On the first day, 26 January, we were given the opportunity to sleep in a little as a form of recovery from the 14-hour long march that we had on the flight. After a hearty breakfast, we went on a tour of The Hague and Delft a town that was historically known as a fishing village. In Delft, we learned about the history of the city and were able to roam the streets for a short while and found some of the most interesting shops. For example we found a shop that made chocolate with a huge variety of flavours from crème brûlée to passion fruit. All the students on the trip were also really excited about all the scenic photos we were getting in the stunning city. After the photography session, we went to a restaurant that served delicious Gazpacho and Toast with cheese. We continued on our tour by returning to the city centre of The Hague and saw the historical significance of the area, namely the historic parliament building. From there, we continued on to Madurodam which has replicas of famous Dutch landmark. It was quite a lovely experience. Overall, the day was an extremely unique and enjoyable experience before the Model UN conference commenced.
27January, the first day of THIMUN conference – we were all looking forward to experience the coveted conference. The day’s plan was lobbying – this was the part of the conference where the delegates (including us) moved around and formed alliances with other countries and would work together to come up with a resolution on one of the pre-researched topics. This part of the conference can be either really easy if you find a good blog. However, if you were in a group of delegates who “drag their feet”, it can be extremely challenging. Although a cold lunch was provided at the conference, a lot of us decided that a warm lunch was worth what seemed like a nightmarishly long wait in the cold outside a food truck. After having eaten some of those delicacies, it was quite easy to say that those fried delicacies were worth it. Upon return from the conference, it was a ritual to go to Albert Heijn, a grocery store full of Dutch goodies. From the local favourite Strop waffles to French Madeline’s, we were going crazy over the stuff. Finally, we closed out the evening by going to a lovely Italian restaurant called Vapianos, which will be remembered for its delicious pizza and tiramisu.
On the next day, Tuesday, we began to transition from lobbying, where we wrote and compiled ideas to solve the issues that we were assigned, to actually debating on all the collections of ideas (called “resolutions”). Energetic chatter and heated, informal discussions were replaced with silence as formal debate began with the first resolution being introduced. The room was teeming with excitement as delegates prepared to give speeches and submit amendments (changes to the resolution) for debate. Many of our delegates got the opportunity to publicly speak and critique in order to convince other delegates to vote one way or another, either in favour or against the resolution and to outline what could be improved. Overall, it was a constructive day where everyone felt the initial excitement of beginning to participate in the famed THIMUN.