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A Visit to the International Women’s Club


logo (c) South Limburg IWC


Wednesday evening I finally tagged along with Sueli to a meeting of the South Limburg International Women’s Club, a social organization whose purpose is “to bring together women of all nationalities living in the area of South Limburg, promoting friendship, sharing mutual interests and extending support and information to newcomers”. I’d been meaning to attend a meeting or event for a while now, to check it out, but only just managed to get my head above water long enough to register that 1) an event was going on and 2) actually go. Thanks to Sueli for introducing me to what appears to be a great (if large) group of women; all of whom have gone through a similar experience to my own.

The meeting I attended Wednesday was a monthly social, when several of the smaller groups of the club (people are organized by the area they live in) get together to hang out and discuss some business. It was a little intimidating, I’m shy around large groups, but I did meet several people and had several very nice chats during the evening. The upcoming activities discussed also sounded pretty interesting, including country walks and a visit/workshop at a hat factory.

There is also a Junior IWC group, which is aimed more at people my age (20-40 range) which I think I’d like to learn more about.

This meeting actually came around at a good time for me. I’ve been feeling progressively more isolated in our experience here and have been “checking out” a bit mentally. The occasional week of silence here is and at my other blog is a testament to that; when I “check out”, I do it both on and offline. I’ve been trying to focus on my work, but even that can be difficult and the more I put things off to “clear my head” the more they pile up on me and increase my stress levels.

Maybe something like this group will be good for me. I think I’m game to try.

Featured image is by edknowles and licensed via Creative Commons.

4 Responses to “A Visit to the International Women’s Club”

  1. Dave Hampton says:

    I avoided expat clubs like the plague for several years: I expected that they would interfere with learning Dutch and making local friends, and that conversation would focus on local gripes and things people miss rather than sharing the tips and opportunities of getting along in a new culture.

    Now that I feel bettter integrated into the community, I’ve attended a few local groups and have enjoyed the experience. The talks have been interesting and at a level that I can’t follow in Dutch, so the mental exxercise feels good. I tend to drift in with other long-term folks who have experiences and observations to share, which is nice. Overall, a good thing. Maybe we need a Dutch expat bloggers meetup.? (The Germans do it once a year and have fun)

  2. bmallon says:

    Mandy,
    You don’t even have to be an expat to feel isolation in a new environment. I felt similar to you, isolated and depressed the first several years in Vermont. It was very different than our previous home at MSU or Kiana. And I had 3 little ones to take care of. Didn’t feel anyone I was meeting was going to be a friend, that everyone had their friend groups formed and I was on the outside.

    It took a long time to feel comfortable.

  3. Tiffany says:

    Do you have any more info about the junior IWC?
    Thanks!

  4. Amanda says:

    I don’t think they have a website, but I’ll email you a contact email separately.