Birthday Adventure

I can't believe I only have one week left. I have really enjoyed working in the Netherlands and for IDEA. I have learned so much and have really enjoyed my research. Next week I am to put all the research I have done into some sort of coherent paper, or start of a paper. The two documents of notes that I have - one for Tunisia and one for Kenya - are about 40 and 75 pages, respectfully, so I think I have a good amount to go on.

My birthday was this week! It was the first time that I was out of the country for my birthday, and I wanted to do something I would really love. I decided to go to Haarlem. I suppose this is where my nerdiness comes out. Haarlem is where Corrie Ten Boom lived. A nonprofit turned her house into a museum after she died. 

Ten Booms

Many people have never heard of the Ten Booms, but Corrie is one of my heroes. I read the kid-version of her book The Hiding Place when I was in elementary school. The house (which they called the Beje [pronounced bay-yay]) is in the middle of the city, just down the street from where the Gestapo were headquartered, so it couldn't be used to house people indefinitely. Instead the Ten Booms were sort of coordinators, helping people to find safe places to hide and ensuring that they had food and clothing (Corrie managed to steal hundreds of ration cards, which Jews were not given). People may stay at the Beje for a few days while waiting to hear from a safer location. On the day they were betrayed, 6 people (4 Jews and 2 members of the resistance) were in the house and had to run into the hiding place they had built in Corrie's room:

Hiding Place

The Nazis didn't find them, but it took a few days for people to figure out a way to sneak them out. Corrie was released from the concentration camp where she was sent, apparently due to a clerical error. She spent the rest of her life touring the world and preaching about forgiveness. Anyway, for me, seeing where it all happened was an amazing adventure for my birthday.

Also wonderful was my awesome mom. I knew that she had sent me some birthday presents, but I did not know that she had also sent the Stratings a box of birthday decorations and party favors. The Stratings put them up and made amazing meals and desserts for me that day. I just had lots of fun.

Hope you're enjoying your summer!