Tag Archives: international

Wine Club

“Come Wine with Me” Social Club

Hello, my name is Keletso Njobo. I am from South Africa and arrived in Almere only 2 months ago.

I don’t know any people yet in town and I am doing a short wine course.

So, I thought, why not combine the two? A wine club within International Almere.

Location: my place in Almere Muziekwijk

Maximum number of attendees: 10 (because of the size of my home)

We meet once a month on a Saturday evening.

If you want to join, please send me an email and I will get back to you.

My email isknjobo26@gmail.com

See you soon!

Below you can read more about my motivation for this wine club and how I would like to set it all up.

About the wine club

The idea of starting a wine social club was mainly founded to fulfil my wine educational needs, particularly to refine my wine tasting skills, as I am currently studying a short wine course;  but also to cater to my social needs in terms of making new friends within the city (Almere) as I’ve only been staying here for less than two months. So, I thought to myself, “Why should I study this beverage alone when I can hit two birds by co-studying with other wine lovers who are interested in learning about wine while simultaneously meeting new people who could potentially become very good friends🤔?”.That’s when I decided to start the “Come Wine With Me” Social Club.

What I want to provide via this club is a friendly and cosy environment where people can have intimate and meaningful conversations with other wine lover expats like myself (whether they’re a wine amateur or expert) and start their journey to establishing some long-term friendships with other expats residing within Almere while simultaneously learning about wines and whining about the cultural shock that they’ve experienced since arriving to the Netherlands (if they have experienced it of course). I will host educational wine tasting events biweekly, accommodating a maximum of 10 individuals per event, and each event will focus on wines from different regions around the world.

Ideas for events

The wine tastings will mostly focus on the tasting aspect of wine where we evaluate the characteristics and quality of the wine. I propose to purchase the wines that we’ll be tasting as I’d like to coordinate them according to what wine regions or countries will be covered as my wine course progresses (would like to educationally exploit the tastings as much as I can to fully prep for my blind tasting examination) and I will charge attendees a small fee to cover the wine costs (costs for each event will most probably vary depending on which region we’ll be focusing on at that particular time; I’ll communicate these costs with you two weeks prior to the events). Tasting glasses will also be provided and their procurement will be a personal expense. I was planning on asking people to bring their own glasses but then it crossed my mind that people might bring differing sized glasses, which is not ideal as everyone needs to have the same sized-glasses in order to evaluate the wine fairly. Once the educational material is completed, we will socialise, have nibbles, consume whatever wine remains and perhaps head to the city to a pub or bar for those who might be interested.

So to pilot test the club, the short term plan is to start hosting the tastings in my flat biweekly on Saturdays (this might change depending on what works for the majority of the members) then perhaps in the long run alternate the hosting with other members where they open their homes to us to attend the tastings. The first event will be slightly different as it will not be as educational as the other tasting that I’ll be hosting in the next coming weeks. The event will instead be more of an introductory/social one where we can get acquainted with each before we dive into the educational aspect of wine. I want each attendee to bring their favourite wine (and perhaps some nibbles such as cheese, cold meats, etc. that they like to drink with that wine for example) and briefly explain why it’s their favourite and what they expect to get from this wine club. I would like to host this event on the 9thof February, then the biweekly educational tastings will catapult after this introductory event from the 23rdof February onwards.


New Life

Multilingual parenting ideas that got thrown out of the window – Part One

This happens to every parent. You wanted to breastfeed only to find that your milk didn’t come in. You wanted to co-sleep only to find that your child hates it. Or you hate it. You wanted to only give your child organic homemade food only to find that your child actually eats sweets. And so the list goes. It is just so normal and very human.

The same happens to multilingual parents. It has certainly happened to me. So here’s my confession. I didn’t achieve everything I had planned to before I had children as far as their multilingualism is concerned. Here’s a list of things I either wasn’t able to do or they didn’t happen until much later.

