Salt Lake City, Brook Olympics and Madison

Heey guys,

Prepaire for a really long blog. I did a lot of fun stuff the last weeks!!!!! People who are friends with me on facebook probably already know: I WENT TO SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH!! 😀

On Wednesday March 4th I went in the morning to school for 4 periods. After that my hmom picked me up from school and we went home to pack the last stuff. Then around 1pm Jed brought us (my hdad, hmom and Hannah) to the airport. Here we found out our flight left around 6.45pm instead of 3.35pm. So we waited for a really long time. Hannah and just walked around a little, got a pizza for dinner (somewhere far from our gate) and then we walked back. The plane got delayed a little more and at 7.35pm we finally left. We arrived late in SLC, I tried to make some pictures from the plane. Well… The people (I didn’t know) tried to make a picture for me. But it didn’t work out because it was too dark. My hdad was getting the rental car when my hmom, Hannah and I got our checked bags. After that we went to the hotel, Hannah and I ate real quick something and then we went to sleep.

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Walking around in O’Hare while we were waiting for our plane

 

During that night I was really cold. I didn’t have a good blanket on my sofa sleeper. So I didn’t sleep really  well. The hotel we were had the best hotel breakfast ever. We ate so much. (Right now I’m in a hotel in Madison, Wisconsin and there is a huge difference in breakfast, Salt Lake breakfast was a lot better. I will tell later about Madison.) After breakfast we went ‘Goodwill shopping’, Goodwill sells stuff second hand or stuff that didn’t sell at a normal store and here you can get sometimes really nice stuff which is not too expensive. A the first goodwill we were I bought 3 shirts and at the second one a bought a (Duck Dynasty) pajama pants so I had a little warmer clothes for the next night. We also got a better blanket for me. I slept a lot better the other nights. When we came back from Goodwill shopping Hannah and I got hungry. So then we looked up a place where we could eat. We ended up by Costa Vida, this is a Mexican Grill restaurant. The food was so good there!! And it was a lot! When we came back to the hotel we got our skating stuff and left to the Olympic Oval. Here we had a short practice and of course I made some pictures. After practice we went with some of the team to an Italian restaurant. Here we got pasta. We could choose if we wanted a half plate of pasta (which they recommended) or a full one. We chose the full one, thinking we were hungry and could finish it. Otherwise we could always take our leftovers. Thinking now I think it might have been better to get the half one. The full one was huge. The plate of pasta was enough for 3 dinners and it included 2 big sausages and 4 meatballs. We had a lot of leftovers. At the hotel we were tired and we went to sleep. A few minutes later Brandon knocked on our door thinking another skater was in room 429. After texting him we went to sleep he was still knocking. So I opened the door to tell him. The person he expected me to be was in another hotel with the same room number. This was kind of funny haha.

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First practice on the ice in Salt Lake City

 

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Utah Olympic Oval

 

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Our mega bowls with pasta

 

Friday was the first racing day. We woke up early and ate good breakfast. After that we went to the Oval for the races. This day I had to skate the 500 meters and the mass start. On the 500 meters I broke my personal best to 44.40. The mass start wasn’t that good. After the halfway sprint I couldn’t keep up with the group. So I skated like 5 laps alone. When we came back to the hotel we ate some of our leftover pasta as lunch. After that we went to Antelope Island. It was really pretty here and I made a lot of pictures. We saw bison, antelopes and amazing sights. We went there with the family, Coach Carl, Ethan, Brandon, Colleen and her mom, Austin and his mom, Coach Melissa and Michael (Hope I didn’t forget someone..). It was a lot of fun and I have made AMAZING pictures there.

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Salt Lake City with the team

 

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Salt Lake City with the team

 

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Salt Lake City, it was so pretty!!!!!

 

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With Hannah

 

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Salt Lake City with the team

 

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Salt Lake City with the team

 

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Artistic picture of the road

 

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Bison at Antelope Island

 

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Bison at Antelope Island

 

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Antelope Island, Utah

 

After Antelope Island we went to Buffalo Wild Wings to eat. Here I got a wrap which was kind of spicy. In the evening I took a icebath (11 minutes) and I put all the pictures on my laptop to sort them out. Then we went to sleep again.

