okt 11

My first Bali vlog!

Hey everyone, here my first vlog in Bali! I hope you enjoy it! Many people asked me if I was here for school or holiday. The answer is for school, but these first weeks we’ve seen a lot. I also didn’t put shots at the projects in my video now. Also due to privacy reasons. And of course not everything here is fun to see. I see lots of poor people, stray dogs and garbage around. Maybe I can show you this somewhere in the future. But for now I just put shots in there which show how beautiful Bali is.

okt 02

My first week in Bali!

Selamat pagi/siang/sore/malam everyone! (depends on time zone which one to use)

I can’t believe I’m already (almost) one week in Bali, Indonesia. 😮 I’VE DONE SO MUCH IN THIS WEEK!! I’m sorry if my blog is long, I just have too much to say!

So last Sunday was my last day at home. That day some family and friends came over to say goodbye. I also had to finish packing. I did that in the evening. It took a little longer than expected, but after packing and unpacking my bags for like 3 times I finally finished.

Monday morning my dad woke me up when he had to leave to work. So I already had to say goodbye to him then. Later when I just came downstairs I had to say goodbye to Sophia who had to go to school.. (my parents wouldn’t get her out of school… 🙁 ). Around 9.30 am (NL time) I left with my mom to the station in Meppel where we would leave with the train to the airport. Parking is really expensive there and because I travelled for free and my mom had a good deal we decided to take the train. Yerke, our puppy, didn’t come with. So I had to say goodbye to him (and to my goldfish, Dip) just before we left to the train.

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Arrived at the airport I had to stop my student OV (train deal). Jannie, the teacher from Windesheim and our ‘coach’, was also with the train and we found her pretty quickly at the airport. From there we walked to departures to wait for the other students. When everyone was there we checked in our bags and after that we had some time to say goodbye again before we left to the gates around 13.30.

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After security we went to the gate where our plane was waiting for us. Around 15.20 we left with our first flight to Dubai. We landed around midnight (Dubai time). At Dubai we had a 1,5 hour layover. We had to go to a different part of the airport. This took a while, so when we got to the next gate we could start boarding right away.

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When we arrived in Bali, 18 hours after departure, we had to go through customs. This went pretty smooth. We still had to wait a while until all the luggage of our group was there. When we went out of the secured zone of the airport there were many people waiting. Most of them were taxi drivers, during the time we walked out I got asked like 20 times if I needed a taxi. It was already a long trip but we had to wait for a couple more hours at the airport because 2 students were on other flights. While we waited we sat at the Burger King, we ate something, we got some cash from the ATM and we got many water bottles. When the last two students arrived we just had to wait for a little longer till the busses from the university in Singaraja came to pick us up.

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On the way to Singaraja we stopped at a small store. Here we also got our first culture shock. The toilets here aren’t like the toilets in Europe or America. It is more like a toilet that is almost like a hole in the ground. And they don’t have toilet paper. So the first thing we did was buying toilet paper at the store. After a short stop with some small groceries shopping we continued to Singaraja. First we dropped off some other students at their house. From there we left to our house, the green house. Our home is pretty big! We have 2 balconies, 3 bathrooms, a big kitchen and a bedroom for everyone. I live here with 4 other students: Sanne, Mylène, Sjoerd en Joost. Dividing the rooms went pretty easy, I didn’t really mind which room I would get so everybody chose and I took the room that was left. It is upstairs on the right side (in picture windows upstairs left). I was planning on going to sleep quickly and put my mosquito net up the next day. But the moment I wanted to go to sleep I saw a dead mosquito in my bed. So that’s when I got up, got my mosquito net from the bottom of my suitcase and put it up in my room with some rope that I found in the house. After that I went to sleep.

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Woah, this blog is getting so long already. And I’ve only talked about the trip there and our house…… But let’s continue with all stuff I did this first week.

