Sally Olson '19
On Wednesday morning, we woke up and quickly fueled ourselves with coffee and breakfast to energize ourselves for the day. After departing the hotel, we arrived at a special needs school in Rotterdam for children who were "double disabled." This means that the school helped children ages 8-12 who were both physically and mentally disabled. We attended the school's PE classes and played games with many different groups of children. Halfway through our visit, we played wheelchair hockey against the kids which gave us a whole new perspective on the game and our own abilities. Because of this experience, we were able to reflect on how fortunate we are to have this opportunity to travel abroad and make a difference in other peoples' lives. We then had a tour of the school and learned about the Dutch approach to this style of both physical and mental education and the amount of care and attention these children receive.
We then all got back on the bus and traveled to Gouda, home of the infamous Gouda cheese! We stopped in for a quick bite to eat and some shopping, full of cheese purchases and cheese-filled meals, of course. With full stomachs, we made our way to HC Rotterdam, Jer's old club, to play one of their top teams. Playing a good first half, we ended up falling to a highly skilled Rotterdam. We then ate a delicious meal at the club and watched the final men's series game between Rotterdam and Kampong. With a tied regulation score, we watched the shootout between the two teams among many Rotterdam natives. The atmosphere in the club was unlike anything I've ever experienced around the sport of hockey. There were so many people of various ages engaged in cheering on their club after every goal, stopped shot, or controversial call. Unfortunately, Rotterdam lost in a sudden death shootout to Kampong.
After a fun day of hockey and exploring, we ended the day with a low-key night on the boardwalk by the beach clubs, some of us sitting by the fire and reflecting on this unforgettable time in Holland.