American

women living in the Netherlands and to promote amicable relations among people of all nations,

as well as acquiring funds for general public interest. Membership in the club is open

to women of all nations who are friendly and welcoming to American culture. The association

does not endeavor to make a profit. The AWC is a 100% volunteer organization.


Fall Activities



Message from the President

by Barbara Brookman

Welcome to 2021!

At the start of the New Year, AWC The

Hague is once again a mostly virtual Club

as our Clubhouse remains closed and the

country remains in a hard lockdown. All

year, we have scheduled and rescheduled

events and activities. You will see some

activities on our calendar in this magazine

marked as pending or subject to change.

That’s just the reality of life right now.

Despite all this uncertainty. the Club has

stayed connected and will continue to look

for what we can do or how we can do old

things in new ways. This year, our January

Daytime and Evening Kick Off meetings

will be online events with Icebreaker

BINGO games to bring us together. Be

sure to register on our website or through

the Wild Apricot app and put the dates on

your calendars to make these events a success.

Our 2020 Toys and Toiletries Drive was

a great success with more than € 1,200 in

cash donations and probably half as much

again of in-kind donations. Thanks to your

generous gifts, we were able to deliver 60

gift bags and 70 care bags for kids and

young mothers at De Oase foodbank and

at the Salvation Army’s Vliet en Burgh

Children’s Home. Thank you to all who

participated! It’s great to see what we can

do together. You can see some pictures on

page 50.

FAWCO Target

Project: Safe

Alternatives for

Female Genital

Mutilation, which

is looking to

abolish this longstanding


We will be looking

at opportunities

to raise money

for this project

in the spring and

to continue to

amplify voices of change.

As we leave 2020 behind, I am optimistic.

I am optimistic because while the pandemic

is a thief who robs us of time with

friends and family, of get-togethers, travel

and plans, we are rising to the challenge by

working together. I can’t help but think that

if we can collaborate internationally to find

a vaccine against the coronavirus in less

than a year, there is no limit to what we

can do to deal with climate change or the

systemic inequities at home and around the

world. And there is much work to be done.

I hope that we will look back at this time as

the year that made us rethink our priorities,

relationships, work and impact on each

other and the world. We’re at an inflection

point and we have a choice. I hope your

New Year’s resolutions include something

you want to change for the better―I know

mine will.


I’m inspired by the

stories in this magazine

of AWC

women making

change. I urge everyone

to read our

intern Asmi Sen’s

excellent article on

page 22 about the

Happy New Year!



Virtual General Meetings

by Melissa Rider

With coronavirus restrictions limiting the number of people allowed in the Clubhouse,

our General Meetings for the start of 2021 will be virtual. We encourage all Members

to join us for the videoconference call from the comfort of their own homes or

offices. Please RSVP via our online calendar or the Wild Apricot app to receive the Google

Meet link via email.

Kick Off: Icebreaker BINGO

Join us as we virtually host two amusing

and engaging Kick Off meetings to celebrate

the start of the New Year and welcome

new Members into our Club. Let the

fun begin with Icebreaker BINGO, a game

with a slight twist to an old favorite. The

rules will be explained at the meetings, but

the game will be simple and entertaining

for everyone. Registration is required on

our website calendar at www.awcthehague.

org or on the Wild Apricot app in order to

receive the Google Meet link as well as a

link to your special online BINGO card. If

you’d prefer to have a printed card, you can

use the following page for play or can request

a PDF for printing at home from me at

vicepresident@awcthehague.org. Feel free

to join one or both meetings.

Daytime Kick Off

Thursday, January 14

via Google Meet

Social Time: 10 – 10:15 a.m.

Icebreaker BINGO: 10:15 – 11:15 a.m.

Club Business: 11:15 – 11:30 a.m.


Evening Kick Off

Thursday, January 21

via Google Meet

Social Time: 7 – 7:15 p.m.

Icebreaker BINGO: 7:15 – 8:15 p.m.

Club Business: 8:15 – 8:30 p.m.


February General Meeting

In February our guest speaker will be

Michelle Oliel, an AWC Member and human

rights lawyer. She is also the Executive

Director and Co-Founder of the Stahili

Foundation (www.stahili.org), a registered

charity in Kenya, the Netherlands and US.

Stahili’s work in Kenya involves helping

children return home from orphanages and

providing holistic support to strengthen

families and create opportunities for education

and sustainable development. Its 1

Million in Mind Project was awarded the

2020 FAWCO Foundation Development

Grant for the category of Critical Health


Thursday, February 11

Via Google Meets

Time TBD


Welcome New Members!

Blair Adams

Joy Marino

Gwendolyn Boevé-Jones

Jessica Singh

Members: eNews Distribution

A weekly electronic newsletter

is sent to all AWC Members.

If you have not been receiving your eNews, please contact Heather at




Ramblings from the Editor

by Melissa White

Happy New Year! I’m guessing I am not

alone to be relieved to kiss the year

2020 goodbye and welcome 2021 with

open arms. One of my favorite memes about

that crazy year was: I’m beginning to think

that “hindsight is 2020” was some kind of

message from a future time traveler that we

all misunderstood. Originally I was a bit leery

about 2021 after seeing this meme: Not to

alarm anybody, but Mad Max took place in

2021. Luckily that warning turned out to be

just a cruel joke, because the movie Mad Max

was actually set in a dystopian Australia of

the mid 1980s that luckily never came to be.

I’ve never been a big fan of making New

Year’s resolutions, but this year seems like

be able to celebrate this great news with his

family over a Thanksgiving meal.

While we are all happily putting 2020 in the

rearview mirror, Going Dutch continues to

celebrate our Club’s 90th anniversary by

reflecting on what the AWC means to our

Members. Several of the Members who submitted

articles have lived in the Netherlands

for decades, while one has been here for

only two years. You might notice that this

issue is slightly shorter than previous issues

due to a smaller number of articles submitted.

Of course, each theme will appeal differently

to our regular submitters and those

others willing to write for us, perhaps even

for the first time.

I’m beginning to think that “hindsight is 2020” was some kind of message

from a future time traveler that we all misunderstood. ~ Anonymous

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a good excuse for an exception. Perhaps we

should all try to close the door on 2020 without

focusing on the disappointments and instead

reflect on the opportunities it gave us to

slow down and smell the roses. I realize that I

was especially lucky to have my two daughters

and their boyfriends home with us for an

extended time that included a lot of fun family

dinners and celebrations. We also were

fortunate to get an offer we couldn’t refuse

to become part-owners of a boat, or what I

fondly refer to as our “floating bathtub” because

it is so basic―with only a seat for the

skipper and a portable gas tank that luckily

fits on the back of James’ bike. What perfect

timing to be on the water during a particularly

beautiful summer taking socially distanced

boat rides around Leiden with friends.

In a follow-up to my June article entitled

Laughter is the Best Medicine, I am happy

to share that Mark was declared cancer-free

in late November. He will need to be monitored

for the next five years before he is officially

declared cured, but we were thrilled to

Our next theme will be Reflecting on Life

in Holland, which I hope will prompt many

of you to write something. If you’ve never

submitted an article, I’d like to encourage

you to challenge yourself and see where it

takes you. Of course, writing should never

be a chore. If the words don’t flow, don’t

force it. However, instead of thinking of

writing as an intimidating task or homework

assignment, try thinking of it as just

sending a best friend an email to share a

funny story or observation of life in your

adopted country.

As you might have noticed, I always manage

to come up with something to say, but

sometimes it’s definitely much easier than

other times. Writer’s block is never fun, but

eventually the words start to flow. I still remember

the angry red lines covering my attempts

of creative writing for Mr. Cousins,

my 9th grade English teacher. I now agree

with him that my talent isn’t in fiction; I

hope you’ll agree that I’m better suited to

telling it like it is.



Ongoing Activities

Pending Activities

Due to unknown coronavirus guidelines, the

following activities are considered pending

as we consider holding them virtually until

the Clubhouse can reopen. Look for updates

in eNews. Please contact Suzanne Dundas

with questions.

Chat, Craft & Cake

Every Tuesday

10 a.m. – Noon

Wassenaar and Environs Coffee

1st Thursday of the Month

9:30 a.m.


Pickleball is a sport that combines elements

from tennis, badminton and table tennis. It

is played with a paddle and light ball in a

badminton-sized court. It is a friendly sport

for all age groups and levels! Pickleball is

the fastest growing sport in the US and is

exploding in popularity internationally.

Due to coronavirus uncertainty, nothing is

definite, but we hope that AWC Members

will be playing this fun and easy to learn

game on an indoor court beginning on

January 21―see eNews or Facebook for

updates. Contact Barbara Brookman at

president@awcthehague.org to join a trial

session with the option to join for the season.

