Time is going so fast over here. I can’t believe I’m here already for 2 months next Monday. After my last blog I didn’t have much time to write my blog because I did a lot! Maybe I had one day time to write my blog but I was really tired and didn’t feel for it to write it. I try to make this blog not too long but I can’t promise.. Because I really did a lot of fun stuff!! I hope you will enjoy it!
I went Sunday 14 September with the family to The Morton Arboretum. This is like a really big garden where it is really nice to walk around. Here I got also the change to make really nice pictures of squirrels. I’m really happy with those pictures. I also saw some other animals, including the really cute chipmunk which didn’t want to go on the picture..
That week I joined the Cross Country team of my school. The Monday they had a meet so I just went there and watched. Unfortunately they started at 4.30, the time my bus left. So I only saw the warming up. I got every day after school a Cross Country practice. Most of the time we run like 2 or 3 miles I think. I’m not sure. After that we do sometimes some core, hill sprints and stretching. Most of the time I have to go home on the 4.30 bus on Tuesday and Thursday. Then I leave a little earlier. This is because I also have skating practice. I will be home around 5 on these days and at 5.15 we already have to leave to skating practice. So I’m really busy over here. I already did some meets with Cross Country. At the first one (2miles) I got a ribbon. : ) The first 20 people got a ribbon so I’m proud of myself. Later I did two times the 3 miles at a meet at our home course. I ran pretty good I think. The second time was better than the first one. So it is getting better. At a meet you’re competing against other schools. This is something new for me and I like it. In the Netherlands I’m not used to sport teams at school, so I’m not used to the meets between schools too. We have a pasta party with the team every Friday before the meet. This is really fun. We are going to someone’s house and eat pasta together. I’ve been to three pasta parties and there is one left. I think the Cross Country season ends after next week. I’m not 100% sure.
I’ve also had the AFS camp/orientation. It was really fun to see everyone! I drove there with Alli (Finland), Elin (Iceland), Ilka (Flemish Belgium) and Natcha (Thailand). I think it is really nice to be together with so many different cultures. I know I could speak Dutch with Ilka but we didn’t speak Dutch at all. Maybe one sentence like ‘We kunnen ook Nederlands gaan praten’ (We could also speak Dutch) when all the Brazilians spoke Portuguese. The free time at camp was the best. Here we played football and volleyball and we just talked. In the evening we watched a movie. Ana (Brazil) and I were so smart to take our pillows down so we were more comfortable with laying on the ground. It was only a little too comfortable. So when we almost fell asleep we just walked around and watched at other people who weren’t watching the movie too. When we wanted to get our pillows again some other people fell asleep on it. We didn’t wake them up because we had one extra pillow in our room and Ana did bring her own pillow. My roommates were: Ana (Brazil), Monica (Portugal), Ramsha (Pakistan), Christy (Nigeria) and Kristin (Norway). It was really fun. Everyone was tired so we slept early. I did try one of Ramsha her headscarves on. It was really warm but a nice experience to try. Ramsha also gave me a really cool phone case. The next day I learned Ana to count to ten in Dutch and I learned to count to ten in Portuguese. For me it was hard because there are more people who spoke Portuguese and they all pronounce it different. I didn’t remember a lot of the counting… (Sorry Ana.. Hope you remember the Dutch counting 😉 ) We also divided into the groups again and talked about rules for traveling and fun things we could do. After all the talking Ramsha made a henna tattoo by me and Ana. I really liked it!After that we (Ramsha, Ana, Christy and I) made some pictures. There were some nice ones. The nice thought with it is that we’re all from another continent. That is pretty cool, isn’t it? After that the camp was already over and we had to say goodbye :(.
Micah picked me up and we went home. In the noon I went to skating practice. This wasn’t a good idea. I was really tired and started to feel really dizzy on the ice. So I stopped earlier and waited till Hannah was done.
The next week at school was spirit week. This because homecoming was the Saturday. Here the spiritdays:
Monday: Pajama day
Tuesday: Crazy hat day
Wednesday: Decades day (freshman 80’s, sophomore 70’s, juniors 60’s and seniors 50’s (Think it was like this))
Thursday: Tacky Tourist day
Friday: Class color day (freshman white, sophomores grey, juniors black and seniors blue)
Every day with lunch periods were like little competitions. It was every day different. They had a day with pie eating, sack racing, water balloon fight and more. I don’t know them all anymore..
At Monday I was still really tired and dizzy so I stayed home from school. I did some homework and I did sleep. I really wanted to rest. This was maybe a day I had time to write my blog. But because I didn’t feel well I didn’t do it. Unfortunately I missed pajama day..
