Hallo, Deutschland!

A week-and-a-half ago, our group left the States for Berlin. Germany,  in ten days time, has undoubtedly left many impressions on each student visiting Germany for the first time.

A group of us students rely on maps to get around.
A group of us students rely on maps to get around.

For me, the trip is my first to any European country. Thus far, I’ve found the cultural experience to be thoroughly enjoyable on the whole. Some aspects of the culture, though, have provided contrast to the clichés and stereotypes that I’ve previously heard and formed about Germany.

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I find Berlin very nice and weirdly comfortable. I think it’s because I grew up in the Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. Studying in a completely different environment from Calvin College is surely a refreshing opportunity. I did not expect to be this hot, although it is exactly what reminds me so much of Jakarta. We are literally sweating at least once a day, something that rarely happens in Grand Rapids.

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Happy Birthday Ann

While technically not related to this course, today is my wife Ann’s 50th birthday.   I asked the class to sing Happy Birthday to her  - I though they did a great job! I am not sure how fast our server is to show this video.  You can right-click on it to save it to your computer and then listen locally.

Happy Birthday Ann!

Leonard De Rooy


God, Why?

Friday, July 25th and Saturday, July 26th are two days that I will forever remember from my journey in Germany. Friday, the Calvin crew ventured over to Sachsenhausen, a concentration camp in northern Berlin, where we were privileged with the burden of touring the once horrific concentration camp. The next day, the group took a trip to the Holocaust Memorial Museum where we, again, had the terribly wonderful opportunity of walking around the beautifully crafted museum, reading stories from victims of the second World War.  Continue reading