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Group Travel Netherlands: Hallo Mijn Familie!

Hallo Mijn Familie!

This was probably the weekend that I was most excited about so far. Why? Because I finally got to see my family! No, it wasn’t my immediate family, but I have some cousins who live in Holland, up in The Hague, that I have been meaning to visit since I got here. We have been so busy here in the last couple of weeks with the group trip and all of our tests and projects that I haven’t gotten a chance to see them even though we live so close to each other. So this weekend, partly because I was so tired of travelling from the group trip and was craving some comforts of home, and partly because we had a field trip for class up in The Hague, I decided to finally see my family.

It was one of the best weekends I have had so far while studying abroad, but in a very different way. First off, it was so nice to see my cousins, who I haven’t seen since I was twelve or thirteen. Since then, my cousin got married and had two children, so it was so refreshing to be around a family instead of a bunch of twenty year olds. THE KIDS WERE ADORABLE! I don’t think I have ever seen cuter kids, and they could only speak a couple of words in English. We had to converse via interpreters (their parents) when they had questions for me, but for the majority of the time we used nonverbal communication. Their favorite thing to do was for us to look through books and magazine and they would point out different pictures and say the word in Dutch. Then I would repeat the word in Dutch and then say it in English. That way, we were both practicing a new language. After every word I recited was with a terrible accent, and so they would giggle after every word I said. They were very apt to languages, while I struggled to pronounce the simplest of words. Despite this fact, I still learned lots Dutch words while I was there that will come in handy while I am here.

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This is the Prime Minister’s office, the “Oval Office” of The Netherlands 

                  In addition to spending time with family, I also got to see a lot of The Hague. With my class, we went to the Maurithuis, the parliament building, and we even walked past the royal palace. It was so striking to me how little security there was around these government buildings. In the United States, you would see policemen and Secret Service all over the place, but in The Hague I only saw a couple of police cars the whole weekend. It was quite comforting to see that security threats are not such a big issue here as it is back at home.

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The famous Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer

The museum we went to, the Maurithuis, was so great. Although it is a relatively small museum, they have many well-known paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Hals, and Rubens like the Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Goldfinch. It was so cool to see the paintings close up, and to see the tremendous effort and detail that went into the paintings. So far, it has been my favorite art museum experience—even more so than the Louvre. Where the Louvre was somewhat overwhelming because of its size and variety of art, the Maurithuis was inviting, warm, and allowed you to really take in all of the art around it. My trip to The Hague was a much needed break from the frenzies of travelling and gave me time to truly relax and enjoy The Netherlands. I would definitely recommend visiting if you have the chance.

 


Jade Connor is a Sophomore Biology major from Lewisville, Texas at Baylor. She has always wanted to study abroad, and when she was introduced to the Baylor in Maastricht Pre-Med program, she jumped at the opportunity. She also has a lot of family who live in the Netherlands, and is very excited to be visiting them while studying abroad! Stay tuned for more of her posts here and follow her on Instagram: @jadeconnor32.
 
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