The Netherlands my “motherland”

It is funny how time just flies by and life just goes on and I think that there is not much to tell or to put on my blog. So now it has been over two months since I last posted anything. Well about two weeks ago I realised that I had a hole in my schedule and since I had already longer thought I would really like to visit the Netherlands again, may it be a short or a long trip. So then I booked a ticket and went. Here follow some pictures from this

20131007-175337.jpg Leaving Stockholm airport for the fifth time this year. This time I’m not going very far but only too this very small country that is home in a way.

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Great news at the airport: they are sponsoring UNICEF!

20131007-175905.jpg I stayed the first night in Amsterdam with a dear friend from my DTS. This is the central station in Amsterdam.

20131007-174813.jpg The next morning I met up with another friend (there will be a lot of anonymous friends in this post ;)) at Dwaze Zaken in this building. A great cafe right in the heart of Amsterdam, definitely worth the visit if you are planning a trip there. I love the messages on top, that are calling out to all Amsterdam’s visitors and inhabitants, not trying to hide what Salvation Army was there to do, now it houses this other amazing organisation called Youth with a Mission, continuing to give out the messages of the love of Jesus!

20131007-175257.jpg …and here is the building more up close.

20131007-180024.jpg Downtown Amsterdam, a city full of history!

20131007-174934.jpg Talking about history: with this anonymous friend I went to the Jewish Historical museum. Amsterdam used to be full of Jews, and they sure have shaped much of the culture of this city, but today there are very few left. But museums and other sites like these remind us of their presence and remind us what we as human beings are capable of doing to each other, let us never forget.

20131007-175400.jpg These are all the choice of what you can put on your bread in Netherlands. I don’t think my Nutrition Professor is going to be very impressed by the amount of sugar that we eat…

20131007-175055.jpg I took the bike (and maybe burnt off some of those extra calories) into Meppel to the weekly market morning. Always so much fun to hear vendors calling out their products, like as if they were in a more exotic location.

20131007-175221.jpg Oh dear… more delicious calories in the shape of “patat met”, a definite must when you go to the Netherlands.

20131007-175931.jpg For the first time in my life I rented a car, this is the way to find out which cars NOT to buy. It was going to take me visit the YWAM base at Heidebeek and friends in Oldebroek.

20131007-175412.jpg From the coffee corner at YWAM Heidebeek! I had forgotten my camera at home, so there are not that many pictures to show for the beautiful ride through the Dutch forest area and through small villages. In Oldebroek I got to see a little miracle girl from a Dutch-Indian couple that are not super young any more. They came home to deliver their baby that ended up in a cesarean section. Every time I hear about deliveries that needed some specialised obstetric care, like a cesarean, I get tears in my eyes of gratitude that yet another life, or possibly two, have been saved. And than I think of all those women and unborn children that live in areas where these services are not available, and I am reminded once again why I am in this business of improving the access for health care in low-income settings.

20131007-175951.jpg Well come Saturday I was a little tired of being such an extrovert so I stayed home for a while of the day, but then since we had another beautiful I took a ride into the village where my dad is from and where I lived my first six years of life. Here follow some pictures from along the road to Ruinerwold.

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20131007-175135.jpg Continuing down memory lane, here is a picture of the house my grandfather had built and where we lived before moving to Sweden the first time over.

20131007-175207.jpg On the way back, beautiful countryside.

20131007-175939.jpg Sunday had church on the schedule. Met lots of old friends there. Went home with a family where I used to hang out a lot in my teenage time. Now I they have three teenage boys of their own. With one of them I ended up playing and singing worship songs, he was pretty good on his electric guitar. Here is on my bike again, yes I’ve biked a few kilometres during this trip, the skyline of Meppel with the water tower and the church tower.

20131007-175027.jpg Here is proof of that I have actually biked. In the afternoon today I went on a bike ride around town and along the pear trees in the village where I grew up. I love the freedom on a bike, especially in the Netherlands.

20131007-175112.jpg On the train back to the airport.

20131007-175125.jpg I love traveling by train, you get to see so much of a country that way. >
20131007-223605.jpg Back at Schiphol Airport ready to leave home to go home.

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Oh wow, that was a slightly long post. I hope you enjoyed the bike ride around the countryside in the Netherlands. From the air I say until next time!

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