Day and Time: TBD

Sporthall Houtrust

Laan van Poot 22, Den Haag

Trial Session: Free

8-week Season: € 35 Members

Virtual Quiz Night

Join us for a fun time of quizzical questions

to test your trivial and general knowledge

on a variety of topics including but not limited

to: art and music, geography and travel,

movies and actors, sports, literature, history,

etc. This month’s quiz will be devised

by the Rider family and hosted by Melissa

Rider. Participants will connect via a link

to a Google Meet video call. Each team

will consist of two people. You can form


a team from your home with a partner or

housemate, or play remotely with another

AWC Member (i.e. you both use Google

Meet, but stay in contact with each other by

phone). Each team should have a pen and

paper for writing down the answers and

keeping track of your scores. There will be

three to four rounds with each round having

ten questions. After a round is completed,

we will review the answers as a group and

teams will track their own score. Once all

rounds are completed, we can determine the

Grand Winner! In the event of a tie, a super

hard rocket scientist level question will

be used as a tiebreaker. Food and drinks are

essential to successful game play and will

be available for takeaway from your local

kitchen! Questions? Contact Melissa Rider

at vicepresident@awcthehague.org. Please

RSVP by January 29, so you are sent a confirmation

email with details on how to join

the Google Meet call.

Saturday, January 30

7 – 9 p.m.

Comfort of Your Own Home

RSVP deadline: January 29

Walkie Talkies

Whether you count your steps or just want to

take a socially distanced walk with friends,

the Monday morning Walkie Talkies is a

fun and healthy way to start the week. The

group meets in front of the Clubhouse before

heading out promptly to walk to various

destinations in the area, usually racking

up 10,000 steps along the way. No RSVP

is necessary. Contact Emily van Eerten at

walkietalkies@awcthehague.org to be added

to the WhatsApp group for last minute

updates and cancellations.


9:30 a.m.

AWC Clubhouse


Virtual Women in Business

Are you a business owner? Are you thinking

about starting a business? Come to our

ongoing meetings for networking and discussion

among AWC Members about being

a business owner in the Netherlands.

All are welcome, no matter what amount

of experience you may have with owning a

business. We will start the New Year with

new topics and networking opportunities.

Feel free to email Mary Ellen Brennan

for more information or suggestions at


Friday, January 22 + February TBA

10 – 11 a.m.

Virtual Meeting



Book Lovers

Book Clubs

The AWC Book Clubs are FREE and open

to all readers. New Members are especially

welcome! There are no requirements that

you must attend every meeting or lead a discussion.

Snacks are provided by a different

Member each month. We have a daytime

and an evening group. Questions? Teresa

Mahoney organizes the daytime group:

bookclubday@awcthehague.org. Dena

Haggerty handles the evening meetings:

bookclubevening@awcthehague.org. Look

for messages in eNews about the possibility

of meeting at the Clubhouse or virtually.

Daytime Book Club

January Selection: The Testaments by

Margaret Atwood

We had to wait 34 long

years for this sequel to

The Handmaid's Tale,

which takes place 15

years later. The theocratic

regime of the Republic of

Gilead maintains its grip

on power, but there are

signs it is beginning to

rot from within. At this

crucial moment, the lives of three radically

different women converge, with potentially

explosive results.

Thursday, January 28

10 a.m.

February Selection: Lady in Waiting: My

Extraordinary Life in the

Shadow of the Crown by

Anne Glenconner

An extraordinary candid

memoir of drama, tragedy

and royal secrets by a

close member of the royal

circle and lady-in-waiting

to Princess Margaret from

1971 until the Princess'

death in 2002. Should be of special interest

to fans of Netflix’s The Crown.

Thursday, February 25

10 a.m.


Daytime Book Club Reading List:

Thursday, March 25: An American

Marriage by Tayari Jones

Evening Book Club

January Selection: The Last Painting by

Sara de Vos by Dominic


This historical fiction

novel brings to life a fictional

artist from 1631

Amsterdam, while also

telling a modern tale of

her last surviving painting

being forged in New York

City in 1957. Rich in historical

detail, join us to learn more about the

challenges faced by women artists throughout

the ages.

Wednesday, January 13

7:30 p.m.

February Selection: All Adults Here by

Emma Straub

Quirky characters combined

with some big topics

makes for a funny and

insightful novel about

the life cycle of one family―as

the kids become

parents, grandchildren become

teenagers, and a matriarch

confronts the legacy

of her mistakes. There’s plenty to which

we can relate: adult siblings, aging parents,

high school boyfriends, middle school mean

girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and

all the other things that follow us into adulthood,

whether we like them to or not.

Wednesday, February 10

7:30 p.m.

Evening Book Club Reading List:

Wednesday, March 10: The Midnight

Library by Matt Haig

Daytime Book Club Recaps

The Reader on the 6.27 by Jean-Paul


Guylain Vignolles is an avid reader who,

ironically, spends his workday pulping

books with a machine he loathes so much

he can’t bring himself to call it by its real

name, choosing to refer to it as “The Thing.”

He leads a quiet life, with few friends and

just a goldfish to confide in. One of his few

pleasures in life is saving random pages that

have been spared the pulping machine and

reading them out loud to the same group of

commuters on the 6:27 train he takes daily

to work. One day, he discovers the diary of

Julie, a lonely young woman who feels as

lost in the world as he does. Without realizing

it, he becomes swept up in her story

that desperately needs a voice. This novel is

quintessentially French in its style and scope

and includes a small cast of quirky, mostly

charming characters, just a small amount

of plot tension, and liberal helpings of feelgood.

Ultimately it is a delightful depiction

of literature’s power to uplift even the most

downtrodden and the importance of words,

language and stories. This was a popular

read with most of our group. We were a little

in awe of the two of our readers who tackled

the book in its original French and were impressed

with the ability of the translator of

the novel to not lose the essence of its beautifully

written prose. Highly recommend.

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke

Lucas Rijneveld

One of our group joked that this book might

as well have been called The Discomfort

of Reading, but after a solid two hours of

discussion, most agreed that the book was

an uncomfortable, yet worthy, winner of the

International Booker Prize. Marieke Lucas

Rijneveld started writing this poetically

ruthless exploration of a devout farming

family’s experience of grief at the age of 20.

Although Rijneveld’s own family circumstances

seem to suggest a certain amount of

autobiography, the details of the novel are

disturbing fantasy as the 10-year-old narrator

tries to comprehend the loss of her

brother, and how her parents and siblings

rationalize the bewilderment of God’s hand

in that and subsequent events. The parents

struggle to cope, and the children are left to

their own twisted logic as they try, and fail,

to process events without adult guidance.

Rijneveld liberally employs farm-influenced

metaphors, at times strikingly insightful, but

at other moments just plain disgusting. This

is a book that is hard to recommend, and few

wanted to finish it. And yet there is much

here for those who also struggle to comprehend

and accept loss, or to come to terms

with darkness and light, both that externally

imposed upon us and that battling within us.

Evening Book Club Recaps

The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es

Many of us have read quite a few books

(both nonfiction and historical fiction) about

the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands during

WWII, so it was refreshing that this biography

managed to share yet another chapter

to this complex part of history. It was

very well written, and we appreciated that

the author didn't seem to allow his family

connection to Lien, the “Cut Out Girl,” to

cloud his telling of the story of her life. It

was also interesting to realize that we had

visited several of the places mentioned in

the book, bringing yet another aspect more

to life for us. Although several of our group

hadn’t looked forward to reading yet another

WWII book, they were glad that they read

this one.

Did you know that any woman who speaks

English is eligible to join the American

Women’s Club?

Invite your English-speaking friends,

wherever they’re from, to join us today!


AWC and the Arts

by Jane Choy-Thurlow, AWC Member and Mauritshuis Docent

Fashion in Color

In this time of lockdown when group tours

in museums are not possible, we are excited

to announce that Monique Varma, one of

our favorite tour guides, will give us a special

socially-distanced in-person presentation

at the Kunstmuseum in a 200-seat auditorium

reserved just for us about its special

exhibit Fashion in Color.

We will be reminded how the fashions of

yesterday and today can bring us together

in every color of the rainbow―a multicolored

natural phenomenon that is a symbol

of hope, courage, pride and gratitude.

This exhibition, created since the start of

the COVID-19 pandemic, will use fashion

items, many from the museum’s own collection,

to explore the symbolism of color. At a

time when many of us need some comfort,

connection and hope, a fashion exhibition

can offer all these things. Immerse yourself

in color and enjoy the creations of leading

Dutch and international designers including

Comme des Garçons, Chanel, Dries van

Noten, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood,

Gianni Versace, and Thierry Mugler, and

also colorful costumes dating from the 18th

century to the present day.

RSVP for all Arts Activities directly

on www.awcthehague.org

Direct any questions to


Today’s fashion is bursting with color. Is it

a coincidence? “In difficult times, fashion

is always outrageous,” Italian fashion designer

Elsa Schiaparelli once said. At a time

of crisis, color does wonders for boosting

the spirits to lift an otherwise black mood.

There are many stories to be told about the

symbolism of color. What a color symbolizes

for us today may have been very different

in the past. Color in fashion is often like a

code, and sometimes the code is now secret,

its past meaning long forgotten. Several designers,

including Valentino, Bas Kosters

and Hanifa will show garments that bring

them hope. They will be woven through the

collection, providing a diverse and hopeful

look to the future.

You MUST book entrance to the museum in

advance at www.kunstmuseum.nl. Entrance

is free with a Museumkaart, but a reservation

is still necessary. It is recommended to

book your ticket first and then your spot at

the lecture to ensure that you can enter the

building. You can then plan to visit the special

exhibit after the lecture or on a different

date before February 28. Please understand

that in the event of another national

shutdown of museums, this lecture will be

conducted virtually instead.

