Who is Karien, this bedu mama lady?
The bedu, or bedouin, بَدَوِي, in arabic, are a nomadic tribe from the Arabic peninsula. I too, was conceived in the Arabian desert, and have the nomadic lifestyle to match. Born into expat live, I boarded my fist intercontinental flight at only fourteen days old. From the Middle- to the Far-East we wandered, until we moved back to Europe. There, I tried the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom, but found them all too cold and boring to my taste. So I convinced my husband to pick up our young family and move to hot and steamy Singapore. There he provides the family income whilst I look after the kids, fight for the rights of migrant workers and dabble as a freelance writer. In our jungle bungalow, I dream of keeping chicken and growing my own vegetables, quite a challenge in a city that prefers those in cling-film. And there is also the matter of protecting them from the furry primate neighbours...
Next to blogging, I am finalising my debut novel for adults.
I published a children's book about my expat childhood in Sarawak, Malaysia. All my books, and e-books, are available here, or can be ordered in Dutch bookstores. Initially I wrote in Dutch, blogging here about my live as a newborn mum, and here about my creations in the kitchen.
Since the kids have all started full-time primary, I started working with the NGO HOME where I manage the volunteers, the shelter and give workshops to domestic workers. And yes, I write there too, capturing the stories of these woman who leave their families alone to move to this city to take care of those of someone else. Check out our blog and stories at www.myvoiceathome.org.