After a warm send off from our lovely hosts in Frankfurt, we hit the road, this time with another new road tripper joining us from Italy, Norma Jean. Quaide has continued to put in Superman-like energy from day to day, driving through rain and multiple iPod music changes with the greatest of ease. We arrived in the bustling, and rainy, city of Amsterdam mid afternoon ready to set up camp, rain or shine!
One of the local Amsterdam chapter members, Laura, was there to greet us and welcome us into town. We were lucky to be able to set up in the very center of the Dam square, a highly visible and populated area for both locals and tourists alike. Soon, the marvelous Martha, the chair of Democrats Abroad Netherlands, arrived to help speak with all the Americans who began to stop by our tent as they walked through the square, either throughout their normal routine or whilst on holiday. It was refreshing to have so many enthusiastic members from the Amsterdam chapter come out to support us all afternoon! Another Amsterdam member, who was also celebrating his birthday during our visit, walked around the square with a Vote from Abroad poster, speaking to heaps of people, Americans and otherwise, spreading the word about registering voters – Thanks Bob!
We had an American woman come by who was literally on her way to the airport to return to her home in Scotland when she saw our tent and banners and decided she absolutely had to stop and get herself registered then and there! At that exact moment we were having a few difficulties with our online system and ended up having her fill out her entire registration on another member’s iphone! Thank goodness for the creativity of our group – ok, and technology too!
Throughout the day, we also had lots of American tourists stopping by, telling us how seeing our presence, while on vacation abroad, inspired them to go home and encourage their friends and families to make sure to come out and vote this year. It’s wonderful to see how far our efforts can stretch when we make ourselves seen throughout Europe, one city at a time.
Finally, we packed up and loaded everything into the bus and continued on to a warm and delicious potluck dinner hosted by Louie and Laura, vice-chair of DA Netherlands and his wife.
The company was great and we even had another American woman, who was unable to come to the Dam earlier, pop over to register herself while the bus was still in town! With full and happy bellies we all gathered around while Quaide gave the group a presentation, complete with slideshow, of the road trip – from concept to reality. What a lovely way to spend the evening, making new friends and hearing stories from the road!