On Saturday I had to race the 1000 meters and the 3k. On the 1000 meters I got a personal best of 2 seconds. For me it was the first time to skate the 3k so I had a personal best here too. The rest of the day we did easy. In the hotel Hannah and I took an icebath again (this time 14 minutes for me) and after that we went outside in the sun, it was really nice weather). Outside Brandon introduced Hannah, Michael and me to a card game which we played. In the evening we ate at Crown Burger with the team. That night we lost one hour because of the time change, so we didn’t go to sleep too late.

Sunday we had 3 races left. The second 500 meters, the 1500 meter and the teamsprint. On the 500 meters I broke my personal best that I skated the Friday to 44.24. I beat my 1500 meter time with 14 seconds. So in all my races for times I beat my personal best. 🙂 In the teamsprint I skated with Emma and Ilsa. We skated pretty good, I don’t know what the results are. Later that day we went with the family, coach Melissa, Michael and Brandon downtown. Here we visited the capital building. First we parked and got kinda lost. But later we found our way to the building. After the building we went up a mountain. The sight from here was amazing. We were there around sunset time, it was really pretty!

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Capital building Utah

 

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In the capital building with (from back to front) Brandon, Michael, Hannah and me

 

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Amazing sight on Salt Lake City

 

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Enjoying the amazing sight on Salt Lake City

 

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Amazing sight on Salt Lake City

 

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Sunset

 

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Salt Lake City when it is (getting) dark

 

Back at the hotel we ordered a pizza, this one came after a 1,5 hour wait. It was an 26 inch pizza, that is really big!!!! We ate from it with 6 persons and we didn’t finish it. After eating Hannah, Brandon and I went to the hotel pool. It was fun, but when it was almost 11pm we were tired and went to bed. There was a fun day coming! 🙂

On Monday morning we packed all our stuff and left to snowbird. This is a park for skiing and snowboarding. It was fun to go here. We were with a group of people from skating (Hannah, Brandon, Michael, Luke and coach Steve). It was a really sunny day. After going a few times down we went to a restaurant to eat burgers. After that I went with coach Steve, Michael and Luke to a bigger hill. Up there we had an amazing sight. When we came down again Michael and Brandon had to leave. Hannah, Luke and I went one more time up before we left to the airport. I made a lot of pictures this day. Some were even wondering how I could make pictures during snowboarding haha.

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Snowboarding/Skiing with the team (left to right) Hannah, Brandon, Luke, Michael and Me

 

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Snowboarding/skiing with the team

 

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Amazing sight

 

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Snowbird

 

So after a fun/sunny day we left to the airport to go back to Chicago. At the airport we went through security without any problems (they only let me know I was the smallest 18 year old they’ve seen) and we went to our Gate where Brandon was. He took the same flight. There he and Hannah made fun of my face because I got a bad sunburn that day, even after I put sunscreen on. It was really red… My hdad, hmom, Hannah and I got some food and after that we went into the plane. I was sitting next to Hannah and Brandon changed his seat so he could sit with us. My hparents were across the aisle. In the plane I sort all the pictures out of the day before and of that day.

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Flying back to Chicago

 

It was almost midnight when we came back in Chicago and we still had to wait for our checked luggage. That took a while so I just laid down. Hannah and Brandon tried to take pictures of my face… I looked like ‘a red panda’. When we finally got our bags we went outside where Jed picked us up. At home I found out my camera that I ordered for Hawaii arrived. With this one I’ll be able to make videos and pictures under water. I checked it really quick, unpacked a little and went to sleep. I was really tired and I only had a short night of sleep because I had to go to school the next day again.

