I have just finished my third day here in Amsterdam. I really had intended to write something each day, but between jetlag and a full schedule seeing the town, this is the first chance I have really had to stop and think. Really, I suppose I should be out and about tonight since Amsterdam has a thriving nightlife much like Las Vegas or Monte Carlo.
This has been a fantastic trip and I am glad that I came. It’s funny, looking up and down the street, if you don’t look at the street signage, you would almost thing that you were in a large city on the Eastern Seaboard like Boston or Alexandria with much older architecture. It looks pretty normal, which is part of the point. Try to go anywhere or talk to anyone and it’s pretty clear that you’re not in Kansas anymore (sorry, I had to). For the most part, English is spoken as a second language and most people can switch easily between the two. Being that both English and Dutch are Germanic influenced languages, there are many similarities, which also helps when trying to read signs while speaking only English. Usually you can get an idea of what’s going on and if you can’t, someone who speaks both languages is likely nearby.
The real bonus of the trip is the morning teaching sessions. Having taken two Missions and two Church History classes through my church’s in-house Bible institute, it really set me up for taking this trip. Our Senior Pastor and trip leader, Jeff Adams had repeatedly said that while some content is repetitive there were some things that could be taught far better here than in a classroom and he is so right! I am not much of an artistic person in terms of fine arts and most of the time, whatever message the artist is trying to convey just blows right past me, but Jeff has spend considerable time showing us how philosophical ideology and forward thinking shows up later in art. It is far too much to get into here, but it’s a great study! I know that when I get to the museums, I will get a lot more out of it than I otherwise would have.
If you have any connection to KCBT and not been, I highly recommend the trip. When you look at the itinerary, it looks like there is oodles and oodles of downtime and yes there is some, but boy it goes fast!
I’m sitting in my room writing this and chowing down on some stroopwafels. If you know what they are, I know you are jealous. If you don’t, you should be!