Saturday, 1 November 2008

Wassenaar, Berkel & Amsterdam

Wassenaar - we stayed in a mobile home on a theme park with a huge indoor water complex (Never stay in a mobile home in Autumn half term - it was freezing). When it comes to rides, it seems our Dutch friends have a different concept of 'safety' and they clearly assume people have common sense. This results in rides that are self regulating, fast, and worrying easy to get hurt unless you sit very, very, still. The water slides were no better, insanely (and irresponsibly) steep - one ended with a 3m drop into a pool. Some were so fast that I couldn't face repeating the experience!

Berkel - we visited the newfrontiers church on the Sunday and met up with family Geurts. It was fun to worship with Dutch songs and listen to a sermon via translation headphones. Afterwards we went to Gerke's parents house for a typical Dutch lunch. There was a shocking disregard to well established traditions of savoury food followed by sweet food. It seems they are happy to mix it all up throughout the meal - which Gerke again demonstrated a few days later in a pancake house. Shocking.

Amsterdam - We visited a school that has offered to take our children and we were shown around and 'sat in' on various classes. Our children bravely attempted to understand what was being taught in Dutch whilst also trying to pick out potential friends. Half the class were non white, non of them spoke English. It was in an urban setting over 4 floors - not the leafy, low buildings and playing fields of suburban Reading.

It was a good time in Wassenaar, Berkel & Amsterdam. We have some more good Dutch memories and a clearer picture of our future lives there. My back is still sore from those rides but that is all part of carrying my cross for Jesus!

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