Trip to Friesland

I was invited by my friend, G, to join her on a day trip to Heerenveen, located in Friesland, one of two northernmost provinces of the 12 provinces of the Netherlands. Heerenveen is her birthplace and where she spent the first ten years of her life. In the Netherlands, ‘veen‘ is peat, a type of pre-coal vegetation … Continue reading Trip to Friesland

Hold your Breath! Dutch Rising Seas, Swim Diplomas and Canals

The New York Times just published a fantastic article by Michael Kimmelman, The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World is Watching. This comprehensive treatise on Dutch efforts to hold back the sea is well worth a read. I chuckled when I read that the writer included information about requiring Dutch children to earn … Continue reading Hold your Breath! Dutch Rising Seas, Swim Diplomas and Canals

Kinderbeestfeest (Kid’s Animal Party) at Artis Zoo

The city was blazing with sirens on Friday. It was the annual Kinderbeestfeest, an event for around 1,400 chronically ill and disabled children, their siblings and parents. The festival kicks off with rides through the city provided by the police, fire department, ambulance service, Navy, Netherlands customs, Koninklijke Marechausse (Royal Military Police), the Red Cross, … Continue reading Kinderbeestfeest (Kid’s Animal Party) at Artis Zoo

Look Toward or Turn Away

When we arrived in the Netherlands almost 3 years ago, I was immediately taken aback when people spoke directly to my son, B. when we were out in public.  Almost no one assumed that just because he had a disability he couldn’t speak for himself.  There was no detectable nervousness or hesitation to deal directly with him. He … Continue reading Look Toward or Turn Away

Market Herons

I have a history with herons. We often walk past the Albert Cuyp market in the evenings when it’s closing. A cacophony of clanging metal and clashing boards, workers shout in unknown languages, hurriedly disassembling the stalls. Squeaking and rumbling luggage handling carts turned market carts careen down the street, moving products and materials to their … Continue reading Market Herons