Today I leave for Europe, first to serve as chair of a quality assurance review (accreditation visit) for a Department of Defense international school in Brunssum, The Netherlands, and then to play a few days in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. The school serves children of the Joint Command NATO forces which include a representative group from the United States, Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
I fly into Dusseldorf, Germany, and will be picked up by a colleague who will be serving as my vice chair. We will then drive about an hour and a half to Brunssum which is located in the southern part of what used to be called Holland. From what I have read, it promises to be a pretty drive, and we will have time to stop along the way if we choose.
On Monday, we will meet with the commander and other officials, and then late in the day, meet members of the school team who join us from different Department of Defense schools throughout Europe. I always enjoy meeting these educators who have led extremely interesting lives, often living in many different parts of the world.
The next three days, I’ll be quite busy in the school, evaluating its programs and processes, talking to administrators, teachers, students, and parents and reviewing all matter of paperwork, etc. I’ll also spend time in classrooms.
Then, I’m off to play. I’ll either leave for Amsterdam Thursday afternoon or early Friday morning. Although I have been there before, it has been eight years. The last time I was there I had an incredible opportunity to see the Floriada, which is a gigantic international floral festival held only once every ten years.
For acres and acres, there are flowers growing representing different nations, all beautifully landscaping the hills and valleys that surround lakes and ponds. I will miss the tulips this trip, but there will be plenty of other things to see; hopefully a few windmills. I loved the canal last trip so I know I will take another boat ride.
One day I plan to visit The Hague on the North Sea, home of the International Criminal Court and the de facto judicial capital of the United Nations.
After a short visit, I’ll probably catch the train to Delft, known for its blue porcelain that is synonymous with The Netherlands. At this point, “play plans” are not carved in stone, because I always get good suggestions when I meet people in the schools. These recommendations often cause me to change my mind anyway, so who knows? I only know I will fly out of Amsterdam to come back home, but the in between is still in limbo, therefore, watch for blogs and I’ll keep you posted.