I like my extended name: Martine Umutesi Vanderheyden-Lundahl. All by itself, it says my Belgorwandese origins and my heart ties to Norway.
I was born in Belgium, in Verviers. Since my youngest age and despite the love I have for my native country, I have always dreamed of escaping, of living in countries where I would feel totally in my element, understood.
Despite a chaotic school career, but thanks to the fierce will that characterizes me, I ended up flying to Norway to finish my studies there. In 2011, I obtained a master’s degree in spesialpedagogikk (specialized pedagogy).
Since 2006, I have lived in this beautiful country. I gave birth to four beautiful little Vikings there: Sarah-Patricia, Oskar, William and Noemie-Sofie. Of course, I remain strongly connected to Belgium. I regularly return to my home region, the Eastern Region, for family stays.
My path was not always easy. But I owe to my (mis)adventures the encounter with writing, through two autobiographical stories: “Une Adventure” (Édilivre, 2016) and “Two Suitcases, Joys and Misfortunes of A single Mum” (Editions NAKUONA Forlag, 2022). Since then, the desire to write has never left me. One thing led to another, new ideas, and new desires appeared. My third book, “Dans les yeux de mon prochain” is presented in the form of a reflective walk, the fruit of my meetings with some amazing people doing great things for our human societies.
My motto (homemade motto):
“Why want to be and do like everyone else when you can make a nice difference by being yourself?”