Today started just like an average day back in Greenville, with the exception that I was in the Netherlands! As we walked to the bus stop, I was amazed at the outstanding types of flowers and beautiful landscape in front of almost every house. Landscape design and construction is something I will be keeping my eye on, as it is a personal focus. When we arrived at Han University for class, I was very excited, yet nervous at the same time. The professors engaged us in an interactive lesson plan and teaching technique. The technique used was a game; the class was split into two groups and “made” into an automobile manufacturing business. Each group looked at and interpreted a specific manufacturing and business plan, while the other team evaluated and critiqued the plan. The point of the game was to notice and eliminate any manufacturing and business steps that added no value to the product, the business process, and supply chain management. It was an amazing educational exercise because I learned a valuable lesson in business management and cost management. Lessons of this nature will be valuable to all of the students in our group, regardless of their major and career expectations. After class, we traveled to the city of Nijmegen for a tour. We walked around and visited a local mall that was very similar to a U.S. mall; it was just Dutch style. The Dutch mall had very interesting architecture (something else that is of interest to me); it was snake-like and didn’t have any corners or dead-ends. The really cool thing was that when we exited the mall, we were in a completely different part of the city from where we entered!
As we were walking, we visited a local baker. I was ecstatic about all the different baked goods to sample. The shop was called “Strik Patisserie,” and my favorite indulgence was “midigebakjes,” which is fruit on a yogurt-filled pastry. These were some of the best baked goods I have ever experienced, and I have a feeling I will be coming back here. As we continued to tour the city, I saw something new and interesting at every corner. For example, one building had a “stone head” above every window. On closer observation, I realized that each of these “stone heads” were different and unique. I was truly amazed by the early Dutch architecture. The architecture of every building was unique in every aspect, from new construction to historical landmarks. I was in awe of how some of these buildings were constructed long before modern equipment and techniques were available. While on our way back to Groesbeek, we stopped at a local grocery store to buy some local cheese—a product the Dutch are known for. Later that night, I feasted on a sandwich I made with “Achterham Flinterdun”(turkey) and pepper cheese on bread. On a full stomach, I looked back on the day and was excited for what my next “Dutch Day” would bring!