Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Expat Life is Good In Ireland

One of the best things I have done over the past few weeks is making the decision that life is what you make of it, and you can sit down and despair or you can go out and make things happen. I chose the latter.

I got in touch with Jeanett Taku, a mighty wonderful Nigerian woman who lives in Cork and who organised the very first Miss Bronze and Gold Ireland scholarship pageant, with the goal of empowering young women. The prize money for miss Bronze Ireland would be money to pay for college fees.
I like that idea, interviewed Jeanett about the event and then invited my friend, Ken Buckley, cultural ambassador of the Irish in Europe Association.
We both invited our own friends and were treated like royalty at the event.

The evening went well, and apart from the wonderful ladies who took part, I also got to meet a lot of new people. And as one thing lead to another, I met and interviewed Cordelia and Tony, who were organising a multi cultural evening with the noble goal to bring all the different nationalities in Cork together and party.
And there is no better way to enjoy yourself than at a party with African House music.
Myself and Ken went again, with friends. At our table were two South Africans, one Argentinian, One Irish man, one Polish lady and myself. We had a ball. And we made new friends again.
I am now working on an art project with Kasia, The Polish lady, and I found a very good friend in Julian from South Africa.
It took me 16 years to come to this stage, For too long I tried to be like the Irish, but I now realise it is a lot more fun to be just Belgian and enjoy myself the way I am.

I am meeting Cordelia and Tony again this week, because we want to work on the next cultural night and hopefully get enough attention for it, so Irish people will join in as well and get a taste of what their new neighbours are like, and maybe find new friendships.

Last week then, this blog helped Kinsale to stardom in Belgium. The crew of Vlaanderen Vakantieland, a programme on VRT, the Flemish National TV, came over to Ireland to film the Wild Atlantic Way, I met them at their last stage in Kinsale, we were wined and dined in the Fishy Fishy restaurant by Martin Shanahan and then I walked around with the celebrities, showing some of the lovely places Kinsale has on offer and talking very briefly about the historic background of Kinsale. It was pretty cool to walk around being filmed, my ten minutes of fame were great fun anyway. We ended the evening with a barbeque with the Flemish crew, it was great to feel home again for a couple of hours speaking and joking in Dutch.
So there you go. Let's all become a bit more cosmopolitan and show this country off at home, it can only be a win-win situation.