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t was our first time participating, so we had indicated that we only wanted to invite adults. Just to be sure, we had already installed Google Translate on our mobile phones. That was a good idea, because our Syrian guests didn’t speak much English. That made the conversations challenging: always having to type the text for them to read.

In the beginning it felt a bit uncomfortable, we wanted to ask some questions but not too many, because you don’t know what they’ve been through. We were, therefore, looking for lighter topics of conversation. Fortunately, they also asked us questions. When we took them back to the emergency shelter, they invited us in for a cup of coffee. One of them then introduced us to his wife and children. Next time we want to invite a family and all cook together. We are considering inviting this family because we have already met them.  We have two cats and I’m sure they like those too.

Walking into the emergency shelter made an impression on me. People are living in very close proximity. I could imagine that this might cause some friction. The children go to school but the adults just sit around. They want to do something but can’t do anything. They just have to wait.

Come & Eat is a good initiative, offering them something different.