Reading from birth

As a certified book addict, I wanted to convey my love of books to my children. I was dead serious on reading to them from the day they were born, to turn them into as enthusiastic readers as I am. And then Klara was born. And you know what? I was busy doing other things. Like recovering from birth. Like dealing with a crying newborn and trying to figure out what she wanted. Like resting. Reading aloud to her just didn’t happen. I tried again later. Again, nothing. As it turns out, I resented it (I’ve always hated reading aloud), and Klara just wasn’t interested. Books are for playing, and not for reading, don’t you know? And mom, please shut up, I’m trying to explore my surroundings here. But we had tons of books waiting for her to be ready, and she played with baby books a lot. She also often saw me on the couch with a book in my hands. Now, she loves it when I read to her, and I enjoy it because we can both chose books that are fun for us and talk about the stories. On the other hand, Julia loved when I read for her, so I did that. She loved being held and cuddled, and reading went greatly with that. So, not all is lost!

High-quality time in Polish every day

I was so set on making every day a day full of high quality Polish language input. And then I found that having a child is actually beyond exhausting. There was crying, sleep deprivation, and my deep need for me-time. But whenever I had time or strength, I jumped on the opportunity. I talked to her. I took her with me wherever I went and explained, explained and explained. And I talked, and talked and talked some more. At the end of the day I was even more exhausted and took the next day to relax. Luckily, my husband helped a lot with the quality language input. Also I think that while multilingualism is important, there are other things that are important as well: like letting the children play by themselves. Like being silent for a while and resting. Like just holding your child. Multilingualism is not all. And I think that quality time doesn’t always mean talking. I already see that wherever I spend a lot of time with my children (talking or not), they are more likely to speak Polish.


I was going to be so consistent! I would only speak Polish, sing Polish songs, read Polish books and never talk another language with my children. I would also make sure that everybody else behaves the same. And what happened? I still only speak Polish with my children. But some of their favourite songs are in German/English or Dutch. Some of their favourite books are in German- even though I translate them. I also sometimes have to translate something into German so that the girls can ask their father something. The girls hear me speaking English, Dutch, German and Polish on a daily basis. But I keep thinking that maybe they will see that multilingualism is cool that way.

Polish as their primary language

I really thought that Polish will become the girls’ primary language. After all, they spent a lot of time with me at home, and if only I spoke enough Polish, they’d pick it up. And after all, I am their mom, so that would automatically make my language their language? Wrong. It didn’t happen. Instead, German is becoming Klara’s favourite. Maybe it was due to my not being able to provide enough good quality Polish in input. Or maybe because Klara’s daddy’s girl. Or maybe because children just make language choices that are different from ours. Who knows? The important thing to me is that they speak it.

Saturday school in Polish and Polish playgroups

I was desperate to find another source of Polish for my children, besides myself. I even became part of a Polish-speaking mom’s group. We met once a month at one of the mom’s places, and it was good. But the children were much younger than Klara, and it was important to me that she had somebody to talk to. And, as it happened, most of the moms went back to Poland, and the group was no more. I then found a Saturday school, and for a while I was convinced that this was the way to go. But well, a Saturday school, as fun as it may seem, is just that: a school that you attend on Saturday. Also, while it is every second Saturday, the children get kicked out if they miss class more than twice. We were pretty sure that with our travelling schedule Klara would surely miss more than two classes, so we decided not to go through with this. If we wanted to, we can still do it later, but since children in the Netherlands start school early- at the age of 4- we thought that maybe we should give her a break. After all, speaking Polish should be fun, not a chore!


What about you?  Did you have any multilingual (or even everyday) parenting ideas that went out the window?


Stay tuned next week for part two!


[box size=”large” border=”full”]Welcome to Olga Mecking, a new regular contributor at International Almere, who is an expert in multilingual life in the Netherlands.

Olga is a Polish woman, living in the Netherlands with her German husband and 3 trilingual children. In the past, Olga has lived in several countries (including Germany, Canada and the Netherlands), and learned to speak 5, that’s right, 5 languages.

She studied German philology at the University of Warsaw, then followed by a MA in Media Cultures at the University of Bremen. Olga blogs at The European Mama and we recommend you check her out on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.[/box]


This post originally appeared on The European Mama and has been republished with full permission.