Tag Archives: Almere

English translations of local news of Almere


Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere.

All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. These articles were publishe is edition 12th and 19th of September 2018. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. New PostNL sorting center good for 400 jobs
  2. Guest writer Redmond O’Hanlon presents book
  3. Former mayor Jorritsma appointed Floriade Commissioner-General
  4. Windsurfing girls wanted for Almere Centraal competition team
  5. Organizations join forces against human trafficking and exploitation
  6. Pieter Baan Centrum definitely coming to Almere
  7. 2018 house rentals increase outstrips 2017

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New PostNL sorting center good for 400 jobs (edition 19thof September, page 3)

STICHTSEKANT – PostNL is constructing a parcel sorting center at Stichtsekant business park in Almere, alongside Waterlandseweg. It is expected that this facility will create approximately 400 new jobs. Alderman Maaike Veeningen of Economic and Spatial Development drove the first pile for the new building, on Wednesday.

Sustainability

PostNL says it takes sustainability seriously. The parcel sorting center will, for example, incorporate the highest possible level of sustainability (i.e. BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification). And, in coming years, the fleet will increasingly switch to electric trucks and vans. The roof of the new distribution center will have solar panels and the building will have LED lighting and be completely gas-free.


Driving the first pile together. (Photo: Feenstra Photography)

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Guest writer Redmond O’Hanlon presents book, ‘De Groene Stad’ (edition 19thof September, page 5)

 ‘I first detested Almere, then I embraced it’

By Petra Onderwater

ALMERE – On first acquaintance with Almere he detested its grey concrete, but during his three-year stay here, writer Redmond O’Hanlon came to increasingly appreciate the city. “I missed Almere even before I left it, when my job as guest writer was done”, says O’Hanlon. On Thursday evening he presented his book ‘De Groene Stad’ – the result of his discovery of Almere, at Schouwburg Almere.


Redmond O’Hanlon was interviewed during the book presentation by Emile Brugman of Uitgeverij Atlas Contact. (Photo: Studio Fred Rotgans/Beau de Bruijn)

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Former mayor Jorritsma appointed Floriade Commissioner-General (edition 12thof September, page 7)

 ALMERE – Minister Schouten of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality (LNV) has decided to appoint Annemarie Jorritsma-Lebbink, former mayor of Almere, as Commissioner General of Floriade Almere 2022.


Annemarie Jorritsma. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Windsurfing girls wanted for Almere Centraal competition team (edition 12thof September, page 9)

ALMERE – Windsurfvereniging Almere Centraal is looking for female windsurfers, to form a new competition team. The windsurfing association aims to give enthusiastic windsurfers extensive experience in slalom and course racing competitions in the Netherlands, under professional supervision.

Girls between 11 and 16 years old are welcome to contact Windsurfvereniging Almere Centraal.

For more information visit http://www.almerecentraal.nl/wedstrijdsurfen/wedstrijdteam.
World champion Lilian de Geus sets the perfect example for new windsurfing talent. (Photo: Teunis van der Poel)

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Organizations join forces against human trafficking and exploitation (edition 12thof September, page 21)

ALMERE – Involved organizations are joining forces to combat human trafficking and exploitation in Almere and Flevoland. Veiligheidshuis Almere, Veilig Thuis, Terwille verslavingszorg, JGZ Almere, Scharlaken, GGD Flevoland, RIEC, Salvation Army, Blijf Groep, Zorggroep Almere and the municipality of Almere signed a declaration of intent to this end, last week.

Exhibition

In addition to signing the declaration of intent, a photographic  exhibition, ‘Open je ogen’ (Open your Eyes’), was held at the Grote Markt, to increase awareness that human trafficking occurs much more often than is apparent. CoMensha, the national coordination center against human trafficking, together with the Open Mind foundation and photographer Ernst Coppejans, have found thirty people willing to tell the stories that haunt their eyes. Stories about severe forms of violence and threat, about rapes resulting in pregnancy and about not wanting to carry on. In order to guarantee security and privacy, the photographs are presented in such a way that they cannot be traced back to the individual subjects.  The portraits will be displayed at the Grote Markt until Thursday, 27 September.


Photographic exhibition ‘Open je ogen’, at the Grote Markt. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Pieter Baan Centrum definitely coming to Almere (edition 12thof September, page 25)

STRIPHELDENBUURT – The Pieter Baan Centrum is definitely coming to Almere. The psychiatric observation clinic will be located next to De Oostvaarders forensic psychiatric center in the Stripheldenbuurt.

The Pieter Baan Centrum is regularly in news covering major incidents involving an offender. The center then observes the person concerned, in order to analyze his behavior. Talk that the center would move to the clinic in the Stripheldenbuurt has been going on for some time, but the move was repeatedly postponed. The center has been located in Utrecht, for almost 70 years. Over the years, the building it was in became very outdated. It was decided to move to partly newly-constructed premises in Almere, rather than carry out major maintenance on the old building. The move to Almere is scheduled for 10 September. The new, freestanding PBC building is located at Carl Barksweg 3, immediately next door to FPC de Oostvaarders. The new building will be officially opened on 8 October by Minister Dekker of Rechtsbescherming (Legal Protection).

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2018 house rentals increase outstrips 2017 (edition 12thof September, page 39)

ALMERE – House rental payments were on average 2.3 percent up in July 2018, compared to a year ago. In July 2017 the year-on-year rental increase was 1.6 percent. The rental increase for social housing provided by housing corporations was relatively low at 1.7 percent.

Other social housing providers raised their rentals by 3.3 percent. Rentals for houses in the private sector rose by 3.0 percent. This was reported by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) on the basis of new statistics.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 12thand 19thof September 2018. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

English translations of local news of Almere

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 5th of September 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere.

All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

1. New traffic situation on A6 at ‘t Oor
2. Orientation week at MBO college Almere is mainly hard work
3. Benefit concert for earthquake victims
4. Soapbox race from Forum to Esplanade
5. Almere Centrum presents specialty shops booklet
6. Almere triathlon participants ready to start
7. Housing prices up 6.5 percent on average in 2018

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New traffic situation on A6 at ‘t Oor (page 3)

ALMERE – New A6 traffic lanes, on-ramps and exits are ready for use. A temporary overpass has also been opened for cyclists, cars and buses. This temporary overpass replaces the Noorderdreef underpass. Road-users will clearly need to adapt to the new situation.
Measures taken
Rijkswaterstaat is monitoring whether there are bottlenecks and, if so, where they are and how to best deal with the affected traffic flow. Traffic controllers and sign trailers were deployed at various locations, extra yellow signboards have been placed and the public have been alerted to the new situation repeatedly via social media. Road surface markings have also been changed.
‘t Oor
The situation at ‘t Oor is temporary and will continue until the end of the first quarter of 2019. The ‘t Oor overpass at McDonald’s will then be put into operation and the temporary overpass will be demolished. Again, road-users will have to adapt to this situation as it unfolds.


Temporary traffic situation at ‘t Oor will last until end of first quarter, 2019. (Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Orientation week at MBO college Almere is mainly hard work (page 5)

ALMERE – Students of MBO College Almere have started the first week of the new academic year with introductory activities and sports days. The MBO College has registered about 20 percent more first-year students than in the previous year. Media and Design students were immediately hard at work, in a week focused on an exhibition and book presentation.

Exhibition
“The standard of first-year students has never been this high”, says Frank Maas, Media and Design and ICT education manager. Students were tasked with creating a work of art on the first day of the orientation week. Using printing techniques, photoshop and a generous dose of creativity, students were surprised both their teachers and senior students. “You can see that the students already have a lot of experience and have already developed themselves considerably”, reacted Daniël, a third-year student. The work was exhibited at MBO College Almere at the end of last week.

Book presentation
Teacher Ruben de Haas wanted to leave his students with something special when he left to take another step in his career. He ended his teaching time with a project in which 48 students were each asked to design one page. Said Jari, a third year student, “My design tries to reflect the commotion going on in my head. This is represented by many different shapes and lines, but forms a whole”. The individual pages are collected in a book, ‘Made you look’. Said De Haas, “I wanted to give free rein to the students’ creativity. This resulted in a book with a different creation on every page. Each page is unique and different, just like the participating students”.


Media and Design students pose proudly with The Book (l to r): Rohit, Jari, Daniël, Wies. (Photo: Thalita Blöte)

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Benefit concert for earthquake victims (page 7)

Almere residents campaign for Lombok

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Almere residents Tress Mataram and Richard Sitanala are taking action for the victims of the earthquake disaster on Lombok. On 13 October they will present a gala benefit performance. The proceeds will go to the victims on Lombok.
Entertainment donated
The gala will take place on Saturday, 13 October 2018, in Dorpshuis Hanswijk, Hanswijk 1, 1934 CP, in Egmond a/d Hoef, from 16.00 to 23.00. Tickets are 10 euros. Children under 12 years will be admitted free of charge. And there is plenty of free parking. Indonesian dishes will be catered by the Rasa Lombok restaurant. Dancers Tabita Lestari and Eddy Sugianto will donate their performance, as will dance group Nuansa Seni Indonesia, singers Diana Monoarfa, Theresia, Dewi Mass, Melanie Foeh, Grace Natalia, Dewi ten Cate, Vivi Subono, Asti Dewi and special guest from Ambon, Roy Tuhumury. The gala event is presented by Betty and Richard Sitanala.


Singer Theresia draws attention to Lombok at the Pasar Malam in Almere. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Soapbox race from Forum to Esplanade (page 9)

Two age groups: 7 – 9 years and 10 – 12 years.

STAD – Following enormous success in 2017, the soapbox cart event will again take place at Almere City Esplanade on 6 October. A ‘professional’ circuit will be constructed from the Forum to the Esplanade with a start ramp, challenging obstacles, safety hay bales, grid girls and a steep, downhill route to the finish.

Up to the challenge? Registration is available for two age groups, 7 to 9 years and 10 to 12 years, but for a limited number of entries. Registration of race entries closes on September 22nd. A single soapbox cart may participate once in both categories. So, for instance, an 8 year-old and his/her 10 year old friend will only have to build one soapbox for both to participate. Registration fee is 7.50 euros per child.
To register email joost@oerz.nl

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Almere Centrum presents specialty shops booklet (page 15)

STAD CENTRUM – Almere Centrum is now home to more than 400 shops. In addition to the major retail chains there are also many specialty shops, which adds to the fun of visiting the center. The stories behind these unique, small businesses are now bundled in the booklet ‘036 winkeltjes’ (036 shops).
For more information go to www.almerecentrum.nl
The booklet ‘036 winkeltjes’ is a collection of the stories behind the center’s specialty shops. (Photo: Erik Frings)

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Almere triathlon participants ready to start (page 29)

ALMERE – Triathlon fever will grip Almere this weekend. Challenge Almere-Amsterdam is on the agenda. At least 3,500 athletes will be at the start, including an extremely strong professional contingent.


Almere participants are ready for the triathlon. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Housing prices up 6.5 percent on average in 2018 (page 35)

ALMERE – The average municipal valuation of homes rose in 2018 for the third, consecutive year. On 1 January 2018 the average valuation was 230,000 euros per home, 6.5 percent more than in the previous year. This is according to the latest figures from CBS (Statistics Netherlands). Valuations in Almere rose by five to eight percent.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 5th of September. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 22nd and 29th of August 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere.

All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 12 articles with the following titles:

  1. Construction of Waterhout campsite on Schateiland started
  2. Almere student second in world solar boat race championship
  3. Urgent call to witnesses to come forward!
  4. Almere developing into an international attraction
  5. Almere Haven Festival will be spectacular
  6. Rabobank: housing prices increase by 8.7 percent in 2018
  7. More than sixty Burendag activities in Almere
  8. Oldest scale model of Haven is located in Lelystad
  9. 10,000 senior citizens at Forever Young Festival
  10. Brass event on the town hall square in Almere City
  11. Heritage Day on 8 and 9 September
  12. Poortdreef below A6 closed from 10 September

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Construction of Waterhout campsite on Schateiland started (edition 22ndof august, page 3)

By Robert Mienstra

NOORDERPLASSEN – The construction of the Waterhout campsite on Schateiland in the Noorderplassen started last week. Jeanine and Sander Fokkens marked the start by cutting a ribbon. More than forty regular guests of Waterhout were offered a tour around the island on the Almere Veertje (ferry).


Jeanine and Sander Fokkens: “Construction of the Waterhout campsite on Schateiland is hereby  started.” (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere student second in world solar boat race championship (edition 22ndof august, page 3)

ALMERE – Rebecca Belmer from Almere participated as a full-time Hull & Body Engineer in this year’s TU Delft Solar Boat Team. She looks back with great pride on a year in which she achieved a great deal with the team and took on many challenges. “It was great to round off this year successfully with the team. I can look back on an experience that will benefit me throughout my life”, said Belmer.

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Urgent call to witnesses to come forward! (edition 22ndof August, page 7)

Mayor Weerwind returns from holiday to deal with violent incidents

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Mayor Weerwind is deeply concerned about the citywide increase in the number of violent incidents involving firearms and stabbings. “I’m watching the situation carefully, which is why I came back from holiday to work with the police and the public prosecutor’s office, so that the perpetrators can be caught quickly”, said the mayor last week.


Mayor Weerwind: “If you know or suspect something… report it!” (Photo: supplied)

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Almere developing into an international attraction (edition 22ndof august, page 9)

From ‘ugliest place’ to best city center

By Dominique Voss

ALMERE – The hotels and campsites are full, the cycle paths are busy and people are enjoying a drink on the many terraces. Tourism in Almere is doing better than ever. And that’s just as well says Almere City Marketing Director, Nik Smit.


Two VVV Almere staff on Segways help tourists on their way through the center.


Almere City Marketing Director Nik Smit in front of a table full of recent publications on Almere. (Photos: Dominique Voss)

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Almere Haven Festival will be spectacular (edition 22ndof august, page 15)

HAVEN – Almere Haven is the setting for the eighteenth Almere Haven Festival. From Friday, August 31 through Sunday, September 2 the festival will delight lovers of botters (classic Dutch boats), classical music, culture and art.

Attractions include special performances by famous orchestras and choirs. On Saturday, during the Havenkom Concert, the Dutch Philharmonic Orchestra and the Toonkunstkoor Amsterdam will perform various excerpts from famous operas. This free concert takes place in the charming harbor area of Almere Haven, which can accommodate at least 5,000 spectators. Various orchestras and performances can also be enjoyed on Friday and Saturday.

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Rabobank: housing prices increase by 8.7 percent in 2018 (edition 22ndof august, page 27)

ALMERE – Houses in the Netherlands were on average 8.9 percent more expensive in the first half of 2018 than a year ago. This is higher than expected, partly because house buyers are now far more likely to offer above the asking price.

House prices are expected to rise by an average of 8.7% over the whole of 2018, as reported by Rabobank economists in their Kwartaalbericht Woningmarkt (housing market quarterly report). Earlier this year they had assumed a price increase of 8.0 percent. Houses are, on the other hand, selling more slowly.

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More than sixty Burendag activities in Almere (edition 22nd of august, page 27)

ALMERE – Sixty-three activities have already been notified for Burendag (neighbors’ day) – to take place on 22 September in Almere. Neighbor day activities are organized in 97% of Dutch municipalities. Only 11 municipalities have not yet notified any activities. Douwe Egberts and the Oranjefonds organize Burendag annually on the fourth Saturday of September – which falls on 22 September this year.


Happy times in the Eilandenbuurt at an earlier neighbors’ day. (Photo: supplied)

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Oldest scale model of Haven is located in Lelystad (edition 29thof august, page 5)

By Robert Mienstra

HAVEN – The oldest known model of Almere Haven is in a storage facility in Lelystad. The study model dates from 1975 and is made of thin strips of cork. The model clearly shows the current contours of the Port.


This oldest, known model of Almere Haven is in storage in Leystad. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

How Almere Haven looks today. The contours and coastline of the oldest harbour model are still clearly visible. (Photo: Google maps)

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10,000 senior citizens at Forever Young Festival (edition 29thof august, page 7)

STAD – The Esplanade in Stad was packed last week, with 10,000 seniors visiting the Forever Young Festival. The festival was open to people over 65 free of charge. Seniors could be accompanied by a companion or carer.

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Brass event on the town hall square in Almere City (edition 29thof august, page 24)

STAD – Another Caribbean Brass Event will be held in the city center of Almere on Sunday, 2 September. Three Caribbean brass bands will compete for the title of best brass band

Tribute

The Originals Brassband from Almere won the Battle of Drum in Rotterdam, during their recent, annual carnival. The Stichting Multiculturele Organisatie (multicultural organization foundation) will pay tribute to the band for their exceptional performance. Alderman Jerzy Soetekouw will officiate.

For more information, please visit info@smoa.nl

(Photo: supplied)

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Heritage Day on 8 and 9 September (edition 29thof august, page 33)

ALMERE – Alderman Hilde van Garderen will open Heritage Day 2018 (Open Monumentendag) on Friday, 7 September at 17:00 at the Almere Erfgoedhuis. Jan Frans de Hartog, one of Almere’s founding fathers, will give a lecture on what Almere has learned from the New Towns in France and England, and what appealed to representatives of these towns when they visited Almere.

Volunteers at each location will inform visitors on its history. For more information and the full program, please visit www.almere.nl/openmonumentendag.


A self-built house crowned with battlements and surrounded by a moat (Photo: Martin Kuijper)

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Poortdreef below A6 closed from 10 September (edition 29thof august, page 33)

POORT – Poortdreef will be closed in both directions between the Almere Poort exit (coming from Amsterdam) and the Elementendreef junction from Monday, 10 September to Thursday, 1 November.


(Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, editions 22ndand 29thof August 2018. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 15th of August 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere.

All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 6 articles with the following titles:

  1. KAF results heavily disappointing
  2. Almere DIT WEEKEND – in your mailbox on Friday, 7th September
  3. Number of wasp reports increasing
  4. Water police contribute to safety in water-rich Almere
  5. Almere residents provide free holidays in Italy for fellow citizens
  6. Join Almere’s 30 km run on 30 September

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KAF results heavily disappointing (page 1)

By Marcel Beijer

STAD CENTRUM – KAF (Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland) failed, by a big margin, to achieve last year’s budgeted results. Although there were more visitors to the premises, the number of paying entrants to the theatre, expo, academy and Citylounge (catering) was heavily disappointing. This is evident in KAF’s 2017 annual report.

Signals

Due to the political recess, Alderman Hilde van Garderen (VVD) has not yet seen the annual report. “But of course I have already received some signals. I am not going to say anything about it yet. There will be a management meeting with the KAF after the recess and I think it’s fair that this will give KAF ample opportunity to clarify the figures.” Van Garderen also points to the cultural plan that is currently being drawn up, which naturally includes KAF. “It’s clear to me that we need to be able to do more with this beautiful, iconic building. The future redesign of the Esplanade will bring the KAF ‘closer’ to the center.”


KAF draws far fewer paying visitors than expected. (Archive photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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New: Almere DIT WEEKEND – in your mailbox on Friday, 7th September (page 1)

ALMERE – Almere Stad and Poort will get a second newspaper as from Friday, 7 September – Almere DIT WEEKEND (Almere This Weekend). The initials ‘ADW’ are no coincidence.  As Almere DEZE WEEK (Almere This Week) will publish this second, Friday edition.

The Tuesday newspaper, Almere DEZE WEEK, will remain the source for news and background stories, interviews, articles and sections on homes, going out, sport and politics. Almere DIT WEEKEND will offer ‘lighter’ content, focusing on Saturday and Sunday, with fun reader promotions, recreation and entertainment tips, weekend news and weekend columns.

For more information, also for advertisers, phone 036-5300765 or email info@almereditweekend.

