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Category Archives: Living in Holland

#Amsterdam #WhiteRabbit Crying

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On your trip to Amsterdam you may notice a signature white rabbit in the souvenir shop among the usual Delft blue and white pottery, wooden shoes, trinkets and clothing items. Who is this most prominent Dutch bunny?

That’s Miffy, the star of Hendrik Magdalenus Bruna’s story books for children ages 4 to 8 (or 88 if young at heart). “Dick” Bruna wrote and illustrated over 200 children’s books published in small format for small hands. Miffy and his other works have been translated into over 50 languages and sold more than 85 million copies. So, yes, you might see a good bit of this “konijntje” (little white rabbit). Miffy’s can be seen on toys, stationery, clothing, glasses, household items and more. Miffy has her own museum and is an icon at the famous Keukenhoff gardens as well.

Why would Miffy cry? Well, in one book Miffy’s grandmother was sick and died. This particular book brought the Silver Slate award home to Bruna. However, now Miffy’s creator has passed on at the age of 89.

Good bye Mr. Bruna. Thank you for sharing your talents with the world through Miffy.

–Kristin (I would like to thank the Windmill Newsletter for this information. Thanks S.B.!)

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

#India Travel Tips

Quick notes along the way…

  • Food on Amsterdam to Delhi connection may already be hotter than usual
  • The exchange booth may say daily limit is 5000 rupees, but if the older gentlemen doesn’t want your bills he will only let you exchange 75 euro
  • If in doubt, use India embassy for Visa instead of e-tourist online visa. We were stuck at immigration for 2 hours. Whatever you do, don’t try “visa on arrival” where folks appeared to be camping out.
  • Person meeting you at the airport may not be allowed inside. Go on out, walk back and forth conspicuously and they’ll find you. 

More later..

–Kristin (Not used to writing on phone but giving it a go.)

 
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Posted by on March 3, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

How My Audit Happened #Taxes #IRS #Audit

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(Disclaimer: I am in no way a tax professional, and this blog does not constitute advice on tax issues. If you have a situation, please consult the IRS or your own personal tax professional.)

A number of years ago I took a job through the local military chapel that was a “contract” position. In other words, I was responsible as a self-employed person to report the income which totaled all of about $800 for the year. Things got sticky when I sub-contracted some of my days only making and then claiming the smaller amount of income I actually received. The chapel, of course, reported the total amount they paid.  I didn’t know how to keep track properly of payments to sub-contractors, and I didn’t think to ask the JAG Tax Office to work that all out.

That’s how the audit happened.

My army husband was stationed in Belgium at the time, and these were pre-skpye days (i.e. no cheap calls to US). Every phone call with the IRS trying to work through what was owed and what I had to document for the audit was painful although I have to give them kudos for gentle, professional manner. I, however, sat cringing each time the call waiting music stopped and the message informed me of approximately how much longer I had to wait. Those minutes were money going out of our family pockets for an issue that, when finally resolved, proved that the US Government actually owed us–$60.

I asked if they, the IRS, would send us the money which their own audit now showed we were owed?

Nope.

I’d have to go file a 1040-X, the amended tax return, in order to recover the money owed. By that time of summer, the JAG Tax Office was closed till the next year, and I was ready to put the whole audit ordeal behind me. I never filed and never received that $60. I like to imagine that particular amount helped a young single mother somewhere.

Will the IRS pay you money it knows the government owes you? Well, it didn’t back then, and I suspect it won’t these days either. Not without a batch of new documents, which bring me to my more recent IRS experience and my next question.

Will the IRS pay interest on money it owes the tax payer?

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Kristin King is a paranormal fiction author, military spouse, and mother to four sons. She is contracting new covers for her vampire series, after which the first novel will become a free ebook. Rather than blogging about books and writing, which would make too much sense, she blogs about travel, food, living abroad, current events and other random topics.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 25, 2017 in FAQ, Living in Holland

 

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Little by little…

A boy stood up and recited his weekly memory verse at the after-school Bible Club in The Netherlands. He got the whole thing right, even the chapter and verse. His reward was handed over, a twenty …

Source: Little by little…

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

EU Discourages Credit Card Use #Travel

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While booking travel in the EU recently, I chose the credit card option. I had to screenshot the fees I would have incurred. $24.99 for using a credit card, OR I could use a debit card (for automatic draw from bank) for free. That’s what I call discouragement.

Adjusting to a cash & pin society in the Netherlands has not been too difficult. It was a shock at first to enter stores, big stores selling loads of products, that refused to accept credit cards. The practice is wide spread here although you may not notice if you stay close to tourist areas in the summer.

Don’t be surprised though if stores, restaurants or other vendors refuse to touch your credit card in Holland.

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Kristin King is an author and co-founder of Future Hope Africa, an education and entrepreneur training center in DR Congo. She encourages you to visit Future Hope Africa on the web.

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Posted by on February 8, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

From Student to Teacher

From Student to Teacher

(I’m taking more time to work and write for our nonprofit in 2017. Hope you enjoy insights into DR Congo and our education project. –Kristin)

Do you know how New Year’s and Christmas are celebrated in Congo?

Future Hope Africa Blog

moses Moses Cito Kajiramugabi

Moïse (Moses in English) is one of the teachers at our Future Hope Africa Education Center in Bukavu, DRC. He first came to the Center when he was in high school, for help with his studies and to participate in our Princes Club, now called the Young Leaders Club*.

He graduated from high school with very good grades and was offered an opportunity to go to Kinshasa (the capital city of DR Congo). After much thought and prayer he decided instead to stay in Bukavu and work with us at the Center. His passion is to help younger ones with their school work.

Moses is 20 years old and among the youngest of 11 children in his family. His father has recently become ill so staying in Bukavu has also meant he’s available to help care for him. His father and mother currently have no employment, so working at…

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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Living in Holland

 

How Holidays Are Celebrated in Congo #cause #FutureHopeAfrica

(I’m taking more time to work and write for our nonprofit in 2017. Hope you enjoy insights into DR Congo and our education project. –Kristin)

Do you know how New Year’s and Christmas are celebrated in Congo?

Moïse (Moses in English) is one of the teachers at our Future Hope Africa Education Center in Bukavu, DRC. He first came to the Center when he was in high school, for help with his studies and to p…

Source: From Student to Teacher

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2017 in Living in Holland