The first night on Bali I slept really bad. In our house you hear everything, and we live on a pretty busy road. We knew that before. But I didn’t expect trucks to be driving there at 2 and 3 am… Then at 4.45 I woke up because of the mosque. I can enjoy the very lovely sound of the mosque every morning, and during the day (if we’re at home), and in the evening. But I might hopefully get used to it in the coming 4 months. I already slept through it a couple of times in the morning. 🙂
When I got out of bed I started unpacking my stuff and got some breakfast. Later I walked around in the neighborhood with my house mates. We also did some shopping by then. First we got a phone number, so we have internet here. Then we also got a blender (for smoothies), another fan for the kitchen and some other stuff we still wanted. We also went to the harbor of Singaraja and got some lunch there. I thought I ordered white fish, but it ended up being a squid. Whoops, next time I’ll pay a little more attention.

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When we came back home we got picked up by a super cute truck. We drove to Lovina. Here we picked up our scooters. I am getting pretty good driving this one. After picking up the scooters I went with my roommates to Lovina Beach. It is really pretty here, but they see that you’re not from there and will ask you every time to buy stuff. In the evening we went out to eat with everyone (21 students, Jannie, Enik and Sari). This was at a place where we sat down on the floor to eat. There was a lot of different food that we could try.

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Thursday morning I found out we didn’t have that much food anymore. So I went with Sjoerd and Mylène to the supermarket here to get some more food. After that we went again to Lovina Beach. Here I bought a Sarong at Enik and Sari’s store. Enik and Sari are our buddies here. If there is something going on we can always call them and they will stop by the house so now and then to check if everything is still alright. After choosing a sarong I wanted to try the whole Indonesian / Balinese look. So then I asked and Enik gave me this shirt to try on. It was pretty hot. But I could take pictures on the beach with it, it was really pretty. So I was happy. 🙂

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After Sanne, Mylène and I bought the sarong we went back to the group who just got ready to get some lunch. One of them stepped in a sea urchin, so first we checked with the locals what to do. One of them (family of Enik and Sari), helped us and dispoissoned the sea urchin thingies which were still in the foot. After that we went to a really nice place for lunch. They had live music there, lots of Ed Sheeran songs and the musicians even tried a Dutch song. But they didn’t know the lyrics and stopped pretty quickly with that. When we finished lunch we went to swim at a hotel for a while. Then we wanted to check the sunset which was disappointing because it was cloudy. It was still very pretty though. At the sunset place there was also a local who wanted to take a selfie with me. It was very funny. It already happened more often that people want to take pictures with us and we already made it to some Instagram stories. At night we went out to eat again with a whole group. Here it takes a long time till you get your food. But it is very good. And everywhere in Indonesia (at Bali?) we’ll need patience, so it is a good practice.

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On Friday we visited the first project of our group. So here we will look at different projects, at these places we will ‘work’ the coming months. This means that we’ll learn from there and they can learn from us. We will work together with the locals. The first project we visited was the preschool. First they had a small ceremony. It was really interesting to see the difference with there and with NL. After the ceremony we could join the kids in their classes and see how everything works there.

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That same day we also visited another project place in a small fisherman village next to Lovina. From here we walked a little further through a really nice place. It was only very hot, because it was the middle of the day. After we ate lunch at a little fancier restaurant we went to the beach again. From there I went back home with Sanne and went to the brown house (somewhere else in Singaraja). From here we went to the store, and later we met up with the group again to buy some helmets for the scooters. Don’t worry, we did have one. But they were rentals. Because a helmet is not that expensive here and I’m not sure what happened to the one I got, I bought a new one. In this way I’m sure it is a good and save helmet. In the evening we ate with the whole group at the white house. It was very spicy though. So I only ate my rice.. When we got home that evening we found lots of ants. We also found our first lizard in the house. He was very cute! 😉

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(I’m wearing the facemask for dusty roads)

On Saturday we went with one other house to the waterfalls. It was so pretty there. It was a beautiful hike where we could swim, jump and slide. First we went to a place called ‘blue lagon’. Here we could swim and do some small jumps. This summer I couldn’t make it to the blue lagoon in Iceland, so now I’ve still been there in Bali. After the short swim we walked further to the next waterfalls. It was so pretty. At the next waterfalls we could slide down a waterfall, which was pretty cool. We could also jump from the rocks from 5m, 10m and 15m. I did all of these jumps.

