Name: Johanna (Hannie) Falkena-Filipov
Street: Gifford Road, Hamilton
Family: husband Jeff, Sophia (5), Ben (3)
Occupation: Part-time Dutch-speaking software localization consultant. Also an International Flight Attendant currently on extended leave.
Hobbies/interests: Travel, skiing, biking, walking on Crane Beach
What are you passionate about? Fairness in life, well-being of children, family
What did you study in school? Kraamzorg (maternity nurse)
Are you utilizing this subject now? Not at the moment. Although I still love newborns!
When did you come to the U.S.? 1996
What do you miss about Holland? Culture, food, my family, the way the sky and grass and wide open spaces look, the fact that everyone bikes, ice skating on the canals, small villages and brick streets lined with small shops
Do you use your native language in Hamilton? Yes, mostly with my good Dutch friends and with my children.
Do you do use traditions from Holland in your own home? Yes, one tradition being SinterKlaas, which is the Dutch tradition on Dec 5. We bike and walk as much as possible, we eat Dutch foods, we play Dutch songs and gamesand we read Dutch books.
Best book: “Oorlogswinter” – Jan Terlouw (a Dutch book about life in Holland during WWII)
Best movie: "My Cousin Vinny"
Who is your favorite local resident? Bergen Daley
What obstacle have you overcome? I completed an intense seven week training course at the Delta Air Lines facilities in Atlanta where I had to participate in airline simulations such as terrorist situations similar to 9/11 among other things. This was especially challenging as my father-in-law, Alexander M. Filipov, was killed on American Airlines Flight 11 on that day.
What have you done in your life that makes you proud? (can't answer kids!): Building a good life thousands of kilometers away from where I grew up and still being able to regularly visit and maintain life back in Holland.
How long have you lived in Hamilton-Wenham? Six years.
Why did you chose Hamilton-Wenham? We already liked the North Shore and we stumbled upon the town when doing a search for a new home. We also love that it’s so close to Crane Beach!
What is your favorite place in Hamilton Wenham? , ,
What is your favorite restaurant? The and
What is a fact about you that most don't know? I ran the New York City marathon and I have done a 150 mile (in one day) bike race in Holland seven times. I’ve also skied the Aiguille du Midi (Mont Blanc) in Chamonix, France and hiked Ayer’s Rock (Uluru) in Australia’s outback
Where would someone see you around town? , Pingree Park
Which local services and programs do you support? , Trustees of Reservations, Audubon Wildlife,
What do you think should be done with the donated land from Joanne Patton? This land would be great for a park or a place to go and watch nature, etc.
What change would you like to see in Hamilton-Wenham? More of a town square/center to be in existence. More vibrant as a town atmosphere.. A nicer public pool. A better traffic light at the corner of Patton park.
Name: Marina Leonard
Street: Ricker Circle
Family: Husband Jack, three daughters Nikki (16), Saskia (14) and Lisette (8)
Occupation: Technical Service Specialist at EMD Millipore Corporation
Hobbies/interests: Photography, Reading, watching the kids play sports, listening to music, walking with friends
What are you passionate about? Traveling, we love to travel as a family.
What did you study in school? I studied Biochemistry.
Are you utilizing this subject now? Yes, I use science every day in my job.
When did you come to the U.S.? I came to the U.S. for the first time in 1990 to do a project at UConn. I met Jack, we flew back and forth for two years and decided to get married in Holland in 1992. I moved permanently to the U.S. in 1992.
What do you miss about Holland? My family, I miss biking everywhere, I miss the sky, since Holland is so flat, a large part of the country is below sea level, so you can see a lot of sky. It is also very green. I definitely miss some of the food too, Chinese food in Holland is very different from Chinese food in the US. Same is true of the pizza's :) You get your own personal pizza with a lot of different toppings at an Italian restaurant.
Do you use your native language in Hamilton? Yes, all the time! I am very lucky that Hannie lives so close, I know five Dutch women in Hamilton-Wenham. We all get together sometimes.
Do you do use traditions from Holland in your own home? Yes, we decorate the house with Dutch slingers on birthdays and we eat oliebollen for New Year's (oil balls, they taste a lot better than they sound - sort of like fried dough). We also used to celebrate Sinterklaas on Dec. 5 when the kids were smaller (Santa Claus' Dutch cousin). We eat chocolate on bread for lunch and breakfast.
Best book: I just read the Hunger Games series and I enjoyed it very much.
Best movie: Avatar
Who is your favorite local resident? Bergen Daley.
What obstacle have you over come? It took me awhile to figure out that when people would ask me "How are you doing" it is more like saying Hi! I actually would tell them how I was doing. Americans also love acronyms, that took some deciphering. TP?
What have you done in your life that makes you proud? Moving to the United States, leaving my family behind and making a happy life here and still be as involved as possible with the family back in Holland.
How long have you lived in Hamilton-Wenham? Since 2000.
Why did you chose Hamilton-Wenham? The main reason were the schools, as well as proximity to work and being able to take the train to Boston.
What is your favorite place in Hamilton-Wenham? I love the views on Bridge Street and the views on Highland Street when you get close to Appleton Farms.
What is an a fact about you that most don’t know? I used to row crew at the University of Groningen, on the Dutch canals.
Where would someone see you around town? In the stores, the soccer fields, at the gym watching my oldest daughter play volleyball or biking with Hannie!
Which local services and programs do you support? Trustees of the Reservations, the and Audubon Wild life.
What do you think should be done with the donated land from Joanne Patton? Maybe some more sports fields? It would be great if some revenue would be generated for the town as well to help off set maintenance cost.
What change would you like to see in Hamilton-Wenham? I would love a traffic light at the end of Asbury street! A traffic light at the end of Cherry street would be helpful as well.