Saturday, February 12, 2011

Couples Service Project in Groningen

On a misty Saturday in January we went to the city of Groningen, about a 3 hour drive from Dordrecht.  It is located in the northern-most part of the country, very close to the North Sea.

The Van Komen's, who are the senior couple in charge of the JoVo Center in Groningen, have found a brand new apartment.  They're very excited to have new 'digs' but they have to put in their own floor coverings.  Hence the invitation to come to Groningen and participate in a floor-laying party.  Believe it or not - this is the view out of their living room window.  VERY lovely.....

Elder Van Komen describes what needs to be done to Sister Anderson, (front left.)  Sister Van Komen is in the center.  The Van Komens are from West Point, Utah - the parents of 9 children.  Elder Van Komen was born in The Netherlands.

Brother Anderson and Brother Pankratz work together to lay a section of the new flooring that the Van Komens have chosen.  In Holland the owners of apartments never lay the floors.  It is the responsibility of the new tenant to choose and install their own floor covering.  In addition, they have to choose all of the light fixtures and install them.   Even more strange - when you move out of the apartment you are required to remove all of the flooring and light fixtures that you installed when you moved in.  The next tenant then has to repeat the entire process.   Interesting...

Many hands make the work go more quickly.  Elder Beckstrand adds his expertise to the project.

Sister Pankratz does a quick measurement.

Now that the room is completed, Sister B. makes a quick swipe with the vacuum to pick up all the sawdust.

Once the bed is set up, the Van Komens can stay in their new apartment, regardless of the fact that there isn't any other furniture.  When you think about it, a bathroom, a bed, and a few groceries in the kitchen is all that is really essential.   Actually, let's go out for dinner - we're too tired to cook!

About 5:00 pm we say a fond farewell to the city of Gronigen.  We've enjoyed our day together, even though our backs and knees are sore. 

These fearless vrouws (females) are delighted with all that has been accomplished.  It's actually fun to get to wear jeans for a day - tomorrow we'll be back in skirts. 


  1. Beautiful floor work... but SO weird to tear it out and redo it with every tennant. Do they just throw the old floor away? Move it with them to their next place?

  2. Yes, what a weird thing to have to take the floor out. What a waste!!!! I guess they just assume everyone has the tools and the know how to be able to put in a new floor?!? So crazy!! I think I would try to get to the previous tenants before they left and bribe them to leave the floor in place and tell the landlord we are just amazingly fast (is that honest?). It looks like you did very fine work, though.