Week One


Dr. Peg Alden teaching the students what tools ethnographers use to study culture.

We have had a wonderfully full first week in Leiden.  Peg and the students spend mornings in the classroom learning about anthropology and afternoons steeped in Dutch culture.

Wednesday we took the train north of Leiden to Enkhuizen to visit the open air Zuiderzee Museum.  Afterwards we headed to Amsterdam for a walking tour and group dinner at a lovely grand cafe.


Recess time!


Inside Pieterskerk where many of the original English settlers are buried who died in Leiden and never made it to new land of America.


Nolan and Ben observe the communal water pump shared by the poor residents who lived inside the almshouses in the 1600’s.


Leiden’s “Wall Poems” are scattered throughout the city in all languages. Here, Tyler recited William Shakespeare’s Sonnet.

Students are recording their anthropological observations in their daily journal entries.  Later in the week, we visited many almshouses hidden away in the peaceful courtyards throughout Leiden.  The almshouses exemplify the egalitarian aspect of Dutch culture.  Along the almhouse tour, we visited the Pieterskerk (Peter’s Church) neighborhood where John Robinson and the Pilgrim Fathers lived for 12 years before setting sail on the Mayflower to find a new way of life.


The train makes a great place to study. Here we are heading north to Enkhuizen.


Tyler reads the textbook, “The Low Sky” while riding the train under the low sky.


“Wave everyone!”….waiting for the ferry to take us to the Zuiderzee Museum to gain a historical perspective of Dutch life.


Peg encourages everyone to try smoked eel at the Ziuderzee Museum.


Nicole–taking in a restful moment along the canal.


Ben orients himself with a map during an independent assignment at Zuiderzee Museum.


Typical bridge in Amsterdam as Peg leads the group through the Red Light District.


The women note the thousands of bikes outside Amsterdam Central Train Station.


Students see first-hand how Dutch culture differs from American culture in the streets of Amsterdam.


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