Wednesday, January 20

11 a.m. – Noon


Stadhouderslaan 41, Den Haag

€ 15 Members (€ 18 non-members)

PLUS € 16 Museum entrance fee (free

with Museumkaart)

Maximum 19



Playball is the leading Sports

& Movement programme for

children aged 2-10. Join

after school, Saturday

mornings or check out our

February half term camps!

Varied days

Always active

“Playball is the highlight

of my sons week!”


Build confidence

Playball fun!

Age appropriate

Learn new skills

Our team of trained coaches will

build the skills and confidence of

your little one, encouraging them

to make friends and stay as active

as possible! Camp for ages 4 - 10.

Visit the website to book or

contact Coach Maggie:

+316 2721 4349





Lessons from COVID-19 Applied to

the Climate Crisis

by Karen Rudin (AWC Zurich) and Anne van Oorschot (AWC The Hague and FAWCO

Environment Co-Chair)

If you are anything like me, you are sick to

death of coronavirus and all the restrictions

and changes that accompany it!! There have

been so many changes and cancelled plans in

my family alone: one wedding postponed and

one cancelled, vacations and trips to the US

cancelled, no Thanksgiving with the whole

family around the table, a Christmas that was

sliced up into little pieces with our kids taking

turns coming over and meeting each other, and

worst of all: no hugs! I will never again take

hugging people for granted. When I remember

that Anne Frank spent 761 days confined in

an Amsterdam attic―no trips to the grocery

store, walks outside to enjoy nature, or ZOOM

calls with family and friends―I do feel like

an enormous whiner. However, for me and

the rest of us, being so limited in our activities

and movements is a big deal and a hardship. I

know these coronavirus restrictions will end

and do try to keep it in perspective. I am also

heartened to learn that even this crisis has a

bit of a silver lining. For whom you may ask?

Why for our planet.

The recent COVID-19 crisis was only a

couple of weeks old when the media began

reporting one unexpected positive effect:

worldwide greenhouse gas emissions were

markedly reduced and the atmosphere less

polluted as a result. As well as being good

news in itself, this was an inkling that the

coronavirus crisis and the climate crisis are

linked. Recognition of more linkages followed;

not only of causes and effects, but

also similarities between the two crises. Both

are global in scope and require international

cooperation and respect for scientific facts.

Both are unprecedented in the scope of disruption

they bring to society, and both require

coordinated efforts and long-term thinking

on the part of politicians, scientists, the business

world and society itself for their solution.

Climate change threatens broad natural

and human systems, among them health

networks. As was noted in The Economist,

“Following the pandemic is like watching the

climate crisis with your finger jammed on the

fast-forward button.” (The Economist, May

21, 2020)

As time went on, another parallel became evident.

It is the poor and the disadvantaged who

have been hardest hit by the coronavirus, and

it is just those who will suffer the most as the

climate crisis continues to unfold. We began

to see that this virus isn’t just a health issue

and, of course, the climate crisis doesn’t just

affect the environment. The climate crisis can

be seen as the major public health threat of

our time. Both are going to require broader

and more fundamental changes if they are to

be mitigated.

At this point we should look at another cause

and effect relationship: a deep lack of respect

for nature and its part in causing coronavirus

devastation and environmental destruction.

We pave over, build, cut back and generally

encroach on wilderness, so that animals in

the wild increasingly lose their habitats and

move closer to our habitats. It is inevitable

that zoonoses, diseases that can be transmitted

from animals to humans, are on the rise,

among them COVID-19.

As we dug deeper into the coronavirus crisis,

all sorts of cascading effects became clear.

The most obvious was economic disruption,

all the way from soaring unemployment to

the threat of worldwide recession. The immediate

worry was the enormous cost of imposing

lockdowns; would they prove disastrous

to the economy? It took a few cost-benefit

analyses to answer that no, drastic action

at the beginning would in fact be worth the

costs, economically as well as socially. In a

world where the enormous cost of fighting

climate change is often touted as a reason to

do nothing, it was fervently hoped that business

and political leaders would get the parallel

message that spending now would lead to

clean air and green jobs later.

Having taken a deep breath and pledged

millions to prevent coronavirus deaths, has

society experienced any other positive effects

of the various lockdowns? Yes, indeed.

Economic aid on a huge scale became necessary

to prevent social disaster, and voices

were loud and clear in all sectors of society

that this aid presents an excellent chance to

create a new green deal. A petition introduced

by Greenpeace, for example, sees coronavirus-related

economic aid being part of the

European Green New Deal (www.greenpeace.



Seventeen European Climate and

Environment Ministers have asked the

European Commission to put the Green Deal

at the heart of the recovery after the pandemic.

Hundreds of companies globally have

signed open letters to world leaders, requesting

the assurance that economic stimulus

packages will be applied to the impacts of the

coronavirus and the climate crisis.

Has the pandemic shown us other behaviors

that we would like to see continue? A few

practical ones come to mind: less travel and

consumption, mutual help and social solidarity,

appreciation of nature, greater respect

for healthcare workers, and greater interest

in healthy food and its origins and processing.

On the social scene, young people have

recently been the source of information and

action demanding climate change with the

same gravity as their elders now feel about

COVID-19, perhaps making mutual understanding

and cooperation possible.

COVID-19 has thrown a glaring spotlight

on social inequalities, most notably the need

for universal health coverage. Various international

human rights agreements make it

mandatory for countries to protect their citizens’

right to health, and the Paris Agreement

draws a connection between action on climate

change and promotion of the right to health.

Perhaps most heartening is the fact that,

“If COVID-19 is a precautionary tale, it is

also a crash course in the possible” (World

Economic Forum, June 9, 2020). Our worldwide

community has acted to work through

the crisis, showing that all aspects of society,

from the individual to governments, can pitch

in and make radical changes to behavior. One

hopes that this cooperation and determination

can coalesce into the resoluteness to

make the fundamental changes necessary to

face the huge challenges of the climate crisis.



FAWCO Corner

by Molly Boed

Federation of American Women’s Clubs Overseas, a United Nations NGO with

consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council


Below is the first of a two-part series explaining FAWCO’s current Target Project for

2020 – 2022, which is known by its acronym “S.A.F.E.” or Safe Alternatives for

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Elimination. As the new FAWCO Representative

for our Club, I would like to explain this project to help end FGM. While our efforts are focused

on ending FGM in Tanzania, girls and women are being subjected to FGM in virtually

every country in the world. I have been working with an intern, Asmi Sen, who has written

two articles about FGM and the work being done by courageous souls in Tanzania to end

this abhorrent practice. This article highlights why we need to help end FGM in Tanzania,

and what the Tanzanian government and the Tanzania Development Trust are doing to stop

FGM. The second article will focus on a new documentary and address what one woman,

Rhobi Samwelly, herself a victim of FGM, is doing to protect girls in Tanzania from this evil.

Please note that Asmi’s sources are available from me on request as they were too lengthy

to include here.

The Seeds of Saintpaulia

by Asmi Sen

An African violet grew beside a tree. It burst

out of its seed into a tiny plant, after which

it emerged as a fully grown flower as it blossomed

into the sky, which was decorated by

a canopy of leaves of the high cloud forest of

Udzungwa National Park. Sadly, as more and

more seeds are shipped off to be planted as

houseplants in the West, they are slowly disappearing

towards extinction. Their chance

to grow in their natural habitat, to embrace

being whole, is being taken away from them

since birth. It’s being cut away from them.

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is likewise

an act of removing a part of a girl that

affects her permanently. It is a procedure

where female genitals are cut, injured, or

changed without any medical justification.

Just like the seeds of the African violet are

removed from their native soil, the parts of

the girl that make her whole are being taken

away from her. Although another name for

FGM is female circumcision, this is wrong

in every sense of the word. Circumcision involves

the removal of foreskin of the male

genitalia, while FGM involves the total re-


moval of parts

of the vagina.

This can lead

to severe

health problems



infertility, difficulties



and even

bleeding to


FGM is believed to reduce the sexual desire

of women and is seen as a way of ensuring

loyalty to their husbands. This belief

is rooted in the patriarchal ideal that the

physical whereabouts and sexual activity of

women must be controlled by men. FGM is

also linked to economic incentives. Rural

Tanzanian communities force girls to undergo

cutting ceremonies organized by their

parents so they can secure a higher dowry.

Cutting has also been justified as a means to

support the local economy because the accompanying

ceremonies are often elaborate

and require new clothes, food, and services

performed by a professional local cutter. So

while FGM is a matter of tradition, it is also

difficult to prevent due to the local economic

impact it has in one of the poorest countries

in the world.

FGM also has implications for gender roles in

society, as it reinforces the patriarchal structure

of these communities, thus promoting

gender inequality and the subordination of

women. It is often the first step towards early

marriage. At-risk girls often run away from

their homes in adolescence to escape their

cutting ceremonies. While the Tanzanian

government criminalized FGM for girls under

18, 10% of women in Tanzania between

the ages of 15 and 49 are still cut. In fact, in

central and northern parts of Tanzania, up to

60% of women and girls are cut, typically

during the December holidays. FGM is a

grave issue, not only because of its implications

on health and illegality, but because

95% of women in Tanzania aged from 15-49

believe this practice should be put to an end.

