Culture Days

Towards the end of May I held my personal project. I wanted to have four students from America come to the Netherlands for a few days to experience different cultures, have discussions, and inspire them to volunteer. The basic plan for each day was to have a presentation and discussion in the morning and go to a museum or site in the afternoon. A main goal was to broaden their view on the world and show them the benefits of service.

The first day I picked them up from the airport in Amsterdam. Their flight was delayed and their luggage did not arrive on time so it took a little longer than I expected. But I just had a short meeting planned for the evening so it was ok! After greeting each other I told them a brief schedule of what the next few days would look like. We decided to walk form the train station to their hotel which took over two hours! It was quite tiring but a good way to get a first impression on the city.

On the second day we had a Dutch culture presentation in the morning from a local student in Amsterdam, who also led the discussion. I think everyone enjoyed the presentation and it could help them understand the culture more. After the discussion we went to the zoo and spent most of the day there. We also had some cultural food like chips for dinner! The third day of my project was me giving my presentation on YSI and Ghana. I knew two of my participants quite well and they were interested in what I have been doing all year. They thought it was nice how I could choose what projects and volunteer places I wanted to do. We visited the Van Gogh Museum as our site for the day and went to a nearby park afterwards and played some sports.

The last day of the project was sort of a follow up where we went to a butterfly greenhouse/garden sort of thing and discussed what future plans they had. I originally planned on going to the Keukenhof Gardens but sadly they closed just a few days before the project. One main interest of my participants was media and they had a very cool initiation of their own! They recently opened a video game café and it seemed to be doing quite well. We also talked about some small projects we could do together in America when I return. Overall, I am happy with the outcome of my project and I think they took the opportunity to learn something. It was my first time organizing a project and I look forward to hopefully doing another one someday.

-Preston

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