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Municipality acts on threat to public, Number of wasp reports increasing (page 5)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The wasp nuisance in Almere is increasing rapidly. “Years ago, we received fewer than ten reports per year”, says Rob Bulsing, ‘Schoon’ supervisor at the municipality. “Two years ago we had 20 reports. Today we have already passed that number for 2018.”

Tips
“If a wasp stings you, remain alert. When it stings, a substance is released that alerts other wasps to danger. So they can also attack”, says Bulsing. “The same applies if you kill a wasp. The same substance is released and other wasps are triggered to go on the attack. Always remove a dead wasp and then clean the surface well to remove this substance. And never strike a wasp. Blowing it away is safest. The wasp experiences that as wind.”


Wasp nests can occur anywhere. And they are useful creatures. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

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Water police contribute to safety in water-rich Almere (page 7)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The disturbance on the Weerwater lasted only a few minutes. The Almere water police had spotted a red speedboat behaving strangely, opposite Lumièrestrand beach.

This week Almere DEZE WEEK went on patrol, spending an afternoon on the police boat.

Warm welcome
It’s striking that most skippers warmly welcome the police officers; that their presence is appreciated. There is almost always a greeting or a short chat. Children ashore wave and dance when their boat passes. “The public value our presence, they are very positive”, the officers say. Then add, laughing, “Well, not always”.


From left: Hans Jansen, Andries Sloterwijk and Ro Teunissen wait for the lock in De Kromme Wetering. “We’re there to promote safety on the water.” (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere residents provide free holidays in Italy for fellow citizens (page 9)

ALMERE – Whether it’s a week in the Veluwe, camping in France or a trek through Canada, most children and young people will go on holiday this summer. Those who cannot go on vacation are often those with the biggest need to do so. Hans Wendel and Berbara van Doorne of the Il Rifugio foundation want precisely this group to enjoy a week of vacation. And they have done something about it. Last week their first guests flew from Almere to Italy.

Almere residents Hans and Berbara have bought Il Rifugio, in the Italian region of Tuscany. Two habitable houses, a fruit orchard and a large meadow. It’s no coincidence that the first families that have been offered a week’s holiday at Il Rifugio also come from Almere. “We focus on families and children whom we know will benefit from a week of relaxation in a new environment”, says Berbara. “As a result of our volunteer work, these are mainly Almere families and children from children’s homes in Poland.” The first Almere guests are enthusiastic: “I don’t have to worry about anything. All I have to do is enjoy it here.”

Donations
The Il Rifugio foundation survives on donations. The organization has ANBI status, which means donations are tax-deductible, even if the contribution is in kind. For more information visit https://www.ilrifugio.nl


Time to enjoy a holiday in Tuscan Italy. (Photo: supplied)

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Join Almere’s 30 km run on 30 September (page 19)

POORT – ‘De 30 van Almere’ (the Almere 30) will be run on Sunday, 30 September. Last year more than six hundred runners participated and fast times were set.

Topsporthal
Topsporthal will be the epicenter of the 30 of Almere for the third consecutive time. This is a convenient venue for picking up your race number, changing clothes, having a rest or a massage, or just sitting down for a chat.
Kids Runs (of 1 and 2 kilometers) and a 5 kilometer run will again be available. So there’s something for every runner, whether you are preparing for an autumn marathon or just want to participate in a fun, social run.


Last year more than six hundred runners participated in Almere’s 30. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 15thof August. The summaries were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 25th of July and 1st of August 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere.

All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 10 articles with the following titles:

  1. Will there be enough teachers for all school classes after the summer holidays?
  2. Hogweed successfully combated – by sheep and volunteers
  3. Almere residents choose Captain Fantastic for outdoor screening
  4. WitchWorld not shocked by Park Eden Holland plans
  5. City board proposes SPFA as local broadcaster
  6. Agreements for Oostvaardersplassen management
  7. Sail-Today summer camp in demand
  8. De Kemphaan resembles a castle
  9. Chess talent conquers Scotland
  10. Housing market especially overheated in Randstad

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Will there be enough teachers for all school classes after the summer holidays?
(page 1, edition 30)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – There were 68 vacancies in the Almere education sector at the end of last week. The summer holidays have started and on 27 August the schools will open again. It seems impossible that the school boards of Almere will be able to find enough teachers for all classes.


It remains to be seen whether all classes will have teachers after the summer holidays. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Nationwide problem

The shortage of teachers in Almere illustrates a national problem. “Primary education is in danger of entering the new school year with a shortage of some 1,300 teachers”, writes the PO (primary education) council, “and tens of thousands of pupils across the country are going to be affected. Whereas in previous years teacher vacancies were filled, albeit at the end of the summer holiday period, school boards will not be able to fill their vacancies this year. At present, more than half of the boards still have permanent and temporary vacancies. Nearly a quarter don’t expect to be able to fill their vacancies at this stage and therefore have no teachers for some groups.

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Hogweed successfully combated – by sheep and volunteers (page 17, edition 30)

ALMERE – With the help of volunteers and sheep from Stad en Natuur (City & Nature), the giant hogweed has been prevented from dispersing its seed. So this year the giant hogweed in this part of the countryside is under control, and the volunteer group had a good reason to enjoy a celebratory cake last week.

The giant hogweed in the Vroege Vogelbos was combated using sheep. The Stad & Natuur flock loves hogweed! And proliferation is contained if sheep eat the leaves and stems before the weed blossoms. Help is needed from volunteers, however, in places inaccessible to sheep.


Volunteers prevent further spread of hogweed. (Photo: supplied)

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Almere residents choose Captain Fantastic for outdoor screening (page 18, edition 30)

HAVEN – Almere residents voted last month to select the film to be screened outdoors on Friday, 24 August at the Markt square, in Haven. The Sundance Film Festival hit, Captain Fantastic, came out as the public’s favorite.

he preliminary program starts at 18.30 hrs. The film will start at 21.30.

The number of available seats is limited, so visitors are advised to bring their own seat in order to be assured of a place. Don’t forget to pack a warm sweater. The film will definitely be screened. In the event of bad weather it will move to the theatre hall in the Corrosia Theatre, Expo & Film. Admission is free.

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WitchWorld not shocked by Park Eden Holland plans (page 1, edition 31)

By Marcel Beijer

ALMERE – Director Ton Theunis of WitchWorld is not shocked that space will be reserved for another tourist initiative, the botanical Park Eden Holland, next to the grounds of the castle where his fantasy park is to be built. “We welcome all tourism initiatives for Almere. We can support and strengthen each other”, says Theunis. Whether Eden Holland will be implemented will become clear in the middle of next year.

Eden Holland aims to create an educational botanical park with a spectacular greenhouse, on the grounds to the west of Kasteel Almere. Plans already exist for the WitchWorld fantasy park on the grounds of the castle.

Next steps

The plans for Park Eden Holland will be worked out in more detail in the coming period and will include synergy and cooperation between Floriade and Eden Holland, at this location near the Floriade.


An artist’s impression of Park Eden Holland, showing the spectacular greenhouse. (Photo: supplied)

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City board proposes SPFA as local broadcaster (page 5, edition 31)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The Municipal Board recommends that the Council nominates Stichting Productie Fabriek Almere (SPFA ) to the Dutch Media Authority as the new, local broadcaster for Almere.

The Municipal Council will consider the advice of the Board after the recess.

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Agreements for Oostvaardersplassen management (page 7, edition 31)

ALMERE – Flevoland provincial deputy Harold Hofstra and Sylvo Thijsen, managing director of Staatsbosbeheer, signed an agreement last week to strengthen cooperation in the management of the Oostvaardersplassen.

Staatsbosbeheer will draw up a new management plan for the longer term. Development of Nationaal Park Nieuw Land will be accompanied by a drive for quality and improvement of access, recreation and facilities in the Oostvaardersplassen area. There will be a long-term maximum limit of 1,500 large herbivores.


Konik horses in the Oostvaardersplassen. (Archive photo: supplied)

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Sail-Today summer camp in demand (page 9, edition 31)

POORT – The annual Sail-Today summer camp weeks are once again in demand this year. Children from 7 to 14 years can enjoy sailing, surfing and stand-up paddling at the beach on the IJmeerdijk, near Muiderzand, until 31 August.

Still a number of places available (www.sail-today.nl).

Note: International Almere recently made a 1,5 minute film about Sail-Today, that includes some footage of the summer camp:

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De Kemphaan resembles a castle (page 15, edition 31)

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The main building of De Kemphaan resembles a modern variant of a partially open water castle. This turned out to be the case when Kemphaan employees did research on De Kemphaan urban estate. This is also reported in the Almere architecture guide. De Kemphaan has now published the story – with a nod to the past.

The story of De Kemphaan water castle can be read at: www.waterkasteeldekemphaan.nl


The main building of Stadslandgoed De Kemphaan. (Photo: Florian Reumer)

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Chess talent conquers Scotland (page 19, edition 31)

ALMERE – Top Almere chess players, Daniel Kutchoukov (13) and Roger Labruyère (11), won the Robinson Cup and the Stokes Cup at the Glorney Gilbert Tournament in Scotland. The girls of the Dutch Youth Chess Team won the Gilbert Cup.


Roger Labruyère with the cup. (Photo: Ernst Labruyère)

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Housing market especially overheated in Randstad (page 23, edition 23)

ALMERE – The housing market is becoming increasingly overheated, with a shortage of houses for sale, particularly in the Randstad. Chairman of the NVM (Dutch real estate agents’ association), Ger Jaarsma, reported this to Real Estate Market magazine.


In Filmwijk, terraced houses are being converted into apartments in several streets, such as here on the Pasolinistraat. (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition 30 and 31 (July 25 and August 1, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

A 2 minute video about Courtesie you can watch here:

 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 18th of July 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Water weeds make sailing almost impossible
  2. Many MBO College graduates already have a job
  3. Rabobank Almere extends sponsorship of Almere Haven Festival
  4. Treasure hunts in Almere
  5. ANWB AutoMaatje launched in Almere
  6. Almere Heritage Day needs volunteers
  7. Fun for kids at Lumierepark in Almere

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Water weeds make sailing almost impossible (page 1)

By Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

HAVEN – Almere resident Jan van der Klooster fears that sailing will soon become impossible if pondweed continues to grow in Almere’s waters at the current rate. “You can hardly sail through the rampant pondweed which, even when it grows at a depth of 3 meters, will reach the water’s surface. A wing keel, in particular, drags masses of pondweed along with the boat”, says Jan van der Klooster. “You also can’t use the engine, because the weed winds itself around the propeller shaft like lianas.”


Almere Haven. (Photo: Fred Rotgans)

Complaint

Sailors complained to the municipality. As a result, the berths were mowed this week. “It’s good that the moorings are now being mowed, but the municipality has waited far too long. Rijkswaterstaat planted the pondweed years ago in order to clarify the water and thus combat blue-green algae. But the cure is now worse than the disease. The municipality will have to find a way to eradicate this problem completely. Despite the fact that the harbor is now being properly dealt with, Gooimeer, Markermeer and IJmeer are still filling up with pondweed. Next to nothing is being done about this and it is still not clear how the weed will be removed.

Cancellations

According to Van der Klooster, the fact that only the navigation channels are mowed means that yachtsmen can no longer sail on the lakes. “To be able to sail, you have to be able to tack – to sail a zig-zag course to windward. The mowed channels are not wide enough for this. I’ve spoken to sailors who have cancelled their berths in Gooimeer, Markermeer and IJmeer, because you can’t sail in these areas anymore. They’ve moved their boats to Friesland. But won’t it be a disaster if we can no longer sail in the vicinity of Almere?”

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Many MBO College graduates already have a job (page 5)

Students at the MBO College Almere have graduated cum laude and received scholarships.

ALMERE – More than 900 students from the MBO College Almere and MBO College Poort received their MBO (secondary vocational education) diplomas last week. A few students received diplomas cum laude, having shown excellent command of theory, obtained good passes in the practical exams and received excellent work experience employer feedback. A large proportion of the students will continue their studies at the Flevoland ROC or move on to a university of applied sciences program. Many students will look for a job or already have one.


Five out of the eight cum laude students. (Photo: supplied)

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Rabobank Almere extends sponsorship of Almere Haven Festival (page 17)

ALMERE – This year, for the fifth consecutive year, Rabobank Almere will be the main sponsor of the Rabobank Almere Haven Festival. The bank will also again sponsor the Rabobank Havenkom Proeverij.

Nik Smit, director of Almere City Marketing and organizer of the event, presented the Almere Harbor Festival announcement poster to Ferry Huurman, board chair of Rabobank Almere, in the harbor on board the Almere botter, AM1.

(Photo: Roxanne Overdijk)

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Treasure hunts in Almere (page 17)

ALMERE – Stad & Natuur has arranged no less than four treasure hunts at attractive locations in Almere this summer.

Entrance to the treasure hunts can be purchased via the website www.stadennatuur.nl (click on ‘winkel’) or at the locations themselves.

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ANWB AutoMaatje launched in Almere (page 17)

ALMERE – ANWB AutoMaatje (‘auto-mate’) has now also been launched in Almere, thanks to the collaboration of the ANWB with VMCA, De Schoor and Welzijn (social welfare) in Almere. ANWB AutoMaatje is a national network of service points which enable volunteers from local organizations to use their own cars to transport less mobile fellow citizens, at their request.

Interested parties can register as volunteers at the VMCA. Participants pay a travel expense contribution of € 0.30 per kilometer calculated from the home address of the driver directly to the volunteer, plus any parking costs. The contribution must be paid in cash.

More information: www.vmca.nl/vrijwilligers

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Almere Heritage Day needs volunteers (page 19)

ALMERE – More than four thousand magnificent monuments in the Netherlands are open free of charge to the public on the weekends of 8 and 9 September. Almere will also be taking part in this year’s Heritage Day. The organization is looking for volunteers.

The Heritage Day organization is looking for volunteers who are interested in architecture and in the history of Almere, and who will enjoy welcoming and informing visitors on Heritage Day. For more information and volunteer registration please visit  www.almere.nl/openmonumentendag.

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Fun for kids at Lumierepark in Almere (page 19)

FILMWIJK – Stichting Multiculturele Organisatie Almere is organizing a children’s village in Lumierepark on 5 August, with a free market for children.

There will be several bouncy castles and a variety of performances. Whether singing, making music, dancing or doing acrobatics, young artists in the making will be able to make their first stage appearance on the day. Children can sell toys they’re tired of and clothes they’ve outgrown at the free market. And, of course, the money made can be spent on the spot – on new toys or sweets!

The stage performances will be a mix of shows put on by new talent and entertainment by established names. The children’s village will also observe Millennium Development Goals and children will have the opportunity to get to know each other. This year’s theme is, “We are Family”. The children’s village event will also focus on cultural diversity and will reflect the Almere community in its performances, workshops and market.

The children’s village will have an information stand staffed by volunteers, to provide information on children’s activities in Almere. There will also be an information table with leaflets on education and nutrition and samples of various products.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition July 18, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” editions 4th and 11th of July 2018


Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Municipal ecologist investigates plant disease in Almere (edition 11thof July, page 1)
  2. Slavery remembered during the Keti-Koti memorial (edition 4thof July, page 7)
  3. Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scores high (edition 4thof July, page 9)
  4. Municipality imposes fines for illegal bike parking (edition 4thof July, page 15)
  5. Almere hairdresser fights IS hatred – and finds love (edition 4thof July, page 9)
  6. Asylum seekers’ tent and caravan camp will remain in Oosterwold for the time being (edition 11thof July, page 1)
  7. More than 20,000 Almere children interact with nature (edition 11thof July, page 23)

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Municipal ecologist investigates plant disease in Almere

How we can give nature a helping hand

By Dominique Voss

ALMERE – At the moment Almere has to deal with a number of persistent plant diseases and pests such as ash dieback, boxwood moth and oak processionary moth. Is something wrong with Almere’s natural environment? Municipal ecologist Ton Eggenhuizen sheds some light on the issue.

“If we want to enjoy nature for a long time to come, we have to let nature go its own way”, says Eggenhuizen. Before our interview begins he empties a bread bag full of leaves onto the table. “This is what I found this morning, on my way to work”, says the municipal ecologist. “Look, there is still a larva on this leaf. This is not a problem, at all. You can just ignore them.” According to Eggenhuizen we often resort to pesticides too easily when come across what we think is an irregularity, but this is not a good thing.

“In a normal situation, the organisms that cause the diseases and the plants or trees in which these organisms settle should simply be able to live side by side”, explains Eggenhuizen. “If you prune the trees or use poison, you only make things worse.”

Different approach

The current situation calls for a different approach. Eggenhuizen says that the municipality has learned a lot in this area and hopes that others will also benefit from the knowledge. “If we want to enjoy nature for a long time to come, we must also continue to take good care of it. It is not our needs but those of nature that must be central.”


Ton Eggenhuizen: “Pruning and the use of poisons only make things worse.”
(Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK/Dominique Voss)

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Slavery remembered during the Keti-Koti memorial.

STAD CENTRUM – Sunday, July 1, marked the 155th anniversary of the official end of slavery in the Antilles. Almere celebrated this last Saturday, 30 June – because the national commemoration at the monument in the Oosterpark in Amsterdam took place on the Sunday.

The commemoration was held in the city hall’s civic hall. The opening ceremony was followed by a speech by Mayor Franc Weerwind. This, in turn, was followed by a parade through the city, in which the participants wore traditional clothing.


(Photo: Studio Rotgans/Beau de Bruijn)

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Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scores high

STAD CENTRUM  – Almere’s Aeres University of Applied Sciences scored well in the national student survey (Nationale Studenten Enquête, NSE), presented last week. The NSE surveys students’ opinions on their studies at Dutch universities and applied science universities.

The satisfaction levels among students at Aeres University of Applied Sciences in Almere have increased since last year. The three main dimensions – students’ opinions of their courses, their assessment of the atmosphere and whether they would recommend the course – all scored well above average. Students are very satisfied with the courses’ alignment with current developments and with their stimulating content. The university also scored high – above the national average – on the two new items added last year, namely challenging education and internationalization.

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Municipality imposes fines for illegal bike parking

ALMERE – Bicycles not parked in designated racks and parking facilities are at risk of removal as from Monday, 16 July. From that date on the municipality will strictly enforce its bicycle parking policy in the center of Almere Stad and Buiten and in the vicinity of all stations from Poort to Oostvaarders.

Incorrectly parked bicycles and scooters, abandoned and wrecked bicycles will be removed by the municipality to the bicycle depot on the Esplanade. The bicycles will be stored there for thirteen weeks. Owners can reclaim an impounded bike for 25 euros on presentation of an identity document and the bike key.

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Almere hairdresser fights IS hatred – and finds love

“Enough is enough! I’m going to Kurdistan!”

ALMERE – Shilan Hamid was 25 when she felt she could no longer stay at home and decided to go to the front to fight IS. She told her very special story to the editorial staff of Avanti, the social work organization.

Shilan Hamid resigned from her job as a hairdresser in Almere, said goodbye to her family and left for Kurdistan. This was a few years ago. In the meantime her story has taken a special twist. Once there, in circumstances of misery and sadness, she found love.

Read more about how she risked death to find the love of her life at https://avanti-almere.nl/liefde-in-tijden-van-oorlog/


Almere hairdresser Shilan went to the front, to fight IS. (Photo: supplied)

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Asylum seekers’ tent and caravan camp will remain in Oosterwold for the time being

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Formally undocumented asylum seekers currently staying in tents and caravans on the grounds of Inspiration INC in Oosterwold can remain there for the time being. This was evidenced last Thursday at the Political Market from the answers given by Alderman Jerzy Soetekouw (PvdA) to written questions from the CDA and PVV .


