Editor’s note: The Sun, with the help of the Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club, is featuring each month a recent Naperville transplant or a resident who has had a significant life change. Let’s get to know our neighbors!
Nathalie Hiemstra, 44, says her two boys, now 12-year-old Jelle and 10-year-old Ties, had to learn English when they arrived in the U.S. at 5 and 3 years old. She came with her husband, Edwin Koopmans, from Amsterdam, the Netherlands, because of his work.
What brought you to Naperville?
“Both Edwin and I had lived in the USA when we were younger, so fortunately the adjustment wasn’t too great. Before I had children, I lived in England, Germany, Israel and Curacao, to name a few, but this was the first move abroad with children. They were 5 and 3 and had to learn to speak English.”
How did you find out about the Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club?
“I found out about the NNNC through a Dutch friend, Petra Martens, who was already a member and chairperson of the international cooking group. She had actually taken the idea for an international cooking group from the Newcomer’s Club in her previous hometown.”
What is your favorite activity in the club?
“My favorite thing to do in the club is attending different cooking sessions. I love the handy cooking tips and sit-down lunch that always follow the demonstration! My favorite recipes are the ones that have easy ingredients to find and are quick to throw together.”
Where do you live and why do you like it?
“I live in Brookwood Trace in south Naperville. I like it there because the neighborhood has many families with kids the same ages as ours. Happy kids, happy parents!”
What is your favorite thing to do in Naperville?
“My favorite thing about Naperville is the downtown area and all it has to offer: the Riverwalk, Centennial Beach, great restaurants and pretty streets. As a family we love going out to breakfast at Egg Harbor or for ice cream at Coldstone Creamery. For dinner Catch 35 is our absolute favorite — great service and food.”
The Naperville Newcomers and Neighbors Club holds a welcome coffee once a month from September through June at the Municipal Center. Contact Sue at 630-904-5629 to learn more.