Global Student Leaders Summit – Day #8
Written by Katie Flathom and Ryan Thoreson
After a busy few days at an inspiring conference we traveled from The Hague to Amsterdam. The first thing we did was ride a boat in the famous canals of Amsterdam. While on the boat you could see the amazing architecture and buildings. On the canal boat ride we learned about the history of Amsterdam and the buildings surrounding. When the boat canal tour was over we walked through the busy streets of Amsterdam. It is very hectic and overwhelming walking through the city. There are pedestrian sidewalks, bike lanes, trains zooming by, and cars driving past it all at once. However, you can learn very quickly to be come more aware of your surroundings. After the walk through the city we had about two hours to explore Amsterdam to do last minute shopping and get grab lunch. Last minute shopping can make you buy a little too much for example wooden clogs, slippers that look like wooden clogs, magnets, snow globes and much more! Wandering around the city you get to experience the culture of the city which we all enjoyed learning about.
The Anne Frank House was one of those experiences that you had to see for yourself, mainly because we couldn’t take photos in there; but besides that, seeing the living conditions made me realize how fortunate I truly am. I’m fortunate because of the human rights today that allow me to practice my religion freely. If these rights weren’t present today, I might have been in the same position as Anne and many others who had to hide for their lives just because they practiced a religion they were born into. Back to the house, the rooms were compact and humid and the stairs were steep. In the house were also some of the pages from Anne’s diary as well as photos of her and her family. Many entries in her diary were on the wall in both Dutch and English. Just outside of the house was a small cheese shop with a wide selection of cheeses made from goat and cow milk. The lady running the shop was generous and gave us many samples. My favorite was a cheese with walnuts that was bitter, but also sweet. After looking at and trying the cheeses, we went to dinner at Mama’s Cafe. The chicken was superb and some of the students gave speeches thanking the people who ran the trip. I’m upset that this was my last day before flying home, but I’ll never forget this wonderful trip.