Words from our Director: Sunshine, around every corner
2020-04-03 | By Deborah Valentine
I am sure, like many in the Netherlands, during this unusual period we wondered: “Really?! All this blue sky and sunshine on days we have to STAY HOME?” Sure, it has been cold and windy out there, and sure, it must have been very difficult (as we all saw) for many to actually do so, stay home – but, here we are. I, for one, am very grateful that a period of uncertainty gave us AT LEAST the sunshine through the windows. Many with gardens, took advantage, as did those with balconies, or front door steps which allowed them – with distance – to connect with their neighbours. It took everyone a while, but, we got there ….eventually, and, well, mostly.
Sure, we will still find those who object to, comment on and disdain efforts being made. Not enough, too much and every comment in between has been shared online – where we are all spending a lot of time, out of necessity, but also, because – well, what else. Sure, we can plan more times to read, listen to music, connect with others, learn and discover new things etc., but, the truth is, we are also doing a lot of these things online.
Yet, shining through the window as we swipe, press, comment, engage and connect – a beautiful, warm and bright sun warms us, our bodies as well as our souls.
During all the uncertainty, all the upheaval of not being able to travel – to see older family members, to care for those we care for, far away, may I plead that we all keep our eyes on the bright sky, breathe in, stay home and find ways to plan our days differently, until we know more. Times will change. That is certain. For what? We cannot say. For now, we live here, today, and the sun is shining A LOT!! Let us enjoy it from the comfort of our homes as we keep those we love but who are far away in our hearts and minds, and online.
Have a question? Need support? Expecting a child? ACCESS has NOT CLOSED, but is here, for you, online as well. Our teams have been, in short, AMAZING.
Working in shifts, from their homes, coordinating efforts to ensure the answers to questions internationals have, about COVID-19 as well as many other subject matters, are answered. They too, are my sunshine.
About the author
Deborah Valentine is the ACCESS Executive Director. In keeping with her motivation to help people broaden their horizons, she has been giving leadership and guidance to the many international expatriate volunteers who come through ACCESS’ doors on their way to a more settled life in the Netherlands. She has, simultaneously played an active role in ensuring the financial sustainability of the organisation since 2011.