The tent and caravan camp in Oosterwold (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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More than 20,000 Almere children interact with nature

ALMERE – Stad en Natuur is working hard to reverse the growing trend of children not playing outside. With success! In the 2017-2018 school year no fewer than 20,586 Almere children participated in a Stad & Natuur green activities.

The activities ranged from a visit to the petting farm to a ‘cloud excursion’ and a practical course on empoldering at the Markermeer.

City & Nature is satisfied with the great interest shown in the lessons, excursions and courses. “We, too, realize that fewer and fewer children come into contact with nature and that the computer and phone are increasingly replacing traditional and instructive outdoor playtime”, says Willemijn Huizenga, programming staff member at Stad & Natuur. “By offering a lot of fun, educational and challenging lessons, excursions and courses, especially for children, we are raising their interest in playing outside. It’s great to see how children are completely absorbed in the activities and lessons. All the phones are switched off and off they go – very happy to be outside together!”


Dukdalf pupils take part in the autumn class at Kemphaan. (Photo: Jorn van Eck)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, editions 4thand 11thof July, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Yoga lessons in English

Ganesha Almere is offering from September 2018 Yoga lessons in English to International Almere members for very attractive prices.

You have two possibilities:

a ticket strip of 5 lessons (€ 50,–) to be used in 8 lesson weeks, so that you can be absent a few times without costs.

a discount of 15% in the usual monthly cost (€ 34,– per month instead of € 40,–)

The yoga lessons last 1,5 hour.

Ganesha Almere is also offering a free try lesson to International Almere members:

Thursday, August 30 th at 18.30 hours. This try out will last until ± 20.45 hrs.

Frans Zwagemakers (1957) is an experienced yoga teacher, who started his teachings 16 years ago. Since then he has taught more than 5.000 yoga lessons and has visited India, the native country of yoga, 6 times.

 

You can reach Ganesha Almere at info@ganesha-almere.nl or call +31 (0)6 53744367

Adress: Rodinweg 59a 1328 PX Almere. www.ganesha-yoga.nl

Enjoy the experience and later share with us how it was and if you liked it!

More info: Sandra da Silva, secretary of International Almere. secretary@internationalalmere.com 

 

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 27th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Hotel and cinema in Buiten center
  2. Weerwind: prison closing ‘a serious loss’
  3. The battle against street litter
  4. Volunteers wanted for children’s camp
  5. Ageing unemployment benefits group
  6. Big flea market at Almere animal shelter
  7. New Lumièrepark path open from 5 October

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Hotel and cinema in Buiten center (page 1)

BUITEN CENTRUM – In Almere Buiten the way has been paved for the construction of a hotel and a cinema. The hotel will be on the vacant lot directly opposite the station; the cinema will be on the parking lot opposite the shopping complex housing, among others, the Action store.

The vacant lot opposite the station will be developed as a complex in which the hotel, with its 5,000 square meter floor area, will stand out. The complex will also accommodate approximately 900 m2 of shops and restaurants. This will extend the Noordeinde’s role as a shopping street. Next to the station a square will house restaurants and sun terraces. Sixteen, small, social housing units will probably also be built. The aim is to open the hotel by the end of 2019 or, at the latest, early in 2020.

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Weerwind: prison closing ‘a serious loss’ (page 1)

ALMERE – Mayor Franc Weerwind regrets the Cabinet’s decision to close the penitentiary institution (PI) in Almere. The PI is a prison in full operation, with 360 prisoners and 250 employees. “Closure is a serious loss, for Almere and for the province”, said the mayor. “In terms of both regional employment and the service level offered.”

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The battle against street litter (page 7)

By Dominique Voss
BUITEN – It is seven o’clock in the morning. Paulien and her dog walk their daily route through the neighborhood. In Paulien’s left hand there is a litter grabber, in her right hand a plastic bag. “Two birds with one stone”, she says.

City without waste

Almere aims 0to be a city without waste by 2020, but has not yet found the right formula to achieve this. “In Almere, there are currently about 8,000 ‘clean supporters’. They are committed to keeping Almere clean,” says Rob Ravensbergen of Stadsreiniging (city cleaning). “It is, of course, a great pity that she has to do this, but we are very happy with the help of people like Paulien.”

Behavior

Paulien thinks that people’s behavior sets a bad example. She is therefore making an appeal: “Lead by example, don’t be too easy on yourself – hang on to your litter. Let’s keep the world clean, together.” Residents who, like Paulien, want to keep their own neighborhood free of litter can order free litter grabbers and refuse bags from the municipality.


Paulien cleans up the litter in her neighborhood. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK/Dominique Voss)

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Volunteers wanted for children’s camp (page 23)

DE WIERDEN – The De Wierden/De Laren residents’ committee will hold a children’s camp from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July, for children who cannot go on holiday. The organization is still looking for volunteers to help with the activities.

There is room for twenty children aged 7 to 12 years. Tents will be erected on the field next to the Meerveldplein. The children’s camp will offer a varied program with sports, games and time to relax. Participation is free of charge. The Kinderkamp is an initiative of Bewonerscommissie De Wierden/De Laren. Volunteers who wish to help with the activities can register at weijde@tip.nl.

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Ageing unemployment benefits group (page 27)

ALMERE – In May the proportion of people over 50 on unemployment benefits in Flevoland increased, reflecting the increasing average age of job-seekers. It is important both for employers and for jobseekers over 50 to look at motivation, interest and competencies.

At the same time, the total number on unemployment benefits has fallen slightly. 217 fewer WW benefits were paid in Flevoland in May, as compared to the end of April. The biggest decreases were visible in the sectors of Construction (-5.7%), Transport and Storage (-4.6%) and Education (-4.6%). In May, the number of WW benefits paid in Flevoland fell slightly, by 217 (-2.5%). This decrease is less pronounced than the national decrease of -4.2% in the month of May. At the end of May 2018, 8,425 unemployment benefits payments were made in Flevoland. The national decline of -22% in unemployment benefits over the past year exceeds the decrease of -18.9% in Flevoland. The Flevoland unemployment benefits percentage (which is the number of benefits recipients as a percentage of  the working population) in May 2018 was 3.8%, slightly higher than the national unemployment percentage of 3.3%. A year ago, the percentage for Flevoland was significantly higher, at 4.8%.

Ageing group

Since the start of 2016 the number of unemployment benefits paid to jobseekers aged 50 and over has steadily decreased in Flevoland, as a result of economic growth and a shrinking labor market. At the end of May this year, a total of 3,860 payments were made to people aged 50+ in Flevoland. As the total number of unemployment benefits decreases, the proportion of people aged 50+ who are receiving benefits is increasing, as is the proportion of older job-seekers in the labor market. The decline in the number of people aged over 50 is less pronounced than the decline in the total number of people entitled to unemployment benefits.  This is due to the fact that people over 50 are less likely to return to work.

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Big flea market at Almere animal shelter (page 27)

BEDRIJVENTERREIN DE VAART – Dierenasiel Almere, the animal shelter at Groene Kadeweg 24, is once again organizing a big flea market.

On Saturday 30 June you’ll find a wide variety of treasures at the market: books, records, household items, toys, tools and clothing. Everything has been donated to the Dierenasiel and is often still new, in its original packaging. There will also be live music and a snack terrace. The proceeds will be used for the accommodation and care of animals at the shelter.

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New Lumièrepark path open from 5 October (page 37)

FILMWIJK – This week the municipality started construction of the new path in the Lumièrepark, as part of the Rondje Weerwater route. From 5 October onwards, the section within the Lumière Park will be ready for public use.

The sand used for pre-loading will be removed and reused at the end of the Lumières beach, for construction of the next part of the path. This will be the future bridge over the Weerwater. In the park a start will be made on the installation of the concrete edging, the blue asphalt of the track and the furniture. New paving will then be laid on the Hospitaalbrug. The track will be used for the triathlon, in September, after which the final work will be carried out.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 27, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 20th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. 10,000 diseased ash trees cut down
  2. Almere Knakwortel on supermarket shelves soon
  3. Almere is super-safe
  4. Water mayor rows Almere boat
  5. Summer exhibition opens in new Almere Haven photo gallery
  6. Cantatekoor Almere choir hunts singers
  7. New container makes separating glass waste even easier

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10,000 diseased ash trees cut down (page 9)

ALMERE – Some 10,000 ash trees will be removed – and mostly replaced – in Almere, by the end of 2019. The trees will be replaced by various other kinds of trees. The ashes are suffering from ash dieback, in which diseased branches of the ash break off and the tree eventually falls over.

Residents are being informed of the project in various ways. In many cases residents can provide input on the new trees for their street.


Photo: Almere Deze Week

Almere Knakwortel on supermarket shelves soon (Page 7)

ALMERE – Knakwortel (‘carrotwurst’) is a carrot that not only looks like a knackwurst but also tastes like one. This new product from Almere won the Albert Heijn Product Pitch last week. This means that the Knakwortel will be launched in the supermarket chain in the coming weeks.

The idea for the Knakwortel arose when Koen Kaljee and his girlfriend, Valerie Bos, went to a friend’s barbecue. They were asked to bring something. “I had been experimenting with vegetables for some time, because Valerie doesn’t like vegetables and had also decided to become vegetarian”, says Koen Kaljee. “She loved the marinated carrot, cooked sous-vide (in a vacuum) and then briefly fried in a pan or put on the barbecue. Then it goes on a bread roll, with some ketchup or mayonnaise, as if it were a hot dog. At the barbecue everyone seemed to like it”.

Bos and Kaljee, both entrepreneurs, realized that they had to do something with the idea. “When we saw how much people liked it I refined the recipe and the preparation method. In December we set up a separate company for this purpose and in February we found an external producer.”

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Almere is super-safe (page 9)

Recorded crime falls sharply

By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Recorded crimes decreased dramatically in Almere in 2017. The number of offences fell by 12 percent from 11,218 to 9,853. The relative number of offences in Almere is low compared to other large cities. This is evident from the municipality’s progress report on security.


Photo: Shutterstock

Prevention

The municipality has initiated a number of projects to tackle domestic burglaries, mugging and heists.

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Water mayor rows Almere boat  (page 15)

ALMERE – The recently-appointed water mayor, Kevin van Drumpt, experienced a baptism of fire on the IJmeer last week. He rowed to the fortified island, Pampus, with the Almere sloop rowers – in a 12-kilometer training session.

The boat-rowing foundation, Sloeproeien Almere, experienced steady growth last year and now also has a women’s team. Their sloop, Labora Stulti, sets out from the Marinahaven on the Gooi and IJmeer five times a week. This year the rowers will enter more, national sloop races than ever before. The crowning entry was the recently-completed HT-Roeirace (the 34 km. Harlingen-Terschelling crossing).


Water mayor Kevin van Drumpt rowed to Pampus with the Almere sloop rowers. (Photo: supplied)

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Summer exhibition opens in new Almere Haven photo gallery (page 23)

HAVEN CENTRUM – A number of photographers are exhibiting new work in the Anita Neve Galerie at Marktstraat 22. This includes work by new talent like Paulien Huizinga, Willem Houtsmuller, Maartje Roos and Nathalie Dekker.

Anita Neve Galerie specializes in accessible fine art photography and offers graduates of the Dutch art and photography academies and other selected talent a place to show their work and gain experience in the gallery world.

The summer exhibition opened on 14 June. The gallery is open from Thursday to Saturday and by appointment. All are welcome. Read more at www.anitanevegalerie.nl


From the photo series, ‘Muurbloem’ (‘wallflower’). (Photo: Nathalie Dekker)

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Cantatekoor Almere choir hunts singers  (page 28)

ALMERE – The Cantatekoor Almere (choir) will perform The Armed Man by Karl Jenkins on 3 February next year, in collaboration with the Almeers Jeugd Symfonie Orkest (Almere youth symphony orchestra). In order to make this concert a great success, Cantatekoor Almere is looking for around 40 new members of all voice types to join the project.

If you want to be part of a large choir performing an extremely special musical work in collaboration with a first class orchestra you can register at info@cantatekooralmere.nl or by phoning 036-5366467. Read more at www.cantatekooralmere.nl.


Choir Cantatekoor Almere. (Photo: supplied)

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New container makes separating glass waste even easier (37)

POORT – The first glass waste container for two different types of glass has been put into use. The container, with two openings, for white transparent glass and other colors, is located at the underground collection depot at the Albert Heijn supermarket at Olivier van Noortstraat 32. The new container makes it even easier for residents to separate their glass waste.

The unveiling of the new bottle bank on Wednesday, 23 May marked the start of the promotional campaign, ‘Glass in ‘t bakkie’ (‘Glass? Sorted!’).

5.5 kg glass waste per person

Almere is well on its way when it comes to separating glass, with 76 percent of its glass collection separated from other waste. This amounts to 17.7 kilos of separated glass per person, per year. However, about five and a half kilos of glass per person per year still disappears into unseparated residual waste bins in Almere. This waste is incinerated, which costs money and is bad for the environment. This is the motivation for separated glass collection, in a glass container that also sorts transparent white and colored glass.

The campaign ‘Glas in ‘t bakkie’ started on Wednesday 23 May at Albert Heijn in Almere Poort. Glass is currently only sorted into white transparent and colored glass. (Photo: supplied)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 20, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 13th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. Communal iftar meal in Turkish mosque
  2. Delays due to work at the Almere interchange
  3. Green oasis in shopping center
  4. Floriade Fietstocht: a bicycle tour of green initiatives
  5. New school building for Poort school

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Communal iftar meal in Turkish mosque (page 51)

MUZIEKWIJK – An iftar was held at the Turkish mosque at Lierstraat 9 on Sunday, 10 June.

The iftar brought Muslims and non-Muslims together to enjoy this evening meal. During Ramadan Muslims fast during the day, not eating or drinking anything between sunrise and sunset, for a month. Life is dominated by self-reflection and reflection at a spiritual level.

At sunset, family and acquaintances visit each other and eat iftar together. However, on a number of occasions during Ramadan, this custom is extended to a larger gathering where everyone, Muslim and non-Muslim, is welcome to join in the meal.

The aim is to promote informal social contact. Conversation during the dinner can be both instructive and enjoyable. All this to promote mutual contact – and tolerance, respect and understanding of each other’s cultures.

The end of Ramadan is celebrated with the Sugar Festival, this year from Thursday 14 June to Friday 15 June.

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Delays due to work at the Almere interchange (page 51)

ALMERE – Parkway6 will work on the Almere interchange during several weekends in June. The interchange will be connected to new lanes on the A6 between Almere Havendreef and  Almere Buiten-Oost. As a result, the junction will be partially closed during these weekends. Traffic should take into account diversions and delays.

New traffic situation

From Monday 2 July at 05:00 a new traffic situation will apply on the north side of the Almere interchange. Traffic from Lelystad to the A27 will have to keep to the left instead of the right. Traffic from Lelystad in the direction of Almere and Amsterdam will have to exit to the right and will bypass the junction. This traffic will be using the future, parallel lane. This is a temporary situation.


New situation at the Almere interchange. (Photo: Rijkswaterstaat)

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Green oasis in shopping center (page 55)

STAD CENTRUM – Those looking for a tranquil spot while shopping can take a seat on one of the benches in the ‘garden’ of gardener Rob Verlinden. The Rob Verlinden Plein (square), a partitioned-off area planted with green shrubs and containing two park benches, can be found on the Diagonaal. It’s a literal example of bringing green into the city.

The garden was created to mark the fact that Verlinden, known from the SBS6 program ‘Robs Grote Tuinverbouwing’, has been in the business for more than thirty years. At the end of last month he received a medal of honor from Mayor Franc Weerwind for his work, during the recording of the anniversary broadcast of Robs Grote Tuinverbouwing,

Rob Verlinden is a textbook example of someone with many years of commitment as an ambassador for Almere. He has used the impact and reach of his television programs to put Almere on the map in a positive light – as a special, green city. Rob Verlinden has lived in Almere since 1995.

Floriade festival

The Rob Verlinden Plein will remain until after the Floriade Festival, which is held in the center of the city on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 June. The theme of this festival is ‘Food’, which is also one of the themes for the Floriade Almere 2022. There will be special things to see, discover and, of course, taste at various locations on the Floriade grounds. The event is a perfect day out for young and old.


Taking a break from shopping – at Rob Verlinden Plein. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Floriade Fietstocht: a bicycle tour of green initiatives (page 55)

ALMERE – On Saturday 16 June FRTC Almere will hold a new cycling event, the Floriade Fietstocht (cycling tour), together with the municipal Floriade organization.

The Floriade Fietstocht consists of three routes. Recreational cyclists on city bikes or e-bikes can choose between a 7 kilometer route (‘Rondje Weerwater’) or a 25 kilometer route (with stops at various green initiatives in the city). For the sporting cyclist there is an attractive 100 kilometer route, with surprising stops in Amsterdam Zuidoost and in the Gooi and Vecht region. At these stops there will be more information about the future of food and about surprising, local green areas. The tour, for racing bikes, starts between 09:00 and 10:00 from the Floriade pavilion on the Sturmeyweg. The Floriade pavilion also marks the end of the route.

Sign up via the Fiets, Race & Toer Club Almere Facebook page. Participation is free!

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New school building for Poort school, part of Het Baken school foundation (page 5)

POORT – The first pile has been driven for the new school building for Poort, a school for junior (‘mavo’) and senior (‘havo’) general secondary education and part of Het Baken schools group.  This festive event took place in the presence of the councilor for Education, the architect, the construction company as well as the director, various employees, a parent and a pupil of Het Baken.

The event was festively presented and the formalities were performed by a parent, a pupil and school staff member. This symbolized the collaboration between parents, pupils and employees of the school and is also reflected in the triangular shape of the new school building.

The new building is located immediately next to the Topsportcentrum in the Olympiakwartier in Almere Poort and can accommodate around eight hundred students. Poort is a school for junior and senior general secondary education. Pupils are taught at senior level as most of them will go to universities for applied sciences. This school for junior and senior general secondary education is characterized by its small scale. Together with Stad College, Park Lyceum, Trinitas Gymnasium and Almere International School, it forms part of school group foundation, Het Baken Almere. At the moment the Poort school is located at Slowakijehof in Almere Poort.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 13, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 6th of June 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 5 articles with the following titles:

  1. Big terrace for restaurant Loetje
  2. Almere low on culture index list
  3. An Almere museum with international allure?
  4. Almere DIT WEEKEND, in your post box this September
  5. Collecting to save insects

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Big terrace for restaurant Loetje at Martineztoren – opening this year (page 7)

By Marcel Beijer

The news that restaurant Loetje is opening in Almere is the best-read article on the websites of Almere DEZE WEEK and Almere Zaken in the year to date. The famous establishment will be located on the ground floor of the Martineztoren, which is currently being renovated. The doors will open at the end of October/beginning of November.

Restaurant Loetje will occupy 840 square meters in the seven-meter-high former office lobby, which will be fitted with a mezzanine floor as part of the re-development. Outside will be a partly-covered terrace of 250 square meters. The entrance to the Martineztoren itself will be on the WTC side, as will be the lobby of the Plaza Best Western. This four-star hotel will have 220 rooms. “The first fifty rooms will be completed by the end of October”, says managing director Hugo van Woerden, asset manager and developer of the DutchRE project. “The rest of the hotel rooms and the restaurant will be completed in November. Delivery of the 142 short-stay rooms is scheduled for January 2019. These will be hotel rooms with a kitchenette, for people staying in Almere for a few weeks to a few months.”

The Martineztoren (originally developed as an office complex) will house a hotel and restaurant Loetje. (Photo: Almere DEZE WEEK)

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Almere low on culture index list (page 5)
By Hestia Ruben and Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – After Nissewaard, Almere scores worst of the fifty largest municipalities in the Netherlands in terms of culture. Last Wednesday, the 2018 Atlas for municipalities was published, with culture as its theme. Almere is not doing very well in this area, ranking 49th among fifty large cities.

