I travelled directly from Germany to Amsterdam to complete the finance coordinator specific training. Once again, we were staying in a hostel, but we only had 3 people to a room. I did not like the layout of these rooms, and they allowed for even less privacy than at the last hostel.
Once again, the training was quite interactive. We had a wonderful facilitator, who was very respectful of everyone’s time and made sure we always received our breaks and kept things moving. I also met a lot of great people in the group. Many of them had already been in the field, and they have been great at offering me support. I think the training was very good preparation for the field. It was not too detailed, but was a good general overview to know what to expect.
Even though the course was well organized, the jet lag, long days, and sleepless nights had caught up with me. The food was also taking its toll, because for the last few weeks, all I had to eat was bread, bread, more bread, and cheese. I don’t eat much bread at home, and very little cheese. I found the food selection difficult with my allergies, and because the hostel served the same things every day there were very little options for me.
They did give us the weekend off to enjoy, but it was very cold and rainy and I really wasn’t prepared to sight see. I ended up feeling bored and frustrated with little to do. In hindsight, I could have been more prepared, and maybe had a list of some things to see and do while in Amsterdam. Plus, I probably could have paid for my own room for the weekend so that I could have some time to be alone and process everything that was happening. But because I had given myself such little time to prepare before leaving Canada, I think these small issues felt much bigger than they were. In the second half of the FCC I had become very irritable and cranky, not my usual self. But I think this is because I wasn’t giving myself the time I needed to process everything, all the changes, leaving behind important relationships, and being completely immersed in something brand-new with no connection to familiar surroundings.
By the end of the FCC, my work visa had not yet come through as expected. I had another weekend off, and then it was off to the HQ in another part of Amsterdam for briefings and a handover from my predecessor.