Another obstacle in the fight against FGM is

that many perceive the work of the Tanzania

Development Trust (TDT)―an organization

that combats FGM in rural Tanzania and

has raised over £250,000 for this cause―as

an act of imposing “colonial” or “Western

standards” on local culture. It is important

to address the ethical implication of working

against FGM. Relativist thinkers would

argue that every culture has its own perception

of right and wrong, and therefore it is

not acceptable to fight FGM because it is a

cultural tradition. Absolutist thinkers would

argue that there are some matters, such as

FGM, that are always wrong, regardless of

the culture in which they are rooted because

they violate human rights. We must therefore

view this from an absolutist and, more importantly,

humanitarian perspective: FGM is

a violation of human rights and should not be

tolerated in today’s world.

Rhobi Samwelly is a local representative of

TDT. She was a victim of FGM at the age

>> 24


FAWCO (cont.)

Continued from page 23

of 12 and nearly bled to death at her cutting

ceremony. Even before working with TDT,

Rhobi played a tremendous role in sparking

local change. She spent years courageously

leading a team of actors, singers and dancers

to educate and change attitudes towards FGM

in villages. It must be emphasized how much

personal courage and strong will it takes to

approach local communities where FGM is

considered a norm and encouraged, especially

by men. Rhobi has organized roadshows

in high risk areas during the cutting season to

demonstrate the health risks that accompany

cutting to crowds of the men enforcing this

tradition. This has put her at risk, exposing

her to a hostile response, as she is challenging

a tradition that is systematically ingrained

in these communities. Additionally, Rhobi

has established a team protected by the local

police that help at-risk girls escape from

their cutting ceremonies, taking them to a

safe house where they are cared for until the

cutting season is over. The first safe house,

established in Mugumu in the Mara region,

received roughly £165,000 in donations allowing

Rhobi and her team to protect 329

girls within three years.

In order to put an end to FGM once and for

all, it is crucial that the inherent patriarchal

mindset from which this tradition stems is

eliminated. The only way to do this is to educate

boys and men of the negative effects of

FGM from an early age instead of teaching

girls to fit society’s standards. With the help

of the government and financial aid from

TDT, the re-education of boys and men in

pro-FGM communities has sparked into action.

This is significant in the fight against

FGM because of the prominent role men

have played in controlling the female body.

This re-education campaign also paves the

path for future generations of men and women

because they are less likely to impose FGM

on their children after having been educated

about its negative consequences. Provided

this re-education campaign continues, this

tradition will be extinguished over time. To

speed up the

process, however,

it is important

to actively


this issue and

fund organizations

like TDT

to help change

attitudes towards


Most importantly,


surrounding Gender Based Violence (GBV)

should be addressed directly rather than euphemized

or worse, ignored.

FGM isn’t just prevalent in Tanzania.

Classified as an act of GBV, FGM is practiced

around the world. Studies have revealed

that an estimated 200 million women

and girls that are alive today have undergone

FGM, most before the age of 15. Due to increased

migration, increased numbers of girls

and women who live away from their home

countries have reportedly undergone (or are

at risk of) FGM in Europe, Australia and

North America. In order to promote the UN’s

Sustainable Development Goal #5: Gender

Equality and Women’s Empowerment, we

must ensure that FGM is a practice that is outlawed

and stopped. With our Target Project

S.A.F.E, we hope to maximize our impact in

ending this demeaning and unjust practice.

The seeds of the African violet need to be

planted in its heartland. It cannot survive

wholly without its parts. In order to flourish

and blossom, the Saintpaulia needs to be

taken care of with love and support, without

which it won’t have the necessary nutrients

to survive, even when grown in its heartland.

Likewise, the parts of millions of women that

are being taken away from them leave them

broken. In order to prosper as women, they

need to be granted the basic human right,

their seeds, in order to have happy and fulfilling

lives. Let’s plant their seeds back where

they belong.



January 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat

1 2

Happy New Year

3 4

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

6 7

Wassenaar Coffee and

Convo (pending)

9:30 a.m

8 9

10 11

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

Buddy Check 12


Evening Book Club

7:30 p.m.


Morning Kick Off

Meeting: Virtual

Icebreaker BINGO

10 a.m.

15 16

17 18

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

24 25

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.


Museum Lecture:

Fashion in Color 11 a.m.


Evening Kick Off

Meeting: Virtual

Icebreaker BINGO

7 p.m.

27 28

Daytime Book Club

10 a.m.


Virtual Meeting: Women

in Business 10 a.m.


29 30

Virtual Quiz Night

7 p.m.


February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

3 4

Wassenaar Coffee and

Convo (pending)

9:30 a.m

5 6

7 8

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.



Virtual February General

Meeting 10 a.m.


Buddy Check 12


Evening Book Club

7:30 p.m.

14 15

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

Happy Valentine's Day

17 18 19 20

21 22

Walkie Talkies 9:30 a.m


Chat, Craft & Cake

(pending) 10 a.m.

24 25

Daytime Book Club

10 a.m.

26 27




A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther

King, Jr.

by Roberta Enschede

This year, there will be no Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute and Dinner for the first

time since January 1986―the year Martin Luther King Day became a national holiday.

Even though we will not be able to “break bread together,” we can think about Dr.

King’s message and what it challenges us to do.

Over the years, many special people have spoken at the Tribute. Their messages are

etched on our memories. There was Gloria Ray Kalmark, one of the Little Rock Nine.

She had a successful career as an engineer, but the memories of Little Rock were always

with her. I remember one day in particular. We were at a gathering at the residence of the

American Ambassador. Several people were standing around the grand piano. Gloria asked

the piano player to play Lift Every Voice and Sing. She listened and started to cry. “I never

thought I’d stand in a place like this and hear that song.” That song, of course, people call

the Negro National Anthem: Lift every voice and sing till heaven and Earth shall ring, ring

with the harmony of liberty.

Every year, Lois Mothershed Pot speaks. Her sister Thelma was also one of the Little

Rock Nine and Lois was the first Black student in her university. She once talked about her

father, a WWII veteran who was an officer in the segregated US Army. He returned from the

war a liberator and hero, but in Little Rock, he was a Black man who had to live with the

indignities of segregation. He allowed his daughter to be one of the Little Rock Nine. She

had to be escorted to Little Rock High by armed soldiers. Like Gloria and the other seven

students, she was ridiculed, spat upon and threatened. There was no place for Black kids

like Thelma and Gloria in white Central High. Think about it. Her Dad was willing to give

his life for the kind of freedom neither he nor his family could have.

When we commemorated the 25th year of the Tribute to Dr. King, we invited a very

special guest from Chicago: Professor Timuel Black. He was one of the organizers of the

1963 March on Washington and is a decorated WWII veteran who landed on Normandy

Beach and was at the liberation of Buchenwald Concentration Camp. He spoke about how

profoundly he was affected by the discrimination he experienced in the US Army and the

human devastation he witnessed at Buchenwald. He resolved to dedicate his life and work

to peace and justice. He celebrated his 102nd birthday on December 7, and he’s still making

speeches, writing books and above all, encouraging and empowering young people to

speak out. In fact, a very young Barack Obama went to him for advice when he first came

to Chicago.

Another speaker at the Tribute was Paul Rusesabagina, the hero of Hotel Rwanda. While

working as the manager of a hotel in Kigali, he hid and protected 1,268 refugees during the

Rwandan genocide. Sadly, he is now a political prisoner in Rwanda.

At the very first Tribute to Dr. King and ever year until his death, Henry Blackmon, the

minister of music at the American Protestant Church came and sang. His glorious voice

and humble nature were an inspiration. “Oh Freedom, oh freedom over me,” he’d sing and

“Keep your hand on the plow, move on.” Henry, too, served in the segregated US Army in

the Battle of the Bulge and around Europe. His answer to segregation was a deep love of

his fellow man that exuded from his soaring voice.


Each year the Reverend Harcourt Klinefelter also speaks. He worked for Dr. King for

three years, until his death. He can tell stories about him that are not in books. He laughs

and talks about how Mrs. King asked him to stay for dinner one night. He’d been at the

house fixing some electronics and it got late. When Dr. King came home and they sat

down at the table, he said “I don’t feel worthy to sit here with you.” Dr. King answered,

“Harcourt, now do I have to give you a sermon about how all men are created equal?”