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After the waterfalls we walked further to a place where we got fresh coconut. I really wanted to try to cut to coconut myself. It was so hard! So after I finally got the bottom straight the local person took over and cut the rest of the coconut in less than half the time I cut the bottom off. Later I also opened to coconut myself to eat the fresh coconut.

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On the way back from the waterfalls we stopped at the most beautiful pool ever! Here we also had our dinner, where they took a picture that is posted on the Instagram account of the pool. Not gonna say too much about this. You should just see the pictures!!

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On Sunday we went to the rice fields. It was very beautiful. The rice was just harvested and the land was dry. It is very different from what you expect with rice fields then (I expected it to be very wet). After we got back from our walk we ate the local food that was made while we were making.

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On the way back we went swimming by a pool in Lovina. If we bought a drink we could go in here, so that’s a very good deal I think.

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When we came home we saw the neighbors were home. So we introduced ourselves there. They were very happy to meet us. But I think they didn’t understand everything that we were saying. Also when we came we could go straight in there house where we got something to drink and where were a lot of people. The whole room was full looking at us. The neighbors seem very nice!

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This morning (Monday) we had to be at a middle school at 7am. Here they had this special ceremony that they do every Monday. I forgot to bring a bottle of water. So that’s kinda stupid. There were more people who needed something from the store, so we went there real quickly. After that we went to Putu Tastre, he is the head of the cultural things in the Buleleng area. He explained us some of the projects. Also was the location we were at the location of one of the projects. It was a museum and a palace. It was very pretty there.

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After that we went to another project. Only the group broke up in 3 groups, I was in the second and we didn’t know where to go to. We did eventually find it by going up a pretty dangerous and steep hill. There was another way to get there, but we didn’t know. When we finally arrived we had to leave soon too again to go to the university.

Around noon we were at the university. Here we will get classes in Bahasa Indonesia and in the culture. We got to know some of the people there and payed our tuition for these months. After we filled everything out and payed we could go again. In two weeks our classes will start. So before that we will have 2 days off next week.

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After this week I am already really tired. So I went home after visiting Undiskha, the university, while other students still went to a pool at a hotel in Singaraja. Here I just rest now and I am writing my blog because I have some free time.

I lived here for a week now and think that the people here are very sweet. Not everyone speaks English. But with my basic words, google translate, arms and legs people can understand me. I noticed that there are a lot of stray dogs around here. Also the traffic is crazy, people here drive left and just honk when they pass you. Then you have to make sure there is enough space next to you, because people are still passing you while there is traffic coming from the other side. Also stuff here is really cheap compared to the Netherlands. So as you might have noticed. We go out to eat very often. It costs only like 2 buck for some food, when you buy this and you have to cook it might be a little cheaper but not as good. And for those 2 bucks you get a good meal with enough food. In the Netherlands you might pay like 10 bucks for a small meal. So if you see that comparison it is better to buy food at restaurants here. We could also get food for 50 cents, but this is really from the streets which I don’t trust (yet). I do want to make sure my stomach gets used to the food here too. I try to avoid spicy food.

Well that’s about it I guess. Tomorrow and the coming week will be very busy for me with visiting more projects. I’ll try to write soon again if I have some time!

Terima kasih for reading!!! Sampai jumpa!!

sep 24

1 day till Bali!

The time has been going so fast. I started my countdown somewhere with 150 days left and now there’s just one day left. Or maybe less than a day. Because I’ll be on my way already in 20 hours.

What am I going to do??
I’ll be leaving to Bali tomorrow for my minor / school. Here I’ll be staying for four months while I’m going 2 days in the week to a local university to learn about the language (Bahasa Indonesia), the history and the culture of Bali. Three days of the week I’m going to work on a project. I still am not 100% sure what I’ll be doing exactly. This really depends on the needs in Bali.
I’m going to Bali together with 20 other students from all over the Netherlands and with different studies. In Bali we might have to work together on some of the possible projects.

