Located in a quiet, family friendly area on the edge of a market city in the southern part of the country, our modern home is halfway between Amsterdam and Brussels (both about a 1.5 hr drive).
The ground floor has a living room with gas fireplace, kitchen / diner and powder room. The kitchen opens onto a sunny, fenced garden with patio - a great place for barbecues. Upstairs is the master bedroom w/ king bed, a 2nd bedroom used as a study with sleep sofa and the bathroom w/ tub and separate shower. The large 3nd bedroom with two person bed and roll away cot is up one more flight of stairs.
We have satellite tv reception in the living room and master bedroom. We also have wireless internet connection. Tile and wood flooring, coupled with a ceiling fan centrally located on the ground floor and and another in the master bedroom, ensure cool interior comfort in the summer. The washer and dryer are located on the top floor.
See also our website: http://www.freewebs.com/mandemaker-exchange/
Our housing area ("wijk" in Dutch), built in the mid 1990's, is safe and family-oriented. It has a grocery store and restaurant within a five-minute walk. The woods are also a five-minute walk away in another direction.
Most of our neighbors speak at least some English.
There is public transportation a short walk away that will take you into Helmond centre, but we generally prefer to drive. Helmond has a lovely centre with a good array of shops, restaurants and a bioscope (multiplex movie theatre). Films (and television) are shown in their original languages here, with sub-titles.
The Netherlands is a land of museums, canals, windmills and history, where art can be seen just about everywhere and restaurants and shopping opportunities cater to all tastes and pocketbooks.
Soccer enthusiasts will not be disappointed in this area, as Eindhoven's PSV is a world class team. Helmond also has a good team and its playing field is about a five minute drive away.
A five minute drive in a different direction leads you to highways connecting other parts of The Netherlands, Belgium or Germany. Amsterdam, Delft, The Hague, Maastricht are wonderful cities for daytrips, as are Antwerp, Brussels and Dusseldorf.
For an overnight stay away, Paris, Cologne and Berlin are a slightly longer drive, but reachable within one day.
We offer the use of our navigation system to assist with driving within Benelux and Germany during the exchange.
Arnold is Dutch and Karen is American. We are in our early 50's. Arnold is a print journalist, who has covered stories from national politics (11 years in The Hague) to local news and features. After thirty years working in admin support, Karen is now a homemaker.
Our daughter is grown and lives in Zuid Holland.
Thirteen year old black lab / grayhound Rocket prefers to board with friends during our exchanges.
Our car is a 2003 Subaru Forester X - four wheel drive, standard transmission with air conditioning.
We have enjoyed four very successful exchanges and our fifth is now confirmed for this September 08.