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Integration in Gouda Nahome

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Late November 2021 I arrived in the Netherlands in the beautiful and historical city of Gouda.

It’s not that big like the famous cities Rotterdam and Utrecht but it is beautiful to discover the treasures of this city in the province of South Holland, renowned for its “Gouda Cheese”.

Temporary Residence

Personally I really like the city, its accessibility and its position as a crossroad to different destinations. For the past six months I have been living in my temporary residence of the COA boat at “Ruige Weteringpad” bordering the “Gouwekanaal”. In these six months I participated in different activities like the photography project “dagboek van een bootbewoner” and volunteer work. Together with my friends Arturo, John and Bassam we made pictures of Gouda and popup exhibitions at different times and places in Gouda, like the “Chocoladefabriek”, Rotary clubs and Goudasfalt.

Royal visit

We also got an opportunity to see the King of the Netherlands at the start of “Gouda 750” on 12 April when we got an invitation to be at St. John Church in Gouda. Our mentor of the photography project, Latvian artist Dace Sitiena got the opportunity to showcase and discuss our project to King Willem Alexander.

Our contribution to Gouda

When the war in Ukraine started and Gouda decided to welcome refugees from Ukraine 200, I and my friends decided to volunteer at the “Blokker location”, the place where the refugees from Ukraine are hosted. Among other cities, Gouda decided to welcome refugees from Ukraine and became one of the centers in the Netherlands. We all want to contribute something for them! As the building where they are hosted seems old, some gardening was needed to make it a better place to live and to get comfortable with it. So we started gardening and beautification of the place together with some other volunteers. The plants are now gorgeous in their own right, but, why wouldn’t you exaggerate their hidden colors with the surroundings? Simply painting a deck in a similar hue can help flowers stand out. Alternatively, you could use a good deck stain for a natural finish. And that makes outdoor look more beautiful and gives inner peace to look around.

It seems we came in Gouda in historical times. Gouda is celebrating its 750th anniversary and we are living in a world in upheaval. Our photography project was a gift to the city for its 750th anniversary. With our volunteer work at the Blokker location we wanted to contribute to Gouda community.

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