Preparations at school.
The past 3 weeks I had normal classes like every student. Only ours were about going abroad. So what to expect and how to handle things. Like we are all Dutch students and the locals might see us at the ‘rich people’. So we have to adapt so we don’t feel too good. We have to work together with the locals. We also have a very different culture in the Netherlands, so we have to adapt to the Balinese culture too.
We also have to know what kind of diseases or dangers could be there. For this we made a safety plan with the group so we know what could happen and how to act. Right as this moment there is a volcano at Bali that could erupt at any moment, so we are already making up a plan B for if it erupts. But more about that later.
We also got to know each other as a group by doing teambuilding and a sleepover. During these 3 weeks we prepared on our departure which will be tomorrow, September 25th.

 

Mount Agung:
Right at this moment there is the volcano: ‘Mount Agung’ in Bali which might erupt any moment. This could mean that we can’t fly on Denpasar this week. We are trying to keep up to date with what is happening. If we can’t fly on Denpasar we might try to see if we can fly into Jakarta. But that is for a later moment, if the volcano doesn’t erupt before Wednesday there is no problem for us. Whatever happens we’ll still be going to Bali.
If you press this you will see a news article about the vulcano.

Let’s go!
So I’m almost packed and leaving tomorrow. Later today I’ll have family coming over for saying goodbye. I made an Indonesian cake (Pandon cake) for this. I hope it tastes good, because I didn’t try it yet.

But I’m ready to go and really excited to go with an amazing group of students to Bali. If you wanna sent me a postcard you could 😉 Just sent me a message and I’ll send you my Indonesian address.

 

First weeks in Bali
I’ll be busy the first weeks in Bali. We’re gonna visit all the projects and some more places. It’s gonna be really fun I think. I’m thinking of making vlogs if it works out. I’ll tell if I finish one 🙂

 

I’m keeping this blog short, because I’ll get visitors over soon and because I’ll have enough to talk about later 🙂

 

sep 24

Summer 2017

Hey everyone! I’m pretty bad on keeping up with my blog…. I’m starting my new adventure to Bali tomorrow, but I didn’t even write about my summer yet. So hereby I’ll upload two blogs today. One of my AMAZING summer, and one about the adventure I’m about to start.

So the week after my last blog I helped with the AFS OP End camp. This is the camp for all the students who stayed a year in the Netherlands and who had to leave soon. It was a really great and fun weekend, despite we had to rub the waterproof marker off the floor..

The two sides of being an AFS volunteer.. #cleaning #supporting #studentsdrawingonthefloor #afseffect

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The next week I went to the goodbye BBQ of the southern Netherlands AFS chapter and later I also went to the northern AFS chapter potluck. So in this way I could see many students before they left. It was really good to be able to see and to say goodbye to these students.

These students only have 13 days left in The Netherlands! It was gezellig at the barbeque 😄

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When summer break officially started for me I went with some people of my study to the amusement park ‘Efteling’. This is a park that is themed with fairytales. It was really fun. There were also some teachers who joined. The next day I went out with some friends. It is always hard to set a date with us. So we were really surprised that it worked out! We went glow golfing, and afterwards we went to a pizzeria.

Had a fun day at the Efteling yesterday

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#Glowgolf with these girls!! 🏌

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Then there were some really international weeks. Kati from the USA was back in the Netherlands. She spent her exchange year in my town while I was in the USA. I still had the chance to meet her when I just got back from Illinois in 2015. But now she was back and we went kayaking.

Canoe with Kati

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A couple of days after that I met up with Agustina. She’s from Argentina and is currently studying in Spain. I met her during my Hawaii trip that I did with Belo Travel in 2015. She was flying from Spain to Argentina and had a 10 hour layover in Amsterdam. And why wouldn’t I go there to meet up with her! J

And then again a couple of days later Misa from Japan came to visit me. She was also in the Greater Chicago Area chapter with AFS during my exchange year. She was doing a Europe trip. From Seraina (Switserland) she would come to me, she took the flixbus to Arnhem where I would meet up with her to travel the last part home. Unfortunately it didn’t really worked out how we planned. Her bus was delayed and I freaked out because I couldn’t find Misa. Haha It took me like 1 hour till I finally found her and then we just missed the train to go home… Then we just waited for half an hour and then we could finally go home.
The first thing Misa noticed is that the Netherlands is flat. I I’m used to it so it is not that weird to me, but she was really surprised. Guess that people from other countries have other views on a ‘flat’ landscape.

