We landed in Amsterdam that morning (Feb. 26, 2014) on our way to South Africa. This was a return to the city that I traveled to when I took my first flight in an airplane. I had just finished teaching my first year at Orem Jr. High in Orem, Utah where I was a Home Economics and Art teacher.
Every summer for the previous seven summers, I had worked at the Brighton Girls Camp, which I dearly loved. I knew that I would have to find something very exciting to replace my experience there and my choice was a trip to Europe.
While I was teaching, I shared my desire to go to Europe with my friends and fellow teachers. One day Mr. Zimmerman my assistant principal came down to my room and put a piece of paper on my desk and said go apply for this scholarship to study abroad. Corning Glass had a sister plant in Orem and was giving the Scholarship away to a teacher. I soon learned that there were two of us that applied for it.
I suggested that they give half to each one of us but they said they could not do that. At the flip of a coin I got the Scholarship to go abroad and study. I found a program in Europe, which started about 3 weeks after school let out for the summer.
A friend of mine suggested that I go early to Amsterdam where the study abroad would start. She had been there on a mission and thought that perhaps I could pay a member family to stay with them for a few days. She wrote a letter to the Branch President and I ordered my ticket to go early.
Weeks went by and no word from the branch president. About 3 days before I was ready to leave I got word from my friend that he said that they did not do that kind of thing in their country.
I was very nervous to go without a place to stay but the ticket was already ordered. I was so excited to go on such and adventure but scared to death to not have a hotel room lined up (this was before computers). When I arrived in Amsterdam I found a desk in the airport that could book a hotel room for me. I walked up to the desk and ask them to give a top rated hotel but there was a run on hotels room and they did not have one. Pretty soon the clerk found a place for me to go to that was on the third floor of a typical building in Amsterdam.
Now my job was to get a cab. It was my first time getting a cab and I was so scared that the cab driver would kidnap me rather than delivering me to my hotel.
I sat in the back seat filled with FEAR. I was so pleased when he took me straight to my hotel and helped me get my luggage to the third floor. I checked in and found out that my room did not have a bathroom that that I would have to go to the endof the hall for one. Now my fear began to build that something bad would happen to me on the way to the bathroom.
I arrived to my room exhausted and scared about going down the hall to the bathroom. When I was ready to go to bed, I pushed the big dresser up against the door so no one could come in the room while I was asleep. I laid on the bed with my clothes still on and cried until I was sound to sleep.
The next morning I was still so afraid that I wanted to stay in my room for the next three days until my friends came but I pushed myself to have breakfast and then go to the famous Rakes Museum which houses the Night Watch by Rembrandt.
I found my way to the museum and waited in line for it to open. Then I noticed two young men with white shirts and dark pants with a small black badge on their left pocket. I was so excited as I knew they were missionaries. I went up and introduced myself and asked them where they were from. One of the missionaries lived in my stake. It made me feel much more at easy to have met someone from home.
I later learned that 92% of the things that we worry about never happen. Experience, time, and education help to take away our fears. I am so glad I continued to travel and experience the wonderful world that we live in.