This week was a spirit week (The Brook Olympics) on school. Every day there was another theme. I missed Monday (neon colors) and I wasn’t sure what was on Tuesday (Truckers). So I didn’t wear anything special. The Tuesday I was really tired and I had a hard time staying awake on school. So then I decided to go home right after school so I could sleep a little more instead of going to track practice. I think this was a good decision because I really needed my rest after a long week(end) in Salt Lake City. On Wednesday it was generations day (Freshmen: Baby, Sophomores: Toddler, Juniors: Adult, Seniors: Old people and Staff members: Teenagers). I had to dress as an adult. I didn’t know exactly how to do that so I wasn’t wearing anything special. I think it is fun to see the school spirit. A lot of freshman were wearing onesies and had stuff for babies with them, Sophomores looked young, a lot of juniors where dressed up and some put something under their shirt so they looked pregnant and some seniors looked really old. Thursday was Hawaiian day. I had a Hawaiian shirt like a lot of other people. You also saw a lot of sunglasses and the Hawaiian flowers. Friday was class color day and the assembly. Unfortunately I wasn’t here, I went to Madison, Wisconsin for the shorttrack nationals. My school has the spirit week called the Brook Olympics once a year around March. Here classes try to get as much as points as possible. In lunches there are games where classes go against each other and with the assembly there are games too (I think). If I can believe social media the Seniors won this year.

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Hawaiian day with Michelle

 

Thursday after school my hmom and Hannah picked me up from school and we left to Madison, Wisconsin for Shorttrack Nationals. We had that evening a short ‘practice’ where we could get used to the ice. My legs felt really bad. Probably because the 2,5 hour car ride before we went on the ice. We didn’t have that much time for warm up either. After the practice we went to the hotel where we ate dinner. In the hotel Hannah and I watched the movie ‘The Book Thief’, we only watched half because we were sharpening our skates too.

Friday we could sleep in. The only thing we had to go in the morning was breakfast before 9am. After breakfast we did easy and I started writing this blog. Around 10.30am we left the hotel to go to a sports store so I could buy new shin guards. I forgot mine at home. I was tired when I packed my stuff and I didn’t have them in my bag because I washed some stuff. After buying new shin guards we went to the rink. Here we had warm up around 1pm. We had the 1500 meters that day. In the semi-finals I got 3rd and that was good enough to get to the A-final. In the A-final I skated good. But my legs got tired at the end of the race and I finished 6th. Hannah unfortunately got disqualified in her semi-finals. We also had the relay, I was in a team with Hannah, Mia and Stefanie. There was one bad change where Mia fell, and I thought she didn’t touch Stefanie. So I went in. Later she yelled at me they touched. This was kind of confusing. Because of this we had exchanges on wrong places. At the end Hannah finished instead of me. We didn’t make it to the final. That evening Hannah and I went to Ethan’s room to take an icebath. Our room didn’t have a bathtub, after our icebath I ran around in the hotel because my legs felt funny haha. Then I took a warm shower and we went to sleep.

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Picture by Edna M Kunkel

 

Saturday we could sleep in again. The warm up started at 10.10am. Which they moved to 10.20am. After the warm up I had to wait for a long time. My group only had semi-finals and finals. So we had to wait until the other groups finished the heats and the quarter finals. Of course there was also a lunch break. So we could wait even longer. I think it would’ve been better to have our warm up during the lunch break. This day I had the 500 meters. The heat was really good. I had a nice pass and blocked the rest of the race really good. They bumped every time in to me behind me. I finished first this race. In the final I finished 3rd. Here I had a really close finish with Betsy for the 3rd place. Now I have a pin as memory of this race. 🙂 I didn’t have more races that day. Hannah got 1st on the 500 meters for Juniors B. Noah, Leah (hostsiblings), Nicole and Anna (friends of Hannah) were at the rink to watch that day. It was nice they were there :). In the evening we walked around and we went to Ethan’s room again for an icebath. Nicole and Leah slept at our hotel room. We didn’t go to sleep too late. Because we had to wake up early.