Misa 🇯🇵: "Wow, those sheep have spots!"

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Me being super excited Misa being here wanted to take her like everywhere. But unfortunately that wasn’t possible. Because she would only stay for 3 days. We still managed to see the area where I live, Amsterdam, the Zaanse Schans and Havelte. It was really fun that Misa visited. She was my roommate in the USA the first AND the last night I was there. I hope I can visit her someday too in the future!

Amsterdam 🇳🇱

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Walking in Havelte with my parents and Misa 🇯🇵 #hunebedden

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That following week I felt that I’d been busy and I was kinda feeling sick. But I still worked as much as I could in my free days (also between the busy days that I mentioned above this part), because I need to get money with all my travel plans. Because I would already leave 1,5 week after Misa visited to my hostfamily in Illinois.

On July 26th I left to my hostfamily again. I did last year too, but I never had time to write about that.. My flight left around 9.30pm, so I still had the whole day at home. My parents had visitors and decided to go by boat. I already packed all my stuff so I went with them. It was really nice weather. After (early) dinner I could drive with the friends of my parents to the airport. I was a little early, so I just checked in when I could and sat down at the gate.

It was nice boat weather today! 👌

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My first flight was to Iceland. Here I had a 16 hour layover. Unfortunately I couldn’t find someone to stay at there and like everything was really expensive. So I stayed for 16 (long) hours at the airport where I watched like 5 movies and bought a $8 sandwich. My next flight took about 7 hours and then I was finally back in the USA. During this flight I also met this really fun person. She is from Wisconsin. I didn’t see her during my time there anymore. But we are still in touch.

Local 🕚: 11pm Local🌡: around 9°C / 48°F Made it to Iceland!!!🇮🇸 Just 16 more hours till my next flight.. 😴

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Back in the USA!! 🇺🇸 Here a picture of the view from the plane above Greenland yesterday 😍

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Customs went surprisingly fast at O’Hare, the airport in Chicago, and I got my bags in notime. My hmom and Brandon picked me up from the airport. They were still on their way when I came out. So I let them know where I stood, so they could pick me up there. On the way home we went by Portillo’s. This is kinda a tradition. We did that all 3 times when I came.

So I don’t remember all things exactly that I did, I’m just following my Instagram pictures which help me to remember. I’m already sorry if I forget something, and I’m also sorry for this very long blog.

One of the first days we went to Kenosha, this is on the border with Illinois and Wisconsin. I think before this I went with my hparents to Milwaukee to bring some baby stuff to Leah and Eric. Leah was almost 8 months pregnant by that time, so the baby would come soon! Hannah biked to Kenosha where we met up with her. Hannah and I went for a real quick swim in the lake and afterward we went out to eat. The ordering at this place was really funny. They had the menu and you had to check your choice, afterwards you had to hand in the menu.

Having a nice refreshing swim in Lake Michigan by Kenosha, Wisconsin 🏊

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The first week I went by a Glen Ellyn practice. I didn’t really do the practice, but I wanted to see the team again. On the way back we stopped by Willowbrook, my American highschool for a picture.

I also visited Beatriz and her baby girl Victoria who was born in March the first week. It was really good to see her again! Last year we didn’t have the chance to meet up, because we were both busy. That same day I went downtown with Arianna. I just love Chicago, it is so pretty!

Happy I got to see Beatriz again after 2 years!! I also met her little baby girl Victoria. She's so cute!!

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Downtown with Arianna 😊

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Loving this city!! 😍 . 📷: @ariiiiiiiixo / @ari.noellexo #chicago #thebean #cloudgate #chitown #milleniumpark

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Then came the main reason why I came back this summer. Tessa’s wedding! I wasn’t really planning on going back this soon again. But when I heard Tessa (hsister) was getting married in August I couldn’t let it to buy tickets and got there. I just added some extra weeks so I could do other stuff too.

Tessa and Luke got married Saturday august 5th. We already went to the farm in Rock falls on Thursday. Also because we had to prepare everything. On Friday I went with Tessa and the bridesmaids to a nail spa to get ready for the wedding. I also bought another dress at Goodwill for the wedding. It was still new but not sold in the other store where it came from.

