Thursday, April 1, 2010

Last Day in The Hague

Today was our last day in The Hague with Ambassador Fay Hartog-Levin. We started our day at 7:30 and it was very windy. We traveled by bus to the Ambassador's Residence where one of our classmates, Megan Katuran had the honor of accompanying the Ambassador in her daily armored car ride to her office in the US embassy.

Upon our arrival we attended the Ambassador’s scheduling meeting, which took place in her “oval office”. This was followed up by another meeting, with the Ambassador’s senior staff. We were able to grasp a sense of the ambassador’s daily schedule, especially one that consists of many meetings and organized appearances.

We proceeded to the Information Resource Center (IRC) located in another part of the embassy to interview Jim Foster. Mr. Foster is a counselor for Public Affairs. He stated that every experience has a different impact on him. Before working with the United States Ambassador to the Netherlands he has worked and traveled in many different countries

Each country has changed his perspective on America and has given him a whole new appreciation for both the lifestyles-that of Americans and people of the world. We even sat in on a presentation given to the students about the United States Embassy and its role in the Netherlands.

Our time at the embassy wrapped up with a lunch and visit to their gift shop. Many of us bought United States Embassy souvenirs to commemorate our time there.

We continued our day accompanied by Jim Foster and Astrid Bharos following the ambassador and her husband to the Sea Water Plant at Scheveningen. To examine more closely an alternative form of heat & energy, taking the heat from the water to warm low income housing… this is to be the only plant of its kind. We were briefed by Lucy Saunders and Peter Hoogvliet, both employed at the plant. It was very fascinating and an unforgettable way to end our time with the Ambassador.

We packed up the gear and finished our afternoon early. Tonight we are set to have a wonderful wrap-up dinner reserved by Dr. Maria Luskay. This week is slowly concluding with one day left with a visit to the Keukenhoff, the extravagant Dutch Tulip Garden.

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