At the opening ceremony the delegations were presented by means of a flag projected onto a screen together with a very brief extract of the appropriate music and the appearance on stage of one or two students; and of course at this ceremony Romania was entitled to a little sketch representing Dracula!
On the first evening when the delegations arrived there was a buffet dinner at the WTC (World Trade Center Hotel) with as much wine as you liked. Clearly the organisers had underestimated the participants’ liking for wine. The following evening the participants were handed two tokens entitling them to two drinks. And not one more. Or else you had to pay for it!
The four elders
Arriving the previous day in Leeuwarden, Roy van Sassen and Jürgen Clausen met up at the WTC Hotel, in particular to attend the General Assembly where moreover Jürgen Clausen had fun reporting in French on his mission as account auditor, explaining not without a hint of irony that he was doing so in French because the AEHT’s two official languages are not only English but also French.
The bag of presents
The organisers’ presents for the 2018 edition were delivered in a cloth bag bearing the AEHT logo. It was a survival kit! A drinking flask, a woolly hat, a note-pad and various other objects intended to make life easier. But bad luck for the late-comers, supplies of the present from Villeroy and Boch had run out.
The land of the push-bike
It is well known throughout the land – and throughout the world – that The Netherlands is the kingdom of that ‘little queen’, the push-bike. Everywhere, in the car-parks, around the station, around the primary and secondary schools, you can admire these machines which are characterised by an amazing diversity of colours and shapes. How do they manage to find their trusty steed again? A total mystery!
Using a bin-bag to keep yourself warm
The freezing cold on board the boat during the eel-fishing trip gave Bob (aka Robert the Irishman) a bright idea when we left Crou out into the lake where we met not only a dense fog but also a temperature hovering just above zero. After a moment of discomfort he took hold of a large bin-bag and dressed himself in it, helped by another Irishman, Ray Cullen!
In the past, an accessory of Dutch dress was a pair of clogs, a custom which lives on in popular imagery at folk festivals. Thus to mark the 2018 edition of the Conference in The Netherlands, the AEHT had acquired a stock of clogs in order to present a pair to various contributors, including the head judges who moreover also received the superb book on Cognac. These would certainly weigh down their suitcases on the way home!
The gymnasium of the Friesland College complex had been transformed into an ‘AEHT Village’ an area for relaxation where you could drink a coffee or play bar football or table-tennis, and in addition enjoy meeting the AEHT’s partners. It was also used as a dining hall on two occasions thanks to the Friesland College’s teams.
It goes without saying that an event such as this could not take place without the vital contribution of the sponsors. This is why at the entrance to Friesland College stood a large notice board on which figured the names of all the sponsors.
Tom Valk took great delight in acting as guide for a team from Portugal, visiting every part of the school, explaining everything and answering all the numerous questions asked by the visitors, including Ana Paula Païs, a former President and now Vice-President.
European norms …!..
On board the Captain’s flagship during the outing on the Crou lake, we spotted, on the floor near a little fridge, an electrical connexion strip which obviously didn’t bother the Captain much! But you could hardly claim that this connexion strip was in accordance with European norms in this configuration!
Scarcely had the culinary arts contests finished than the school’s teams set to work to dismantle the electrical installations and water supplies, etc. They carried out the task briskly and with admiral efficiency. Well done guys!