Journal 2008


The exchange of the Schenectady adults to Nijkerk.

In consultation with the American Schenectady-Nijkerk council a Schenectady Adullts exchange to Nijkerk took place.
The program we gave our American guests can be found below.
April 28th At last, after all the preparations, such as finding host families, creating and arranging a program for our American friends, it could start.

April 28, Monday
At 7 am we were at Schiphol. It appeared that the plane already had landed and yes there they came, an orange wave. I think most people thought that soccer fans had arrived. It was a joyous meeting.

Arrival at Schiphol

All together, in the bus to Nijkerk. We made just a short detour through the Flevopolder to show our guests the bulb fields with flowers, which they liked tremendously.
In the “Schakel”, while enjoying a cup of Dutch coffee, the guests got acquaintanted with the host families. The Foundation Nijkerk Schenectady gave each family an information package with the program for the following days.
Edith Terschegget, the president of the Foundation, welcomed our American guests and wished them a good stay in the Netherlands
That afternoon further acquaintance was made between the guests and the host families. Each could fill it in to their own taste.
In the evening there was a Potluck Dinner prepared by all the host families . It was excellent and everyone enjoyed it and sure did credit to the tasty snacks. There was a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere. It was a good start!

April 29, Tuesday

This day was the formal reception in City Hall. The American guests were welcomed by the mayor of the city of Nijkerk, Mr Renkema.
In his welcome speech the mayor recounted of the origin of the ties between Schenectady and Nijkerk. Edith Terschegget, president of the Foundation Nijkerk Schenectady, thanked the mayor for his favourable words . Michel Brockbank presented to the mayor, on behalf of the Americans, a book about Schenectady and Orange Bodywarmer.

Ontvangst op stadhuis Voor het stadhuis

This was followed by a tour of the City Hall and ended with an excellent lunch, according to Dutch traditions, soup and bread with a croquette.
After lunch, a visit was made to the museum of the Foundation “Oud Nijkerk” and everyone, who was able to, could climb the tower of the “Grote Kerk”, where Freek Bakker, who plays the Carillon, told something about the Carillon. The day ended with a visit to the Orphanage where David van de Velde, chairman of the board, explained the history of the Orphanage.
The evening was spent with the host families.

April 30, Wednesday

This day is Queens day, the national celebration of the Queens birthday. The day was spent with the host families, who showed the guests their traditional events of this holiday. Many people met eachother on the “Vrijmarkt”, looking for souvenirs for home. This Free Market is a kind of boot sale. In this way, it was possible for our American guests to see a bit of Dutch tradition and enjoy the festivities.

May 1, Thursday

This day we spent in Groningen. The whole group was invited by Catrijntje and Giulio Gunta d’Albani, who visited Schenectady in 2006 with the exchange visit.
The bus brought us safe in Usquart, a little village in the province of Groningen, where coffee / tea and pastries waited for us.
From here we went to the Lauwersmeer where we boarded the boat that took us to the mudflats where we, on bare feet, trousers rolled up, waded through the water to the mud flats. The group was led by a guide to walk the wad. Everyone thougt this was a great experience.

Wadlopen Kerk van Pietersburen

After we got ashore we drove through the country to Pietersburen where we visited an old church and were told about the history of the surrounding area .
After a ride through the Groningen landscape, including a tidal harbour, we arrived in Ursquart. Everyone enjoyed the sumptuous meal that was waiting for us. .
After a long journey we arrived back in Nijkerk at half past ten where the host families were waiting.

May 2, Friday

Hans van Orden, Bertha Tijsseling and Jan van de Kuinder accompanied 26 guests on the trip to Amsterdam. The group went by train.
First they made a canal boat trip.
After this the group visited the Muiderkring Museum, a 17th-century canal house concealing a secret church called ‘Our Lord in the Attic’.
Lunch was in the ‘New King’, a Chinese restaurant, located in an ancient weigh station.
Subsequently the interesting city walk went to the Museum Willet Holthuysen, which allows the visitor a glimpse in the lives of the merchant class who lived along the historic Grachtengordel (Canal Ring).
From there they passed the Rembrandtplein (square) and had a look at the statues there. Further on to the Flower Market.
After this point everyone could follow his/her own interest as visiting an other (grand) museum, have a drink on one of the many terraces or do some shopping. At the end of the day the group met on the Dam square, at the National Monument and from that point most travelled together to Nijkerk.
The weather was nice, the group in good spirits an the city very inviting and interesting. A great day

May 3, Saturday

This was the traditional Enkhuizer day.
This day the guests and a number of host families visited the “Zuiderzee” museum. It was nice to be together on the boat sailing to the historic fishing village. It was beautiful weather and the American guests, including the host families, enjoyed the old houses that once stood along the Zuiderzee, an inland sea. The old crafts that were shown here gave a good picture of how they lived along the seashore in the early days. It is a piece of history of our fishing and shipping industry and a picture of their daily lives.

Klederdracht Oude woonkamer

After a warm, tiring and very interesting day, we were picked up by the host families at the meeting point in Nijkerk.

May 4, Sunday


Memorial Day Second World War.
This day was partly filled in by the hosts families. In the afternoon, we assembled at the town hall for a silent march to the monument in the “van Reenen”park. Our American guests and the Foundation Nijkerk Schenectady, laid a wreath at the memorial. Everyone was impressed by the solemn happening, remembering what had happend in the second world war. Herdenkingsdag van de tweede Wereldoorlog.

May 5, Monday

Here our American friends could enjoy the Dutch phenomenon “Tulips” (Bulbs) . Everyone was greatly surprised by the beauty of the flowers and the plants.
This evening was the Farewell Dinner in Watergoor.

Farewell Farewell speeches

This was organized by our American guests and offered to us a thank you for the warm reception and the days they had spent with us.
Some people received a gift offered as thanks for their effort those days. It was a pleasant and very successful evening.

May 6, Tuesday

But nothing lasts forever . It is hard to say goodbye.
The American guests, no they are our American friends, left. Some of them went to France to visit the invasion beaches of 1944.
Bon voyage and till next time!

Onze gasten Onze gastgezinnen
 Posted by at 18:24