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Groupdinner @ Jonathan's


            During the past two weeks, our very generous CIEE staff has opened their homes to host small group dinner parties for the students. Each of the staff members, Reneé, Jonathan, Caroline, and Cato, scheduled either one or two dates for dinner and sent an invite to all 78 students in the program. Since Dutch homes tend to be on the smaller side, the spots available for each dinner were awarded on a first come, first serve basis.

            I was quick with my RSVP and secured a spot for Jonathan’s dinner on Thursday, October 30. He promised us exciting conversation and a traditional Belgian dish accompanied by sweets, so I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed.

            After a short bike ride to Oud-West, a part of the city I hadn’t previously been to, I was pleasantly surprised (and a bit confused) to be greeted by Reneé. Turns out Jonathan and Reneé decided to combine their dinners. Good news for me, I got to enjoy two home-cooked meals!

            Jonathan made a delicious beef stew paired with mashed potatoes and red cabbage; a Belgian recipe from his mom! Reneé prepared lasagna with meat and fresh vegetables from a local market. Both dishes smelt delicious from the moment I walked in, and tasted even better! They were just what I needed on such a chilly, fall night. As promised, dinner was followed by sweets. I was introduced to two typical Dutch desserts, Vla and roze koek, both of which were extremely tasty. Vla is a dairy product comparable to pudding, and roze koek (pink cake) is a pastry with a moose-like cream filling and pink frosting.

            Between reviewing Taylor Swift’s latest album, discussing various TV shows and actors, and learning more about Dutch culture and life in Amsterdam, the time flew by. We didn’t leave Jonathan’s until around 11pm, about four hours after we arrived, but I wouldn’t have wanted to leave a second sooner! It was great to be able to hang out with other students that I normally wouldn’t see and hear about their experiences in Amsterdam thus far.

After being in Amsterdam for around two months, I was truly grateful for the opportunity to enjoy two home-cooked meals! Yet again, the CIEE staff really out-did themselves!

Christina Kozlow - College of Charleston

Read more about Christina's adventures:


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