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Drie culturen blogger

Today I received answers of my first email interview from Janneke. She has her blog about third culture kids, hope you would enjoy her story and her fantastic blogMalawi

1. Please, tell me a bit about yourself. How old are you, what are you doing for the moment in Nederlands. Do you study or work?
You start with the toughest question. I will give you a hint: my transition to university is more than 15 years ago, so then you can guess my age. I have a day job at a Dutch university and I love learning new things. At the moment I am following a MOOC by the Harvard School of Public Health on edX.

2.How did you come with idea to start your blog? Why did you decide to write about TCKs?

That’s a long story. In June 2010 I read the “Oprah” magazine and it said “Dream it, Do it”. Part of the article was about writing your story and that is something I had wanted to do for some time. It said take a small step and start a blog. So that was the first seed that was planted. At the beginning of 2011 I went to an auction sale, they were raising money for Ellen’s Childrens Fund. It was a fund to help children all over the globe. Ellen was a lovely collegue whom I knew from my former job. She went to do volunteerwork with the Bill Clinton association and unfortunately she was shot dead in Lesotho. Bill Clinton dedicated his book “Giving” to the Dutch nurse Ellen. So I went to the aution and I wanted to participate, in the end I went home with a voucher worth 2 hours of help on the internet. So along came Annemiek one evening and she helped me start my blog. It was easier than I thought it would be. So out of the tragic event of Ellen’s death something new was born: the DrieCulturen blog.
I wanted to write about third culture kids because when I moved from Zimbabwe to the Netherlands to go to university I had never heard of the term “third culture kids”. Years later I read the book “Third Culture Kids, growing up Among Worlds” by David Pollock and Ruth van Reken and it was such a great relief to discover that there was a group of people that had the same feelings as I did. I was not strange but I felt strange because of my years growing up in other cultures. My parents are Dutch but my identity had been greatly influenced by the years I had spent in Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe. I hope to raise the awareness about third culture kids. I hope parents thing about what it is like for kids to make international moves every few years. There is a positive side but there is a negative side too!

3. Was it difficult to find ideas for your first posts? How do you find ideas now and how do you find people for interviews? Do people you contact always agree to be interviewed??

To answer your last question first: everyone I have asked to be interviewed has agreed to do so, maybe I should ask more people! I read an article some time ago and it said that one of keys to success is daring to ask questions. I asked Heidi Sand-Hart to donate a signed copy of her book and to let me interview her for the first anniversary of my blog and she said yes! It was very encouraging. You can read the interview here.
The first 6 weeks of my blog I posted a post everyday. I was very passionate about my blog and I actually really enjoyed the new challenge. Third culture kids like doing new things and having new challenges so maybe that’s why I enjoyed it so much….
I read other blogs on third culture kids and these some times give me ideas. I like linking to new resources or new books. I am always searching the internet for new information on TCKs. Daring to be creative helps. I did an interview with Jessica Wen a design student who is a TCK. I just liked her TCK identity bookproject. The interview is now being read by many people.
It was not very difficult to find ideas for my first posts, one of the reasons was that I had a goal for my blog, I knew what it was all about, I had a focus. I wanted more people to know what third culture kids are, I wanted to tell part of my story and I discovered that it is actually quite fun.

4.How much time do you spend to write every post?

To be honest I do not have a blog plan. Some people decide to post twice or three times a week. My blog is a passion and a hobby of mine and I want it to fit in with all the other things I do in life. I do not know how long it takes me. I usually work on my blog in the evenings and I just start and finish when I am satisfied with the result. If I do not finish it in one evening then I continue the post on another evening.

5.You have written already more than 150 posts, your blog is 2 years old and it was expend blog nominee at 2012, you even were interviewed on radio station,  do you feel that this blog is important part of your life now?? Did it influence or change somehow your life? How did it change your relationships with friends for example, or you found a lot of new ones?
Actually many friends do not know I blog. It is not something I talk about all the time. I have made new friends online and I have met some in reallife too. I hope to meet more in the future. My blog and twitter has opened up the world to me. I have connected with other adult TCKs. I am passionate about my subject and blogging gives me energy. It is still a hobby but one I am passionate about. Maybe it sounds strange but by writing about my transition to the Netherlands and about my life in Africa i feel more of a whole person!

6. Do you have other hobbies?

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Meeting with psychologist

561472_10151402281153438_1443249902_n”Ask and it shall be given to you” – with this quote I agree 100%. For all time I live in Denmark I questioned myself, why in the country where most happy people in the world live there are so many people who have depressions and have different mental diseases from childhood. Spontaneously one of my friends organized meeting with his friend, who came for a weekend in Aarhus. Christian Houmøller now lives in Odense and works as psychologist.

Christian has an extremely interesting life. When he was child with his family he lived 4 years in Nigeria, in 2007 he returned again to this country as a volunteer for 3 months, he was in group with other Danes who  worked with kids from streets.

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