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1st (junB) and 3rd (junA), showing our pins 🙂

 

Sunday morning our warm up started at 7am. So we had to wake up really early. The warm up felt really good. I had to wait for a long time again. I had to skate the 1000 meters. I had a good race. There was only one pass that was just good (I thought) and I finished 2nd that race, the referees saw the pass different and disqualified me. Because I didn’t qualify for the final I didn’t have to skate, there were only A-finals. Later I still had to do the 3K super final. This one started off pretty good. I stayed good in the group and skated good to. When it speeded up with 4 laps to go someone fell and took me with her. My legs didn’t want to go anymore after that so I just finished easy. The referees probably saw (I don’t know how) that she fell because of a fault of me. So I got disqualified… I just stayed in my lane and speeded up to keep up with the group. I asked other people what they thought and everyone said it wasn’t my fault and they didn’t get why I got disqualified.  So this wasn’t really a good day for me. I skated really good, but I just had a lot of bad luck.

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Picture by Edna M Kunkel

 

There was also a raffle. I put in 5 tickets. But unfortunately I didn’t win anything.. (More bad luck? A lot of times I win something haha.) Overall I think I finished 6th. Hannah finished 3rd overall in her age group. I didn’t really make pictures this weekend. So that’s why I didn’t add many. Of course this will be different when I’m in Hawaii!

My brother skated this weekend in Moscow, Russia the relay on the World Championships. He finished with Sjinkie Knegt, Daan Breewsma and Freek van der Wart 3rd. I’m proud of him! A medal on his first World Championships!!! 😀 Congrats Mark!!

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Mark got 3rd at the World Championships with the relay team

 

I had these weeks a lot of fun and I’m getting exited for the coming weeks knowing I will be in Hawaii in 2 weeks exactly. Time goes so fast here. I found out I don’t have any more shorttrack practices, not sure about longtrack. And I don’t have any more skating meets. That makes me kind of sad.. But I am sure I will hang out with the people from skating a lot of times before I leave. Can’t image I won’t be here with them next year… (If you ask them I’ll still be here next year). Now the skating is over I will still practice a lot for track (like 6 times a week). I think my next blog will be in about 3 or 4 weeks after Hawaii. I try to put short updates and pictures on facebook!

Have a great time everyone!!!

My first video blog, Minnesota and Champaign

Hello everyone!

I have some time again to write my blog. Today I’m not at school because I’m not feeling well. So all stuff I will do today is resting, writing my blog and I might start cleaning my room (which is necessary). This night I slept for like 9,5 hours and after breakfast and getting ready for school I still didn’t feel better, so I went back to bed. Here I slept for 3 or 4 more hours. So I really needed the rest. Some fun news is that I’ve already been here for 6 months. Time goes way too fast!! Thinking I only have 4,5 months left with a lot of fun stuff. I don’t want to leave yet… For the people in the Netherlands: It doesn’t mean I don’t miss you! I just have a lot of fun here and I can’t imagine I have to leave all those people for a long time or maybe forever. I don’t know when I will see again after I leave…. 🙁

So my last blog ended with me thinking about making a video blog. And now I can tell I made one. I went the weekend of February 7 and 8 to Minnesota for long track Nationals. I tried to film here and I think the blog came out pretty good. I only forgot to film the second day and windows movie maker didn’t do everything I wanted it to do. Here is the video:

We left on Friday February 6 to Minnesota. That morning my selfie stick arrived so I took it and made a lot of fun pictures with it. I went there with Hannah and some others of my skating team. The first thing we did when we arrived was skating. Just doing a short practice to get used to the ice. The rink we had nationals at was in Roseville, Minnesota. This is an outside rink, you can also see this in the video. The races this weekend were in pack race style. This is fun to do, it is kind of shorttrack at a long track rink. I got overall 4th of the Juniors A at Nationals. I skated good and we were all really close to each other at the finish. Hannah finished 1st of the Juniors B and my club finished 1st! I also won the team pursuit with Hannah, Kaitlin and Colleen. Thanks to the Naess family and the Molenda family to provide Hannah and me with food! 🙂

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On our way to Minnesota!

 

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With a mouse

 

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With the orange Moose

 

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With the orange moose

 

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Ready to get on the ice

 

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My team pursuit team. (Left to right: Colleen, Kaitlin, Hannah, Me)

 

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Our club got 1st!! Go Glen Ellyn!!

 

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Selfie with the club

 

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Selfie!!

