Expatmama in Thailand: De ‘Inburgering’

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Hanneke Langschmidt (47) verhuisde een jaar geleden met man en kinderen naar het heerlijk warme Thailand. Enorm leuk, maar ook super spannend en behoorlijk wennen – vooral voor de jongste. Ze schreef voor ons blogs over hun Grote Expat Avontuur. Dit is blog 3: De Inburgering.

Hoe blij ben ik met mijn lieve Nederlandse buuf en vriendin in Bangkok! Onze kinderen zitten op dezelfde school en wij wonen op dezelfde compound. Sommige ouders van school noemen ons de ‘The Twins’. Waar mijn buuf is ben ik, en andersom…

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Ze heeft mij geïntroduceerd op de school van de jongens, en bij SILC. Dat is een expatvrouwen-organisatie die zich inzet voor goede doelen, door middel van het organiseren van activiteiten. Het leukst vind ik hun uitstapjes naar lokale scholen. Wij helpen deze scholen waar nodig. Eénmaal per week verzorgen ik en de andere expatvrouwen de knutselwerkjes en helpen de kinderen daarmee. Daarnaast doneren we bijvoorbeeld sokken, onderbroeken, eieren… het is een druppel op een gloeiende plaat, maar ik ben heel blij om hieraan deel te nemen.

De jongens leren vieze woordjes in het Thai

Maar hoe zou het onze jongens vergaan? Zouden zij kunnen wennen op hun nieuwe school? Vragen wij niet teveel van hen? Met al deze vragen brengen mijn man en ik de jongens de eerste dag naar school. Daar staan ze dan…. tussen veelal Aziatische kinderen op de internationale St. Andrews School. De één met een veel te zware rugtas op weg naar zijn lokaal en de ander met de ogen starend naar de grond. Beiden met een mooi gestreken schooluniform aan.

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Hevig verzet, toen wij de kinderen over het verplichte schooluniform vertelden. ‘Je denkt toch niet dat wij dit gaan aantrekken, he?!’ Vreselijk vonden zij het. Maar ze weten dat iedereen het draagt en zij geen uitzondering zijn. De jongens kregen een warm welkom op hun nieuwe school. De kinderen die op een internationale school zitten begrijpen hen. Iedereen heeft deze eerste keer op een nieuwe school meegemaakt. Sommige kinderen zelfs meedere malen in hun leven. Een nieuw land, een nieuwe school, in het Engels les krijgen en moeten communiceren. De jongste sprak bij aankomst geen Engels, maar wat gaat dat nu goed! De kinderen uit zijn klas helpen hem graag met het leren van vieze woordjes in het Engels en in het Thai. Regelmatig oefent de jongste dit tijdens het eten. Hij leert ons enthousiast nieuwe Thaise woordjes, die wij braaf herhalen. Na het oefenen van de woorden vertelt de jongste ‘vol trots’ de Nederlandse betekenis van de woorden. Die wij dan maar snel weer vergeten.

Beide jongens slaan zich op hun eigen manier door de eerste periode heen. De oudste rustig en serieus en de jongste impulsief en aanwezig. Natuurlijk horen we ze weleens klagen over het feit dat zij niet alleen met hun fiets de drukke straat op kunnen, maar wat doen zij het goed! We zijn trots dat zij zo positief in het leven staan en zich zo goed door deze periode heenslaan. Onze jongens komen er wel.

Meer lezen? Volg Hanneke op 4MamaMagazine! Benieuwd naar blog 2: De Aankomst, klik hier! Neem ook eens een kijkje op haar blog: hannblogt.com

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