Friday, October 1, 2010


Today was exciting and humbling.  We started our first full day in Amsterdam on a canal cruise.  I probably would have gotten more out of it if I had actually been inside listening to the history.  However, I sat outside looking at the beautiful house and boat houses.  Paris is still my favorite city.  Anyways, the group and I went to the Anne Frank house.  A sobering experience.  It was like looking hate in the face, or at least the history of hate because of a person's religion was interesting and sad.  A neighbor of Anne's talked about while her and Anne were at a concentration camp, Anne had no hope because her sister had died and did not know her father was still alive.  I thought about the poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller who wrote the following poem.

In Germany they first came for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me —
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
For some reason, history like this inspires me to want to do something more.  To make another person's life a little more better.  To speak up for the little people who have a voice.  But what can I do.  I am currently trying to figure that out.  It seems that my calling is to be a nurse.  Maybe that will help me speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.

I love Amsterdam.  The little quaint cafe's down the little streets.  The little holes in the wall, that in the states a person would not dare to even venture into.  After a fun filled afternoon at the Rijks Museum where I discovered I have no clue about art because I have never heard of the Jan Six portrait or the Night Watch.  However, I have seen the self portrati of Rembrandt portraying himself as the apostle Paul.  I figure that's my thing.  Learning about the history of different places and seeing it in art. 

Dinner was at a Thai restaurant.  Owners of restaurant establishments love to serve you dinner and have you wait.  Either way, we ended the night at a Jazz club.  Another first in my book.  AND, it was awesome.  I think it will be something I will continue.  I always wonder what story musicians are trying to tell. 

Louise and I decided to pay our way back to the hotel and got on the number two that took us out of our way.  Three stops out of our way.  So of course at midnight, in Amsterdam the number two train was not running the opposite direction.  Therefore, we were forced to walk in the rain back to a familiar area.  Which turned out to be right around the corner from our hotel.  LOVELY!!! At least we are safe at home.

Did I mention I don't miss Afghanistan, or the stuffiness of the military or the Dementor like military officers that only hope for world domination.

Off to another adventure tomorrow!!!


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