Sometimes, time goes by so fast. The Ten weeks of my internship at DSTS are over. I must say that I had great fun, and a wonderful experience. I have never done an internship of this kind, and I can truly say that it was just great.

Ten weeks are not much, but many things can be done during this time. The internship hours and assignments were divided between the DSTS office in Amsterdam and the Inloophuis of De Bron in Zaandam. In my work I had an excellent chance to combine between the theory that I engage with in my studies, and with the practical work. This is also one of the main goals of the internship in my studies program.

In my second blog, I wrote about the practical work in De Bron, and about the difficulties and challenges we faced there, my dear colleague Marleen Kramer and myself. Working in Zaandam was a great practical experience and a real professional lesson for my future career. Although ten weeks is not enough time to see a real change in the situation in the Inloophuis, I must say that Marleen and I were starting to see some progress. The Facebook page that I created a few weeks ago is becoming more and more popular between different people from the neighbourhood, and in general more people are getting to know the place. I really hope that Marleen will see some clear results of the hard work we did together along with the work she is doing all the time. PR takes time, creating trust between people takes time, the most important thing is to keep calm, to be patient and to believe in the hard work we do. From my work at Zaandam I learned many things, and I also improved my Dutch! (Hopefully, now I just need to start talking.) It was heart warming to see and to meet all these different people who voluntarily work so hard for their community and neighbours. It was not so easy to face the difficult reality of some people from the Poelenburg, and to hear their life stories, but at the same time it was a great feeling to see that we could help, and make a few people feel better even only with some coffee and a chat. Getting to know “real” people was really important for me and refreshing, especially after spending so much time reading theories. In the Inloophuis of De Bron, I felt that I can really touch some people’s lives, and this is a wonderful feeling.

Working in DSTS offices in Amsterdam was also a very good experience. Besides the chance to be part of a professional environment, I believe that we also had a great time together. And I am so happy that I’ve expanded my social circle and my professional one too. In the beginning writing the blog seemed to be like a real challenge, and now it is good to see that I can do it. Well although this is my last blog as an intern in DSTS, I hope I will keep writing for the Nieuw Wij, and work with this lovely team. Therefore, hopefully this is not a real goodbye, and we will see each other again.

Besides the knowledge I gained, and the professional experiences I acquired during these ten weeks, I also learned a few things about myself that will stay with me for long time. As you already know, I am still “new in town”; therefore, it makes everything so much harder, and simple things that I would easily do at home become a real challenge here. But, apparently, I am much stronger than I thought. I surprised myself many times since this long journey started a year and a half ago, and still do all the time. Never be afraid to dare. And believe in yourself. You are stronger than what you realize.

With this optimistic ending, I wish you all, all the best!

Tot ziens!

Ronie Barel


Ronie Barel

verhuisde van Israël naar Nederland, activist, blogger

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