Lastly, every year we ask children and young people to speak and share their thoughts

and wisdom:

I learned that human rights aren’t about feeling sympathy. They’re about reaching our

hands out to people who other people have turned their backs on. ~ Emily, 17, Norwegian-


Before the US election, I heard a woman on TV say, “If Obama gets elected, the Blacks

are going to take over the world.” I know Martin Luther King’s fight had to be fought

and has to be fought every day until we are all able to say, “We’re all the same. We’re all

people. We’re like a family”. ~ Olivia, 16, American

Martin Luther King didn’t have a dream, he woke us up from a nightmare. ~ Damian,

15, American

Like Dr. King, I firmly believe that no matter how many ages must pass, peace and

freedom will ultimately prevail. There will be fraternity between nations. ~ Alexander,

17, Swedish

When I was asked to speak, I thought what could I say? I’m white and blue-eyed. I’ve

never experienced racial hate. Then I realized that’s precisely why I should speak. Hate is

not an issue for one race. It is an issue for the human race. ~ Ben, 17, American

You can’t blame other people for what they don’t know and understand, however you

can blame yourself for not trying to make them understand. ~ Warren, 17, Dutch-American

We’re all the same. We just look different. Some people have white faces. Some people

have dark faces and some people have black faces, but that’s not how I choose a friend. I

choose a friend who’s not mean to other kids! ~ Benjamin, 6, American

These young people are now a few years older. They and young people like them

everywhere make us believe and know there is hope for a better, more tolerant tomorrow.

And so, we will remember Dr. King this year even though we cannot “break bread

together.” We will remember, too, Congressman John Lewis, who marched by his side

and was beaten bloody and had his skull cracked on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma,

Alabama. John Lewis kept marching and speaking out and “making good trouble” until the

last days of his life, which ended on July 17, 2020. They called him “the Conscience of the

Congress.” He, like Dr. King, was indeed and will always be the conscience of our nation.

May Martin Luther King Day and every day be a day to be vigilant, a day to speak

out and “make good trouble” until “Justice rolls down like water and righteousness like

a mighty stream.”

Next year, we will be together on the last Sunday evening in January. We will join

hands and sing We Shall Overcome and listen to the words of Dr. King’s Dream.


The AWC Has Been Good to Me

by Georgia Regnault

Before writing this article, I had a short visit with long-time AWC Member Jessie

Rodell, and we talked about what an American Women’s Club meant to us. Jessie

first lived outside Rotterdam, and joined ANCOR, the American-Netherlands Club

of Rotterdam. When she moved to The Hague in the early ‘80s, she immediately joined

our Club as well. We both agreed strongly what the AWC of The Hague has meant for us:

innumerable friendships, the chance to meet Americans from all over the States and

all age groups (for example, I am from the Northeast, Jessie the West Coast), the (former)

library, the children’s parties, and the celebration of American holidays and customs.

Since 1968, I have been a Member of three different AWCs: Hamburg (1968 – 1971),

The Hague (1972 – 1990 and 1993 – Present day) and Curaçao (1990 – 1993). Interestingly,

I was at a different stage of my life in each place. Assuming when we married that we would

move to the States, you can imagine my surprise when my Dutch husband and I jumped

from student life and living in the smallest apartment you can imagine to finding ourselves

in Hamburg as expats―all in less than a month. I was a newlywed who spoke not a word

of German. It was my husband’s first job (with Shell) and there were no job possibilities for

me. The AWC Hamburg, with its + 80 members, was my lifeline. I still have friends from

that time, and we continue to enjoy visits over these many years. So, for me, AWC Hamburg

meant friendships.

Between 1971 – 1972, Peter was transferred to Assen in Drente and, if you can believe me,

the only friends we made there were company people and the local huisarts. Both Peter and

I missed having American friends. After just a short year there, Peter’s next assignment was

at Shell headquarters in The Hague, and I made a beeline to the APCH (American Protestant

Church of The Hague) where the AWC had

a large library and small office. By this time,

AWC The Hague would fulfil another niche

of my life. I had a baby son, and both of us

took advantage of the library and children’s

parties. I loved that it was easy to teach him

and as well as my other two children about

American customs and holidays through the

activities of the Club.

One short story to show why I think the

AWC Members are also very caring: a few

days after I had given birth to my daughter

Lara in the fall of 1973, I woke up from a nap

finding a small bouquet of flowers arranged in

a pink baby boot―a congratulatory gift from

the Club. I was so touched, and ever since, I

have supported the work of the Caring Chair

who takes care of reaching out to Members. I

had only been a Member for less than a year

and a non-active one at that, considering I

had a little tot at home, was pregnant, and

had moved twice in that year. Still, someone

had reported that I had given birth.


After a wonderful 18 years living in Wassenaar, off our family went to being expats in

Curaçao. I was not only one-third empty-nester with one child studying in the States, but the

other two were growing up fast and had their own new circles of friends from high school

and sports. During the ‘80s, I became very involved with FAWCO. Since the AWC Curaçao

was a FAWCO member, my energies went toward helping the club in that aspect.

As I wrote in the last issue of Going

Dutch, through AWC activities I have learned

many skills that I wasn’t taught in high school

or college. The experience of being involved

in the financial aspect of our Club from 1976

– 1982 enabled me to be hired in 1983 as

Business Manager of the newly opened

Webster University. Being Club President for

two years taught me the skill of writing and

speaking, which were totally new practices

for me, but that experience helped me when

I became President of FAWCO in 1987. Now

delving into the archives of both FAWCO

and the AWC, I am not only learning about

the history of AWCs throughout the world,

but also the enormous impact they have for

the American woman abroad, whether she

be a temporary expat or a partner of a local.

Both Jessie and I agreed: the AWC is our

home away from home. It has also provided

each of us with a way to contribute to the

American community abroad and (selfishly)

develop as a person as well.


The Pivot Point

by Mary Adams

What is a pivot point? It is a moment of truth where you make a decision that changes

your life’s direction. It can take years to reach a pivot point or the blink of an eye

… or maybe the power of a women’s club. I would like to share how being a Club

Member literally changed my life. This article is a thank you to the AWC / FAWCO women

who have shared friendship, culture, support and innovation with me. Here’s how it happened.

First Turn

In 2014, I was finishing my 25th year of management consulting. My life was rolling along

in a normal routine, but life dealt me some surprises. Within a span of six months, both my

father and brother died. My consulting work seemed hollow. My women’s club in Rotterdam

(ANCOR) got so small that it folded and eventually withdrew from FAWCO. This series of

endings put me in a frame of mind that life is short and maybe I needed a change. I resigned

from my job to take a break and think about what I really wanted to be when I grew up.

Second Turn

If I wanted to continue with my FAWCO volunteering, I had to be a Member of a FAWCO

Club. What to do? Where to go? Then it dawned on me that perhaps AWC The Hague

wasn’t so far away from Rotterdam. From the start, the AWC gave me the opportunity to

participate in Club activities, fundraisers, book clubs, join heart pillow workshops, shop

bazaars and, most of all, be charitable. It was an opportunity to meet terrific women. Women

on their own life journeys from country to country, from job to job and from language to

language with the eagerness to share their experiences, insights and even sorrows with others.

I felt my own burdens start to lighten a bit, my head clearing and the opportunity to

volunteer on a larger basis.

Third Turn

From 2015-2017, I served as the FAWCO Foundation Global VP of Fundraising. The FAWCO

Foundation and FAWCO agreed to jointly host a human trafficking awareness and fundraising

event in The Hague on behalf of the Target Project: Free the Girls. After nearly a year of

research, networking and partnering with Target Chair Johanna Dishongh and Operations

Manager Julie Mowat, the STAND UP Against Human Trafficking symposium was presented

in October 2016. It never would have happened without the AWC Board’s agreement,

support, commitment, coordination and the volunteer work from AWC Membership.

The Pivot Point

I was totally unaware about modern slavery before 2015. My education was done in a slam

dunk and it left me stunned. It got me thinking that I could do more. I myself could stand up

taller against human trafficking. This was my pivot point. All of a sudden, I wanted to shake

off the old, secure routines and take a new and unexplored path. So I did. I spent the next

two years researching how I could translate my business talents into human rights. I formed

a small work team think tank. In 2018, I founded a business dedicated to disrupting the business

cycle of human trafficking.

Full Circle

The AWC supported me along the way by participating in One Billion Rising events with

Leiden University’s Bijlmer Project to reintegrate and reskill undocumented female sex trafficking

survivors. After the Symposium, the AWCA in Amsterdam began volunteer work

with the social enterprise restaurant Dignita (www.eatwelldogood.nl) training sex trafficking

survivors in culinary work through an organization called Not For Sale. In 2019, Dignita

was awarded the FAWCO Breaking the Cycle Human Rights Development Grant. That same

year, the AWC submitted the Bridge2Hope Academy (www.thebridge2hope.org) for the Safe

Haven Human Rights Development Grant.

When the grant was awarded to Bridge2Hope in March 2020, it was a glorious example of

coming full circle guided by the women of AWC / FAWCO. What we started together in

2015, truly ended up making a difference in this world for women in desperate need of sustainable

rescue… including me.



Pulled Back into My Home Away from Home

by Suzanne Dundas

when I think I’m out, they pull me back in.” This quote from Michael Corleone,

played by Al Pacino, in The Godfather, Part 3, wasn’t about being pulled back


into the American Women’s Club of The Hague. And Michael wasn’t happy about

being pulled back into whatever he was pulled back into. Other than those two things and,

oh, the fact that Michael was a man, this quote applies perfectly to my tale of being pulled

back into the AWC.

