Saturday, April 13, 2013

An ode to Marieke

In the past two weeks, through work, I have met four amazing Dutch women, all by the name of Marieke, albeit written in differently in one case (Mariken). Over lunch in Costa Rica the father of my colleague asked me what that weird name was we kept on repeating. He thought we said 'Marika' which in Spanish is colloquial for 'gay'. But in Colombia (or at least in Cartagena) they use it to refer to anyone, not always in the most positive way. In the Netherlands, however, it's a very normal name. Whether you think it's a weird name or not, Mariekes rock!
An assignment Marieke made me do.
Marieke is a passionate Design Thinker and devotes all her time to helping people think differently in order to come up with solutions to their problems or to invent new things. She told me she does not separate working hours from leisure time, because she loves what she does so much. Mariken bursts with energy and great ideas. She is an entrepreneur that brings people together in order to make the world a better place. Our first encounter lasted three days, as we kept on running into each other. Nice detail: she was the 200th 'liker' of Meer Lieve Brieven. Marieke is a player. Not with men, or well, I don't know her that well yet. Playing and helping others to play more is her thing. She's started the 'Speelkwartiertjes Club', an open group of people that play a fifteen minute daily game online on her cue. Dutchies: Join us! Marieke lives in Costa Rica, but she was born and (partially) raised in Indonesia. She abandoned the world of do-gooders to work in the private sector for a while, but is now back to facilitate workshops differently and to get people out of their comfort zones.

Thank you, ladies, for inspiring me. This one is for you.

*This is not even mentioning some of the other cool Mariekes I know. For instance: Marieke founded Ubuntu and now teaches fantastic Kundalini yoga classes in Amsterdam.

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