28 April 2010

Amsterdam Day #2

Let me just start by saying that day #2 was much better than the first. Part of that was due to sleep. Another part was that even though I woke up way too early, I played around on the internet and was refreshed with a facebook convo with Chrissy. It was great to talk about adoption and other stuff. Thanks Chrissy!
Once Ryan woke up, we got ourselves ready and headed to breakfast. After breakfast while standing on the balcony, Ryan captured this photo. If you look close enough you can see Curious George. My kids love CG and so the letters I wrote to them for each day that we're gone have something that CG was curious about and wanted to share with them (ie: map of our travels, pics of an Amsterdam canal). So, we brought CG along, he's a puppet by trade, to take some pics for our kids and to use at the orphanage. So, this is for you Scott and Bethany: here's Curious George at the Art Gallery Hotel in Amsterdam, Holland.
This next photo gives a great overall view into our day - us and the Dietz' being shown around Amsterdam by a very good and knowledgeable tour guide, Ruud Stuurman. It was great today joining them with a little sleep under our eyelids and with Shonda and Travis along. There's a draw bridge off in the distance which isn't very obvious. But across the river there is where the Jews settled. During WWII, these draw bridges were drawn up making it easier for the Jews to be captured. What a sad part of the Jewish history!
I was going to show you a pic from the Red Light District but forgot to upload one. Don't go google the RLD unless you want it to show up on your x3watch as porn. The RLD was originally started for the navy men's entertainment. Apparently the regular ol citizens also enjoyed the entertainment because it is very much alive today. We were there during the day so we didn't see ALL the smut (thank you Lord) but we saw more than enough. A beautiful part of town with the "old church" but every window front is either "toys" or women in lingerie selling themselves. I wouldn't have really caught on to it all but walking past one window front Ruud said "the curtains are closed so they're busy". Seriously? Why do they do that? It was sickening and sad and we kept having to encourage our hubbies to not look inside. This area had nothing on the chocolate anatomy I saw in the stores yesterday. Oh my. God's wrath on that situation will be worse than Sodom and Gomorrah. How log will He, the One who created those people to bear His image, allow that to continue?
We also saw outdoor urinals. Kinda like porta-pots but only for men and not completely closed in. It looked kinda like a phone booth really, you could see the person from shins down and shoulders up. Really odd. We have a pic of that too that I didn't upload.
This next pic is a clean one. It's a view from the canal ride. Did you know Amsterdam was built on a canal system. The history here is amazing. The buildings date back to the 1600's and have this built new but built to look old look. Ryan laughed when I said that about the buildings because I'm so used to the new to look old... these are just old. Funny.
And finally a picture from yesterday that I had to share. This was an orphanage back in the day (there were several in the city). The details are small but the box shapes were boxes that held the clothing of the children. It's like an outdoor dresser. Very interesting.

Okay, there was much more to our day but I'm tired and ready to peel my contacts out of my eyes. we leave tomorrow morning at 1035am for Ethiopia. Our schedule says we're to land at 905pm. I'm getting super-duper excited to get to Ethiopia and meet our son.
Thanks to our friends and family who've kept our kids so that we could have 2 days in Amsterdam before going on to Ethiopia. A big thanks to Ruud and An for showing us around the city the last two days; we look forward to meeting up with you in July in beautiful Northeast Iowa.

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