Nissewaard, a municipality in Zuid-Holland with less than half the population of Almere (which is over 85,000), is at the bottom of the list in 50th place. Almere, at 49, is below Lelystad (48). Amsterdam tops the cultural index, followed by Maastricht (2), Leeuwarden (3), Utrecht (4) and Delft (5).

Art organizations: ‘Almere is definitely on the cultural map’.

On 21 April of this year Corrosia, BonteHond, Suburbia, Vis à Vis and KAF met with the coalition parties to discuss what needs to be done from a political point of view in order to promote culture in Almere. The organizations want more money and also asked for a multi-year municipal plan for culture. And they want a Head of Culture at the town hall.

Nevertheless, Almere’s cultural organizations felt that Almere’s culture was not in too bad a state. According to a statement made at the meeting: “Almere is a national pioneer in cultural education. Culturally it is the most progressive city in the Netherlands. We set an example at national level – and Almere is also on the international cultural map. This is recognized outside Almere, but not from within.”

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Old masters and other art treasures (page 1) 

An Almere museum with international allure?

By Marcel Beijer

An idea presented last year to establish a ‘museum of museums’ in Almere will be resubmitted after consultation with officials of the municipality of Almere. The museum should become the focus of a now multifunctional project to be erected on the so-called Majestic site, behind Almere Centrum Station, adjacent to the WTC and the Martineztoren.

Tower

Following the official consultation, in which it was stated that the municipality would like to focus on creating employment in developing the station area, the plan for the site now includes a tower with commercial space on the ground and first floors and residential units from the 2nd floor up. The tower will be pierced, at a height of approximately 25 meters, by a rectangular ‘shoe box’ in which the museum will be housed. “We are thinking of a museum containing the work of well-known artists, now stored in the archives of eight large museums”, says Hugo van Woerden of DutchRE. “Museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk and Van Gogh have numerous works archived. These cannot be seen by the public, simply because there is no room to display them. The intention is to get these works out of the cellars and give them a place in Almere. So you get a ‘museum of museums’.”

‘Best of’ museum

The ‘shoebox’ in the residential tower has an area of 3,500 square meters. Van Woerden: “This will be a extremely interesting museum, because the collection will actually be a ‘best of’. From old masters to modern art – and the Film Museum. Anything but boring. It’s also a formula that fits a young city like Almere well. In addition, the architectural concept of the building is internationally unique. We expect a lot of visitors for this reason alone.”

An artist’s impression of the tower, with the ‘shoebox’ museum. (Photo: supplied)

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Almere DIT WEEKEND, in your post box this September  (page 1)

ALMERE – As of September the city will have a second newspaper: Almere DIT WEEKEND. The first three letters, ADW, are not coincidental. Almere DEZE WEEK will publish this second paper, every Friday.

The Tuesday newspaper, Almere DEZE WEEK, remains unchanged as the paper for news, with background stories, interviews, homes, sports and politics.

Almere DIT WEEKEND will offer lighter reading and focus mainly on the weekend.

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Collecting to save insects (page 5)

ALMERE – Thousands of volunteers from Natuurmonumenten (the natural heritage organization) will be collecting donations as of Monday, 11 June. This year the theme of the collection drive is insects.

The number of insects is decreasing dramatically. This is serious, as insects are crucial in almost every ecosystem. Natuurmonumenten is calling on everyone in the Netherlands to join the fight for insects. Natuurmonumenten is also taking further measures to improve the insects’ environment. Examples of this are a greater diversity of flowers in natural areas, more variety in the landscape and insect-friendly mowing management.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition June 6, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 30 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 4 articles with the following titles:

  1. Formulating new coalition a major task
  2. ‘Lelystad Airport Businesspark a boost for Almere’
  3. Used clothing market for East Romania
  4. Kevin van Drumpt is the water mayor of Almere

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Formulating new coalition a major task (page 1)

By Robert Mienstra

Coalition has been achieved in the municipal council. The councilors are from the VVD, PvdA, D66, GroenLinks and Christian Union political parties. The agreement is almost complete. It took a long time, “But it was also a big job”, says Hilde van Garderen, the VVD negotiator.


A satisfied Hilde van Garderen re-reads the coalition agreement. (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

She looks back on the preceding period and, above all, at the coming period. “We were easily able to agree on the principles of collegiality in the council and on more involvement of the city itself in the management process.

“Maintenance is in arrears, which is why we are now investing ten million in maintenance on an incidental basis, followed by 1.6 million a year on a structural basis. Because we live in a green city, the city is also expensive to maintain. However, once we have the city in order, it will also become more attractive for residents and entrepreneurs. Fortunately, because things are now improving financially, we are able to invest in this. And we’re going to ask residents and businesses what they regard as important in their neighborhood.”

Culture is expressly mentioned in the coalition agreement. “Culture must, above all, connect residents”, says Van Garderen. “We need to be at the forefront, both regionally and nationally. Suburbia, Vis-a-Vis and the Bonte Hond must be supported in this. We will draw up a multi-year cultural plan which connects with Almere City Marketing, residents and the economy. Culture must be given a more prominent place in our city.”


The new municipal board is committed to a collegial approach.  L. to r. Jan Hoek (GroenLinks), Jerzy Soetekouw (PvdA), Jaap Lodders (VVD), Maaike Veeningen (D66), Aldrik Dijkstra (Christian Union), Hilde van Garderen (VVD) and Tjeerd Herrema (PvdA). (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

The agreement does not deal with education as much as before. “Education is primarily the responsibility of the school boards; the municipality is party to the discussion. The education system is sounding the alarm regarding the shortage of teachers. Together with the schools, we want to draw up an action plan to facilitate accommodation, develop schemes for lateral entrants and for local teachers’ study bursaries. Much investment in education has been on impulse in the recent period. And that’s not money we’ll be getting back.”

Sustainability

There is a long paragraph on this subject in the coalition agreement. “Sustainability is part of all councilor portfolios”, explains Van Garderen. “We need to be energy-neutral and gas-free; the city needs to be climate-proof and waste-free. There will be a sustainability agenda for this. And a new office will be set up where residents can obtain information about how they can address and finance sustainable measures. A climate fund will be set up, so that new investments can be made in the city using the proceeds of sustainability, and a Climate Knowledge Centre will be set up.”

Ambitious

The coalition agreement looks ambitious. It will bring the council closer to the city, as stated in the agreement, and the city closer to city hall. “We are going to experiment with co-decision-making, neighborhood conferences, youth councils and residents’ platforms”, says Van Garderen. “We want a different management and organizational structure, one that is more collegial and collaborative.

“I hope to be able to walk through Almere in four years’ time and actually see the results of our policy. I want to have the feeling of, ‘Wow, that’s what we managed to do, together, in Almere.”

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Amsterdam – Almere – Lelystad: a prime location area for logistics companies

‘Lelystad Airport Businesspark a boost for Almere’ (page 7)

by Robert Mienstra

The dramatic development of Lelystad Airport Businesspark (LAB) is having a major impact on Almere. “And certainly also for the entire region of Amsterdam – Almere – Lelystad – Zeewolde”, says Rob Verhoeff, Director of the airport development company, Ontwikkelingsmaatschappij Airport Lelystad Almere (OMALA). “The establishment of the massive distribution center for fashion giant Inditex at Lelystad Airport Businesspark, will boost employment in the region and certainly also in Almere.”


Rob Verhoeff (photo: Almere Deze Week)

Employment

Many Almere residents will also soon be able to find work at Inditex. “The company will open in spring 2019 and there will then be a demand for more than 400 employees. Furthermore, the international development of Lelystad Airport Businesspark will have a major impact on the region. The location of Inditex in this business park is already being mentioned by Almere in its marketing to recruit new businesses to the city. I expect that more logistics companies will soon locate on our sites as well as in the rest of the polder, and certainly in Almere. Elsewhere in the Netherlands there’s no space any more, nor any staff. Here in Flevoland we have all that on offer.
Lelystad Airport from above (photo Almere Deze Week)

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 Used clothing market for East Romania (page 25)

INDISCHE BUURT – A large clothing fair will be held on Saturday 2 June from 12:00 to 16:00 in the De Wegwijzer building at Makassarweg 80. Hundreds of unused and hardly used garments will be sold for bargain prices.

In addition to clothing there will also be accessories, such as belts, shoes and handbags. The proceeds are for charity work among children in East Romania. Payment can be made by bank debit card. Everyone is welcome and admission is free. For more information contact Paul Wolters, tel. 06-21967610, or visit www.missiegura.nl.

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Kevin van Drumpt is the water mayor of Almere (page 40)

ALMERE – Almere’s very first water mayor was elected last week. Kevin van Drumpt, 31, will be this year’s ambassador for Almere’s waters.

Van Drumpt runs three businesses on or near the water. He was chosen by the jury because of his plans as water mayor – and because he managed to win almost a third of the public vote.


Kevin van Drumpt (Photo: Sven Kraaijenbrink)

“Sailing in Almere is both dream and a secret. Almere is still a long way from being discovered. And I would like to take on this task, as water mayor”, says Van Drumpt.

In cooperation with initiators of the Almere Economic Development Board, he plans to organize events and meetings to involve citizens, entrepreneurs and the municipality more closely with each other – on the subject of water.

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 30, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 23 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Almere business substantially more positive about the business climate (page 3)
  2. Businesses offer help in response to Almeerse Uitdaging(page 7)
  3. Expats discover Almere (page 19)
  4. Iftar for all – in Almere (page 27)
  5. Regional water authorityZuiderzeeland seeks best solution for water-logged gardens (page 32)
  6. Voluntary work at VLA (page 37)
  7. Discover Almere by bicycle! (page 43)

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Almere business substantially more positive about the business climate (page 3)

In recent years Almere’s entrepreneurs have become considerably more positive about the business climate in the city. The average rating in 2018 was 7, while in 2016 it was 5.9. This from the municipality’s second Business Survey.

Service Provision

The score for services provided by the municipality also improved. The majority of respondents (60%) rated the municipality between 7 and 9. Of these services, entrepreneurs especially valuedOndernemersplein(help for entrepreneurs) and the accessibility and empathy of account managers as positive, with a score of 6.9 (in 2016 this was 6.6).

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Businesses offer help in response to Almeerse Uitdaging (page 7)

The Almeerse Uitdaging (Almere challenge) has been in operation for a number of months and is achieving its first successes. The Almere Challenge is a business network that challenges businesses to be socially involved.


It was a top-evening at Vis à Vis (photo: Anna van Kooij)

More than a hundred of the four hundred entry tickets offered by Vis à Vis to their performance, with dinner (produced by Voiceworks), have already been used. They were distributed via the VoedselLoket Almere (VLA), the Salvation Army and Kwintes. More than a hundred people who would not otherwise have been able to do so, have now been able to enjoy a great evening.

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Expats discover Almere (page 19)

 ALMERE – Expats, who mostly work in and around Amsterdam, are increasingly discovering Almere. They consider the city pleasant and safe. Which is why they increasingly feel the need to settle in Almere.

Expat Mortgages, a mortgage consultancy firm with 35 employees that works especially for expats and originated in Amsterdam, has designated Almere as a promising growth area.


Henk Jansen in conversation with potential new residents of Almere. (Photo: supplied)

In addition to those for The Hague, Haarlem/Hoofddorp, Utrecht and Eindhoven, the company appointed an advisor specifically for the Almere area in 2018. Expat Mortgages is characterized by the fact that all its communication is in English. Mortgage quotations are translated, reports and calculations are made in English and all clients are accompanied when visiting a notary (in Almere often PVM or Heldoorn Eggels).

Busier

Well-educated international employees, often with a good positions in large companies, spend a large part of their money and leisure time in the local environment. As a result shops sell more, cafes and restaurants are fuller and sports and cultural facilities are more visited and used. The original, local residents also get the opportunity to become acquainted with interesting cultures, like those of Asia, Latin America and Australia.

Expat Mortgages always seeks cooperation with local parties. Real estate agents, notaries, interpreters, valuers, builders and home decorators who are prepared to communicate with clients in English can count on a profitable collaboration with Expat Mortgages. Expat Mortgages has also concluded a sponsorship agreement with International Almere (www.internationalalmere.com).

Challenge

“Because Expats often have little or no command of the Dutch language, we do everything in English”, says Henk Jansen from Expat Mortgages. “It’s not that expats can’t speak Dutch, many of our clients are taking Dutch language and culture courses, but for important documents such as contracts and quotations it is convenient to use English.

This is perhaps the challenge for the local entrepreneur in Almere. If one is prepared to adapt to these new customers, one will probably benefit from the many opportunities they bring. For more information please go to www.expatmortgages.nl

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Iftar for all – in Almere (page 27)

INDISCHE BUURT – This year Zahide Gürbüz Uçurum will again organize Iftar for Almere residents. On Friday 25 May from 20.00 to 23.00 hours the fast will be broken in mixed company as invitees enjoy a buffet.


Iftar will be in the form of a buffet. (Photo: supplied)

During the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan the fast is broken at Iftar every day, after sunset. This is a shared meal, with which Muslims all over the world break their fast, together with family and friends. The Almere Iftar will take place at TMG Partycentrum at Sumatraweg 22 in Almere Buiten.

Uçurum’s aim is to bring together everyone, regardless of background, origin, religion or culture.

For more information visit Facebook.com/SamenFijn

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Regional water authorityZuiderzeeland seeks best solution for water-logged gardens (page 32)

ALMERE – Waterschap (water authority) Zuiderzeeland is hunting the best plan to prevent flooding in domestic gardens after extreme rainfall. It has organized a competition for this purpose. The person with the best solution will win an Intratuin gift voucher worth 500 euros in order to implement the winning plan.

Ideas for combating excessive water in private gardens can be submitted before 31 May via the entry form available at www.zuiderzeeland.nl/formulierprijsvraag

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Voluntary work at VLA (page 37)

VLA (Voedsel Loket Almere – ‘the food counter’) is grateful for its volunteers. Otherwise there would be no VLA! People volunteer to work for VLA for many reasons. Often to contribute to the community and support the fight against poverty.

It has recently also been increasingly possible to find a suitable place in the organization for (former) clients. This helps them to return to normal life, while helping the VLA to help new customers who are still in the pipeline.

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Discover Almere by bicycle! (page 43)

May is the best month for cycling. Get on your bike and discover the nicest parts of Almere!

The ultimate cycling guide! The new ultimate cycling guide (Ultieme Fietsgids Almere) is all the inspiration you’ll need. More information: www.vvvalmere.nl/fietsen

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 23, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 16 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Almere City FC makes play-off final (page 1 and 34)
  2. Four-year project delivers key to reducing loneliness (page 5)
  3. Join the Almere City Run for the Kanjer Wens foundation (page 9)
  4. City center shops open on Whit Monday (page 23)
  5. Spectacular events at the fifth national safety day (page 17)
  6. Whitsunday Outdoor Event at SEC Survivals (page 29)
  7. Construction started on second part of Buitenhoutviaduct (page 45)

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Almere City FC makes play-off final

This week Almere City FC will compete in the play-off final for a place in the Dutch premier division. Their opponent is De Graafschap.

Almere City will compete next week (Thursday 17 May and Sunday 20 May) with De Graafschap for a position in the premier division.

(note from International Almere: the result of Thursday 17 May was 1-1.)

(Photo: Ron Baltus)

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Four-year project delivers key to reducing loneliness.

ALMERE – A four year project, Eensaamheid Samenwerking (working together on loneliness), has come to an end. It has shown that there is an increase in the number of lonely people in Flevoland. And that one of the solutions is more collaboration.

“In the beginning little was known about loneliness”, says Flevoland deputy, Harold Hofstra. “But we’ve learned a lot from each other in the last four years. There is more insight, both qualitatively and quantitatively. Collaboration turns out to be the key to reducing loneliness. And loneliness is now on the agenda of municipalities and central government. It is time to get down to work – together. To investigate, together with partners and professionals, how we can make our society more robust.”

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Join the Almere City Run for the Kanjer Wens foundation

STAD CENTRUM – De Almere City Run will take place on Sunday, 10 June. It’s a unique run, through the center of Almere. And with five different distances, there’s a course and distance to suit all runners. The Kids run is 1.8 km and there are also distances of 5 km, 10 km, 15 km and 21 km.

By participating in the Almere City Run runners can set up their own sponsorships to raise money for Stichting Kanjer Wens. This young, non-profit organization is involved in fulfilling the wishes of (seriously) ill children. The Kanjer Wish Days help the children escape their illness for a day, which they can enjoy with their families.

For more information visit kanjerwens.nl/over-almere-city-run/

(photo: Almere Deze Week)

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City center shops open on Whit Monday

STAD CENTRUM – The shops in the center of Almere Stad are open on Whit Monday. Shoppers are welcome on Monday 21 May, between 12.00 and 17.00. Children can be photographed with Cartoon Network stars Tweety and Bugs Bunny at the Forum.

“Following the successful opening on Easter Monday, all shops in the center are now also open on Whit Monday”, says Martin Ort, director of the Almere Centrum Business Association. “We noticed that more and more people came to visit the center on Whit Monday and that more businesses were opening on that day. Which is why the entire shopping area will be open this year, for the first time. It’s a service that’s in line with the ‘Best Inner City’, a title we can use for the coming two years.”

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Spectacular events at the fifth national safety day  

STAD CENTRUM – The national safety day (Landelijke Veiligheidsdag) will be held in Almere for the fifth time. On Saturday, May 26, various emergency services will be demonstrating what their work is all about. Visitors will not only find out what the emergency services do, but will also receive tips on what they themselves should do in emergencies, and how to prevent them happening.

The national safety day will take place between 10.00 and 17.00 hours. At 13.00 hours the official opening will take place, with a sensational display by the joint emergency services on the Weerwater. This will be a thrilling, re-enacted scenario in which a drug boat explodes and two criminals try to escape, the public will get a good impression of the challenging work of emergency services.

For information on the activities at the Forum, Grote Markt, Schipperplein, Stationsplein and Brouwerstraat, please visit www.veiligheidsdag.nl.

Last year, emergency services gave a joint demonstration at the Stadhuisplein, showing how they react in the event of an accident.  (Archive photo: Fred Rotgans)

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Whitsunday Outdoor Event at SEC Survivals

ALMERE – There will be a Whitsun (Pinkster) Outdoor Event On Whitsunday (Sunday 20 May) at Outdoorpark SEC Survivals, Verlaatweg 2, near the Waterlandsebos. This is a celebration full of outdoor activities for young and old, with delicious food and drink and with entertainment and tastings adding to the fun.

The wide range of activities includes archery, canoeing, water trampoline, a laser game, crossbow and air gun shooting (over 18 years), farmers’ miniature golf, twister, rafting, walking on water in a transparent ball, a bungee run, an obstacle run, shooting with a giant catapult and much more. Children can also learn how to make a fire and how to make their own bow.

Lots to eat

All terraces will be open and the extensive lawns can also be used to relax. The kitchen will be open all day, but you can also bring your own picnic basket. From around 17.00 hours the barbecue fires will be burning. These are free to use for preparing your own food. Or you can select from the food prepared by one of the chefs.

Free activities

Entrance is 7,50 euros per person, after which visitors can participate in as many activities as they wish. The activities are available all day long, at no cost. Entry for children up to 3 years old is free of charge.

The event is open from 12.30 to 19.30 hours. For more information and to make a reservation, please visit www.sec-survivals.nl/pinksteren.

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Construction started on second part of Buitenhoutviaduct

Following demolition of the Buitenhoutviaduct (a viaduct over the Tussenring) at the end of April the contractor, Parkway6, started construction of the second new section last week. The construction requires pile-driving and vibratory sheet piling. This may cause inconvenience.

