Clogs and cheese

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Friday, June 25, 2010

Visited a typical farm and met Katrina and Kees Jan.  They taught us how to make clogs and the secrets of Dutch cheese.  One form of the cheese was made with chilies!  There was a barn with giant bales of hay.  The students had fun playing up on the hay and swinging on a couple of ropes.  Next we all loaded up on a tractor and drove out to the middle of a field.  There the students played Farmers Golf.  Each student had a stick with a small wooden clog at the end.  They used it to hit a ball across the field.  As I stood back to watch it was quite surreal that only a couple of hours before we were trapped inside of a plane and now we were on an open field on a farm in Amsterdam with a bunch of students who have never even left home and now we were playing Farmers Golf.


We had a traditional lunch on the farm.  There were a variety of flavored cheeses to have with bread and jam.  We also learned about their chocolate sprinkles which are basically spread on bread with butter.

Later we went to a bowling alley.  This was a surprise for me because I wasn't expecting to fly to Amsterdam to bowl.  I bowled with the students for an hour and then in the next hour students started falling asleep from the exhaustion of the long journey.  There were students passed out sleeping on the lanes and at tables and the chairs.


Next we took the bus to an enormous park that was famous for rowing.  We took a short hike and then all sat out on the grass and played some games.  I loved Blink Murderer!

Today was a delightful surprise because this was my third visit to Amsterdam so | wasn't expecting much (plus there would be no visit to the Red Light District!), but we ended up doing a variety of activities that were all new to me.  It was interesting that there was so much for me to see that I hadn't before.

There was a funny moment when we all stopped to buy bottled waters and the kids were starttled when they opened their bottles and experienced carbonated water for the first time as it sprayed all over them.  I enjoyed this as it became one of many moments in which students experienced new cutoms and culture and I got to share it through them again.  However, throughout the trip it was humorous to hear the students' humor with the locals' customs, but yet they were completely blind to their own misconceptions.

We began the day with a walk through the canals and streets on our way to visit the flower market located alongside the canals.  There was booth after booth of vendors selling flowers.  Natually the students all enjoyed the weed starter kits.  The students had a difficult time walking the streets with so many bicycles to contend with.

Later we visited a diamond factory.  We learned how a rough stone is cut and shaped into the final product.

For lunch we did the American tourist thing and went to the Hard Rock of Amsterdam for hamburgers.  Nothing says Amsterdam like hamburgers and coca cola at the Hard Rock.

Next we took a canal cruise.  This was another new activity for me and I enjoyed the architecture of the buildings we passed on the river.

For dinner we had a traditional meal wtih something resembling a meat ball in a carrot mashed potato.

Later we visited Anne Frank's house.  Anne was originally born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1929.  In 1933 when Adolf Hitler came to power with the Nazi party, Anne's parents, Otto and Edith, moved the family to the Netherlands.  Anne's family lived there safely until the Nazis occupied the Netherlands in 1940.  Their family's secret hiding place was in the annex of the building.  Inside the home we could still see the famous bookcase that hid the entrance to the secret annex.  In the end, Anne and her family were captured.  Anne died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.  Anne's diary was first published in Dutch in 1947, but today it has been published in over 60 languages.
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karl on

Nice post!
By the way, if you have any intentions of visiting Red Light District, you should check out The Amsterdam Red Light Guide

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