Charles Taylor, Anne Frank House, & More

Trip Start Aug 2008
Trip End Jul 2009

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Flag of Netherlands  , Zuid-Holland,
Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Last week was certainly eventful. On Wednesday we went to see the Charles Taylor hearing at The Hague. It was in closed session in order to protect the identity of the witness, so we weren't allowed to see any of the hearing. We had a 2 hour briefing all about how the court was set up, why this hearing is not in Sierra Leone, etc. It was actullay a really helpful supplement to all of the reading we've been doing. That afternoon we went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (OPCW). We had another long briefing, and weren't really able to tour the facility because, as you might expect, there's a lot of top secret stuff going on there.

Friday we went back to the Charles Taylor hearing to actually get to see some of it. It was pretty awesome. We were like 10 feet away from him (on the otherside of bullet proof glass). In case you are wondering, Charles Taylor is the former ruler of Liberia who funded a war both in Liberia and Sierra Leone through money received by selling blood diamonds. The movie Blood Diamonds is actually about the conflict there (duh). The trial was pretty insane. The first half of the session was pretty boring, but then all of a sudden the witness told the court how he and his coworkers had been abused and tortured because their commanders thought they had lost the record book, and in turn stolen a bunch of amunition. The commanders found it a week later, and then gave them their jobs back. It kind of blows your mind to think of what these people have been through and seen.

That was a downer ... now on to fun ... In order to avoid studying on Saturday, I went to Amsterdam to see the Anne Frank House. It was really cool. The whole story makes so much more sense after you've seen it. The house itself was actually pretty hidden and was a lot larger than I had imagined (It still would have totally sucked sharing it w/ 8 people day in and day out). 

We did some shopping and stopped by the Sex Museum on our way back to the train station. Now THAT, is a messed up museum! People do some crrrrrrrrrazy stuff! I've never seen so many peni (not sure how to pluralize the word penis) and boobs before in my life (and thank God, really). Trevor, you would have loved it!


I also got some more mullet pics!

Saturday night the whole group pretended like we were going to write our papers and study for our midterm. That plan totally fell apart after a trip to the liquor store. The 'ole "a few drinks help to get the words flowing" excuse soon led to a major hang out session. We took some pictures of what it might have looked like if we were actually studying, though ;)




We also started mentally preparing for London and planning how we're going to spend our week off ... we're heading to Germany!

As you might guess, Sunday was not a day of rest, but rather an "Oh shit! We have so much work to do!" kind of day. Major studying and paper writing! It paid off, though, because I totally aced my midterm Monday night. My mom is not the only one that thinks I'm smart!

Tomorrow we are headed to Brussels. We are visiting the European Union Parliament and Council on Thursday and NATO on Friday. Some of us have opted to stay there for the weekend ... Bring on the Waffles, Chocolate, and Beer!!!!!!
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