I joined the AWC within days of landing in the Netherlands on November 15, 1994. As

a former USAF Officer and the wife of a then Lieutenant Colonel, I’d always relied on Air

Force clubs to ease my transition into a new place. Cue the AWC. My first three years were

a whirlwind: a trip to Stoke on Trent to buy pottery, bus trip to Belgium to buy carpets, trip

to Toledo and Seville in Spain, coffees, classes, lectures luncheons, and Golden coaches and

Indonesian food on Prinsjesdag. For a while, I ran Dinners for Eight but, honestly, in my

mind, the Club existed for what it could do for me. I was a taker.

I ever discussed, at the old Clubhouse, was

Bride Flight. The book was meh, a screenplay

in disguise, but these women knew how to

discuss a book. I’m still a member of Daytime

Book Club and it continues to be meaningful

to me. I look forward to it every month.

Eventually, a woman whose children attended

the British School joined my quilting

group: Johanna Dishongh. You know her,

too. She’s a charismatic dynamo and she encouraged

us to move our meetings, which at

that time rotated through each other’s homes,

to the AWC Clubhouse. Doing so would mean we’d be an ongoing AWC activity. We adopted

a formal name, Chat and Craft—the Cake came later—and we’re still going strong. CCandC

turned out to be a valuable recruitment tool for the AWC and got me happily to the Clubhouse

every week for a decade. Post coronavirus it will do so again.

My giving went to what was then the center of our family universe: the American School

of the Hague (ASH). Also within days of landing, I was working in the school store. I was

a room mother, Girl Scout Troop Leader, and, eventually, Grand Poobah of American Girl

Scouts of the Netherlands. At one point, 2,000 boxes of cookies were stored in my garage

(Temptation, thy name is Samosas). I cooked for ASH International Days and bake sales,

housed visiting athletes for swimming and track, and happily attended school events. I did

something at the school at least twice per week for 11 years.

I also had—and still have—a husband: Paul. His term as President of ASH and the nature

of his workplace at NATO provided a lot of social interaction and obligations. There

were frequent parties and dinners as well as a Ladies Club associated with NATO, of which

I eventually became President. Many of my friends were Canadian and I was an active associate

member of the Canadian Women’s Club of The Hague.

The AWC fell away. I would write an occasional piece for Going Dutch, but there were

years when I rarely crossed the threshold of the Clubhouse. I continued to always pay my

yearly dues, be it in guilders or euros. I wanted the option to participate and to support the

American community here. Paying my dues was a simple way to do that.

And then my social and emotional support systems slipped away. My daughter graduated

from ASH in 2005, the NATO Ladies Club dissolved as new countries joined NATO

and changed the social culture, and multitudes of friends moved home. The losses in June

2009 were especially brutal. I knew I needed to find new ways to connect to others here.

Cue the AWC, specifically some wonderful ladies who went out of their way to welcome

me back into the fold.

Cherie Lacy was one such lady whom I’d met in my private quilting group. She was

a talented artist and quilter who was also an enthusiastic AWC Member. She urged me to

participate, “Just work at the Bazaar.”

So I worked at the Bazaar. I was paired with Teresa Mahoney at a payment table. You know

Teresa. She’s smart and personable and runs the Daytime Book Club. She said and I quote,

“I would enjoy having you join us at Book Club.” I took her up on her offer. The first book


There was an ongoing AWC activity in

Wassenaar as well. Ramona Oswald hosted

monthly Wassenaar Coffees at her house

on the Lange Kerkdam. She loved to cook

and entertain and was very good at it. She’d

treat us to homemade coffee cake, quiches,

pies, fruit salad and cappuccinos on the first

Thursday of the month. When Ramona returned

to Chicago, I took over the coffees and

we broadened them to include communities

north of The Hague. We’re Wassenaar and

Environs Coffees now. We also started rotating

our coffees amongst different homes. I’m a

pretty good hostess, but I’m no Ramona

>> 36


Pulled Back (cont.)

Continued from page 35

and I decided to make the coffees more low-key. They’re a cinch to administer. If you’d like

to start a monthly neighborhood coffee where you live, contact me and I’ll show you how.

As I became more comfortable within the AWC, I initiated some activities. I started a

monthly Cranium Night with the support and active participation of then President Rebecca

Failor and her husband, Hugh. Both couples and singles were welcome. We had loads of

fun. Cranium Night segued into Quiz Nights at the Club. They were a big success and now

I’m temporarily hosting virtual ones.

Not everything works. I’m a tournament Scrabble player and I tried starting a Scrabble

Club. It turns out the level at which I play Scrabble—there’s a chess clock involved and lists

of esoteric words to study—isn’t fun for everyone. Oh well. We learn from our failures and

I do believe the Club is enriched by such efforts.

And effort is what keeps us going during coronavirus restrictions. I hope the women who

are serving on the Board now and organizing events and groups are telling their stories in

this issue of Going Dutch. They are many and I don’t want to forget anyone or step on their

stories. However, I will say, “Thank you,” and mean it sincerely.

Where I Truly Belong

by Emily van Eerten

When I married my Dutch husband, I had the idea in my head that I would learn the

language and quickly assimilate. We first lived on Curaçao, and when we finally

moved to the Netherlands via a stay first in England, my Dutch was good enough

that people would continue talking to me in Dutch. However, the idea of assimilation proved

to be more dream than reality. Everyone was friendly, but friendships were elusive.

The AWC has made all the difference in my life abroad. Being able to connect with other

women who live this in-between life has given me, and my dual culture children, the sense

of a community where I truly belong. I love that the Club welcomed me with open arms

on Day 1, and that it continues to be a place which helps connect me with so many other

adventurous souls who had the courage to move away from all that they knew and embrace

a new life. My Monday mornings with the Walkie Talkies have been a highlight, starting off

my weeks with fresh air and the company of some of the most interesting women around. I

also love that the Club is so committed to local charities and beyond (through FAWCO) as

a way to enhance and contribute to the local community, our own Club and the global community

as well.

As for taking and giving, I believe I’ve reached a good balance. I receive so much as a

(now Honorary) Member of the AWC. I give in ways that are meaningful to me and which,

importantly, I’m good at. For instance, I know the Club needs a Treasurer, but I don’t even

know how to use that green remote bank thingy my husband uses. I play to my strengths

and interests. I truly believe if everyone adopted that philosophy, it would be good for both

our individual Members and our Club as a whole.

I hope you are happy to have me back. I’m certainly happy to be active in the AWC again

and, in the same way my return was orchestrated by other Members, I try to bring others

into, and keep them in, the fold. It’s a challenge right now, but we’re expats—we can do this.

AWC App for Members

Wild Apricot, our membership management package, has a free

app that can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google

Play. Here you will find the latest information about AWC events

and activities. The app also provides contact information for all our

Members so you can stay connected until Club activities resume.



AWC: Girl Scouts for Grown-Ups?

by Jo van Kalveen

My involvement with the AWC took about eight years longer than it should have! We

moved to the Netherlands in 2005, thinking it would be for two years. Maybe three.

Four tops. That was 15 years ago. Life is funny like that….

I moved here from London with my Dutch husband, Kees, and our three-month-old son,

Luc. I’d dated Kees for a looooong time back when he had lived in The Hague, so naively

assumed I knew what I was moving into. However, visiting for romantic weekends proved

very different than leaving behind a good career, active social life, lovely friends and family,

and moving to Holland with a baby in tow. Kees was only allowed two days off of work to

help settle us into a new house, unpack and register at the local gemeente, etc. Then it was

up to me to get on with my new life. Gulp!

I immediately set about trying to find some new friends (#priorities!). I immediately

joined the British Women’s Club of The Hague, which had a wonderful Mother & Baby

group. I was lucky enough to meet four other expat mums, all with babies of a similar age.

We bonded over babies and missing Marks & Spencer! They proved invaluable over the next

few years. We met up regularly at the club, beach, local parks and indoor play spaces, and

had more than a few Mums’ Nights Out. We were each other’s support network, helping with

childcare, seeing each other through new pregnancies (I had Oliver in 2007), homesickness,

good times and bad.

Then, as is the curse of living in an expat environment, one by one they moved away. My

circle got smaller and with it my social life! I will always remember Kees looking at me one

evening and saying, “Why don’t you go out anymore?” I took us both by surprise by busting

into tears in response. A problem solver by nature, he told me I should find a new club to

join. I pointed out I was no longer seven and couldn’t just join the Girl Scouts to make new

friends. Plus, I was reluctant to jump into another expat group only to experience the same

kind of emotional upheaval when close friends moved away.

So I muddled through. I took Dutch classes and tried to break into the Dutch friendship

groups in the local Dutch school playground whilst also trying to maintain friendships with

expats. I felt caught between two different worlds―a local Dutch one and a transient expat

one―and still felt there was something missing.

In 2013, I was chatting to a friend of friend and they asked if I was a Member of the AWC.

“I’m not American.” I said, “I can’t join.” And left it at that. A few days later I Googled the

AWC on a whim. It all sounded great: tours, activities, meetings and, most appealing for

me, there was a sub-group for Women with Dutch Partners (WWDP). It wasn’t immediately

clear if a non-American could join, but after a bit of scrolling I found a reference to non-

American nationals being welcome if they had an “affinity” for America. Well I thought, I

like lots of things that come out of the States: Barak Obama, Coca Cola, Cinnabon rolls, my

honeymoon in California, Black Friday. It will be fine!

