An update from Jessica, an international studies major who served on the Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural Committee:
Today we all had to gear up for another full day of committee sessions. We have been pretty creative with our food and lunches, trying to save money by packing lunches from things we get from the market down the street.
Our efforts are complicated by the fact that our hotel rooms are sans refrigerators and the fact we are never quite sure what we are buying from the store since we can’t read Dutch. This has resulted in some yummy finds as well as some questionable decisions.
My room – Chey, Mahan, and I – is currently living off of banana-nutella sandwiches, non-refrigerated yogurt that is delicious, soy chocolate milk, which is equally delicious, cheese and crackers, fruit, and our most delicious find (thank you, Mahooney) – WAFFLES. Mahan found these amazing sugar waffles at the grocery store that will definitely be in my top five things I will miss from Holland.
Things we have learned from our Dutch grocery shopping – you cannot, in fact, leave salami on the windowsill, regardless of the outside temperature, if your room becomes a sauna in the afternoon when the sun shines in. Also, bananas in the Netherlands are kind of exotic – I gather this from how the price is at least triple what it is in the States. Other food discoveries: The Turkish pizzas from the store across the street are cheap, but there is a good chance they will upset your stomach.
Chinese food is even more questionable. A few of us ventured into Chinatown and were very excited we found a decent-looking restaurant. I was so hungry when I started eating my rice and chicken with peanut sauce – it tasted delicious. Only when I came out of starving mode did I begin to realize that our food was actually kind of gross. The Dutch do know how to do street fries, though. As well as street waffles, WHICH HAVE CARAMEL INSIDE. Very, very yummy.
Today our committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural) was very busy. We had about seven or eight working papers on the floor, and everyone was busy trying to combine their papers and begin working on draft resolutions.
Adi and I were busy making sure our voice (the Holy See’s) was heard and our ideas were being included. The cool thing about being the voice of the Vatican is that everyone seems to want to hear what we have to say. I was worried in the beginning that we would feel irrelevant since we were representing a body with observer status only, but we have been very active and have expressed our opinions to almost everyone in our committee.
Our chair even made a comment to Adi about how impressed they were about how involved we were in our committee. It’s nice to know the chair noticed our efforts! Unfortunately I don’t think we will get to our second topic regarding human rights in Tibet. Since I am really interested in that topic I was a little bummed we wouldn’t get to it, but our current topic has been really interesting as well.
After committee sessions today we had our group SMU dinner at an Indonesian restaurant close to our hotel. It was nice getting to eat with everyone and have a really delicious meal. You can only have PB&J for so long. We can definitely put this restaurant on our list of good food experiences 🙂
Tomorrow I am looking forward to spending the afternoon and evening in Amsterdam.
We had a really good time when we went last Saturday seeing the Anne Frank museum and the Van Gogh museum. I love how Amsterdam is dominated by pedestrians and bikers – it makes walking around an adventure in itself. JAMsterdam, here we come!