Thursday, February 19, 2015

Be Sure To Do Your Homework

When we got our first email from a couple inviting us to a home exchange, we were excited and
thrilled -  Destination The Netherlands, the place exactly where we wanted to go after many years of
absence from this wonderful country!  Our response was immediate and spontaneous:  "Of course, 
who wouldn't want to come to beautiful Holland"  Off we went to a suburb in the city of Rotterdam
for a two weeks stay..... After arriving, we soon realized that we had landed in one of the most 
conservative towns in Holland where people, may of evangelical bend, still went to church on a 
Sunday morning dressed in their best suits and dresses,  harking back to the 50's and where on a Sunday it was impossible, (and I mean impossible!) one could sit down in a restaurant for a cup of coffee.  It was a rude and unexpected awakening.  The only way out of this conservative ghetto was
to take the local bus or ferries to Rotterdam or Schiedam for a livelier experience.

The moral is:  Do your homework!  Find out as much as possible about the location in which you
plan to live and do not get surprised as we did.  Maybe a quiet, conservative environment is exactly
what you want.  But we are people who enjoy the city and the hustle and bustle that city life brings.

The picture you see above was actually taken in the community where we had chosen to exchange:
"Vote for Jesus" the sign says and that says it all even when exchanging your home with someone in a progressive country like Holland:  Do your homework!