Work will be carried out at night, between 20.00 and 05.00 hours, with the exception of weekends and public holidays. Since work is being carried out close to the A6 motorway, it will be necessary to close a lane to ensure the safety of employees and road users. In order to limit traffic disruption as much as possible, the lane will only be closed at night. The aim is to work as safely as possible, with minimum traffic disruption and noise. Unfortunately, this is not always possible.

(photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 16, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 2 Mei 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find summaries of a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. All summaries have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to hank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the summaries into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl. The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find summaries of 7 articles with the following titles:

  1. Remembrance Day in Almere, 4 May
  2. Memorial for Children, on 4 May from 18.00 hrs
  3. This year: sixteen Royal Decorations
  4. Almere residents feel increasingly safer
  5. Nine out of ten Almere residents enjoy living in their own neighborhood
  6. New ‘dog map’ for Almeerderhout issued by Staatsbosbeheer
  7. Liberation Day Festival in Almere

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The inheritance of freedom: Remembrance Day in Almere, 4 May (page 5)

ALMERE – On May 4, in Almere, the victims of the Second World War are commemorated at the Dolphin monument in Haven. All those who fell during the Second World War, and during other wars around the world, are remembered. We contemplate living in freedom and reflect on all those who, to this day, are restricted in their freedom, for whatever reason. The central focus is on how to pass on the inheritance of freedom.

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

Livestream

The commemoration can be followed via livestream at the Grote Markt and also in your living room. A link can be found at www.4en5meialmere.nl

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Memorial for Children, on 4 May from 18.00 hrs, Het Bos der Onverzettelijken renewed (page 7)

 By Robert Mienstra

VERZETSWIJK – Jeugdland Stad and the Bos der Onverzettelijken organizations are holding this commemoration of child victims for the twenty-fifth time on May 4th. From 18.00 to 19.00 there will be an informative tour. At 19.30 hrs the commemoration will be performed by and for the Children. The commemoration takes place at the sculpture, ‘Het Tandwiel’ (the gear), at the edge of the Bos der Onverzettelijken next to Vrijheidsdreef, at Verzetswijk.

The Anne Frank tree – at the center of the Herdenkingsveld (memorial field).

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

Het Tandwiel shows parts of the history of the Second World War on a monthly basis. (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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This year: sixteen Royal Decorations (page 7)

 By Robert Mienstra

STAD CENTRUM – Mayor Franc Weerwind presented no less than sixteen royal decorations last Thursday at the Kunstlinie Almere Flevoland. Most of those decorated had been brought the hall under false pretenses, to make the surprise even bigger.

The mayor presented sixteen Royal Decorations – twelve Members, three Knights and one Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau. In total, 2,912 Royal Decorations were awarded in the Netherlands.

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Almere residents feel increasingly safer (page 9)

ALMERE – In comparison with four years ago, any feelings of insecurity among the inhabitants of Almere have diminished. The report shows that residents rate the livability and safety of the neighborhood higher. Various forms of nuisance have been reduced, as has the number of victims of crime. Social cohesion in the neighborhood remains stable. This is a selection of the results of Veiligheidsmonitor-Wijkpeiling 2017 (security monitor district survey 2017), in which more than 8000 Almere residents participated.

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Nine out of ten Almere residents enjoy living in their own neighborhood (page 19)

 ALMERE – Almere’s residents rate the livability of their neighborhoods at 7.2. They experience fewer traffic and social nuisance than inhabitants of other large municipalities. This is evident from the large survey of residents on safety and quality of life in the neighborhood, carried out in the autumn of 2017. All the information – by district, neighborhood and topic – can be found at www.wijkmonitoralmere.nl. Nearly 26,000 Almere residents aged 15 and over were invited to fill in the questionnaire and 8,029 responded.

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New ‘dog map’ for Almeerderhout issued by Staatsbosbeheer (page 31)

HOUT – As of this week a new ‘dog map’ is available for the Staatsbosbeheer (national parks board) areas in Almere. The map shows where dogs are allowed to run loose, have to be on a leash or are totally prohibited.

The leaflet can be downloaded from www.staatsbosbeheer.nl/hondenalmere

The rules that apply to the areas can also be read on the entrance signs.

 (Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Liberation Day Festival in Almere (page 33)

ALMERE – As is the case every year on Liberation Day, there will be a number of spectacular performances throughout the city center. There will be performances throughout the day on the stage at the Esplanade, by big names like Ronnie Flex, Douwe Bob and Coen & Sander. The Grote Markt and Restaurantplein Belfort will also host live artists.

Visit www.almerecentrum.nl  for a complete overview of performances and activities on 4th and 5th May.

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Widened Waterlandseweg opened (page 41)

 ALMERE – The widened Waterlandseweg (N305) was opened on Tuesday 24 April by Flevoland deputy, Jaap Lodders. The Waterlandseweg has been widened from two to four lanes in order to keep Almere accessible as the city grows.

The doubled road width will ensure that traffic will continue to flow smoothly and safely in the future.

The wide central reservation with trees preserves the forested character of the Waterlandseweg.

(Photo: Almere Deze Week)

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Note: All of the above-mentioned articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition May 2, 2018. The summaries  were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Special Dutch Days – King’s Day, Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

At the end of April and the beginning of May three typical Dutch events take place every year. I noticed that these events often raise questions to internationals living in the Netherlands. If properly explained, internationals can more easily relate to the Dutch behavior during these days. Understanding the customs and rituals also helps to emotionally connect with the Dutch during these days and take part in the celebrations. I therefore will try to bring some clarity on the meaning of these events to the Dutch and  explain some of the customs, habits and rituals that can be seen during these events.

Continue reading Special Dutch Days – King’s Day, Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 4 April 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 8 articles with the following titles:
1. ‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’
2. Expats feel at home in Almere
3. A flock of sheep as a lawnmower
4. Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day
5. Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run)
6. Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen
7. Twenty-somethings head for Almere
8. Living in a Tiny House

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‘Almere won’t escape aircraft noise’ (page 1)

by Hestia Ruben

ALMERE – When Lelystad Airport becomes operational Almere will not escape aircraft noise, particularly from landing aircraft. Almere aviation journalist, John Assmann, says, “In order to align themselves for landing, aircraft will fly at relatively low altitudes over parts of Almere – and most residents will hear them.”

There are still many uncertainties surrounding the official opening of the Flevoland airport, but it is certain that residents will have to deal with noise from aircraft destined for Lelystad airport. Assmann: “This is because of the location from which  Boeing and Airbus planes will be directed to start their landing approach. They will use runway 05, named after the compass bearing of the runway, i.e. 50°, or northeast.”

There is a point near Almere Buiten, on the southeast side of the A6 (the red dot on the map). This is 6 miles (11.12 km) from the beginning of the runway and the aircraft must be at 2,000 feet (608 meters) at this point, to start the last part of the landing phase. This approach cannot be altered and must be followed by any aircraft wishing to land on Runway 05.

Straight line

“Air traffic control will direct the aircraft to fly as directly as possible to the descent point at Almere Buiten and this will give Almere Haven, Almere Hout, Kathedralenbos and Cirkelbos full exposure to aircraft noise.

Almere Poort will also not be spared, with planes flying over the Hollandse Brug. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line on the map) in the direction of Almere Haven and then turn in to the point of the final landing phase.

When all this will happen is still unclear because there is still a lot to be done, including the division of the airspace above and near Flevoland airport. But Almere will certainly suffer when future holidaymakers fly from Lelystad Airport on their way to the sun.

Airspace review

Within the current airspace structure, the number of aircraft movements at Lelystad Airport should not exceed 10,000 until the revision of airspace in 2023. This is stated in the Environmental Impact Report (EIA). Lelystad Airport ultimately wants to expand to 45,000 aircraft movements. The revision will redesign Dutch airspace in order to reduce consequences such as noise in surrounding areas. The connection routes for Lelystad Airport will then be at higher altitudes.

The aircraft must be at an altitude of 608 meters at the red dot in order to commence the final part of the landing phase. Aircraft from the north, west and east will first fly parallel to the runway (green line) in the direction of Almere Haven.

I.L.S.

An I.L.S. approach (Instrument Landings System) can be made on runway 05 at Lelystad Airport. This enables the pilot to fly the approach and land exactly on the runway, without any view of the ground. Only when the underside of the cloud cover is at an altitude of below 60 meters and the horizontal view of the runway is less than 550 meters must the pilot abort the landing and divert to another airport.

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Expats feel at home in Almere (Page 9)

by Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – Almere is home to no less than 4,000 expats. “Our association calls them internationals,” says Michel Daenen, chair of the International Almere association. “Expats are temporary residents in the Netherlands, who have been sent from abroad by international companies to work here. This group lives mainly in Amsterdam South and on the canals of central Amsterdam. But there are also many internationals who come to the Netherlands for other reasons.

Often they are highly educated knowledge workers, who come to the Netherlands with their partner or whole family, to work and live here. You can see this group growing in Amsterdam, but also in Almere. “The Facebook group, International Almere, already has more than 1,200 active members and continues to grow”, says Daenen. Almere is attractive for this group. “Important reasons for this are the green character of the city, its location close to Amsterdam, Almere’s great public transport system, the space, affordable housing and also, certainly, the city center. Many internationals describe the center as something very special.

Practical questions

Life for an international in Almere is not without its challenges. “An international who settles in Almere immediately faces the question, ‘how do I build a life here’? All kinds of practical questions arise. ‘Where can I find information?’ ‘What about a family doctor – and a dentist?’ ‘How do I find friends?’ ‘How do I learn the language?’”, says Daenen. “And, very importantly, ‘what about education in Almere?’”

International School

For expats in particular, the presence of an international school, such as the International School in Almere Poort, is of great importance. Daenen is convinced of this. “A school like this is a very important argument for foreign companies to establish themselves in Almere. Expats who live here temporarily want their children to go to an English-language school.”

Activities

The International Almere association serves its target group in Almere via numerous activities. “We have the Dutch language café. Where we practice speaking Dutch. The Dutch are quickly inclined to speak to foreigners in English. That doesn’t help if you want to learn the language. At the café only Dutch is spoken. That’s the quickest way to learn the language”, explains Daenen. “Furthermore we have First Friday Night Drinks, in Café on 2. Here internationals can meet and make friends. And, again, learn the language. Then there is Quiz Night, a pub quiz on many subjects, with English as the main language.”

Almere DEZE WEEK in English

The association is now increasingly focusing on supporting its members. “For example, if you have a letter from the municipality and you can’t yet read Dutch very well, we’ll explain it”, says Daenen.

“Another new feature is that articles from Almere DEZE WEEK are translated into English by the Almere translation agency, Courtesie, and published on the website www.internationalalmere.com. Internationals really want to know what’s going on in Almere. Through this service they get the news and information about all kinds of activities in the city. Which makes internationals feel more at home in Almere.”

Satisfied

The internationals are very satisfied with Almere. “As previously said, they appreciate the nature, the city center and Almere’s location close to Amsterdam. And they really feel safe, here in the city. The latter is often mentioned in the satisfaction survey that we carried out.”

The internationals praise Almere as a family city. “There are many activities here for them, especially for the children. I often hear them say that Almere has a comforting atmosphere and that it’s really a peaceful place. And yes, the location is close to Amsterdam. For many internationals, this is a small distance. These are people accustomed to much longer distances. Compare traveling right across London, from the east to the west side, for instance!”

For more information, please visit www.internationalalmere.com and info@internationalalmere.com. This site also carries articles from Almere DEZE WEEK, in English.

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A flock of sheep as a lawnmower (page 11)

DE MEENTEN – The lawnmowers can go! Almere’s sheep herd will once more be trimming the grass in various locations in Almere over the coming period. Councilor Frits Huis welcomed the sheep herd last Wednesday.

In a number of places in Almere, the grass is no longer mowed by a lawnmower, but by Schoonebeeker sheep. This special herd of sheep, with its shepherd and sheepdog, graze their way from Almere Haven, via the Hoge Vaart to the Noorderplassen, and back again. The sheep herd will commence their grazing at De Grienden, in Almere Haven.

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Experience the basics of golf, at the Open Golf Day (page 17)

HOUT – From 12 noon on Saturday 21 April, everyone can get to know the vibrant Almeerderhout Golf Club association and its golf course – and learn the basics of golf in a relaxed atmosphere.

The hostesses and hosts are ready to teach visitors the golf swing, how to putt and how to get out of a bunker. For the youngest of the potential golfers a fun and exciting golf course has been set up. The experienced golfer can play 9 holes, free of charge, on one of the challenging courses. The fully-fledged PAR 3 course can also be played at no charge.

Visitors can also relax in Grand Café ‘t Hout, where a special ‘Open Day menu’ is available.

Interested? Information will also be provided on the various forms of membership, which will be offered at special rates at the open day. For registration and information visit www.almeerderhout.nl or call 036-5219130. The Almeerderhout Golf Club is located at Watersnipweg 19-21.

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Registration for the WTC Trappenloop (Stair Run) (page 35)

CITY CENTER – Yes, it’s 32 floors, straight up. That’s over 600 punishing steps. So if you want to participate in the WTC Stair Run on Wednesday 25 April – limber up those calf muscles!

In just under two months it will again be time for perhaps the most unique running event in Almere: the WTC Stair Run. And it’s of course planned for precisely 25 April – ‘No Elevators Day’. The WTC will then once again open its doors in the City Center (‘Stad’), to welcome the hundreds of runners who compete in this extraordinary and exhausting battle of the stairs. Participants will ascend 32 floors via more than 600 steps. At the top, once they have overcome the lactic acid buildup, the runners will be able to enjoy spectacular views over the whole of Almere and the surrounding area.

This year there will again, of course, be a competition for individual runners, but there will also be a Business Run and the Firefighters series. And there’s something for the children, who can participate in the regular Kids Run or the Football Kids Run. Full information on this special run on Wednesday 25 April can be found on our website.

Register soon!

Because the WTC Stair Run is such a unique event, registrations are always numerous and start early. It is advisable not to wait too long before registering. It’s also particularly advantageous to register before 1 April, to take advantage of the lower, early-registration rates.

18.15 Start, Kids (Football) Run (200 steps)

18:25 Start, Business Run

18.40 Start, Firefighters series

18.45 Prize giving, Kids Run

19.15 Start, Individual series

20.30 Prize giving – Individual runners, Firefighters Series & Business Run

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Almeersepoort to become gateway to Oostvaardersplassen (page 39)

ALMERE – The municipality has plans to develop Almeersepoort as the entrance zone to the Oostvaarderplassen, which will become part of the Nieuw Land National Park.

Almeersepoort is being developed in order to make the National Park easier to find and access, and also to distribute visitor traffic. The gateway will offer both access to and an experience of the Oostvaardersplassen. The Almeersepoort will get new landscape features that will offer a real Oostvaardersplassen experience.

Visitors

National Park Nieuw Land is a tourist and recreational development by the province of Flevoland and is aimed at generating an increase in visitor numbers. The core areas of the National Park are Oostvaardersplassen, Marker Wadden, Lepelaarplassen and Markermeer.

The area is easily accessible, due to its convenient location on the borders of Almere. The Almeersepoort will offer a beautiful view over the extensive plains and lakes, where various wild animals can be seen. The area will invite one to discover nature with family and friends. The vastness and diversity of the area mean that everybody can experience it in his or her own way. There are excursions and various activities all year round.

Floriade 2022

One of Almeersepoort’s ambitions is to double the number of visitors in the next ten years. Natuurbelevingcentrum De Oostvaarders (Oostvaarders nature experience center) plays an important role in this and will therefore also be the location for Staatsbosbeheer’s (national parks) hosting, programming, management, workshops and storage facilities, on the Almere side of the Oostvaardersplassen. The challenge is to further develop the building to become a location that complements the ambitions of the next ten years. The completion of the Almeersepoort project will take place in the year preceding the start of the Floriade, and in this way will make a contribution to the Growing Green Cities movement, in which Almere aims to play a significant role.

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Twenty-somethings head for Almere (page 45)

ALMERE – Almere is part of one of the fastest growing regions in the Netherlands and occupies a very special position in this respect. The housing market, even in a growth region, is not immune to the economic climate. However, now that the crisis is over, the flow of new residents is picking up again. And twenty-somethings, in particular, are rediscovering Almere.

Affordable family homes (both for sale and rental) form an important attraction in this respect. The area generates strong interest in the Amsterdam, Lelystad and the Gooi and Vecht regions, while the effect on Utrecht is less marked.

For the time being, spatial planning will continue to dominate the housing market. Almere is one of the few municipalities in the Amsterdam Metropole Region where it is possible to build without too many spatial restrictions, and this includes low density developments. Family homes with a purchase price of between € 150,000 and € 200,000 are very much in demand among (potential) young families.

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Living in a Tiny House (page 47)

‘I feel privileged to be able to live here’

by Kirsten Thuis-Woudenberg

HOMERUSKWARTIER – Hennie Tibben is the first occupier of a Tiny House. For the past six months, this brand new Almere resident has been living in a so-called ‘Wikkelhouse’, made of corrugated cardboard. The mini-house has 50 square meters of gross floor area and stands on the showgrounds of Bouwexpo Tiny Housing on the Nimpfenplein. The Tiny House creates a very special ‘home feeling’ for Tibben. “It’s not an everyday house and it was difficult to get to live here”, says Tibben. “I therefore feel privileged to be allowed to live here. The house feels very nice and secure. The inside is made of wood and that creates a warm atmosphere.”

Tibben did not find the transition from large to small a problem. “Before this I lived in a three-floor family home of about 100m2. I wanted a simpler life in which one is less involved with possessions. In the run-up to the move to this house I was already busy getting rid of things, as my old house was already sold. I have a separate storage location, for the things I don’t need. And my new home is really uncluttered, and that feels good. I find the feeling of simplicity very soothing.”

According to Tibben, the house doesn’t feel small. “The ceiling is high, which makes it feel spacious. I didn’t want to do without furniture. I wanted a spacious kitchen – but not with a folding table. So I have a large table for entertaining dinner guests. I also work at this table and it’s a nice place to be.”

According to Tibben, living in this location sometimes feels like living in a showroom. “The Manifestatie Tiny Housing (the tiny house expo) drew 5,000 people to the grounds. A quarter of them came into my house. It’s sometimes difficult dealing with the rudeness of some people. They just look into all your drawers. It sometimes feels as if you’re a kind of attraction. But I really live here! And I work here too.”

Almere was unknown to Tibben before she moved into her Tiny House. “I am getting to know Almere better and better by participating in all kinds of activities. I took part in the cycle tour, ‘Dwars door Poort’ (through the Poort district), and Gluren bij de Buren’ (how the neighbors live). I then even had a band performing in my living room! I have lunch once a week in the neighborhood center to get to know people. I’ve noticed that there is a lot of opportunity for initiative in this city. For me, that started with this house. I’ve also attracted clients from the city, for my marketing business, because they see that I’m sticking out my neck.”

Clean-up operation

Tibben started a clean-up operation because she was disturbed by the litter in the neighborhood. “Collecting litter is the ultimate way of getting rid of clutter in your life. Working with ‘Almere Poort Schoon’ (clean up Almere) I organize litter collection operations together with other residents. On Sunday 8 April we are going to do another clean-up, from 10.00 to 12.00. Anyone can participate. The group meets in Espressobar Take a Brake. More information can be found on the Almere Poort Schoon Facebook

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition April 4, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Translations of “Almere Deze Week” edition 28 March 2018

Almere Deze Week is a weekly newspaper with local news for the inhabitants of Almere. It is published in Dutch. Below you find a selection of the articles of this week’s edition translated into English for the community of International Almere. Long articles have been summarised. All articles have been translated with the permission of the editors of “Almere Deze Week”. The board of international Almere wishes to thank Courtesie (www.courtesie.nl) for their quick and accurate work to translate the articles into English, so that the international community of Almere can be informed and feel connected with the city they live in.