Tuesday I did bring a ‘Wilhelmuts’ but I didn’t wear it because there weren’t many people with crazy hats. With the decades day we also had the powder puff game. So we wore our team shirts all day. Our team was really motivated with the game but we lost the game against the Seniors. It was only one touchdown difference and I think we were pretty good. The teams were even. The Thursday was Tacky Tourist day, I took this really serious. I looked awesome!! Haha At lunch Michelle and I made a really nice picture 🙂
Friday I wore a black shirt, because I’m a junior here. After school there was an assembly. I didn’t know what it was exactly but I found out it is amazing!! I really liked it. All the classes are together. So There was a part in the gym which was white of the freshman, then a grey part of sophomores, the black part with the juniors (including me) and the blue part with the seniors. There was a lot to see, like cheerleaders who perform, dancers, flag people (they dance with flags and throw them, it looks pretty cool) and more. Even our principal joined the cheerleaders and was on the top of a pyramid. Isn’t our principal awesome?!
That evening I went to the Octhombrefest of Hannah her school. Every student wore crazy clothes and they sang. It was really fun to see!
The Saturday was homecoming. In the morning I had a meet from Cross Country (my first meet). At the meet I did buy an awesome hoodie. It is bright yellow with the text: Illinois, cross country. I like the hoodie. 🙂 When I came home from the meet I still had to find a dress for homecoming. I watched all the dresses the family had and I chose one (the fact that I’m wearing a dress doesn’t mean I like dresses!) . Later Becky and Hannah did my hair. The first things they tried didn’t work out but after 2 hours they finally finished my hair. It was fun to go to homecoming, but I don’t know if I would do this again. I promised my dad to put a pictures of me in a dress on my blog. So here it is:
I also did the practice ACT test. This is a test all juniors are allowed to take. I wasn’t that good and couldn’t finish all questions. I think because it is in English and with reading texts in English I’m a little slower than other people. The test had an English, Math, Reading and Science part. I don’t know yet how my results are. But I’m sure I don’t have a really high score.
Last weekend I had a Cross Country meet on Saturday. When I woke up I saw snow outside. I didn’t believe myself because it was October. But it was really snow. It was just a few snowflakes, but it is still snow. At the meet it was really cold so I wore a lot of clothes and a hat. I only had to run 2 miles. The first mile was really good but the second wasn’t that good for my feeling. My legs just didn’t want to go anymore.. Our school was 4th with the Junior Varsity (the part of the team I’m in). This is pretty good.
Later the day I played Settlers of Catan with Hannah, Leah and Eric. I played really bad. I couldn’t even build my 3rd house. So when I saw I couldn’t do anything I helped Hannah to win. She won so I still won for a little bit.. haha
Brandon, Ethan, Jan-Eric and Colleen came also over. It was really nice. We played basketball boys vs girls, pool (the thing where you have to hit balls with a stick and try to get it in one of the holes) and we ate pizza. I failed in pool, I couldn’t even hit the ball normally. I also played a table tennis/ping pong game to Micah (hostbrother). I got 1 point and I was really proud of it (I lost with 11-1). Micah is really good in table tennis. We also watched the movie Avatar. When the movie ended Hannah and I waited until Ethan was picked up and after that we went to sleep.
Sunday Hannah and I went mountain biking with Brandon. First Jan-Eric would also come but he had something else. The course was wet so I got a lot of mud on me. After mountain biking we ate lunch at Jan-Eric’s house. They had the best brownies ever!!
In the evening Hannah and I made pannekoeken (Dutch pancakes). We ate them the way I like them the most: with Nutella. Everyone liked it so I was happy with that! I think the next Dutch thing we will make are poffertjes.
We only had 3 days of school this week. So I can finally take some rest in my long weekend and write my blog again. Monday I don’t have school because of Columbus day. So I got a 5 day weekend and I’m really happy with it. It was my dad his birthday Tuesday. So I did send him a nice postcard with Hallmark. Yesterday morning there was a lunar eclipse. I did set my alarm at 5am to see it and to make some pictures. The moon turned red and it was pretty cool to see, I took some nice pictures of it.
Tomorrow I will go to the Silence parade, it is a parade of fire trucks to honor the firefighters and civilians who lost their lives either in fires or the line of duty. And guess what, I will be in a fire truck. 🙂 That is so cool!! 😀
Saturday and Sunday I will have a shorttrack meet. I have no idea how it will go because I’ve been really tired the last weeks. So I will see, but I’m sure it will be fun!
I think I’m up to date again. So I will upload this and then I’m going to sleep. I’m sure I will experience also a lot of new and funn stuff again the following weeks. I don’t know when my next blog will be because I’m doing a lot of stuff here and I don’t know when I have time again. It could be soon but It could also be in a month. But I try to share short updates on facebook. I hope my English was good, I’m pretty tired so I could have some more faults than normal.. If you have any questions about my experiences or about my exchange, feel free to ask! 🙂
One last thing: I ordered the most amazing running shoes today. They have a lot of bright colors and I can’t wait till they’re here. I think they will arrive Monday. So I just have to wait for a few more days! Watch my facebook to see a picture, I will post it as soon as my shoes arrive!