I went to the September 2013 Kick Off not really knowing what to expect and came away

feeling a little annoyed it had taken me eight years to find the Club. I loved it! Everyone

was so welcoming and friendly. I think I signed up to almost every activity and tour on offer

that day. I was pleasantly surprised by all the different nationalities which comprised the


Club Membership along with

the size and interior of the

Clubhouse. The array of

baked goods on offer were

literally the icing on the

cake. These were my kind

of people!

I was especially keen

to connect with the other

Members who had

Dutch partners. My first experience

of a WWDP event

was the wonderful Christmas

Potluck hosted by the lovely

Celeste Brown. I hadn’t realized

how many AWC Members had a Dutch partner. A group of 25 of us talked, sang, ate

and laughed. And laughed. And laughed. It was wonderful. Finally I was surrounded by a

group of women who could relate to having a Dutch mother-in-law (the pros and the cons!),

what it’s like to be a non-Dutch mum at a Dutch school, the complexities of trying to raise

your children bilingual and bicultural, and the frustrations of learning Dutch yourself. These

ladies nodded along when I talked about the unexpected issues that pop up when you have

a Dutch partner: the endless debate over whether the kids should eat hagelslag or Cheerios

for breakfast and why can’t we have the Christmas decorations up before December 5. I

was especially heartened to meet some of the ladies who had lived here for an extended period

of time and to hear about how they had adapted to living long term in the Netherlands.

It gave me hope that I could do the same (after eight years it had just about dawned on me

that we were not moving back to the UK anytime soon...!).

The subsequent WWDP meetups and wider AWC events and activities and, more importantly,

the friendships I have made have undoubtedly filled the “gap.” Personal highlights of

my time with the AWC have been the art exhibition tours with Monique, which are always

informative and memorable, helping make the Heart Pillows for breast cancer patients, being

so moved at one of the Volunteer Luncheons that I took on the Newcomers role (I confess

that Prosecco may have played a part in this decision!) and the Thanksgiving lunches where I

finally got to eat some of the

dishes I had only read about

in American fiction (verdict:

adore green bean casserole

and cornbread, not such a

fan of pumpkin pie―please

don’t rescind my AWC


I hope to be able to continue

to be an active Member

of the AWC in the years to

come. The pandemic has reinforced

what an important

part of my life it has become.

Just hope no one tells Kees

that he was sort of right about

joining the Girl Scouts.


Discovering the AWC

by Eileen Harloff


first came to the Netherlands in 1957 on a Fulbright Fellowship, assigned to the

International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) in The Hague. Working there at that

time was a fellow American, Sam, who kindly introduced me to his circle of friends

that was centered in the American Protestant Church of The Hague (APCH). It was a

great relief to go to church on Sunday after stumbling around during the week with a new

language and to be able to speak and be spoken to in my native tongue.

After a year’s extension at IULA, I returned to the US to decide whether I wanted to

marry my Dutch boyfriend and to live permanently in the Netherlands. I decided “yes.”

We married in the US and returned to The Hague, to the apartment my husband had purchased

and which his mother and aunt had temporarily furnished. It was the first time that

I had not had a job, so I spent the days going through the large number of books to read

that were in the flat and looking out the window wondering what to do next. At church

one Sunday, I discovered that the American Women’s Club had a library on the second

floor of the church, which was open for business on Wednesday evenings. Moreover, they

were always happy to have new volunteers, and I hastily signed up. I looked forward to

Wednesday evenings, to meeting new people, discovering what the American community

was up to, and having access to a large variety of reading material. It was a lifesaver at a

difficult time.

Some months later I was asked to work at IULA, an offer I accepted with gratitude. I

continued serving on Wednesday evenings at the library, and had the best of both worlds.

When the Club bought its house in Scheveningen, the library was set up in the basement

and served there for many years. I continued working there until the building was sold and

the Club moved to its present quarters. I look back on the library days with fond memories:

it was always fun to meet and talk with old and new friends and to have a sizable source

of new and old literature at hand.

I also had a modest responsibility with FAWCO and attended its meetings in The Hague

and other European cities. My

favorite meeting, however,

was the gathering in Nairobi,

where one early evening we

took a ride to see the animals

at eventide and a pride of lions

settled themselves so near our

parked car that we had to wait

an hour before they finally got

up and majestically stalked

away, or was this just a joke

of the driver?

I’m glad the AWC is active

in the community and

now open to women from

other countries as well. May

it continue for many years to



The Best Decision

by Michelle Voorn

I’ve only been a part of the AWC The Hague for two years.

I’m one of the newbies, but joining has been one of the

best decisions after our move to the Netherlands!

I had first lived in the Netherlands in 2000, while I was

in my 20s. Although I had a very active online life back then

(AOL, mIRC, MySpace anyone?), googling and finding resources

via online searches rendered limited resources. I spent

nearly four years struggling to find my way, working for Shell

and doing a master’s degree at Leiden University, but not

feeling like I had a community to rely on. Shortly thereafter,

we moved back to the US. Fast forward nearly 20 years and

here we are again: repatriated, expat, migrated right back.

Except this time around, a quick Google search gave way to

great results. I easily found the AWC and I had no doubt in

my mind I would reach out and see what it could offer.

We moved here with two teenagers and I was looking to complement the crazies of adapting

to a new life as a parent, as an adult woman, and as someone who valued what it meant

to excel by having the companionship and wisdom of other women who had gone through

what I might be going through.

From the first meeting, I knew I’d be able to find people who cared and who I’d grow

to call my friends. What impressed me was the wide reach the Club had, from social activities

like book clubs to philanthropic activities which made a difference by not only helping

local organizations but also international groups which aligned with the common goals of

empowering and helping women in dire situations abroad.

And I can’t skip the fun: all the Thirsty Thursdays (which COVID-19 has put a damper

on), Lunch Bunch outings,

and so many other gatherings

which have brought on lots of

laughs and made it possible

to make friends.

If I’ve learned something

from hearing about the history

of the Club and its resilience,

it is that we will

get through coronavirus, we

will still be an anchor for

newcomers, and we will still

build and grow friendships

with new Members as well

as the many who’ve paved

the way for us to still have

an AWC The Hague.


The AWC and Me

by Roberta Enschede


joined the AWC after living in Holland for about two and a half years. When I arrived

in the Netherlands, I had been married just two months. I was determined to please my

new family and do my best to learn the language and adjust to Dutch culture. I quickly

found out it wasn’t easy. It’s one thing to come here as an expat family and another to come

and be the foreigner in the family.

I was lucky, because the following year I got a teaching

job at the American School. That meant I had American

friends who I could talk to about my feelings. I taught for

one and a half years, until a month before our son was born.

As soon as I knew I would stop teaching, I decided to join

the AWC. I had resisted at first because, frankly, I didn’t see

myself as a member of a women’s club anywhere.

My world had been in Chicago and New York studying

acting and working and spending evenings with other actors

and writers discussing stuff like the meaning of life or

walking in Central Park to watch the sun come up over the

city. I asked myself, what on Earth would I or could I do in

a women’s club! Nevertheless, I joined. I wanted and needed

to be around Americans. I missed the US terribly.

As a new AWC Member, I was greeted by some of the “ladies who wore hats” with remarks

like, “Oh, you poor thing. Are you a lifer?” That meant: are you one of those unfortunate

souls married to a Dutchman? I hate to say it, but usually the “lifer ladies” had a Texas or

some sort of southern accent. I felt at home with tough Chicagoans and New Yorkers who

always let you know what they think, but who politely wouldn’t have called me a “lifer.” At

the time, it hurt, but now it’s good for a big laugh.

Seriously, what does the AWC mean to me? I’ve learned, it’s not just a women’s club.

It’s a haven, a family of friends, a home away from home where I can talk about American

things and not have to explain. Even though I’ve lived here so long, my roots―who I am and

who I will always be―are in the United States of America and the City of the Big Shoulders:

Chicago, Illinois. When I get together and talk with AWC friends, they understand. We feel

the same too when the holidays come around. Someone always wants to share Thanksgiving

memories or talk about picnics on the 4th of July, visiting Arlington or Margraten, or seeing

the Statue of Liberty or Washington, DC for the first time.

I guess I can say that the AWC is America to me. When I walk into the Clubhouse, I see

the American flag. I know I can always find someone who feels the same way I do about

seeing it standing there. Over the years, I’ve made friends who have become “my family.” I

met most of them at the AWC and every year, I almost always find a new “family” member.

I love the Club and respect it because it is always there for people in need, whether to

help individuals or the community. Long ago, I chaired what was then the Philanthropy

Committee. The AWC funded a respirator for the Juliana Kinderziekenhuis and a portable

dialysis machine for the old Red Cross Hospital. We had found out that doctors had to make

choices about which patients would be put on dialysis.

The AWC has supported all the activities I’ve been involved with over the years: the

Thanksgiving Service at the Pieterskerk, 4th of July picnic at the ABF and Ceremony of

Remembrance and Hope on 9/11. When Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria in

October 2017, I went to the AWC President and suggested we help our fellow citizens. She

didn’t hesitate and neither did anyone else. The AWC gave a sizeable contribution to aid the

people of Puerto Rico. And then, there were all the years the AWC held the Pink Ribbon

Galas to support breast cancer research.

