Friday, November 25, 2011

Money, Peace & Parliament

Yesterday was yet another crazy-busy day. It started really early because I was asked to open the stock exchange, then we went for an interview at the peace palace and finally we went to the parliament to meet Jetta Klijnsma. It was a ridiculously busy day, but it was awesome!

Opening the stock exchange was so exciting. It was the New York Stock Exchange/Euronext. We got there and met the men who kind of run the opening and closing of the stock exchange. They were amazing - so helpful and warm. The whole event was actually very fast and efficient. What happens is ten seconds before 9:00, they start a countdown; three seconds before 9:00, the people start applauding; and then at 9:00 we hit the really big gong. Then it's over.

When we had finished, we went back to the boardroom and they gave me presents. I was excited! I got a coin (a collector's item) that they only give to people who open the exchange and they gave me a 'tombstone' with a photo of the opening and a certificate for the opening.

The second thing on the agenda for the day was the peace palace. Generally, people are not allowed to go in, but we were. How amazing?

The interview was with a woman, who also has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. It was incredible to speak to a person who understands exactly what I'm talking about. It's part of the EU's campaign called 'End Exclusion'. It's awesome to be a part of an initiative like this one. It was very interesting.

In a very busy day, the last stop was parliament. We went to meet a woman, Yetta Klijnsma, another person with cerebral palsy. You would think it would be more rare, but it turns out otherwise. Anyway, Yetta is a member of parliament and an ambassador for the Liliane Foundation - they support children with disabilities. The point of the meeting was to start a relationship with her because there may be an opportunity in the future to travel together.

As you can probably deduce, I was exhausted. But it was an incredible day and I loved every minute of it.


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