Craving a taste of home: Belgian lunch

I've been living in the US for over a year now but am currently in Belgium for a short vacation. For the past year, I've been craving a taste of home; not all Belgian food is available in the US and even when it is, it can taste differently.

When we arrived in Belgium this weekend, my mother prepared us lunch. It tasted so good. Nothing like eating at home. The foodie in me was reminded of all the things I miss, and the photographer in me wanted to take some pictures to remind myself once we're back in the US.

Which foods do you miss from your home country or home town?


Moving to Boston for two years

I pretty much spent my entire life in Antwerp -- 31 years to date. However, in just a few weeks, my family and I will be moving to Boston. Why?

  • Primarily, it allows me to reduce my travel and spend more time with my family. I flew 65,000 miles the first five months of this year, and 100,000 miles in total last year. Being away from home that much isn't fun; neither is having a permanent jetlag.
  • My wife has accepted a research position at Broad Institute, a genomics research center jointly of MIT and Harvard. As a postdoctoral researcher, it is a tremendous opportunity. Did I mention how proud I am of her?
  • Acquia, my company, is based in Boston and I want to spend more actual person-to-person time there. While working remotely is OK, nothing beats face-to-face interaction, especially when you're a fast growing start-up.

We've decided to move for a period of two years, and to return to Belgium in 2012. By then, Axl and Stan can go to school in Belgium, my wife can resume her research position at Flanders Institute for Biotechnology, and hopefully, Acquia will have offices in Europe.

Moving 3,500 miles from your home town, most of your relatives, and many of your best friends is not an easy choice. It's quite likely that -- at this early date -- we do not understand how significant of a change it will really be. While we'll miss our friends and family in Belgium, we believe that it will be a win-win.

I'll keep you posted about our move, and our adventures abroad!

Opel Antwerp going south

Opel going south

Taken with my Panasonic GF1 and the Lumix 20mm f1.7 pancake lens while I was waiting in our car for my wife to buy some ham and cheese. Handheld, no flash, but edited in Adobe Lightroom. I love the camera's shallow depth of field.

Antwerpen Studentenstad using Drupal

Antwerpen studentenstad

I started work on Drupal as a graduate student living in Antwerp. Drupal was just a little hobby project. Today, the Antwerp student organization is actually using Drupal on Cool!

Frosty face

I have been so busy in 2007, that I haven't had many opportunities to go out and take pictures. For the first time in what must have been months, I managed to get out for a photo walk last weekend. Picture taken at the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp.

Frosty face

Meeting of minds 2007: the user is the content

On April 26th, C.H.I.P.S. organizes a debate that focuses on the impact of user generated content on traditional media, publishers and cultural organizations.

They lined up an impressive list of speakers and attendees, including people like Bob Young (former CEO of RedHat and CEO of and Loïc Le Meur (blogger and former director SixApart).

And what's best? The event conveniently takes place in my home town of Antwerp (Belgium).

I'm pretty convinced that by now traditional media organizations have what they desperately needed: a clue -- but I'll bring my big foam cluebat nonetheless, I'll wear my NowPublic advisor hat and I'll bring a number of community experts. ;)

Street macaw

People who live in Berchem/Borgerhout can probably tell you that, on a sunny day, you can find this macaw sitting on his tree in the Gitschotellei (shopping street). World famous in Berchem!
Street macaw

Drupal workshop in Antwerp

Two pictures taken at the free Drupal workshop in Antwerp. Hopefully some of the students will start contributing to Drupal once they started kicking ass.

As one of the teachers, I had good fun and actually learned a lot about teaching Drupal. It gave me fresh perspectives on how we can continue to improve the Drupal experience. We have work to do!

Fresh converts
Fresh converts!
Roel de meester
Organizer and co-teacher, Roel De Meester.
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