Besides all of that, I’ve had lots of fun. I have silly memories of the goofy Christmas plays

we used to stage and fashion shows, country and western parties, even a Venetian masked ball,

and Halloween and Easter parties for the kids. Someone always thinks of something original

to do. Who knows what fun activities will be planned when this pandemic is finally over?

Long ago, I might not have thought that a women’s club was for me, but I know now it

was and it still is. My life here would have been a lot different without the AWC and I am

thrilled that this year will be “90 Years and Counting.”



Appreciating Dutch Art

by Melissa White

When I think back on my 15 years as an AWC Member, there are a few things that

stand out beyond my years of writing and editing Going Dutch: working the payment

desk at the Holiday Bazaar, a Christmas market trip to Tallinn, sitting at the AWC

table at the Marine Corps Ball, and many fun Daytime Book Club Christmas Potlucks. As

entertaining as those events were, there’s one thing that really stands out as having enriched

my life in the Netherlands, and that would be how much I have come to love and appreciate

Dutch art because of Jane Choy, the AWC’s resident art historian.

I didn’t grow up going to museums. I remember an occasional visit with my school or

parents to an Egyptian or natural history museum. When I was living in San Diego after

college, I had a very strange experience of déjà vu while accompanying a friend to the fine

art museum when I rounded a corner and clearly knew what was coming next and could

envision myself and my sister at that exact spot. When I asked my father if he had taken us

there during our vacation in San Diego when I was nine, he scoffed at the idea that he would

have taken us to an art museum.

On the surface, it is easy to understand why art museums can seem intimidating. I suppose

some people assume that it’s important that you’ve studied art so you can understand

the underlying motivation of the artist and the choice of a particular brush stroke to get a

message across. I definitely have a much more simplistic viewpoint: I either like a piece of

art or I don’t. Thanks in part to Jane and her masterful tours of the Mauritshuis, I am very

partial to paintings by the Dutch Old Masters. I love the realistic way they depicted life in

the Netherlands in the 17th century―like

photographers before cameras were invented.

Jane has helped guide me to appreciate those

classic works of art as well as contemporary

art of all kinds, through both lectures and

guided tours of special exhibits at a variety

of museums.

I still remember the first of Jane’s lectures

that I attended in 2006 at our old AWC

Clubhouse during the Year of Rembrandt in

honor of the 400th anniversary of his birth in

Leiden. We were living in a suburb of Leiden

at the time, and regularly went into the city center which was covered in banners depicting

many of Rembrandt’s self-portraits. At that point, I knew his name, but wasn’t actually

familiar with his paintings and could only assume that he was quite an egomaniac. I had

never attended an art lecture before and wasn’t too fond of Rembrandt at that point, but Jane

helped to open my eyes to his mastery of light and his ability to paint truly lifelike hands.

Over the years, I have attended many

art history lectures in the intimate setting of

Jane’s 17th century house (depicted here in a

lovely painting hanging in her dining room) in

historic Voorburg. I was especially intrigued

with Holland’s Golden Age Revealed!―a

series serving as an introduction to the art

of this dynamic period, which included history

and culture as well, to give attendees

a deeper understanding of the country in

which we now live. I am especially drawn

to landscape paintings, so it was fascinating

to learn that the Dutch are considered to

have started the naturalistic landscape style.

In fact, the word landscape derives from the

Dutch word landschap.

Another lecture that I enjoyed attending at Jane’s beautiful home was about one of my

favorite Dutch painters: Jan Steen. Another painter hailing from Leiden, he is known for his

frolicking scenes of everyday life—each one telling a story. He was one of the first Dutch

artists to concentrate on the portrayal of many everyday activities, including charming scenes

of Dutch holidays: Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas), celebrated on December 5, regarded by many as

the quintessential Dutch holiday, and Twelfth

Night, celebrated on January 6. Jane went out

of her way to expand our horizons beyond

the usual pepernoten and chocolate letters by

introducing us to other baked goods popular

for celebrating Sinterklaas.


Jane also arranged to bring Dr. Jeremy

Bangs, Director of the Leiden American

Pilgrim Museum and a leading expert on

Pilgrims, to the Clubhouse to give two lectures

about the Pilgrims and their life in

Leiden and the New World. More recently,

>> 46


Appreciating Dutch Art (cont.)

Continued from page 45

she had arranged a walking tour of Leiden with

Dr. Bangs’ associate, but that was converted to

a virtual lecture due to coronavirus restrictions.

Two other lectures that stand out are ones

that Jane and I coordinated together featuring

my dear friend Abbie Vandivere. The first was

way back in 2010 while Abbie was a freelance

art restorer at the Frans Hals Museum

in Haarlem, where she hosted the AWC for

an art conservation lecture and guided tour

of several of the pieces that she had restored,

including The Capture of Damiate from 1628

shown here. Even more exciting, Abbie hosted

the AWC in 2018 at the Mauritshuis, where she has worked since 2015 as a painting conservator

and restorer, explaining the technical examination which she led, along with a team

of international scientists and researchers,

of Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes

Vermeer in 1665 that was then taking place

at the museum.

Frankly, I have attended so many guided

tours over the years that either Jane gave herself

at the Mauritshuis or that she arranged at

other museums, I can’t even list them all but

can confirm that I was never disappointed.

A few tours definitely stood out, such as

Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style at

the Kunsthal in Rotterdam. Rather than being

a docent of the museum, our guide was

an active member of the Dutch James Bond

Fan Club with an extensive and fascinating knowledge of James Bond trivia. Ever since my

daughter started modeling, I’ve become more intrigued by fashion exhibits, of which Jane has

arranged many at the Kunstmuseum (showcasing

international fashion) plus several at

the Rijksmuseum (showcasing Dutch fashion)

and the Hermitage Amsterdam (showcasing

Russian fashion).

It is ironic that as I am putting the finishing

touches on this article, the Dutch government

has just announced that museums will

be closed yet again for the third round since

the pandemic started. Here’s hoping that we

can put these closures behind us in 2021 and

Jane can arrange many more great tours and



Undiscovered Benefits

by Melissa Rider

Nearly 10 years to the day from our first arrival, my husband and I returned to the

Netherlands for a second overseas work assignment in January 2017. The big difference

in our expat life this time around was that no school age children were accompanying

us. Instead we had a four-year-old kooijkerhondje dog, Nienke, who filled the void

when my youngest son went off to college. Without the children’s school and activities as a

means for my social networking, I was thankful

that the AWC The Hague was hosting its

January Kick Off meeting just one week after

my arrival. I signed on to find friendship and

community. Through the intervening years, I

joined Walkie Talkies, attended the monthly

General Meetings and other various activities,

became the Membership Chair, and ultimately

was elected to the Board. Now four years later,

as an active Member, I find the AWC has given

me even more than wonderful friends and a

feeling of sisterhood, but also purpose and

structure in my life beyond being a stay-athome

mother. For this I am truly grateful!

Submissions Needed

To continue with Going Dutch’s focus on Reflections, the theme for our next issue

will be Reflecting on Life in the Netherlands. Whether you have lived here for

decades and consider Holland your adopted country or are just passing through

for a few years, please consider submitting an article. Feel free to write from your

heart. This could be a soul-searching article about what it is like to leave your

home country (whether temporarily

or permanently), a funny story

about settling in this foreign land

or sharing your favorite thing about

living here. There’s enough craziness

in the world right now, so let’s

keep it positive, and please understand

that we have the right to edit

any articles and are not obligated to

publish all submissions. Send articles

or questions to Melissa White at


by Monday, January 25.



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Display Ad Prices and Dimensions:

Ad size Dimensions Price per issue Price for 5 issues

Outside cover (full) 148 x 210 mm € 270 € 1.250

Inside cover (full) 128 x 189 mm € 250 € 1.120

Going Dutch is Available Online

Go to www.awcthehague.org to share the current month’s issue with friends and family. You will

also find links to our annual advertisers, whose support makes this magazine possible. If you

visit or contact one of our advertisers, let them know Going Dutch sent you!

Full page 13 x 18 cm € 240 € 1.050

Half page 13 x 9 cm € 125 € 530

Third page 13 x 6 cm € 95 € 400

Quarter page 6 x 9 cm € 75 € 315

Half page and third page ads will always be landscape (horizontal) and full page and quarter page ads will

always be portrait (vertical).

Classified Mini-Ads:

AWC Member Rates:

For 45 Words

Per Issue € 10 € 5

Five Issues € 45 € 20

For 25 Additional Words

Non-Member Rates:

For 45 Words

Per Issue € 15 € 8

Five Issues € 70 € 35

For 25 Additional Words

Member Privacy

Please be reminded that the AWC Membership List is for AWC Member reference only and

use of this information in any communication other than AWC official business is strictly

prohibited. Members may not share the list with anyone other than another AWC Member

in good standing and never to any third party.

The AWC takes care to protect Member information and adherence to this policy is critical to

maintain Member privacy. Members are asked to report suspected misuse of the list to any

AWC Board Member.



AWC Toy Drive










Offering the latest in training

technology, Tri-PT studio will work with you

to create your goals - then make sure you get

there! Train 1-on-1 or with a friend for some

extra motivation.

Contact Paul :






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