We where in Harlingen on Monday - it was a silent day because of the Christian holiday. We did not have a lot of visitors either, some people showed up and in the afternoon the commissioner of the Queen for the province of Friesland, Mr. Loek Hermans, visited the Zeester together with a parliament member and some members of his party (The Liberal Democrats). Just when we were drinking coffee with them, a storm started, and we had to go offline, pack all our stuff and secure the computers before leaving. Chris and Ronald are still amazed that the connections are working so well. It's very expirimental: There has been people in Holland who worked with a wireless connection at 9600 bps before, but this was only with a laptop, using just telnet and email, never Netscape and FTP. So we're a bit proud of this :-)).
Tuesday we where in Leeuwarden. This was what we call an open day, which means that there were no students from schools coming, but only unaffiliated youth and adults living in the town. It was a slow, slow day. We did not do 'brown eues, blue eyes' because you only do the exercise with students that are sent by the school and who undergo it as a compulsory thing. We had some people who came to see the exhibition and the video and some youth who played the board-game and did the tolerance-test. In the afternoon two reporters showed up and the one from 'Het Friese Dagblad' did a very nice interview with Chris.
Wednesday we where in Sneek. We had a grammar-school coming that day. It was the first grammar school we had on this tour, and we found out that the exercise worked just as well with 11 and 12 years old children as with 12 - 18 years old adolecents. We just had to work harder. The kids really did everything they could to disrupt the exercise. The nice thing was, they were quicker to pick up on the meaning of it all than older kids. The moment we divided them into a group of blue-eyes and a group of brown- eyes they started to yell 'unfair!' and 'this is discrimination!'. But of course they took it and did not walk away. Almost nobody does anyway. It is much easier for children *and* adults to 'go along with injustice just to get along'. We had some exceptionally good evaluation results that day. In the afternoon we bought a few copies of 'Het Friese Dagblad' and yes, the interview with Chris was there, photo and all. He'll take some copies back with him to SA.
Thursday we 'did' Franeker. Again we had a Grammar school, 60 kids in total. And again we had a wonderfull day with good results. Seems that the younger you get them, the harder it is, but the better the results. The evaluation forms they filled out where real nice. We are up to 30 % now - which means, 30% of the kids write things in the evaluation forms like: "I felt very bad today being treated this way, if this is what people of colour feel during their lives, that is terrible". Also Chris and Ruth introduced a new element into the Internet activity. Instead of letting the kids type in their messages, they took something that Shaiky posted on the mailing list as a basis for a group discussion. It was very interesting. Results of this will be posted monday.
Friday was another school holiday in the province of Friesland. at noon, the Kuni Kids did a concert on deck in Lemmer which attracted small sailing ships and kids from the town. After the concert, we invited every- body aboard to see the exibition and do some activities. So, weekend is here. Time to clean up, rest and prepare for next week, which is going to be a lot busier.
See' you all!!!
Greetings from the MS Zeester crew: Suzette, Chris, Ruth, Mellouki, Marije, Ronald, Dewi, Kitty, the Kuni Kids (George, Kuni, Mensah, Juerd, William, Hermien), Julius, Marga, Deniz, Mireille and Seyda.