Today was by far one of my favorite days. Eric, our teacher, planned almost an entire day for us. At noon him and his wife picked Liza and I up from school and brought us back to their home for lunch. Both Eric and his wife have Mondays off, so today they decided to give us a true, authentic Dutch experience. For lunch we were given scrumptious croissants. For the contents of our dutch sandwiches we were given the option of butter, four different flavors of sprinkles, some sort of sandwich spread, peanut butter, chocolate, and/or cheese. With two croissants on my plate staring back at me, I decided to add cheese and the mysterious spread to my first sandwich. For dessert, I grabbed the second croissant and lathered peanut butter between the two slices. I then topped it off with chocolate sprinkles. Delish!
After lunch we headed to Eric’s wife’s school right around the corner from their quaint home. I cannot remember her name at the moment, so for stories sake, lets call her Lisa. Anyway, Lisa works at a school for students with special needs, and as most of you know, I will be a special ed. teacher very very soon. Seeing what they do here in the Netherlands regarding Special Education was great. Her classroom was very organized, neat, and useful for her students. She had many different posters and signs hanging around the room that she translated for us that I really enjoyed. Their curriculum is very interesting as well. Every 5 or 6 weeks they start a new topic/lesson. A lot of what they are learning involves social skills and problem solving. They also have many science and history lessons which I love. I feel like science and history are becoming less and less important in our schools and it is terrifying. We are so concerned with our students getting good scores on their L.A. and math tests/exams that we tend to push aside science and social studies. Its a shame.
After getting a tour of Lisa’s school, the four of us headed to the pier. I was thrilled to find out that there is a much bigger and more popular pier just up the shore from our Roompot pier. As we strolled down the pier admiring the views, the restaurants, and little shops, Eric and Lisa informed us all about the town of Scheveningse and the history behind it. Once again, the history behind the places where we visit amazes me. As we peered down the coast, we could see WW2 bunkers that the Germans occupied. Hearing Lisa and Eric talk about the history is truly astonishing. Hearing the words come from them seems to be a little more authentic. Many of their close ancestors/relatives lived through and within some of the most historic times.
Post pier we were given a tour of some important places in the Hague. I was beyond thrilled when they told us they would take us to a German bunker a short distance from the Sea. Seeing these incredible artifacts in person was unbelievable. It is an indescribable experience to stand in the same spot as German soldiers once did over 70 years ago. I am lucky to say that I feel like I have had many of these “indescribable” moments thus far.
After our fantastic, informational excursion we headed back to Eric and Lisa’s home. There we met their two children, discussed traveling and life, and feasted on a heavenly classic dutch meal. The salad was topped with fresh veggies and a delectable orange dressing. For our main course Lisa had roasted potatoes, garlic, and sausage in the oven. The mouth-watering smell filled the air. The meal was marvelous. After politely stuffing my face with the amazing home-cooked meal, we were given a Dutch dessert. Two types of pudding: chocolate and/or caramel.
Getting the privilege of having dinner with Eric and Lisa’s family is something I will never forget. Giving us a tour of the Hague, making us lunch AND dinner, and opening up their home is an experience that I can never thank them enough for. They were both so open and willing to tell us stories, inform us on different topics, and share their thoughts and beliefs. I am truly grateful.
This last picture is a picture of a house that was built on top of a WW2 German bunker. The family wanted to preserve the historical landmark and decided to make it apart of their home. Once a year the city has a day in which all of the historical landmarks are open to the public for free. Along with the rest of the historical landmarks, the family that owns this property opens up their home for people to experience.