The first stop on our rather protracted way home to the US is Holland. For two days, we are staying with Patrick & Brenda Rietveld, fellow SIL colleagues. They used to live in Entebbe, Uganda and Musoma, Tanzania, but now they live in Barneveld, Holland where Patrick works remotely as a translation consultant. Here they are with their three children:
When the Rietvelds asked us what we'd like to see, we told them we didn't really know (apart from wooden shoes, wind-mills, and dikes, of course...). So today they took us out into the countryside for a picnic in the blooming heather. Since most international travelers get to see Amsterdam, we considered it a real privilege to spend some time in rural Netherlands. It's truly beautiful with roads shaded by gigantic oaks, farm-houses with grass-thatch roofs, and of course the purple heath.
(The last picture is of the edible 'foxberry'.)
On our way back from the picnic, we stopped to see an exhibit of sand sculptures. This year's theme was the Dutch royal family (one of their kings was thought of as a gorilla, apparently...):
The sand sculptures were really big and carved with incredible detail. They last less than a year; next year new ones will be made with a different theme.
After going through the exhibit, we had coffee and ice-cream: yummy!
We are thankful to have friends here in the Netherlands. They have been so hospitable and have allowed us to rest as we make the rather shocking (and exciting) transition from the near stone-age environment of Timu to a land (Europe) of so much accumulated human achievement.