 

I didn’t do any special things at school that week. Or I can’t remember it… I try to write stuff I do in a small notebook. But I forgot it the last weeks… I do remember that I gave some stuff to Brandon which he took to Poland where he will skate world juniors this weekend. He gave my stuff to Sanneke (team NL) and she will give it to my brother in the Netherlands. In this way I already got some stuff home and I don’t have to worry about this when I will come back later. I’m sure I have way too much stuff here.. I might see if I can book another suitcase for my way back (where I don’t want to think about yet).
Goodluck at the World Juniors team USA and team NL!! 🙂

On Friday the 13th  I had my first Track & Field meet. I don’t know if I really had bad luck today but I liked to say it this way. I ran with my first meet the 55m, 200m, 300m and the 4×200 meters. I think it was a lot of fun to race. A lot of people from my team say I run really good! And my Track coach even said I should start doing track in NL. I will see what I will do next year. My second meet will be tomorrow (Saturday Febuary 21st) at my own school. Because I’m not feeling awesome I don’t know how I will run. But I will see 😉

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On our way to the track meet! This is only part of the team.

 

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Team selfie, my fisheye lense arrived so everyone fit in! 🙂

 

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Willowbrook warriors!!

 

To make it a full planned weekend I left Saturday morning to Champaign Illinois for a shorttrack meet. This meet was at the University of Illinois. It was a really wide track, normally there fit like 5 or 6 people on the starting line. Now we could start with 9 people at the line. I got in all distances in the A final. I got 6th on the 1500meter, I still think I could’ve done this race better. They left with 9 laps to go and keeping up with them was hard knowing my endurance isn’t really good right now. I got 3rd on the 1000 meter. This was a better race. I was for a long time in 4th position and I was having a hard time with passing. At the finish I could press my skate just in front of the other person so I got third. In the 500 meter I finished 2nd, this was a good race with a good pass on my hostsister Hannah :). Then there was one race left, the 3K. I wasn’t really looking forward to it because it is a long distance. Luckily no one wanted to lead so we didn’t skate fast. I tried to stay on position 2, this worked out until approximately 5 laps before the end. I finished 4th in this race. A lot better than I expected. 🙂 I finished overall also 4th. Hannah got 3rd.

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Ice rink in Champaign, Illinois

 

Monday was like a ‘resting day’. I’m not sure if I really did something in the morning. Later that day I went to Ana to eat Brazilian and to watch the carnival parade in Rio on tv. Alexia was here too and some other friends of Ana. It was a lot of fun and the food was really good! I can’t wait to go later to Brazil to visit people there! I only need money to get there.. We ate Empadão, queijadinha and kind of cheese bread. It was all so good and Ana had too much. So I ate a lot that night haha. We also made a video in the hope the Brazilian tv would broadcast it. But they didn’t.
Ana her hostmom still had some quarters that I could get. So now I only need 9 more quarters to complete my collection. And I got my collectors map 2,5 weeks ago. So I did that really fast.

I still need:

  • North Dakota
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Puerto Rico
  • Guam
  • American Samoa
  • S. Virgin Islands
  • Northern Mariana Islands

This week I didn’t feel that good but I still went to school. I still went to practices but it isn’t nice to practice when you don’t feel good. This morning I felt worse than other days and decided to stay home. I already feel better than this morning, which is good. I hope it stays good because I have tomorrow my second track meet. I don’t know what events I will do. Today we would get information about the meet of tomorrow. I will see what I do when I get at school.

In 1,5 week I will leave to Salt Lake City to do the AM-cup long track. It will be a lot of fun I think. I will go snowboarding there too and I’m planning to do more fun stuff there. Not sure what exactly yet. Then the week after I will go to Madison, Wisconsin for shorttrack nationals. And 2 weeks later on March 28th I will leave to HAWAII!!!! 😀 I know people who are there right now and I see amazing pictures. I really can’t wait to go there! March will be a busy but really fun month. I don’t know when I will have time to write my blog again. I might try to make another video blog.

