June 26, 2019

Marianne Garneau: The second generation of diplomats in The Hague

In the picture Caroline Bolduc and Marianne Garneau.

By Aurore Heugas.

2016. Caroline Bolduc, Canadian diplomat, moved along with her family to The Hague. Marianne Garneau, her 10 year old daughter, was discovering a brand new country, a new culture and a new passion along the way. 

Sports has always been a way to unite people from around the world. As it turns out, it was also the way Marianne Garneau, 13 year old daughter of diplomat Caroline Bolduc, adapted to this new environment in The Netherlands. 

Originally from Ottawa, raised in an international environment, being the daughter of a diplomat allowed Marianne to be open to new people, a new culture, and a new passion. 

“My very first experience with running, was probably doing the ‘Santa run’ in Ireland, where I had to run in a Santa beard and hat. I only started being more serious about it once I arrived in The Hague. I started doing track and field and cross country at my school about three years ago, and have continued ever since”. 

Marianne Garneau.

The American school of The Hague is where Marianne trains, with both the track and field and cross country teams. She has accumulated quite a few medals, arrived in the top 10 of all American schools in Europe in 2017 and represented her school in the NECIS competition in Denmark in May 2018.

More than being athletic accomplishments, running gave her a hobby, an activity to focus on when arriving in a foreign country, along with new friends and teammates. 

Marianne Garneau with international Diplomats participating in the annual running event.

One of Marianne’s biggest running accomplishment happened last year, during the Diplomat Fun Run, a 5K organised by the Diplomat Magazine for the diplomatic community in The Hague. Marianne was 12 years old, running a 5K for the first time, yet she shone even amongst adults.

What advice would Marianne give to people her age moving to a different country? “At first you have to be prepared to the fact that it’s going to be hard to adapt. But once you’re actually there, try and immerse yourself in different activities after school for example, like running or kickboxing. During summer, go to camp. It can change the way you see a lot of things and help you make friends.” 

With H.E. Mr Marcin Czepelak, Ambassador of Poland and the winners of the Diplomats Fun & Run 2018.

Being part of the second generation of diplomats in The Hague, can be challenging, “I had to leave my friends a few times, and learn to make new ones”, but rewarding, because it allows young students to learn about other cultures, learn a different language and discover new skills they didn’t know about.

Marianne is part of a small community in The Hague that has the privilege to travel, and often accomplish great things in the future. 

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