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Tinus Groenewald

Hi Tinus, when did you arrive in the Netherlands?
Not soon enough 🙂 – We arrived in the Netherlands on 5 december 2019.

How did you experience the first few months in the Netherlands?
Everyday was an adventure. Some days still are. At first, just buying something at a store was frightening as I was afraid that I would not understand the cashier if there was a problem. Or, driving on the ‘right’ side.. You get challenged pretty much every day and that way you learn new things. I cannot think of a better way to explore and improve yourself.

Does it feel like home?
It certainly does – although it didn’t happen overnight. Each day feels a little more like home.

Do you still live in the same house as in the beginning?
No, we were lucky to find a house in the same town. For us that was a logical decision as the kids were already integrated in the school. It’s also close to where my wife and I work and of course we grew attached to the lovely people staying in Barneveld.

How was it to learn the language? Was it easier or harder than expected?
We didn’t expect it to be smooth sailing therefore the expectations were in line with the reality. Luckily we are fascinated by different cultures and languages, therefore it was / still is a wonderfull experience. We love dutch proverbs and terms, even bad words. What I find really facinating is that many Afrikaans words are still known, althouh not used frequently anymore. It makes it more relatable and somehow gives you a sense of belonging.

What do you miss most about South Africa?
Apart from family, we miss nature and some treats which are not available here. But of course, we found new treats and experiences here which would surely be missed elsewhere.

What appeals to you most in the Netherlands?
That is a hard question. One’s circumstances, priorities and desires can change quite frequently. But the one thing we always wanted is for our boys to be safe and to have good opportunities in the future. For now, the Netherlands delivers on that, and I’d say that’s what we find most appealing.

Tinus Groenewald