Little Amsterdam…Without all the tourists
We were warmly welcomed by the girls at AEGEE-Leiden. From the workshops to the activities, AEGEE-Leiden led a very organized and accommodating stay for Team Blue!
The first night that Team Blue arrived in Leiden, we watched a documentary called ‘A Plastic Ocean’ with local AEGEE members. The documentary was quite a reality check on how much plastic is really going into our world’s oceans. Not only is it polluting the water system but it also has a huge impact on the ecosystems and species that depend on the ocean for survival. After analyzing a variety of fish and seabirds, it is factual that a high percentage ingest these plastics or otherwise get entangled by them. With the rising human population, it is critical to lower the amount of single-use plastic usage and reduce waste production in order to protect our oceans as well as all other ecosystems on earth.
One afternoon, we joined together in the University Park to learn about sustainable gardening. We created two different DIY projects – first, we used mason jars, tissue paper, and soil, along with beans for sprouting. Secondly, we used egg cartons along with soil and a variety of seeds including flower, vegetable, and herb seeds. Both are at home projects that can be kept indoors for sprouting and later transferred to a pot or bed for growing!
In celebration of the National ‘Pet a Lamb’ Day, we went to a petting zoo to cuddle the adorable lambs. We spent the day outdoors, seeing the animals and having a nice picnic. I think it is important to spend time with many animals, to see their innocence and connect with them on a personal level.
Vegan Dinner / Workshop
We had the chance to attend a delicious three-course vegan dinner in which we presented our workshop on Food Sustainability in between courses. The meal was fantastic and included zucchini rolls and bread as an appetizer, curry and rice as the main dish, and a brownie for dessert!
We led our workshop to provide information on the ecological impact of the food industry, more specifically the meat industry. We then went into a fun online kahoot game to go along with the relaxed vibe in the restaurant.
Keukenhof Tulip Garden
Something we were very much looking forward to since the beginning of Europe on Track was to see the beautiful tulips in The Netherlands. Luckily, we ended up in Leiden during the perfect time of year, as the Keukenhof Garden is only open for a very short season during the tulip bloom. Being close by, we were able to take a bus to the garden in the morning and wander through the vast open garden before heading back for our workshop. Being encompassed in miles of emerald forest with a thick carpet of colorful tulips, we were able to connect with nature and fill our souls with the peacefulness of the great outdoors.
Thank you for hosting us AEGEE-Leiden, see you somewhere in Europe!
Stay tuned for Team Blue’s next adventure through Tilburg!
Written by Brittney St.Amant, Photos by Gab Mejia