Den Haag and Helen Clark

Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of Netherlands  , Zuid-Holland,
Monday, August 31, 2009

I know I just updated this yesterday, but I wanted to share today's little adventure.

This morning we journeyed out of Leiden for the first time and went to The Hague (Den Haag), which is the seat of government for The Netherlands and is also home to the International Criminal Court, among other things.  (Fun Fact:  While Amsterdam is the capital of The Netherlands, The Hague is home to the government.  I'm not sure but this might be the only country where the capital is NOT the seat of government).  This was only a 15 minute train ride south of Leiden, and we will be returning for an official school excursion in a few weeks.

Today's trip was just an added bonus, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs was holding a lunch discussion with Helen Clark, who is the former Prime Minister of New Zealand and the newly sworn-in head of the United Nations Development Program.  Today she spoke about her plans for the UNDP to assist in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, the deadline for many is 2015.  These development goals include cutting in half the number of people who live in abject poverty (less then $1 a day), improving the rights of women in developing countries, etc, etc.  This discussion and Q&A session was really incredible, and such an opportunity. 

I only have a few pictures of our trip.  Unfortunately The Hague is not the prettiest city.  Although we got to the city about 2 hours before the lunch, we just strolled down the block a bit and grabbed some coffee and sat outside and chatted.  I also have to admit that these pictures come from Kim, one of my cohort-mates, because my camera battery died.

Not much else going on, just A LOT of reading and studying.  Several of us are planning a trip to Amsterdam next Saturday, so watch for another update........
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