I am thankful for Dutch people.
I could go so many places with this. I mean, I’m thankful for the Dutch people who immigrated to America back in the day, who eventually met, fell in love, procreated, and raised my grandparents, who in turn did the same thing to raise my parents, who in turn did the same for me.
I am thankful for the genius minds and bodies of a people to develop such an extensive bicycle route system in their country. A couple times Dutch bike rental owners laughed at me when I asked if I could get to such and such a place by bike: “You can get anywhere in the country by bike.” How is that not a perfect country?! I could write pages and pages about such amazingness.
So why am I thankful for Dutch people here in Beira? Because for the last two days I’ve been blessed by Dutch women. I actually only know two Dutch women here – one married and one single – and neither of them very well.
Yesterday I met one for coffee after work to discuss a Sunday school training I’m doing on Saturday. What should have been a quick, somewhat superficial meeting turned into her unknowingly ministering to me. She’s on the board of Oasis, and I’ve been experiencing some significant frustrations at work lately that I haven’t been writing about because I don’t want to complain (too much) online or risk slandering anyone. I’m a ‘little person’ at work and haven’t felt like I’m in a high enough position to seek out a board member to discuss problems. But work came up. She asked me some important questions that led into a long discussion that helped me unload some burdens and also feel encouraged in what I’m doing here. Then somehow that led into a discussion about relationships. I’m always amazed how we can have certain ideas about people and their lives without really knowing much of anything at all. I had a picture of this woman’s life and her marriage and family but found out that I don’t know any of the background at all. Her relationship experiences spoke so clearly to me about who I am and how I communicate in relationships! I want to learn more from her. Sadly, as is so often the case with expat friendships, they are fleeting as contracts end and people move home or on to other countries.
The other Dutch woman has been running a seminar for my team for the past two days. I was only able to sit in for an hour of it, but I see how excited the guys are. She’s been a breath of fresh air in a lately tense environment. She’s brought enthusiasm, creativity, and encouragement. It’s encouraging for me too to see someone doing what she loves, someone with bright eyes and energy. (When did my eyes become dull?)
I’m not sure how much more contact I’ll have with either woman, but this week I’m particularly thankful for them.
Another Dutch person, who gave me great joy at an Amsterdam canal.