In the evening we had the rehearsal. This means that they would ‘practice’ the ceremony, so everyone would know for the next day where to sit and stand. After the rehearsal, we had the rehearsal dinner. We had some very good food there.

The next day was ‘THE DAY’, the day Tessa was getting married to Luke. In the morning everyone got ready. I was together with all of the bridesmaids. So they were getting their make-up and hair done. I am not really a type who would wear a lot of make-up and stuff. So I told them to make it look very natural. Hannah, Mary Beth and Andie curled my hair. They switched off while they were getting ready too.

It was a great and really fun day at the wedding. My ‘Thai sister’ Sarar was there too, my hfamily hosted her before me. I will always have great memories of this day.

The day after the wedding Luke and Tessa opened all the gifts. I got them big mugs from Blond Amsterdam with Bride and Groom and their names on it.

CONGRATULATIONS MR AND MRS MORENO!!!

Good times at the wedding! 🤗

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After the wedding I still had some weeks left. In these weeks I helped Luke (hbrother) to get his property ready in Pleasant Prairie. This is really close to Kenosha. He will build his house here. Luke and Tessa will live on the property next to him in the future.

Helping my hbrother to get his property ready 👌 #working

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On the way back from Rock falls Hannah and I decided to do a ‘roadtrip’ to Castle Rock State park. Here we did some hike with many musquitos and a Tarzan swing rope. So after this fun hike a still had lots of musquito bites as souvenirs..

In the last week I was in in Illinois I went with Hannah, Nicole and Anna on a roadtrip to The Garden of the Gods in Illinois. It was really pretty and we did some pretty cool hikes! It didn’t even look like Illinois there. Sometimes we were a little lost because the GPS wasn’t very good. But we made it back home after a long weekend. J

A couple of days before I left I decided to visit Willowbrook. The school would start the next day again. So the teachers were busy prepairing for their classes. Here I saw a lot of the teachers I had which was really fun! I know some people might say it is not fun to see teachers, but for me they are with the memory of the amazing year I had. After speaking to the teachers I went to the Cross Country team. All the freshmen in my year are seniors already… Time is going by too fast.. But it was good seeing them and to see my coach again.

After 3 amazing weeks it was already time to go home again. Yerke was really happy to see me again. I texted my parents that I was coming. But they didn’t read it and were still talking with all AFS volunteers who were at the airport too. Because the day I came back, was also the day the new AFS group would arrive and the day I would get my new American AFS sister Sophia. She’s living with us now until July.

Someone was happy to see me again 😍 #BackInNL

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WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY SOPHIA!! #afseffect #yellowtagseason #exchangestudent

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In the evening of the day I came back we went to the Bloemencorso (flowerparade) in Sint Jansklooster. It was very tiring, but also good to beat the jetlag. That weekend we had a celebration of the …. year anniversary of my uncle and aunt. I also went to Zwolle with the 4 AFS students in our area to get their residence permit, and we went by boat where I went waterskiing. Also we had the blues and the water parade the first weeks back. It was really fun. With the water parade Caroline from the USA visited me. She was a volunteer during my year in Chicago and is studying for a couple of months in Amsterdam. So I kinda kept busy the first weeks back.

Day in Zwolle with some of the new AFS'ers to do some paperwork and to have some fun! #afseffect #exchangestudents

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Went wakeboarding again this weekend. Actually jumped pretty high 🙈 #wakeboarding #jump #dontlookatmyface 📷: @hanknl

Een bericht gedeeld door Anke Prinsen (@ankeprinsen) op

The day of the boat parade I got a message via snapchat from my hsister Leah. She and Eric got a daughter (Eliza Jane Cepuran), born on the 26th of August 2017.

The last weekend before school started I went to Utrecht with some of the AFS volunteers. We did a city game. After the game we went out to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant. The food there was kinda spicy, which I’m not used to. But it was still a very fun day!

The following Monday my school started again. But I’ll write about this in my next blogpost which I’ll hopefully finish soon. Later today some family will come over because I’m leaving tomorrow to Bali for 4 months (more about that in the next post). So I hope I’ll have enough time to write that.

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