The original articles in Dutch can be found in the hard copy version of “Almere Deze Week” and online via this link: www.almeredezeweek.nl . The page numbers behind the titles refer to the pages of the newspaper where the articles can be found.

Below you find 10 articles with the following titles:
1. The undermining of society… also in Almere. Mayor Weerwind: ‘We’re on top of it’.
2.  Almere 7th biggest city in the Netherlands
3.  Council handles major election task easily
4.  FARE foundation’s jumble sale on Easter Monday
5.  A quiet walk towards the light of Easter morning
6.  Outdoor activities for the whole family
7.  Almere Centrum: shops open on Easter Monday
8.  Environmentally-friendly shores for Noorderplassen and Weerwater
9.  Almere volunteers in action for refugees
10. Making an Easter Nest – at the library

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1. The undermining of society… also in Almere. (page 3)
Mayor Weerwind: ‘We’re on top of it’.
By Robert Mienstra

ALMERE – The intertwining of the underworld with the normal world is also underway in Almere. “A serious matter”, says Mayor Franc Weerwind. “The inhabitants often do not see it, but undermining also takes place in Almere … As a municipality we are on top of it.

“Organized crime in Almere is close to normal life and close to the ordinary inhabitants”, explains Weerwind. “There are many ways in which subversion can take place. Drug money laundering, unauthorized use of subsidies, license fraud, ghost companies, hemp plantations, ‘fencing’ stolen goods, underground banking. Everything happens in Almere. Society is undermined when criminal financial flows are channeled into mainstream society.”

Marijuana plantations
“We close about 170 per year…One in four medium-sized house fires in the Netherlands are caused by marijuana cultivation…”, says Weerwind.

Hospitality industry
This is a vulnerable branch of business where permits are strictly controlled by the municipality. Occasionally on the Grote Markt one can see members of motorbike gangs sitting on the terraces. Weerwind continues, “…We make every effort to ensure that outlaw biker gangs do not get a foothold in Almere”.

Collaboration
There is a considerable national deficit in the fight against subversion. There is little or no cooperation between public authorities. “Here in Almere, we do work well together”, explains Weerwind. Consulting with Police, the public prosecutor’s office, tax authorities and housing cooperatives works, he learnt in Ijmuiden.

Weerwind took these experiences with him to Almere, so the cooperation is good. “Where we need chain partners and bureaucrats, let’s connect with them. That works. The Regional Information and Expertise Centre (RIEC) means a lot to us.

Effective”
Weerwind states that the closer one looks the more subversion one sees. So Almere watches everything – hospitality, industrial areas, licenses. Personnel has been made available to do this and the topic is firmly on the agenda at the council.

Politics
There is national interest in the undermining of politics and the municipality. There are political parties, particularly in Brabant and Limburg, that had people with a criminal background on their list of candidates. “It is up to the political parties to monitor this properly,” says Weerwind. “We have firm agreements in Almere when it comes to the integrity of the council…”

Report crime anonymously

“I call on the residents of our city to be alert,” says Mayor Franc Weerwind. “If you suspect any subversion or organized crime, the way to report it is via Meld Misdaad Anoniem (report crime anonymously): www.meldmisdaadanoniem.nl/

“If a car buyer pays 70,000 euros in cash, the car dealer should be aware of possible issues. If a pupil walks around at school with a lot of cash, then the school has to get to work on that and perhaps inform us.

“The residents are the eyes and ears of the city. Safety is a matter for all of us.”

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2. Almere 7th biggest city in the Netherlands (page 7)

ALMERE – Almere has surpassed Groningen in terms of population and is now the seventh largest city in the Netherlands. The next city to be passed is Tilburg (214,000).

On 1 January 2018, Almere had 204,031 inhabitants. Groningen has 202,747. At fifth place is Eindhoven with more than 227,000. The four largest cities are Utrecht, The Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.

According to a spokesman for the Municipality of Groningen, it is quite possible that it will once again overtake Almere this year.

The table shows the growth of the city, as well as the forecast of growth for the coming years. (Infographic: Research & Statistics/Municipality of Almere)

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3. Council handles major election task easily (page 17)

Theresa Versteegt-Vermaak, together with her colleagues Inge and Jacqueline, was at the town hall early. They ensured that the municipal elections went well, for 24 hours. The first four polling stations opened at 6 a.m. and the rest at 8.30 p.m. There were 98 full-time polling stations in Almere.

No fewer than 1,200 people, volunteers and civil servants were involved in the organization of the elections last week. In addition, another 400 reserve members were on standby. Per polling station there were four civilian members in the first part of the day. The second part was staffed by two citizens, two officials and four additional counters. In addition, around 125 people worked at the town hall on logistics and around ten more on communication and ICT. The election team of Theresa, Inge and Jacqueline spent six months’ full time, preparing and following up the elections.

Jaap Meindersma from the municipality followed the whole day closely, and Bart Buijs from www.dagalmere.nl recorded the election evening in text and photographs. Almere DEZE WEEK and Omroep Flevoland provided a live blog.

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4. FARE foundation’s jumble sale on Easter Monday (page 21)

FARE, an Almere foundation that works for people living near the poverty line in Almere, is organizing a jumble sale on Easter Monday. It’s from 12.00 to 16.00 hours, at FARE, at Hofmark 271, in the former school – De Dubbeldekker. For the children there are activities such as coloring in, shuffleboard and being made up.

The foundation will use the proceeds of the sale to help their clients and members.

In Almere, there is more poverty than you might think. Through their closed Facebook group, which has more than 750 members, FARE helps hundreds of people in Almere.

If you would like to help the foundation with food sponsorship, a financial contribution and/or in other ways, please contact the FARE Almere Foundation by telephone on 06-58822163 or email info@fare-almere.nl.

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5. A quiet walk towards the light of Easter morning (page 21)

CASCADEPARK – In the Cascade Park in Almere Poort, a meditation garden has been created in the shape of a labyrinth, inspired by the Labyrinth of Chartres. It was laid out by De Schone Poort church.

The church calls the labyrinth ‘a symbol of our path of life. Walking silently through a labyrinth, one can meditate on one’s way of life’.

Walking meditation

From Monday 26 to Saturday 31 March there is a ‘walking meditation’ at the labyrinth, every evening at 20.00 hrs. On Easter morning, Sunday 1 April, the start is at 06:30, in the dark, at the parking lot of the cemetery in Kruidenwijk. Interested parties will walk in silence to ‘the Light’. This is followed by an Easter breakfast in the De Ruimte neighborhood center at Nimfenplein 1.

More information: www.deschonepoort.nl. Register for participation via info@deschonepoort.nl

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6. Outdoor activities for the whole family (page 21)

HOUT – On Monday, April 2 Staatsbosbeheer will organize, for the 23rd time, a ‘Doe- & Kijkdag’ (open day) at the outdoor center Almeerderhout, on Stadslandgoed de Kemphaan. From 10.30 to 16.00 there will be various (outdoor) activities for the whole family.

A small fee is charged for some of the activities. Parking costs 5 euros. Admission is free.

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7. Almere Centrum: shops open on Easter Monday (page 23)

Be photographed with the Easter Bunny!

STAD – On Easter Sunday the shops in Almere Center will be open from 12:00 – 17:00. After shopping eat out somewhere, to complete your Easter long weekend.

Be photographed with the Easter Bunny

The Easter Bunny will be around all day to hand out eggs. Find him – and be photographed with him.

Easter Market

On Good Friday and Easter Monday the Easter market will be at the Stadhuisplein.

Travel at a discount

On Easter Monday you can travel all day throughout Almere with Allgo buses – for just 1 euro per person.

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8. Environmentally-friendly shores for Noorderplassen and Weerwater (page 77)

ALMERE – The municipality of Almere, the province of Flevoland and the Zuiderzeeland Water Board will work together to improve water quality in the Noorderplassen and Weerwater. This will be done by, among other things, constructing environmentally-friendly shorelines.

Noorderplassen and Weerwater do not currently meet the water quality objectives of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). In order for the lakes to function properly from an ecological point of view, it is necessary to construct environmentally-friendly shores. Alderman Frits Huis: “For example, the enviromentally-friendly shores of Lumière Park can be combined with the municipality’s intention to create an attractive natural playground in the context of the Rondje Weerwater project.

The shorelines will be built in the period 2018-2020.

Water Framework Directive

Under the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), designated waters such as Weerwater and Noorderplassen will have to meet the chemical and ecological quality requirements by 2027. Thanks to measures such as the construction of sustainable and nature-friendly banks, Flevoland can comply with the WFD.

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9. Almere volunteers in action for refugees (page 73)

ALMERE – In the week of 26 – 31 March, Almere volunteers will collect for the ZOA foundation. Using the theme ‘Think about refugees worldwide’, the aid organization will be drawing attention to the more than 65 million people who are currently fleeing from wars and natural disasters.

In addition to the traditional collection box, a new digital collection box will also be used in Almere.

Helprich ten Heuw is involved in the collection – as the ZOA area coordinator. “A disaster happens to one – like a conflict, for instance… The ZOA employees receive the refugees on the spot or in a neighboring country and help them there with the most needed supplies…”

Digital collection box

Throughout the country, 15,000 people will take to the streets. Some of them will set off with the digital collection box. With this ZOA wants to give everyone the chance to donate, even those people who do not have small change at home. The ZOA collectors can be recognized by their IDs.

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10. Making an Easter Nest – at the library (page 73)

CITY CENTER – Atelier Zoo Creative will, on Monday 2 April, Easter Monday, work with children from 4 years of age to create their own Easter nest. At 15.00 hours there will be a theatre performance for children of 3 years and older. Both events are in the library at the Stadhuisplein.

Participation costs 2.50 euros and the event will take place from 13.30 to 14.30 hours.

At 15.00 there will be a youth theatre performance, ‘Nest’ (3+), in the new hall. The birds Ooi and Vaar have been working for years, providing an animal care service. Until one day an animal ends up with them that they have never seen before. They build a warm nest for their new acquisition. But then the real parents come forward. Where is their child?

Tickets cost 6 euros for members, 8 euros for non-members.

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Note: All of the above articles were originally written in Dutch and published by “Almere Deze Week”, edition March 28, 2018. They were translated for International Almere by Courtesie International Business Affairs www.courtesie.nl

Workshop about housing in the Amsterdam Area

IN Amsterdam (formerly Expat Center Amsterdam) wants to improve the availability of  English information on housing and daily life in the Amsterdam Area through various channels. They also want to broaden the focus of internationals from the city center of Amsterdam to the Amsterdam Area as a whole. Almere is part of that broader Amsterdam Area, the so called Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

In that context International Almere was invited to participate in an informal workshop to give feedback on behalf of the internationals in Almere. The meeting took place on Monday 19th of March at the Central Station in Amsterdam and was organised by IN Amsterdam in cooperation with Amsterdam Marketing.

International Almere was represented by 3 members of the board of our community: Michel Daenen (Director), Sandra da Silva (Secretary),  Alexandra Crisan (Social Media & Marketing). We were feeling proud as always for representing International Almere and we had the opportunity to highlight the qualities of our young and beautiful city Almere.

It was nice to meet representatives of other international communities in the region, such as Expatfriendlylocals.com, represented by Sally Baldrick, and Bridging the Gap Foundation, represented by Ritika Mehra. The opportunity for face to face networking with internationals and internationally-minded people is as important as all the insights shared during this event.

The individual and group exercises revealed interesting results regarding Almere. For the sake of an exercise, the Amsterdam area was divided into regions, where our city was labeled as “New Amsterdam”. Among the other communities present at the workshop Almere turned out to be known for “affordable housing”, “space”,  “a good international school” and “good public transport”.

Obviously on top of that we mentioned the cultural diversity that makes Almere so special and the active international community of International Almere. A nice bonus to the evening is that we gained a new member for International Almere! Mona promised that she will join us at our events, maybe at Quiz Night or at Dutch Language Café.

Alexandra Crisan
marketing@internationalalmere.com

P.S.: If you’re still struggling to find a house in Almere or if you want to rent our or sell your house, we have the solution for you – our Facebook group Housing in Almere. This group is designed to help people find housing that suits their needs in the Almere area. You can also find useful information about Almere on our main group – International Almere Group. The language of our groups is English. We would also like to hear about your housing experience!

Our members recommend – Almere Veertje!

Special guest post by Katie Schmitt!

Our experience

My husband and I had the pleasure to be part to take a trip this year on Almere Veertje , and now I am eager to share our experience from a newcomer to Almere’s point of view!

The almereveertje website provides all necessary information, unfortunately exclusively in Dutch. So if you are still working on your Dutch language skills, my suggestion would be to opt for contacting the ferry staff via e-mail, or just give them a call. It won’t be a problem for the staff to answer your questions in English. Continue reading Our members recommend – Almere Veertje!

Member Recommendations – Festive Season Turkey and Goose!

We asked our members recently about where to find the best turkey, goose and poultry in Almere for the upcoming festive season – and here’s their best picks for you!

Hans v.d. Bor – On the market in Stad (Wednesday and Saturdays) (turkey and goose)

” I got a big turkey from the market in Stad last year” – Michelle 

 “I always get it from Hans in the Market” – Christina

Kalkoen Express
Poulier Slagerij j. Tromp (Purmerend) (turkey and goose)

“Tromp is awesome!” – Tanja

Kalkoen Bestellen
Poelier Rijlaarsdam Almere (turkey and goose)

“We got turkey legs and rollade here last year (also kipfilet) and it’s great quality too!” – Brenda

De Worstmakerij 

“There’s a great wholesale butcher in Lelystad, who’s dirt cheap and has the best pork belly! They do turkey too.” – Maarten

Don’t forget, you can still get turkeys from Albert Heijn and from Jumbo (frozen), and closer to Christmas you can also get them fresh in the supermarkets!

Internationals in Almere are welcome at the FREE music festival this weekend – Popronde Almere 2017!

Guest Post by Jens Lendering, producer of Popronde Almere!

This Saturday (September 30th), the city centre will transform into a music festival landscape as the Popronde will land there for the eight time. The newest and hottest upcoming Dutch (and international) acts will present themselves for free (gratis!). Popronde Almere hosts 38 shows at 15 different locations with stages within shops, restaurants, bars, cafés and even on the street. If you are an expat living in Almere, this is the perfect opportunity to get to know great locations within Almere as well as new bands that may even break through and become big artists. After reading this guide, you will know everything you need to get started! Continue reading Internationals in Almere are welcome at the FREE music festival this weekend – Popronde Almere 2017!

November 11 is Sint Maarten!

November 11. In the evening children (with their parents preferably) go door to door with a lantern and get candy in exchange for singing Sint Maarten songs. The feast has gained popularity in the Netherlands. In the previous century it wasn’t celebrated everywhere, but somehow it did find it’s way to Almere quite early on. It’s the name day of Utrecht’s Patron Saint Martinus van Tours, and the origin is purely speculation. Continue reading November 11 is Sint Maarten!

Reap what you sow – a message from our sponsors.

This is a sponsored post from Beacon Global Advisers and contains affiliate links.

Autumn has arrived, the harvest season has begun. Only a few weeks away until the holiday season officially starts. Thanksgiving sets off the holiday season for Americans across the globe. 

shutterstock_361361252Let’s take a moment to consider what it is you would like to reap when you have reached the “autumn stage” of your own life. What would you like to cultivate? 

Start planning now, and plan to harvest! Think like a farmer: determine what it is you Autumn has arrived, the harvest season has begun. Only a few weeks away until the holiday season officially starts. Thanksgiving sets off the holiday season for Americans across the globeeventually need and when. Weigh out your options, consider potential (financial) crisis and other unforeseen events, do not leave things to chance, and evaluate regularly.

Make sure, you sow now,… in order to live a comfortable life, and enjoy your retirement, later on.

 [Contributed by Beacon Global Advisers]  Continue reading Reap what you sow – a message from our sponsors.

Important Venue Change Announcement!

As you may know by now, our traditional home of First Friday Night Drinks, the Apollo Hotel is closed for renovations until December (and we can’t WAIT to see what their new look is going to be!)

We’re so lucky in Almere to have other great venues willing to come on board and take us – so we’re happy to announce our temporary home is none other than the fantastic CafeOp2 on the Stadhuisplein! (Members will still get their first drinks on us).

So why not pop on down to the Stadhuisplein on October 7th at 8pm, check out our temporary digs and enjoy a drink with some amazing people!

new-ffnd-poster

Holiday Season Appeal – Can you help us?

It’s August, and being the busy little bees we are, we’re already planning ahead to December and our annual holiday festivities.

December’s holiday season is is a difficult time of year for our families.

Many do not have the opportunity to travel back to their home country, and often spend the holiday period alone, thousands of miles from their loved ones. We aim to try to alleviate this by hosting events aimed at keeping the festive spirit for everyone.

Every year, we plan 2 parties – one for the kids of the group, and one for the adults.  The kids party has magicians, crafts, gifts and a visit from Santa. The adults party is a sit down, 3 course dinner designed to provide a night of  relaxation and a festive atmosphere before the stress of the holiday period starts.

It’s increasingly difficult financially to put on these events, without eating into our reserve funds.

This year we are looking for a little help from all of you to spread our message and make our 2016 Holiday parties the best ones yet!

We are specifically looking for donations of raffle/tombola prizes, financial donations to help subsidise the cost of the children’s event, sponsoring a family in difficulty (financial, medical etc), or even just volunteer some of your time to help us organise the event, approach potential sponsors or be there on the day to help run an activity.

Ultimately, it all comes down to the amount of support we get as to how awesome the party is, and more importantly, how cheap we can put it on for.  We are a group of volunteers, and we very rarely call out for help – but this time we need you! If you can help us in any way – donations, financially or volunteering – click here and send a message through to us about how you can help us make 2016’s December events the ones to remember! (And don’t forget to share the message – the more people who see it, the more chances we have of people helping us!)

christmas appeal holiday webpage email

US Fatca Compliant Investments

So I guess the first thing everyone is asking is why did an Australian go to a seminar about US Investments and Pensions?  Well, I see the questions going up in our group all the time, and in other groups I belong to, and I hear some of my friends from the US cursing the beast that is ‘FATCA’.

So purely out of curiosity, I went along to find out a little more about the beast that has people quaking in their boots, as well as to find out more about what our new sponsors do, and what they can provide for our members. Continue reading US Fatca Compliant Investments

Don’t forget to register … Getting to know Poort is this week!

This sponsored post contains affiliate links to our sponsor – the Atlas of Amsterdam. 

It’s time for our annual photo hunt ! June 4th at 2pm – meet us at the bus station at Almere Poort and get to know Almere’s newest section – Almere Poort! (Sponsored by the Atlas of Amsterdam). This is a free, fun and family friendly event, but everyone is welcome to join in!

Continue reading Don’t forget to register … Getting to know Poort is this week!

Another shock win at Quiz Night!

In another exciting night of Quiz Night, the Upside Downers were again knocked off their perch by another new team – De Slim Club!  With first place taken with 69 points, a clear 11 point margin over second place, is it time to call the days of domination by the Upside Downers ended? Are we seeing a new trend?  Only one way to find out? Come along next month and see who will take the title!

quiz200516-7

Welcome back in 2016!

It’s been a while since we caught up with everyone, and for that we’re really sorry!  Things have been crazy around our offices with the holidays and even some of the board being on holidays across the globe.  Thankfully, everyone is back in one piece and we’re excited that 2016 is shaping up to be a great year!

Become A Member.

We’ve updated our events policy and placed a copy on the website and in our Facebook Group so it’s easier for everyone to see.  Please take a moment to read through – nothing has changed, but now it’s all in one place.

February is a busy month! Check out the flyer below for all our upcoming activities – but not only do we have First Friday Night Drinks starting back, and our Quiz Night, but our faithful new regular event, the “Buiten Mums Night” is back.

