First, Happy Independence Day, America! I was talking to the other American in my office, and we both agree that we tend to feel more patriotic when we're away from home. I wore red, white, and blue today...but subtly. White pants, navy shirt, and a red ribbon in my hair. No one noticed until I mentioned it, but it was my way of celebrating today. I'm hoping to watch National Treasure with the family this evening.

I finished my first draft of the Solomon Islands profile and of the Grenada profile! I am very proud of myself, and it's really interesting learning the history of these countries. We'll see what my supervisor says about my work.

As far as the title of today's blog...that has to do with the other half of the work I'm doing. I mentioned that I was doing an intensive study of post-revolution Tunisia. I am now doing post-crisis Kenya. I found this document that basically tells me exactly what I'm looking for. It's a verbatim record of a meeting that happened a few years ago. It's about 300 pages in total, and most of it is in English, but there are a few people who prefer to present in Swahili. I learned that language just under a decade ago, but my background is allowing me to also read those speeches (albiet very slowly and with a lot of help from google and an online dictionary). I'm really enjoying the research, and the meeting record is both interesting and entertaining. There are points when people just start getting into arguments for several pages, interrupting each other mid-sentence. I could probably skip those parts, but it infuses a little drama into the discussion.

This weekend I went to Delft. It's just the next town over, but it is an absolutely adorable and beautiful little Dutch town. It's what you picture a small European town looking like.


There are two old churches. Technically one is Old Church and one is New Church, but New Church was built in the 1500s or something. It is also where William of Orange lived and was murdered. The corresponding museum is probably one of my favorites this trip. I basically learned Netherlands' independence story. My love of this country just continues to grow!

Oh! I almost forgot! I have conquered my fear of bike riding! I am now biking to and from work (unless it's raining). It's actually really fun and super convenient. I'm now trying to make sure I properly understand the rules of the bike path. I think what has made me most nervous is the fact that any two-wheeled vehicle is allowed, so sometimes motorcycles will buzz by. It helps that they're loud. You just need to be able to tell the difference between a car that is in the next lane over and a motorcycle approaching on the left. The general rule is that you stay on the right unless you're passing someone, so I've just kind of made that part of the bike lane my home. 

In case I have not properly conveyed how much biking is part of the culture here, this is a picture of the "parking lot" at the train station in Delft:

Delft Bikes

More pictures here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10101619786855955.1073741831.426526&type=1&l=57bdc04741