Arrival in The Netherlands & First Impressions

Airport and Plane Ride by Ny’Asia

We have a great group of people on the Netherlands LGBTQ Human Rights program. Everyone is having a wonderful time!

Food as a cultural and bonding experience by Bradie

Whether cracking into a crisp roll, dusting powdered sugar on Poffertjes, or adding sprinkles to your morning toast, the food in the Netherlands has added a whole new level to traveling abroad! The 16 of us didn’t know what to expect… some of us had looked up what might lie in store for us and when Wikipedia told us the Dutch had sprinkles for breakfast, we weren’t sure what to believe. On the first day arriving in Amsterdam, the group leaders took us to De Carrousel, a wild restaurant serving a traditional Dutch food: pancakes! There were two kinds for us to select from- poffertjes or a pannenkoeken. Very different from each other, poffertjes are bite sized pancakes and a pannenkoeken is an oversized thin pancake! There were almost 20 different ways that we could choose from, a popular favorite being the classics of each kind: for the poffertjes, butter and sugar, for the pannenkoeken, bacon and cheese. With a gluten free option and many ways to flavor, De Carrousel was a hit for everyone! Including options with fruit, Nutella, bacon, and other savory and sweet treats, we could have chosen a familiar taste or reached for something traditionally Dutch. Sitting at tables of 4 and 6 together around the restaurant, we discovered the best way to really get to know each other and bond… food! Together from the day at De Carrousel, many group members have ventured out of their comfort zones and tried other traditional Dutch foods or attended pop-up restaurants, cafés, and markets to get a sample of Dutch culture through taste. We look forward to taking a little bit of culture from each place we go… especially through taste!

Anne Frank House by Neftali

At the Anne Frank house, it was a very emotional time for me. Throughout the house, it depicted a very serious and hidden life that most Jews had to go through. As a Hispanic female from Texas, I fear the worst knowing that Americans are heavily washing away my culture by force. This scary depiction could become my reality for me. As America starts to rid itself of its immigrants, it is important for the world to recognize that history is repeating itself. However, this experience has empowered me to become more active in my own community. When I get back home, I have promised myself to attend every protest, to help reunite families, and to ask for easier and safer citizenship routes. I cannot stay hidden any longer.