Mark the date as well – February 26th is our AGM. This year we’ve started a dedicated section on our website for the AGM so you’ll be able to see all the information before we start!

As always, you can keep up to date by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus or simply tuning into our calendar here on the website!

Hoping to see you all soon at one of our events,

Gerard and the International Almere team.

Here's what's on the plans for February!

Kasteel Almere – Open to the public!

October 31st saw an amazing opportunity for residents of Almere – our very own famous ‘modern ruins’, the Kasteel Almere was opened for public viewing.

Recently purchased by local businessman, Ton Theuniss, the Kasteel will eventually become home to the Netherlands newest amusement park “WitchWorld“.  Ton and his partner in imagination, Anne Marieke Groot have developed an amazing story of the “Gravin van Almere” (The Earl of Almere), and plan to release a series of children’s books in line with the opening of WitchWorld, somewhere in 2019/2020.

WitchWorld will also feature a restaurant and function centre and creative workshops,  as well as attractions based around the central theme of witches, wizards and of course, the Earl of Almere and his stories.  It promises to be an exciting place to visit!

Tell us your stories of your visit to Kasteel Almere, and what you hope to see happen there!

A look insideKasteel Almere

“Buiten Mums” Night!

What an amazing night out in Almere Buiten!  October 19th saw us getting together at an old, but favourite haunt of ours – the GrandCafe Seventies Eighties.  The night proved to be a popular one, so you’ll now find us there on the second Wednesday of every month.  You don’t have to be a mum, or live in Almere Buiten to join us either – the idea just came from a group of Buiten based mums who thought it’d be nice to get out on a weeknight!  See you all on November 11th (maybe for a well earned drink after Sint Maarten? )

buiten mums october promo

Getting to Know Us: Zejna Kaunic

Time to meed Zejna, our favourite photographer. In her short time on this earth Zejna has experienced a lot and has as diverse a family as one could possibly. Go ahead see yourself (see what I did there?).

Where were you born?
I was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia Herzegovina back in 1983. This was Yugoslavia back then.

Zejna Sarajevo

Where have you lived?
I have lived in Sarajevo, het Gooi, Baarn and Almere.

 

Where can we find you online?

You can find me on Facebook (Zejna Kaunic) and I have a Facebook page for my Photography company (See Yourself Photography). I also have a Hyves page that i never use, and also a Linkedin profile. But I am by far most active on Facebook.

Www.facebook.com/SeeYourselfPhotography

Www.syzkphoto.nl

 

Wedding photo

What brought you to Almere?
Well my mom and I came to Holland in 1992 due to the war in my home country as refugees.  After living in a refugee camp here in Holland for almost 2 years, and the war in my country was not near its end so returning was not an option, my mom got an apartment assigned to her in Almere haven. This was back in 1994.

 

My mom met my step dad at the NT2 course when he opened the door for her during a lunch break. There is romance in integration. Don’t lose hope people!  Afterwards we moved a few times to Almere Muziekwijk and Almere Buiten. When I moved out of the family house I decided to stay near everybody so I’ve lived in Waterwijk and Kruidenwijk too.  I’m a super – Almerian!

 

Almere is an interesting and unique city to live in, describe your favourite part of living here.

I like the city centre that is near where there is a variety of shops to shop from but also the quite living among green gardens and nature parks. I like that everything is well connected via public transportation, I like the fact that Utrecht, Lelystad, Amsterdam and Schiphol are really near!

How have you best been made to feel at home since you arrived?
I had to go to a Dutch school and learned the language there just from being in the class. I also met kids and they became my friends. I think that was that for the biggest part. Just being a part of everyday life doing what everybody does. So this is my advice to all newcomers, participate and go out and mingle and all will be all right. But it took me quite a few years to accept the fact that we would be staying here and not returning home to Bosnia. There is a crucial difference in moving to another country because you want to or because you have no other option. But now I’m pretty well adjusted, at least I hope so after 20 years spent here.

 

Where is your favourite place to go out or eat out in the city?
I like bagels and beans in the new part of the city centre because they serve great fresh juices and bagels. I like the all you can eat concept of Atlantis. And I love the Mexican-hot pizza of New York pizza (haha).

 

Would you define yourself as an expat, an international, or something entirely different?
An international from an international and diverse new-found family! Because my mom and I are from Bosnia and speak this language with each other, my step dad is from Iraq as is my stepbrother, they speak Arabic with each other, we (mom, dad and I) speak English and my brother and I speak Dutch with each other. Just imagine our dinner table, 4 languages at all times. My fiancée is half Dutch half Caribbean he speaks Dutch and Papiamento. My best friend is a Korean girl. So International multicultural it is! And proud of it!

Zejna and fiance

How long do you plan on living here for?
I think I will be living here for a while, maybe even forever. Although I have a secret wish to move to a sunny climate one day.

 

Tell us how you found International Almere?
Back in 2010 Connie (IA) and Katy from NELCA came across me on Hyves and asked me to help them with a charity project. I took pictures that were made into a calendar and the money collected from the sales of this calendar was donated to cancer research. After that we stayed in touch. I also photographed Sonja and Julians’ wedding in 2012, met a few international Almere members there too and came across some old friends. I bought a bike from an IA member. And did some family shoots as well. So eventually I met quite a few members here and there.

 

Have you been to any International Almere events?  Which was your favourite?
I went to magic mike ladies night! Wohooo. Got my ticket from Connie but she wasn’t able to get in because it was sold out. The silly thing is that I sat between everybody but was too shy to really speak with anyone. So this was a funny favourite moment… I sponsored the Christmas dinner but didn’t go. This is one that I would like to join in the future or the bbq in the summer.

 

What advice would you offer to others who are thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Almere?
If you are an international, IA is a great place to meet people, ask your questions and feel a part of a community. There is no need at all to feel alone, everybody is welcome and all the members are super helpful!

 

What has been your biggest challenge since arriving in Almere?
The weather. But this is Holland in general. I feel that Holland has fall for 9 months a year, and spring, summer and winter for the 3 months that are left. So the grey, rainy everlasting weather knows to get its toll on me from time to time. I need more sun! Also good job opportunities. Although most people know me as a photographer, I actually majored in pedagogy. I used to work for a quality kindergarten and did photography on the side along with a photography study. Loved to combine my 2 passions, photography and childcare. But the overall childcare system has changed a lot over the past year especially in Almere. I am now officially overqualified to work at a kindergarten and probably too expensive due to the economic crisis. So that’s a shame. Also the company that I used to work at has been sold and no longer exists.  I am a firm believer that our government should not cut down and economize on (preschool) education

Zejna motorcross

If you had to leave tomorrow and could take only one thing – anything – from Almere, what would it be?
My mom! Haha. Can’t go without mama! And my camera(s)… oops that’s more than one thing!

 

What is your favourite Dutch tradition, and how do you celebrate?
I love Queens day. Soon to be kings day. I love the overall celebration, the atmosphere and love love love the free market. Love to walk around and look at and buy old stuff.

 

Do you still celebrate holidays and traditions from your home country?

I do. We celebrate Bajram. This is also known as Aid well known to Turkish and Arabic people. We visit family and friends and eat a lot of sweets like baklava. Children are supposed to wear new clothes and congratulate adults and then they receive some pocket money.

I like to go to Bosnia on 1st of May. This is the day of labor (arbeid in Dutch). Everyone is free and people go to their weekend houses, barbecue and eat, drink and sing all day. (Not quite the same if you do it here). Food and friendship is something very important in Bosnia, one and another compliment each other.

More in the Getting to Know Us series:

Getting to Know Us:  Caroline Mackie

Getting to Know Us:  Juliette Kuijpers Ter Weijden

Getting to Know Us:  Gerard Danks

Getting to Know Us:  Stephanie Ernst-Milner

Getting to Know Us: Nicole Peetsma-Epker

Getting to Know Us: Carly Bridgeman

Getting to Know Us: Becky Riddle

 

[box style=”rounded”]Would you like to take part in the Getting to Know Us series? We would love to hear from you!

Drop us a line by filling out the form below and we will be in touch with all the details:

 

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Getting to Know Us: Caroline Mackie

Meet Caroline, a Scot who has lived in the Netherlands longer than she has ever lived in Scotland.  You’d think that would diminish the accent, right?  Not a chance.  And as a huge fan of the Scottish accent, I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Caroline also has the loveliest Westie named Luna.  I’ve been plotting ways to steal her for quite some time….

Caroline at an IA party
Caroline with the Scottish contingent – Petra and Carol Ann
Where were you born?

I hail from Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

Where have you lived?

Well, I grew up and worked in the city centre. Also lived a WHOLE TWO MONTHS in Copenhagen once upon a century. It was a tossup between there and Amsterdam where we’d move to. Amsterdam won, although I have never actually lived there.

Where can we find you online?

Facebook of course… then I do HAVE a twitter account but can’t get my head around the necessity for it so very rarely visit it – @carolinemackLWD. And my own business website – I’m now a busy bee with translating:
LWD Translations and Editing

What brought you to Almere?

After a 13 year rental stint in Weesp where our kids basically grew up, we wanted to buy, and Almere was the only reasonably priced option in the vicinity at the time, 20+ years ago (I’ve been here a while). I had only been to Almere once before, when they opened the train line and gave a free trip! It was just sand, sand and more sand then… nightmare! But we were pleasantly surprised and have been in the same house since moving here.

Almere is an interesting and unique city to live in, describe your favourite part of living here
The real Caroline
Photoshop? No way!

Well, I USED to say… it’s easy to leave and go to Amsterdam hehehe. But I really do think there are so many advantages to living here. Great shops – when you include all the ‘industrial’ estates, you hardly need Amsterdam at all these days. Lots of job ops too (I’m pretty sure!) I KNOW it’s great for kids, lots of green, water and wildlife. Loads of schools to choose from too. I’m not sure anything is missing nowadays. Ok so there are no OLD buildings but it makes up for that with new some pretty cool new ones.

How have you best been made to feel at home since you arrived?

Probably not really a question for me, being here for so long. But I have to say, what IA does is just terrific. I could certainly have used just such a bunch of folks 33+ years ago! We should however encourage (even) more ‘integration’ – especially in the area of Dutch language. Maybe one night a month when everybody HAS to speak Dutch… or something? (well, not ‘HAS to speak…’ but… ‘should be encouraged to learn’). Maybe have everything labelled in Dutch at any meet-ups? Have everyone feel free to offer a suggestion ‘how to say it in Dutch’ blabla… Use our Dutch (speaking) members more and not let them get away with using our meets for them to speak and improve their English!

Where is your favourite place to go out or eat out in the city?

I’m not all that discerning really, although know what I don’t like. The fact that they allowed a Macdonald’s on stadhuisplein is already a huge thorn in my side every time I pass it. I have honestly not often been in a restaurant where I had anything bad to say about the grub. SERVICE on the other hand…

Would you define yourself as an expat, an international, or something entirely different?

I HATE the expression ex-pat and its blatant misuse but that’s me again. So, no, I’m not an ex-pat. And I read only the other day of a survey showing high percentages of PEOPLE LIVING IN NL not considering themselves European which I can’t quite get my head around. I’m a Scot, living abroad. I will never be Dutch (even if do ever get my Dutch passport… don’t start me!) Having lived here in NL longer than I ever have in Scotland, I’m a bit of a puzzle really. But that’s the way of it.

How long do you plan on living here for?

We DID only plan on ‘a couple of years’… ‘until the kids go to school’… ‘until the kids go to secondary’…hehehe. Here for the duration now. We’re only a 1 hour flight away… so lucky compared to those from USA, or AUS…PERU ffs! I leave now? I’m in my daughter’s in Glasgow before bedtime (she grew up here from 6 months old and went to be an au pair for six months… 14 years ago!) Practically speaking, the same if we lived in the same country in different cities and travelled by public transport, which we do as neither of us drives.

Tell us how you found International Almere?

I was out at a ‘promote your business’ type of affair, in Amsterdam, and met a Scottish lady, Deirdre. She pointed it all out to me… who knew?! She also introduced me to Mrs. Matamoros, for which I am forever grateful and am annoyed we all didn’t know each other long ago already (although I was practically in at the start… well near anyway… of IA).

Have you been to any International Almere events?  Which was your favourite?

I turn up at the odd event… and was well impressed with the Christmas do.

What advice would you offer to others who are thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Almere?

Do it! Especially if you have kids. Wish I could convince my elder girl who lives in Amsterdam but that’s not going to happen. I still have hopes for my girl in Glasgow. She grew up in NL and lived in Almere from age 14 and might just come back from Glasgow yet.

What has been your biggest challenge since arriving in Almere?
Caroline with her “long suffering” husband

‘Nother one not really for me but I can imagine myself turning up as a newcomer now…must be daunting! Tip though, persevere with the language, it’s bloody wonderful when you know it. Some fabulous literature too… they don’t tell you that much at school anywhere outside NL (or maybe they do now, things will have changed since I went to school)! Insist on folk speaking Dutch to you and before long, your Dutch will be waaay better than (most folks’) English (which is after all the lingua franca we all use). Watch Sesame Street even if you don’t have kids!! I honestly learned loads on there, after I got over Bert and Ernie sounding ‘wrong’ (I now think the originals sound ‘wrong!!’ but that took a while).

I always wonder how I would have fared if I’d gone to say… Spain, or CHINA, instead of NL. I mean who the heck emigrates to ‘Holland’ from the UK?! Well ok, quite a few folks but… it’s just not a language you hear much… or if I did, I thought it was German! – in fact I was here for about a year before I realised the difference in sound from German to Dutch… embarrassingly bizarre I know, but true.

If you had to leave tomorrow and could take only one thing – anything – from Almere, what would it be?

I honestly don’t know! Assuming, for the exercise we’re not talking ‘husband’ etc. I know I really wouldn’t miss the wispelturig (it’s a word! Look it up!) attitude of the Dutch, but if I was going from here TO Scotland, I could list a bunch of things that’d get my goat about folks there too so… really don’t know.

What is your favourite Dutch tradition, and how do you celebrate?  Do you still celebrate holidays and traditions from your home country?

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I am somewhat of a ‘traditionaphobe’ if I’m honest. Although, that’s not entirely true… I just don’t honestly LIKE ‘all things orange’ and the ‘ouwejongens krentebrood’ nonsense. I was thrown into Sinterklaas only a couple of  weeks after coming here, and thought it was great… until I realised there was then no SANTA here (at the time anyway). And now it’s all mixed up and ruined for me really. I get livid when they start it all up mid-October (if we’re lucky and they’re late!). Valentine’s Day, and Hallow’e’en were also non-existent here until not all that long ago and ‘they’ just do it all wrong so it bugs me. I should probably just embrace it all eh? And will perhaps do so… eventually… for my grandchildren’s sake. Maybe not though, don’t quote me. But please Nederlanders, you’re NOT all royalists, you’re just NOT… you just really like an excuse for a piss-up, which is fine by me too  OH and while I’m on a rant a bit… I find it so sad that Wilders is given credence specifically in ALMERE How embarrassing! So much for the ‘traditional’ tolerance of the Dutch.

There was a time when flights were really, really expensive and a fortnight’s holiday in Southern Spain with the four of us was cheaper than one of us going to Scotland for a week. And we all know that when we go ‘home’ we want to take presents, eat out a lot and generally look the big-shot traveller and play happy families, visiting the whole time and not really seeing the place at all. So the choice was simple and there was a period of 10 years when I didn’t go ‘home’ to Edinburgh at all. I finally got there… I was like an addict needing a fix by that time…. And while I did have a great time, I found that when I came BACK to HERE, I was ACTUALLY coming home. So I suppose home is where you hang your hat… lay your head… where your heart is… blablabla. It takes a while, and you can take the girl out of xx but you can’t take xx out of the girl… yeah, all that. We often wonder how we’d be if we’d stayed in Edinburgh. Impossible to tell but we’ve done ok, have to say, despite quite a few setbacks – could have been better, could have been worse too. It has to be worked at a little, you have to let go a little and you have to also dig in a little and make yourself at home, wherever you are on this planet. Here endeth the gospel according to Caroline.

More in the Getting to Know Us series:

Getting to Know Us:  Juliette Kuijpers Ter Weijden

Getting to Know Us:  Gerard Danks

Getting to Know Us:  Stephanie Ernst-Milner

Getting to Know Us:  Nicole Peetsma-Epker

Getting to Know Us:  Carly Bridgeman

Getting to Know Us:  Becky Riddle

 

[box style=”rounded”]Would you like to take part in the Getting to Know Us series? We would love to hear from you!

Drop us a line by filling out the form below and we will be in touch with all the details:

 

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Getting to Know Us: Stephanie Ernst-Milner

As a ginger leftie*, Stephanie was lucky to make it through childhood, let alone across the globe to Almere – thank goodness you’re not a generation older hey Steph..?

Where were you born?
In a town called Gladstone, in Central Queensland, Australia. Please don’t hold it against me, I escaped.

 

Where have you lived?
Around Queensland mostly, growing up in Gladstone, followed by a long stint in Brisbane. I also lived on Moreton Island for a while for work.

 

Where can we find you online?
http://svernst78.livejournal.com/, Facebook … and most of those fail websites. You know, the ones where people type things into their phones and autocorrect kicks in …

 

What brought you to Almere?
A plane. Boeing 737 owned by Cathay Pacific, followed by a trip on the wonderful NS rail network. I’m kidding! I followed my husband here. The restraining order still hasn’t been approved …

 

Almere is an interesting and unique city to live in, describe your favourite part of living here.
Amazingly enough, it isn’t the bitterbollen and stroopwafels! I love the architecture here – and I love going up to La Place and seeing the rooftop gardens. We are so lucky to live in a city that is so accessible and pretty!

How have you best been made to feel at home since you arrived?
It really wasn’t until we got our own home here that I’ve felt truly at home. It was hard adjusting to living in the middle of a city when I come from a small town and even when I lived in the big smoke, I was in a semi rural area. So my greeting to Holland was Koniginnedag, followed by Liberation Day, followed by Euro Cup … you can kind of see I didn’t sleep much for a few months. However, I have made some wonderful friends here who have helped me out so much, so I am grateful to International Almere for being here for someone like me. It’s a big step to quit your job, leave your family and come to a country where you don’t know the language, and be welcomed by a group of amazing people who are experiencing or have experienced the same things as you and offer their support and friendship.

 

Where is your favourite place to go out or eat out in the city?
People are going to judge me when I say Kwalitaria – but really, for quick, cheap meals they can’t be beaten. Especially on those nights where you really can’t be bothered to cook. Lido holds a very special place in my heart – it’s where we had our second marriage celebration, and the food is just spectacular. You also can’t beat the Sushi Grill places … seriously – challenge yourselves and see how many rounds/dishes you can do. Between 2 our personal best is 4 rounds, 29 dishes …
And let’s not forget Yamas! That little Greek waiter who speaks a crazy combination of Dutch/French/English/Greek is just too cute for words, and the food? AMAZING!

 

Would you define yourself as an expat, an international, or something entirely different?
I really define myself as me. I guess that sounds a wee bit trite and pretentious, but I don’t believe we all fit into boxes. I think anyone who has made the decision to move to another country really has a challenge on their hands. So we adapt and change small things about ourselves and our upbringing to accomodate the differences in our lives. Some people embrace change, some don’t. Wow … I think I went on a tangent there….

 

How long do you plan on living here for?
Indefinitely. The mortgage monster has bitten hard, so we’re here for a while. Does that frighten anyone? *insert evil laugh here*

 

Tell us how you found International Almere?
As a hardcore Googler, one day I was intrigued by the city described as “The Ipswich of Amsterdam” by my husband. We had confirmation his job was here, so I started a heavy session of Google. When I typed in “Expat Group Almere” a link came up for International Almere’s Facebook page. It was here that I learned that it wasn’t like Ipswich, Queensland at all. Noone wore flannel shirts and ripped jeans, noone drove hotted up Toranas and Falcons, and certainly noone had 2 heads. Instead I found a beautiful city full of people like myself!

