My true blue-pencilled Pro-file


At the age of 48, I feel I have grown very PRO: pro-fessional, pro-active, pro-ductive, and pro-gressive.


To cut the long story short ...: a pro-bably out of standard… Curriculum


What I acquired, out of:


1)    My childhood: The spirit of: responsibility, leadership, voluntarism, helpfulness.

The learning of my two mother tongues: Dutch at school and French at home.

The eldest of 3 children, youth movements and scouts as from 5 to 16 years of age. As early as 5, I would implore my father to help him in his profession of tree pruning. During my school (A2 diploma in horticulture) holidays, I was working with him, as much as I possibly could. At 14, l already received the same daily salary as his workers. My father would not concede in paying me less, (though I was very well-fed, housed and laundered), for according to him, I worked better than them... Also, I would grow my own vegetables, and sell the crops to my mother and neighbours.


2)    My English studies in London: The spirit of: independence, conviviality, perseverance.

I went to London, upon graduation of high school at the age of 18 - minus 5 months, with savings of 40,000BEF, a tiny 1,000 € today … Capital with which, I thought I could largely ..., take time to find a job, to meet my needs (rent + daily expenses). Having only a very weak background in English, despite the many years spent in school … (Deplorable…), I underwent unexpected hard times… ☺Anyway, after a few months, I did quite well, with a full-time work in the catering industry, which enabled me to enrol for evening classes. With as an outcome after 3 years, of the Proficiency certificate of English (CambridgeUniversity), as well as a 3 months training at the ‘London Enterprise Agency' – Business Administration School, for I had at the time, planned to open a Belgian waffle kiosk, which in the end didn't come about. However, this course taught me a lot, mainly to prepare a sound business plan and SWOT analysis.

First aid certificate with St-John Ambulance.


3)    Back to Belgium: The spirit of: endurance, sportsmanship, rebellion …

Invested para-trooper, at the 1st battalion of Diest. Though I had wished to be a conscientious objector (draft-dodger)… But as such, instead of a 1 year compulsory armed service, one was compensated…

Compelled to do twice as much: 2 years of social work... Reason why in the end, I had opted for the paras, where at least I would do a lot of sports: skydiving, caving, climbing and abseiling, running, close combat, swimming, etc...Who would have thought that in '91, the Gulf War was going to be declared…? And that I found myself, with my several hundreds of compatriots, confined to our barracks, from which we were no longer allowed to go out …, because we were on red alert, on the imminent starting blocks... My heart, and that of another fellow, didn't skip a second beat. We made it over the wall ... To come back a month later, not only degraded, humiliated and ill-treated by the war-goers, who in the end never went … But also with all kinds of punitive measures (standing guards, kitchen chores, deprivation of off-days, … etc.) until the end of this compulsory service. Had we run away for nothing? Not at all☺, we had stayed ski-footed at the Franco-Swiss border, a month of great happiness in a shepherd's refuge in the mountains.


4)    Some of my professional experiences:      


A)    4 years : Independent Distributor of Herbalife Nutritional Products:

Numerous training sessions, not only from the medical board, but also from Jim Rohn, PHD., in philosophy, and from Landmark Education, courses in communication and personal growth. Many travels throughout Europe and the United States, as a member of the« Global Expansion Team ».


B)    1 year: Manager of an 18-track bowling alley + billiards + tavern: general management.


C)   2 years in Singapore: Having started as a self-employed independent, with a very modest sandwich venture, after 6 months we were 4 equal partners of a Private Limited Company, with 2 "The Sand-Witch Hut"stores, + 1 catering service, 12 full-time employees, half of whom were our cycled deliverers to the offices. Despite this success, in the end I got deported, because I had not succeeded in obtaining my work permit, nor as a self-employed person on behalf of my ex-wife, nor subsequently as an associated partner. ☺


D)   3 years in Madrid: English teacher, and learning of Spanish. Designer and owner of a patent for the creation of a key holder for metro tickets. Import of foreign food items, sold to catering companies.


E)     9 months in Agadir: English and French teacher.

F)     Work experience in Brussels and Antwerp: gardener, mover, sales person, lecturer, event organizer, bartender, encoder, bookkeeper, and even toilet keeper…☺


5)    What I most long for: A better world for all, today possible. ☺

How I contribute: : A total reconsideration of our society and way of living together. : Workshops of picking wild plants.


6)    My occupational therapies or hobbies, on my own or with friends:

Music, singing, writing. My inspired and committed texts: 47 in English, 47 en Français y 3 en Español :  and A lot of reading, board games, mainly scrabble and Chinese poker, cooking and enjoying healthy meals, conversation tables, nature walks, city trips, for all cities have something unique to offer.☺

Ruben Vandersmissen

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