I am so excited to share this article with you. It is in the November issue of Sarie, a South African and Afrikaans Beauty and Life Style Magazine. In this article I share a little more about my personal life and also tell the South African readers more about our beautiful city, Boston and the culture here. Read along in the translated article below!
Where do you live and why?
I live in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. When I left South Africa 11 years ago, I first lived and worked in London. It was during a little weekend get away in Portugal that I met my husband, Bob – the American from Boston. I soon asked for a transfer from London to New York City. After a year in the “big apple,” I moved to Boston and in 2010 we got married. Bob is the Managing Director at Kidstock, a children’s theater in Boston. He is also a singer-songwriter with the band Cahill. They’ve produced 4 CDs of original music and tour colleges in the Northeast. He is also a videographer.
What is your profession and how did you get to doing that?
I started my career in finance as a money broker in London and then New York. The immense pressure and aggressive work environment started to catch up with me and I realized that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I wanted to do something that would make a difference in people’s lives. I quit my job and started my journey towards becoming a Pilates Instructor. I also got certified as a Life Coach. Today I combine the two and find a lot of fulfillment in my career. I feel like I am contributing in improving people’s quality of life.
You received an accolade for your work. Tell us a little more about that.
I started my own brand, Pilates with Hanneke, in 2011. In 2013 I received the prestigious 50 On Fire Award from BostInno, naming my brand one of the top 50 most innovative and creative businesses in Boston.
We always see the most delicious dishes on the Food Network but have also read how overweight Americans tend to be. Is this true or is it just our perception?
Yes, Americans love their food. Ready-to-go meals and fast food are available everywhere. The cost is low and their portions are REALLY big. These factors definitely play a role in the obesity issue here in the States. However I don’t think that there are that many more obese people here than in other places in the world. Boston is a really active, fit and health conscious city, so we don’t see too many cases of obesity here.
What makes Boston Unique?
The architecture is very similar to London, with beautiful brownstone buildings and not too many sky scrapers. The city is situated right next to the ocean with the beautiful Charles River that flows through it. It sometimes reminds me of Cape Town. It is also the home of some of America’s most prestigious universities: Harvard, MIT. The city hosts a very diverse population with people from all over the world. We also have quite a big South African community here. We even have our own Facebook page called AmaBoston. There’s also the weather. We have extremely cold winters and equally hot and humid summers. Boston also has great restaurants. On a beautiful day we like to explore the city by bike. Boston is also just a few hours flying away form New York City, Washington and Toronto. I love working and living here.
How do you celebrate Christmas there?
During the Holidays it is very cold here with lots of snow. I have to confess that I have never celebrated Christmas in Boston, since moving here. We usually spend Christmas with my family in South Africa. This year will be my first Christmas in Boston.
Do you still have ties with South Africa?
Yes, my Mom lives in Kleinmond and my brother in Cape Town. We normally go and visit them over the Holidays for 5 weeks. I sometimes miss my country, language and culture. But luckily Bob loves South Africa and my family. When we visit I fill up on everything I miss: my family, the amazing food, braaivleis (bbq lamb) and speaking Afrikaans.