 

Have you been to any International Almere events?  Which was your favourite?
Many! I loved the Aussie Style BBQ, the picnic, and just recently started going to the Quiz nights. Go Team Gingernuts!

 

What advice would you offer to others who are thinking of taking the plunge and moving to Almere?
Go for it. Embrace this city because it is a fantastic place to live (after all, we now have Primark!), it’s readily accessible to most places within NL and even across the borders, and with a support group like IA in the mix, you will seriously fall in love with this city.

 

What has been your biggest challenge since arriving in Almere?
Getting over my morbid fear of anything orange, stamppot, paardenworst, wooden shoes and open front curtains.. Seriously, I really couldn’t get over people walking past my house and looking into my kitchen for around 3 months. Then I started leaving the window open to torture then with the smells … and then I just started waving back and giving a cheerful “Goedenavond!”

 

If you had to leave tomorrow and could take only one thing – anything – from Almere, what would it be?
Hmm. Tough question. My bike probably. I’ve fallen in love with it.

 

What is your favourite Dutch tradition, and how do you celebrate?  Do you still celebrate holidays and traditions from your home country?
I had my first Sinterklaas here last year, and it was a load of fun. I still have my poem stuck on my fridge! I’m sure I will enjoy Koninginneday much more this year as I’m not right in the middle of it, or trying to sleep through it, although I may be traumatised by the orange overload …. I’m also looking forward to Sint Maarten’s as well – it must be cuteness overload! Other than that, pass me the bitterbollen and the beer, and Proost!

 

More in the Getting to Know Us series:

Getting to Know Us: Nicole Peetsma-Epker

Getting to Know Us: Carly Bridgeman

Getting to Know Us: Becky Riddle


[box style=”rounded”]Would you like to take part in the Getting to Know Us series? We would love to hear from you!

Drop us a line by filling out the form below and we will be in touch with all the details:

 

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*the ginger comment is meant entirely in fun, I apologise to anybody who does not see my intended humour – Stephanie jokes about this herself…

Great Snakes! – Tintin takes the top honour

Andrzej, decked out as Tintin took out best costume (men) prize at Saturday night’s International Almere Halloween Party.

Carina ran away with the ladies’ prize as a Ghostly Grand Dame, with Hanna singing for seconds as (a dead) Amy Winehouse.

Robin was threatening as Darth Maul and Marcella was the winner of the Horror film tag line quiz.

 

For all the photos that captured the moments, click on Darth Maul below to go to the gallery.

 

Robin does Darth Maul

A great time was had by all, thanks so much for coming out and the huge amount of effort that was put into everyone’s costumes.

Until next year….

Afrikadag Almere is back!

And this year International Almere is getting into the thick of it and running an Africa Quiz.

On the back of our hugely popular Friday Night Quiz (every second Friday of the month a the Apollo Hotel) we have been asked to run two quiz sessions throughout the day and we have been very busy coming up with fun, interesting and hard questions.

The quiz will cost €1 per person to enter and there will be a beautiful Oware game up for grabs for the winner of each session.  We will be asking the questions in both Dutch and English.  Quiz 1 will be held at 14.30 and quiz 2 at 16.30, both at the Podiumtent Centrale Tuin.  There is a 25 participant limit on this one for each session, so make sure you’re on time!

Afrikadag is a hugely popular event, founded in 1999.   The goal of Afrikadag-Almere is to bring people together with the art and culture of the African continent. To offer a more enriching image of Africa through theater, dance, music and literature.  

In 2012 the programme is no exception.  There will be fashion, Senegalese dance and percussion, jewellery making and henna painting workshops, African Batik workshops, and an interactive performance by master drummer Henri Goabi plus much, much more!

Check out the website (click the poster below) and be sure to come along to de Kemphaan on Sunday 16 September and enjoy an entertaining and educational day out.

 

 

 

Yoga, the Art of Breathing and Food

(image from Evado’s website)

Our wonderful Holiday Dinner sponsors Sandra and Eva from Evado Yoga Fit Wellness have added a slew of English speaking activities to their autumn calendar that we know you do not want to miss out on, from a combined yoga and food workshop, to meditation, to the art of breathing.

Check out the upcoming events here:

21 September – Balancing Soul Food

28 September – How to connect your breathing in your yoga practice

29 September – Interactive one-to-one breathing

29 September – How to bring mindfulness in action in our modern lives

30 September – Yoga Wonderfull

30 September – Teaching balanced vinyasa and hatha yoga suited to the individual

If you don’t know much about Evado yet, check out their Website, their Facebook page, or find them on Twitter.  Keep an eye out for more English language classes in the near future.

 

 

 

Libelle Zomer Week May 2012

 

 

Libelle Zomer Week: China Town May 2012 by Carrie Lynn Salikin (aka Elfie Von Elf)

On May 13th, 2012 I had the priviledge of heading out to the Libelle Zomer week with a few friends – several of them being from our lovely International Almere group. This was my first Libelle Zomer week and I was really looking forward to it. I had heard from various sources that this was quite the event. In all honesty I wasn’t let down and had one heck of an amazing time.

Where to start? I was expecting wall to wall people with little to no ability to get to the stands, but to my surprise even with the large groups of people, everyone just sort of went with the flow and gave a great deal of respect to one another. Was it because we all had the same motivation? Was it because it was the last day of the event? Regardless of the reasons – checking out the vast selection of stands was not exhausting or impossible. Truly this was a pleasant experience.

Be warned – bring your wallets. Even if you have no intention of spending money – oh how you will. There is something there for everyone and truly some amazing deals were found. Several stands sold quality surprise bags. There were stores I knew quite well and a lot of new products and stores were brought to my attention.

Transportation to the event was also quite well organized; from trains to busses to more than adequate parking, at what we considered a reasonable fee of 6.50 euros per day.

The event itself was tidy; no overflowing garbage cans or trash on the ground. Bathroom facilities were more than plenty and also very clean for an outdoor event. My only minor complaint: the food selection was quite limited. I had come with an expectation of trying various asian cuisine due to the signs posted everywhere “China Town”. However this was not the case. In the beginning we passed one loempia stand and a soup stand and for the rest of the time we came upon several La Place restaurants serving plenty of sandwiches. But for the cost of a sandwich I can recommend: pack your own.

Thankfully later on in section 3 we found ourselves plenty of sample food stands (the only time in the event things got a little chaotic, perhaps we were all crazed with hunger by this point). But once we had our fill of various food samples from rice, to chicken to salads with dressings, potato chips, raspatat etc., we were more than happy to continue on our way.

Alcohol samples seemed to be a large part of the theme, but a lot of variety and amazing deals. My husband found himself rather taken with the chocolate wine and could not help but pick up a bottle.

Will I return again? I can say without a doubt: yes! Our group of friends easily found each other time and time again when we went our own ways.

For more information on the Libelle Zomer Week “China Town” please vist the following website: http://www.libellezomerweek.nl/

Education in Almere

Starting a new school, in a new country, is a huge change for anyone.  However, you’ll always have the tingling excitement on your first day when you walk in and see all the faces of your classmates you’re going to spend seven hours with five days a week!

High schools following the international baccalaureate (IB) are very different from your usual public high schools. Comparing it to Scottish education, school is a more laid back place to be. I have joined theInternational School Almere in MYP4 (Grade 9), this is part of the middle years program. The middle year’s program is for students aged eleven to sixteen. The MYP encourages students to be open-minded, reflective thinkers.

MYP uses ‘continuous assessments.’ This is where you are graded in many different ways over the whole year. This could be through debates, investigations, experiments and reflections. Exams aren’t sat until you’re in the diploma years. The Diploma program (DP) is for students aged sixteen to nineteen. DP is taught over two years and prepares students for university.

During the IB, students are encouraged to develop community awareness by taking part in a community and service project. Community and service projects help to show you the importance of taking responsibilities and allow you to find new skills and talents while making a positive difference on others lives.

This year for my community and service I had to complete twenty hours. I helped at Zumba lessons with four to six year olds. Zumba is dance and aerobics. It includes hip hop, samba, salsa, martial arts, and some bollywood moves. It showed me how hard it is to look after young children and I have much more respect for teachers after being in their position! It was a really enjoyable activity and I plan to continue helping next year too. I also helped in the flevoland hospital and the school science lab. This showed me that even the smallest things like changing the magazines in the waiting rooms and cleaning a class room can make a huge difference. Writing this blog is also part of my community and service project which I hope attracts more expat teenagers and show adults how we see Almere.

Everyone at school has different backgrounds and cultures and you make friends from all over the world. Knowing that the majority of your school have all gone through the same experience as you is really comforting. Everyone is really accepting. I visited my school for an afternoon before I moved here almost a year ago and after the visit I couldn’t wait to start.

For me, moving country and school has improved my geography. It was never my strongest subject but I now know about countries such as Indonesia, which I had never heard of, and I can even say a few things in Russian and Japanese!

chloe xoxo

Lady on bike

Working Through Culture Shock

In only the last six months or so I’ve noticed a shift in my perception and attitude to life here in the Netherlands.  Confrontations or situations that earlier would have left a black cloud hanging over my head for an entire day (or a week, sometimes!) no longer seem to bother me for much longer than a couple of minutes.  Often these days I’ll have a near miss on my bike with an idiot in a car on the way to work and by the time I arrive at the office it has been forgotten.
I have been wondering to myself if perhaps, finally, I’m transitioning through the stages of culture shock.  It is generally understood that culture shock passes within a few months (certainly within a year), but I talk to people here in the Netherlands who are clearly still struggling, often after a few years.  I certainly have been!According to Wikipedia culture shock has four distinct phases; Honeymoon, Negotiation, Adjustment and Mastery.  In the honeymoon phase everything is lovely and new, bright and shiny, exciting and fascinating.  The negotiation phase tends to kick in once one realises that life isn’t actually all roses.  Differences between the home culture and new culture become glaringly apparent, and the differences are often difficult to deal with.  Language, social interaction and perhaps one of the big issues for people coming to the Netherlands is the attitude within primary health care and its magical wonder drug, paracetamol, can become overwhelming.Eventually the negotiation phase fades and the adjustment stage will begin. Wikipedia states that this usually happens between the six and twelve month mark, although if my own experience is anything to go by, it can take much, much longer.  In the adjustment phase one will develop more of a positive outlook and deal with issues as they arise instead of getting bogged down in the differences and difficulties that they would have during the negotiation phase.Finally, the mastery phase.  Basically full integration.  This does not mean losing one’s own cultural identity, but becoming comfortable enough in the new country that they finally feel at home and at ease.I had been struggling along in the negotiation phase for a very long time.  So long in fact, that I don’t even remember the honeymoon phase.  Perhaps my honeymoon phase was in the time when I was just a regular visitor, rather than a resident.  I do remember marvelling at the ING building in Amsterdam Zuid on my first trip and traversing the Oosterschelde and Afluitdijk respectively was an incredible experience for me.

ING building, Amsterdam.  Pic
But, I have so many memories of incidents and hurdles that really bogged me down.  Regular tantrums in the supermarket for not being able to find the “right” products.  Horror and anger that would last for days at a perceived slight from an encounter in public.  Throwing my homework across the room and refusing to continue at the tone of some to the integration coursework.  Uncontrollable tears when I break three wine glasses in one day because I’m just useless and can’t do anything right (that was a merry Christmas, let me tell you).  All things that should in all seriousness be water off a ducks back.  But they just weren’t.  Everything was so much harder.  I would take everything personally.  My husband has been unbelievably patient with me for a very long time and it’s really only now that I’m coming out the other end that I realise just how trying I must have been (who am I kidding, still am!).Why has the transition into adjustment finally come about after so long?  I really think that it has to do with all of the health dramas I’ve had in the past year.  As a consequence of being ill, I’ve had to put myself out there and speak Dutch.  I’ve had to be proactive in interacting with others.  I’ve had to take a good look at myself and my own attitude.Once I realised which stage I was at in culture shock I seemed to immediately recognise patterns and move through to the next phase.  It was like a light switched on in my head.  I’m happier more than I have been in almost four years of living here in the Netherlands.  I can finally have a meaningful conversation with my mother in law as I am much more confident with my level of Dutch.  When I encounter antisocial behaviour (daily) I’ll just think “sukkel” and forget about it almost immediately.  It’s almost to the point where I can just laugh almost everything off.By no means does my new outlook make me reflect and think that my old attitude was ridiculous and invalid.  I don’t doubt that others around me believe(d) that I was behaving like a crazed harpy, but that makes my own feelings no less important or relevant.  Life has been a real struggle for me in the last few years.  I could not count the amount of hours, days or probably even weeks that I’ve spent wishing that I could be in Australia, or even anywhere else if I’m honest.  I do truly believe that there are real social and behavioural issues that need dealing with here in the Netherlands which have been a huge factor in how I’ve felt.  The bubble mentality is so ingrained that it is very obvious that many, many people think only of themselves.  You can enter any supermarket or stand in any queue and experience it.  My husband’s grandfather, who is quite possibly the most lovely man you could meet turns into a shoving monster when he’s put into a queue for free food.  His appalling behaviour has to be seen to be believed!What happens now?  I keep moving up.  I seem to be slowly evolving into more of a glass half full type of person and I’m liking this new outlook.  I’m not walking around with a dark cloud hovering over my head any more.  I can finally see and appreciate my life and how damned good I have it.

I’m going to master this culture shock if it kills me.
Which stage are you at in the four phases of culture shock? How have you coped? How long has it taken you to see the light at the end of the tunnel?
(The original post can be found here)
Hema Almere Stad

A-Z of The Netherlands: A is for Almere

(about My A-Z challenge)

A is for Almere, of course. The city I chose to live in The Netherlands, I was still in Portugal.

Almere is the youngest city of The Netherlands. Situated in Flevoland, the most recent province of the country, its first house was finished in 1976. Named after the early medieval name of the Zuiderzee, this garden-city is now the 7th largest municipality in The Netherlands with 191,495 citizens (9 May 2011). Almere offers contemporary architecture, several parks, woods and lakes, an exciting cultural environment and a relaxing and balanced life. Annemarie Jorristma-Lebbink, a former minister, has been the mayor of the city since 16 August 2003. Her party (VVD) is the same one of the current prime-minister, Mark Rutte.

Almere is Contemporary Architecture

Almere Centrum (where we lived in the first two years)

From Almere (III)

Tussen de Vaarten (our current neighbourhood)

Two Face, by the Dutch NIO Architecten.

From A-Z

The New City Center

The Citadel (2006)

A shopping complex by the French architect Christian de Portzamparc.

A complex of 100 to 100 metres which is divided into four quadrants by two intersecting streets (for pedestrians). Above the car parks there are 50 shops. On top there are 46 colourful houses, and an apartment complex including 6 apartments and a parking lot for its residents. The terrace of La Place restaurant (on the top floor of warehouse V&D) provides a unique view of the Citadel.

From Almere (III)

 

From Almere (III)

The Lakeside Tower (2007)

A building in front of the Weerwater Lake, of the architect Bjarne Mastenbroek (SeARCH, Amsterdam).

From Almere (III)

The Smaragd (2007)

Apartments and a store (Hema) designed by Gigon and Guyer.

From Almere (III)

The Skyline of Almere

The Wave (2005) by the Dutch architect René van Zuuk.

A dramatic wave-like facade, covered with silver anodized aluminum plate.

From A-Z

 

From A-Z

 

From A-Z

Side by Side (2007)

Two residential towers by the Dutch architect Frits van Dongen.

The towers facades were made of light blue coloured industrial glass. In the base of the towers, there’s a winter garden, sauna and gym, especially for the residents. Moreover, there’s a private swimming pool (you can see it from the outside), overlooking the lake Weerwater.

From A-Z

Silverline

An apartment tower designed by the Dutch Claus and Kaan Architects.

The top of this apartment tower surprisingly leans over lake Weerwater. However, the reason for this is simple: because most people like to live at the top or bottom of a tower, the top and foot of ‘Silverline’ is maximized, while the least interesting middle section is minimized.

From A-Z

Urban Entertainment Center designed by the British architect William Alsop.

A block of approximately 4,000 m2, which includes the hotel rooms, floats eight metres above street level. It has a beautiful facade of cedar. This section is supported by columns. The entrance to the hotel is a blob with a brass cladding.

From A-Z

Muzinq / Discotheque NOX

A pop centre with three halls, one accommodating 1200 persons.

From A-Z

Almere Buiten

The Eilandenbuurt houses.

They remind us the Dutch Antilles and the maritime history of The Netherlands.

 

From A-Z

Almere is Cultural Life

Almere’s library (2010)

A building by the Dutch architects Meijer en Van Schooten.

De Nieuwe Bibliotheek was considered the Best Library of The Netherlands in 2010.

 

From Almere (III)

Theater and Arts Center (2006)

A building by the Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa (SANAA) that was officially opened by Queen Beatrix in 2007. Simplicity, transparency and light is what this building is about. From a single storey surface of 100 to 100 metres, three halls (1050, 350 and 150 seats respectively)  extend into the lake Weerwater. The building users are the theater and the arts center, De Kunstlinie, that offers courses, workshops of music, visual arts, theater, literature, dance and multimedia.

From A-Z

The Pasion Buena Vista Show, May, 2009 in Almere’s Theater.

From A-Z

Almere’s Selexyz Bookstore.

Bookstore of the year 2008-2009.

From A-Z

Almere is Fun

A lounge in the city center to enjoy the sun.

From Almere (III)

Enjoying Queen’s Day in the several terraces of the city center.

From Koninginnedag 2011

Selling old stuff in the streets on Queen’s Day. Everybody can do it and it is a fun and nice way to get rid of the stuff we don’t need anymore.

From Koninginnedag 2011

The restaurant Boat House in Noorderplassen.

I like to go there specially to watch the sunset.

From A-Z

Stoomboot Rondvaart

A very nice trip in a luxury steamboat.

From Stoomboot Rondvaart Almere Haven 2011

Almere Strand (beach)…

From A-Z

Skating in the Weerwater lake nearby the Theater.

From A-Z

An old passion…boats!! Muiderzand Marina in Almere 🙂

From A-Z

Almere happens

Midland Classic Show

A fantastic exhibition of old cars…

From A-Z

Smaak Parade

A delicious event. We can taste cheeses, wines, and many delicacies.

From A-Z
From A-Z

Almere Haven Festival

In the oldest part of the city, a brocante en antiek markt.

From A-Z
From A-Z

Historisch Festival Almere

Also in Almere Haven nearby the beach.

From Historisch Festival Almere 2011

Almere is gezellig

A city where it is a pleasure to live.

From A-Z

 

From A-Z

 

From A-Z

Swans in the sidewalks. 🙂

From A-Z

Almere is Nature

The fantastic nature reserve of Oostvaardersplassen.

And if you like to watch birds in particular, this is the ideal place to be.

From Almere (III)

 

From Oostvaardersplassen

A sunset in Almere Pampus.

From Almere (III)

There is much more to enjoy, like De Kemphaan, The Beatrix Park, and many other wonderful places.

In the video below, you will be able to watch more amazing buildings, woods and nice places in Almere to relax and enjoy with your family and friends.

Almere in motion

I hope you have enjoyed this trip to Almere, our adopted city.

Take your train in Schiphol Airport and in 30 minutes you are here. Enjoy your stay!

Have fun! Veel plezier!!

PS: Do you think that we chose well? 😉

 

Visit Sandra’s sensational blog Presépio com Vista para o Canal for more fabulous posts like this one.

 

Source of the information about Almere’s architecture: http://www.almerenjoy.nl/architectuur_stadshartEN.htm)