January 25-27, 2007

Friday, January 26, 2007

By Nate Wybenga

Wow!  The past few days of our interim have gone by very fast.  We are all now packed for the most part, and are ready to leave for home at 6:30 next morning. 

On Thursday we took the entire day for one last grand excursion.  We left an hour early and headed to the northeastern part of the country.  There we drove around for most of the day looking at areas developed by peat.  Peat was used in earlier times for fuel for purposes such as heating homes.  In this part of the country the peat was so prevalent that as much as 4 or 5 meters of soil was dug out of entire regions.  After the peat was dug away much of the soil was sand and the land became used for farming.  Now the region is trying to grow the peat by preserving the land.

So we drove through the northeastern part of the country and paid attention to how the use of the peat shaped the lives of the regions inhabitants.  We also took a side excursion (a.k.a. a wrong turn) and even got to go into Germany for a brief while.

In the late afternoon we had a great opportunity.  Along with several students from the university in Groningen, we received a lecture and tour at the headquarters for the natural gas company that maintains the pipelines for all of the Netherlands.  Their building was very incredible, and it was very need to see the unique architecture.

After the tour we went out to dinner with the university students.  This was also a fun time to have some interaction with students our same age, and we were able to get a somewhat good understanding of life as a university student here in the Netherlands.

Then today, Friday, we had a free day.  I think almost everyone went to Amsterdam for at least part of the day.  The rest of the day was for the most part devoted to packing and cleaning up.  Tomorrow morning we leave from our home here at 6:30 in the morning, and are set to arrive in Grand Rapids at around 11 o’clock Michigan time Saturday evening. 

The time here has gone by so fast.  I think we have all had a good experience and have all learned quite a bit about the “Dutch landscapes”.  This will be the last entry for the blog, and I hope you have enjoyed reading it.  We will see you back in Michigan!
Nate Wybenga


One of the sandy regions where peat has been dug away


We visited some ancient burrier grounds called Hunebedden



Tree climbing time!

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