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People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven.

Name: Josy Garcia
Country of origin: Venezuela
Work: Dialysis Nurse at Catharina Hospital

In a city of full of technology and design, we often choose international people for this series who work or study in these two categories. Nothing wrong with that, but we also like some diversity. This summer we met Josy, a happy, sporty lady who works at the Catharina Hospital. We are welcome at her home on her day off: “I’m working for the Catharina for a year now. The patients come to us a few times a week for a kidney dialysis. The regular customers, so to speak, “she starts her story. “And yet it’s never the same. In the hospital, you see very clearly that everyone is different. They all need the same treatment, but something that works with a person is perhaps no option at all for someone else.”

Josy came to the Netherlands as a teenager. “My father accepted a job in Eindhoven and we came along with our family. That was a big transition for me! We came here in spring, but it was so cold for me. And the language was so different. I soon chose to adjust, but sometimes it was difficult. I used to be outside all the time in Venezuela and here I walked around with four sweaters on in the beginning. I was always cold. And I thought the people looked so serious. My mother said it’s more difficult for people here than in South America because of the fall and winter. I miss the warm weather, but I’m used to the seasons here now.”

“I would like everyone to understand that integrating in a new country is quite intense”Josy Garcia, Dialysis Nurse at Catharina Hospital

Josy’s parents returned to Venezuela after her father’s retirement. Because of the current crisis there, with food shortages, protests and inflation, Josy sometimes worries. “I call my parents every day. My 70-year-old mother stands in line for groceries for hours and sometimes there is nothing left. I’m very happy I live here. I’m a real mix of Latina and Dutch. People here are often very clear, you know what to expect. And I’m like that too.”

“I would like everyone to understand that integrating in a new country is quite intense. I notice that people talk about it like it’s no big deal, but I wonder how they would manage in a country where they do not speak the language, do not know the habits and everything is new. When people say to me I don’t speak Dutch very well, I answer ‘Try to do my education, which I have done in Dutch, in Spanish.’. We are all people and your language does not determine who you are.”

Josy has a family with three children and sometimes she has to manage everything at home alone: “My husband is in the marine and goes on missions. Then it’s all up to me. Luckily my mother in law and friends help out. In my spare time, I like to sport. I run and I also like pole fitness and cross fit. I feel so much fitter, have more energy and it’s good for my posture. I also love to go to the city centre to shop or have a drink. Occasionally I go out, sometimes with my cousin to bar De Spijker, which is hilarious, because of all the youngsters.”

Read all the internationals stories here.
Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel