Sunday, May 31, 2009

Shout Out from Amsterdam

Today was Sunday. We were scheduled to work with YWAM today, but that got canceled once again. @ 10 we got together and discussed our views and opinions about Noah's Ark and the Anne Frank House. It was great to hear everyones perspectives.
Noah's Ark: I appreciated that they compared Evolution and Creationism side by side and showed straight up evidence supporting Creationism and I thought it was interesting how over 150 flood stories/legends throughout the world have been passed down from generation to generation.
Anne Frank: I shared how I think it is difficult to see God in WWII. Like, hello, God! These are your people and they are dieing by the millions, where are you, why did this happen? But, I know that my brain is small and the Lord is enormous and I cannot begin to comprehend the big picture of the story God had in mind. Then I shared how I was greatest impacted by Anne's father Otto being the sole survivor to return to the house. I could not have returned. I would have been furious with God, how could he do such a thing to me -take away my family and make me the sole survivor-, I would rather die. Anne died a month before freedom came because she had lost hope, she didn't know any of her family was still alive. Her father was and he did return home and he did publish Anne's diary. Anne's diary has been read by school children and adults across the globe and has impacted millions. In this story you can see God's hand. It all worked for the greater good.

After our discussion some of us went to church. I sat with Terrell and Mary and even though the worship was in another language my heart was the happiest it's been in a long time. I wrote down several notes from the message. I'll try to include these later because they were awesome. After the service we went through a prayer and oil line sorta thing. IT WAS AMAZING, hello Holy Spirit!! Astounding prophetic words and encouragement. Afterwards I was so filled I didn't know what to do with myself. So the three of us sat in a room talking to Jesus for a long time until a fire alarm went off throughout the building.

Kristen, Mary, Terrell, Jon, and I then made our way to a supermarket. The one closest was closed and then the one we walked to was closed too so we went a gas station and then walked along one of the canals. Mary and I then walked to pizza and sat talking for hours. I then skyped with my family :] and wrote post cards and now I'm sitting with Ana and Travis having a wonderful time talking. Chris made me a turkey out of a balloon, lol.

Notes about Europe:
- The people here are physically healthy looking.
- Everyone rides there bikes. I have seen bicycles with 4 people at a time on them. Literally there are probably millions in Amsterdam alone.
- Water isn't free.
- Toilets are not free. 40-50 cents.
- Ice is never included.
- Waiters give you what you want and leave you alone.
- Very little driving takes place.
- No such things as snacks.
- Dinners at 9pmish.
- Everyone smokes.
- It's vital to speak several languages.
- People have become discensored.
- Water comes in shot glasses.

While writing this post:

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Today we went to the Rike’s Museum, which contained a lot of famous and spectacular artwork. We were not allowed to take photographs, sad. After Rike’s we stopped for lunch, yummy & cheap pizza and milkshakes that are not like U.S. milkshakes –much more milky, not thick-. Then we had the option between diamonds and Van Gogh and I with 3 others chose once in a lifetime art and it was fantastic. Starry night, sunflowers and countless others that simply took my breath away. We then had a few free hours before touring Anne Frank’s house. The weather was so nice that I chilled in the park a while and then watched Terrell play basketball with the locals, and finished the time with Mary sipping on sparkling ice tea and red bull. It was crazy to be in Anne Frank’s secret hideaway house. I read her diary while in school and to actually see where she lived and hear the story was mind blowing. Lots of rich history/culture in a day! The museums were all top notch, particularly the last 2. Italian for dinner & a taxi home saved me an hours walk!! I love taxis :] First ride in a car since my daddy took me to the airport weeks ago, seems like months ago. I am tired! Tomorrow we are serving YWAM, hope it goes well :]

29th :] Hello Akmaar!

We traveled to Akmaar to witness a cheese market. Cheese? I don't even like cheese, lol, but I love the city of Akmaar. I wandered around with Mary and McKenzie through a lot of shopping and fabulous cafes.

Me, McKenzie, Mary

Ballet Studio :] LOVE IT
We didn't care to stick around and watch the little cheese auction. After a morning adventure we found anne & max's restaurant which was 5 star in my book. Friendly, inviting, English speaking, kind waitors, fabulous decor, and good food, iced teas, and desserts!

Max & Anne's

I would love to have been able to stay longer in the town, I would recommend making a stop there on your trip to the Netherlands. After Akmaar we went to see Noah's Ark replica in Sneek. We made a little stop onlong the way at a man made dyke with salt water on one side & fresh on the other, it was pretty cool. I'm a water type girl :]

Noah's Ark in Sneek:

It was a fun experience, the tour personnel spoke a lot about Creationism vs Evolutionism. Fascinating, definitely still fully support the Creationism idea! There was bible stories throughout part of the tour and the Prince of Egypt movie was definitely playing. APU college kids in the Nethlands squatting on Noah's Ark watching the PofE :] love it. The tour guide shared his testimony - breath of fresh air. After our final ride on our mercedes-benz tour guide bus we had dinner at the Hard Rock in Amsterdam. 2 for 3 cities so far! It was delicious and we had a wonderful waitress from Canada.
Tour Bus while in Amsterdam

Walk to YWAM after dinner
* There are so many bicycles here. I see more in 1 day than all prior times of my life combined
&& we have walked so much. I would love to know the mileage I've been going at while in Europe, particularly Amsterdam~

That evening some of us went out and we ran into people from Glendora that Travis -one of the students on the trip with myself- went to high school with. How crazy is that?! lol. It was a great day all the way around :]

Friday, May 29, 2009

Amsterdam on the 28th of May

5:45 knock at the door making sure we were getting ready to leave. We visited and toured the flower auction that Holland has. It was amazing, so many beautiful flowers. The number of flowers sold was unbelievable and it takes place every day. The smell of the job site was perfect. After that we went to see how clogs were made. I really wanted to buy a pair and had to ask several individuals to talk me out of it. Sad. We had incredibly sweet (sugar wise) pancakes that I loved because I have a sweet tooth. After hanging out for a bit and taking photos in a giant wooden shoe (with Asian tourists, lol, funny times) we went to see the process of cheese production. I am not a big cheese fan so it was nice that it did not go to long. I did buy a really cute mug though and played with sheep. Holland is beautiful and I love it. I hope to return to Holland several times over. We returned to the base and I took a two hour nap :] and then it was dinner time. I helped clean up the kitchen afterwards and we had group time. I was able to complete more homework and hang out and call it an early night! Tomorrow we are going to a cheese auction. Great. Lol :] Amsterdam is growing on me but I definitely choose Holland.

May 27th. Amsterdam

Today was a free day and it was wonderful. I slept in till 11:30, AMAZING. I woke up in the best mood. I was able to finish reading a book and write an essay on it, completely & in total, which is awesome to be done with. We made a quick outing to the super market. I volunteered to help set up for dinner which is at 5:30, but set up is at 3:30. McKenzie and I made salad while Mary helped with the meat I believe and Jon set the tables. After dinner we had group time. Devos, presentations, and clarification. I was able to make it to the worship/speaker service at the base at 7:30, which was fabulous. I needed stand up and scream your lungs out worship and God gave it to me. Thank you Jesus for meeting my needs. I was the only individual from my group of 20 students to go, you could say I was sad about that, but pushed it from my mind. One of our instructors was there, but it was fun meeting people. It went until 9:15ish and then I was able to hang out and chill for a bit while doing more schoolwork, but I ended up doing a lot and not going to bed till late.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Amsterdam day 2


6:45am we were out the door for a corporate visit at Shell Oil. It went very well. Shelly, an APU alumni, gave us a history and an overview of the company and a panel discussion followed which was very interesting. So far every corporate visit has stressed the need to by multi-lingual. After that visit we had a tour of a seaport, one of the largest in the world and then visited the Church where Calvinism was born. We had a Greek dinner, which was delicious and now we have been resting and doing school work back at the YWAM base. It was a very full day and the weather was rainy and cold, sharp contrast from previous hot hot days. I slept a lot on the bus, but it’s not real sleep. We get to sleep in tomorrow; I’m excited :]

Arrival to Amsterdam

The 25th

We left for the bus in the morning and drove to the city of Antwerp in Belgium, which was once the diamond capital of the world. We wandered through the city center and stopped in at a lot of little shops as well as a cute deli for lunch. I was in a small group including Mary, Terrell, Lisa, and McKenzie. After 2 hours we continued on our way to Amsterdam. I slept a lot of the bus throughout the day. Upon arrival we had a tour of the city and made our way to the YWAM base, which ended up being completely different than I was expecting. It’s a bit run down and there are very very few people here. We each have rooms down one hallway, many have there own rooms and a few doubled up. I am sharing a room with McKenzie, I didn’t want to be by myself and it just worked out that way. We had dinner with the base at 5:30 and then headed over to a man named Wilfred’s house, which is in the center of the read light district. In Perth I housed in the red light district, but it was nothing like Amsterdam’s. We took a bit of a “tour”, which made me sick to my stomach, impossible to breath, and every part of me cried out to run. I repeatedly reminded myself “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the world.” Thank God a million times over for Terrell’s presence and constant source of strength and for the ability to pray.

Everything is legal here (prostitution, drugs, everything) and everyone seems to have been desensitized and accepting. It is horrifying. I cried praying before even entering the area. I could go on and on, but I will not.

After our outing there was a giant storm filled with lightning and thunder. Great is the Lord; His faithfulness reaches to the heavens and His loves endures throughout all. God is here, there is hope, freedom can come to Amsterdam. After playing in the rain I sat with Mary for hours talking about everything and I love her and God is so good. He has blessed me greatly with her friendship. My evening went late.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Brussels is my new love

Bonjour! and hello in German and Dutch :] Three main languages of Brussels!

Night of the 22nd
After arriving home from Euro Disney I was invited to tag along on an evening adventure. It was the last day in Paris and I was not one who wanted to sleep or sit at out hotel room like so many others. I met up with Jon, Terrell, and Lisa and we took the metro quite a ways. We found the Statue of Liberty, French style and had a lot of fun experimenting with flashlights and cameras :] We continued our walk to other monuments and cool bridge spots all in view of the Eiffel Tower. I had forgotten to eat dinner and continuously complained about my hunger pains; therefore we stopped in at a cute restaurant for pizza and dessert. The food was great, but snobby waiters, just like most everywhere else we had come across in France. We finished after the metro had made it’s last stops so we walked back to our hotel which was very much a ways away, but it was our last night in Paris, it was with fabulous people, and it was an adventure and I loved that evening.

The 23rd
We were up-and-at-em early for breakfast and devotions. Then we were off on a walk to the train station to leave for Brussels. A suitcase broke, problematic. We took a bullet train and sat in first class and had great food and a WONDERFUL view of the French and Belgium countryside. It took half the time we were expecting, which was sad because I was getting so much reading in for homework. I was filled with joy upon arriving in Brussels. The city is amazing; people are friendly, its easy going, comfortable, cheaper, and much cleaner then Paris. It is a huge contrast and I would choose Brussels over Paris any day, any time. The view from our hotel room is AMAZING. I am rooming with Kasaundra and Lisa for the time here. Right outside is an open air market which is a lot of fun.

We had a corporate visit at a chocolate shop; the best visit so far and then we went to mass at a beautiful cathedral. I was one of the few who showed respect throughout the time there. The service was in another language, but it gave me the opportunity to spend time with the Lord and pray, which I was so grateful for. Pita for lunch. I wandered around the city with Terrell and had chocolate strawberries and good conversation. Belgium waffle with caramel ice cream and strawberries for dessert with Ana, whom I love. It was all so good and inexpensive compared to Paris. The evening was so much fun and Brussels is now my favorite city, my happy place :]

Today, the 24th
Breakfast at 9 and then I went back to sleep until I was woken by a knock and an invite to chocolate strawberries and a walk to the park –both were fabulous. Did a little shopping at the market and had a corporate visit and then we all went to dinner. It was another wonderful day. I love Brussels. Tomorrow we head to Amsterdam, which I’m nervous about. It will be amazing, but I’m expecting a lot of stretching and growth –I pray for this- I feel the urgency to prepare myself and to spend time just me and the Lord.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Euro Disney = 5 Stars :]

21st continued!

Kristen & Ana went to lunch. We began by sitting at a cute French restaurant but ended up eating at the Hard Rock Café :] lol, which was full of Americans. Right after paying the bill we dashed out of the restaurant to find a bus that was apart of our 2 day pass and hoped on, not realizing there were multiple colored buss' with different routes, woops! Anyways, we managed to find our way through the metro system and reached the Louvre around 3:30. We wandered around gawking at art that we had seen in every history textbook that we have come across through out our lives. Definitely saw the Mona Lisa and the Code of Hammurabi although I was more amazed by other sculptures and pieces of art work that aren’t as popular.

We stayed at the Louvre until closing at 6:00. We headed back to the hotel and worked on home work and tried resting a bit.

22 de Mai

Euro Disney! Oh my goodness, it was SO MUCH FUN. Similar to Disneyland in California, but lots of different rides and the park is not as spread out; it’s also newer and cleaner. It was a holiday so it was a little crowded, but whatevs, I loved it! We spent most of the day there and I got to know my newish friend Mary Brooks a lot more, which was fabulous. Anyways, Euro Disney had a lot of characters out and constant entertainment other than just rides which was really cool :]

This is Mary and Amelia

Some of the boys: Tyler, Travis, Grant, Terrell, Jon

Thursday, May 21, 2009

bonjour, oui oui, s'il vous plaît, vous remercier, au revoir

Woke up for breakfast which was at 8:00, I slept like a rock and felt much better but I could have slept another 4 hours solid. After breakfast we had devotions. Kristen led them and spoke about servant leadership. I get to do it tomorrow. After devos we had a ‘class’ session with Underwood for org & admin. It turned into a clarification hour that brought tension and stress instead of relieving it. There has been a drastic lack of organization and communication, which is the cause of most every problem I have come up against throughout my life. At the hotel there is not a business room or anything where we can meet so we end up in the lobby or the small dining area. This leads me to feel we are an inconvenience and an annoyance to the rest of the guest, which is difficult to me. After ‘class’ we had an assistant manager of the Hilton hotel come and speak with us. It went an hour & a half longer than planned with a lot of extras we were not expecting. We now have the rest of the day ‘free’ so a couple of us are planning on heading to the Louve and Versailles, hopefully a coffee shop and a couple other destinations along the way. We have a lot of homework and group work to do. I am in the purple group with Kristen and Analise (who are my current roommates at the hotel in Paris) and Terrell and Zach. We shall see how the day unfolds :] hopefully lots of art!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Oui s'il vous plaît

Le bon soir messieurs et mesdames,

It's late in the evening and I have had a headache all day. I love my trip so far, so please ignore any negatives you might pick up on :]

I'll finish where I left off the other afternoon. The group arrived safe except for a minor mishap of a lost passport... great. Anyways, everyone was shown their rooms and then we left for the dinner by the metro. We ended up being very late (half hour), embarrassing! However, they held our table and it was a wonderful meal. Just a side note: Medium-Well = Medium-rare, so please be aware! :]
The restaurant was near a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower and we were able to see it lite up; this year is it's 120 anniversary.

After dinner we had to quickly hop back on to the metro because it stops running soon after 12. Back to the hotel to work on studies, we were exhausted.

This morning we were at breakfast by 8am -in the hotel-. We had to stick around for devotions and a presentation. Then Kristen, Ana, and I tried to sleep or at least rest a bit before we had to leave for our corporate visit at 12, noon. Dressed up in suits and heals we headed off on foot. We made it outside of Coty within 15-20 minutes only to find that we were early so we could find out own lunch and the corporate visit was at 2:00, plenty of time. We wandered around, walked a lot -which ended up killing most of the girls' feet- and I wasn't too hungry, but managed to find a place similar to Jamba Juice -lol- but much smaller amounts and healthier -straight juice-. I sat and talked with Grant and Travis, it was fun getting to know them better and I look forward to hearing more stories.

We waited outside Coty for 10-15 minutues and then waited inside the conference room another 20 minutes to come to find they were expecting us at 3, not 2. Great! -I felt like we had wasted a couple hours, and that was really hard to take because we are IN PARIS and we are TIRED- The corporate visit included 4 speakers. The first 2 put us all practically to sleep -everyone's eyes grew to blood shot and we all felt the same way- the 3rd was a bit more entertaining, and the last was a woman who gave us fragrance tests to see if we new what any smells were. One was the one my mom wears :] that I have bought for her before and one I recognized from a friend who's on the trip with me -Amelia. That was the only fun part about the visit even though Coty is a huge, successful company that I greatly admire and would love to work for.

After the visit we walked all the way back to the hotel, which was horrible because of my feet, they felt like they were on fire and I couldn't stand still at stop lights that were red. We were given 15 minutes to change and meet back at the lobby, but we were all exhausted. We walked more -yay! lol- to this bus stop but there was great miss communication and confusion and we all just sat waiting for direction for at least an hour (an hour + we could have spent sleeping or exploring!) and finally we got onto a bus tour which was fun because of the group of people, but we couldn't get off because it was the last trip around -we are going tomorrow if we want- all of the buildings started to look the same, but the Seine was very exciting to me -lol-.

We were let off at the Eiffel Tower where a group of us explored and traveled to the top which was SO AMAZING and so much fun. We were able to watch the sunset from it :] Afterwards, I still had my headache from yesterday morning and I was hungry, tired, dillusional, lol. We started off for food/metro -hadn't really made up our minds yet- and decided on the metro (11pm). We then split up and some grabbed food to go (Kristen, Tyler Mouer, and myself) and other's went for pizza.

I left out a lot of details, but I'm going to bed. I have to get up early, another day with lots of activities planned!