Ohhh just remembered something. I did dissect a pig with anatomy. I won’t post a picture of it. It was sad cutting in a pig, but interesting to see all the organs.
And we are making something out of glass with 3D art. I am making something with a Dutch theme. So I made the shape of the Netherlands with wire. I’m not done yet. But here is a picture from my work in process:

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Work in process

 

Hope you liked reading this! Byeee!!!!

Halfway my exchange year and winter wonder land!

Heeyy Everybody!!

It is February 2nd and I have a snow day!!! It is like Winter-wonderland outside. It is really pretty and we have a lot of snow. I’m also over the half of my exchange year and I did a lot of fun stuff the last weeks!! I have now some time to update my blog. Enjoy reading!! 🙂

Let’s start Friday January 16th. I was done with all my finals and I didn’t have school. My hdad got called that his company had Hockey Jerseys. My hdad has a company named ‘Bosman Disposal’, this is a garbage company. They found a couple of Jerseys from the Blackhawks and the Bears. Those jerseys are normally really expensive. So I’m happy I could get one 🙂

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With my new blackhawks jersey! #9

 

On Saturday I went with Seraina (from Switzerland) to Chicago. We met up with Britt here. She is also with AFS from the Netherlands to the US. She lives near Kansas City, but she was a weekend in Chicago. We met up at the bean and made right at that place some pictures. After that we went to Subway to eat something. We just sat there and talked when a random dude walked into the window right in front of us. We were in shock and the dude ran away. After that we started laughing. We thought it could maybe be like an TV show where they’re filming people’s reactions. Like the Belgium TV show Benidorm Bastards but then with younger people who do it. It looked really like that haha.
We just walked around in Chicago after our subway adventure. We walked to the Chicago river, a mall and got some free Chocolate at Chiradelli (they give chocolate when you walk into the store). After that Seraina and I had to go to the train. We brought Britt to the place her hfamily was and said goodbye. Seraina and I went to the train. It was amazing to see Britt again, it was around a year ago that we met in the Netherlands during preparations for our exchange year. And now we saw each other here in the USA! I will see her again in a half year when our exchange year is unfortunately over.. 🙁

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With Britt in front of the Bean in Chicago

 

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Chicago river

 

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With Britt and Seraina in front of the Chicago River

 

At the train station Seraina and I split up. I went to Alexia (from Brazil) that night, Ana and her hsister Carlee were here too. It was really fun! We ate pizza, played Just Dance and watched 2 movies. Ferris Bueller’s day off, which is filmed in Chicago and Mean girls. I think the first movie was fun because I recognized parts in Chicago. I like it when I can say like: ‘I know where that is!!’ or ‘I’ve been there!’. I can do that also with Divergent. 🙂
The next day I went again to Chicago. But now with Alexia. The weather was really good this day and I made awesome skyline pictures. We went to the Shed Aquarium where we met up with Bruno (also from Brazil), they had free entrance that day. Other people knew that probably too.. So after 2,5 hours and a hotdog we were finally inside. There we found out that the free tickets where only for a small area in the Aquarium. We looked around there and after that we bought tickets to a 4D movie (Ice Age). After this we left the aquarium and made some more (skyline) pictures, it was getting darker so it was really pretty with all the lights. When we got to the station again we said goodbye and I went home.

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Skyline Chicago

 

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With Alexia in front of the skyline

 

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With Alexia in front of the skyline, doing crazy

 

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In the line for the Shed Aquarium with Bruno and Alexia

 

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Skyline in the evening with Bruno and Alexia

 

Monday January 19th was Martin Luther King Day. So another day off. I slept in pretty long when Hannah came knocking on my door to tell me that some skating friends would come over in +-30 minutes. So I got out of bed to be ready in 30 minutes. Brandon, Ethan and Colleen came over, we made cake balls and we went snowboarding in front of our house. There wasn’t a lot of snow, but it was exactly enough to glide. After that we went to Portillo’s to eat something. I really think we need Portillo’s in the Netherlands. I will miss it when I’m back home… When we came back Hannah, Ethan, Colleen and I went rollerblading (in the snow…. -> it wasn’t my idea!!). It was something new for me, I don’t think it was really good for the wheels.. But it was fun to do! When we came home Brandon and Jan-Erik where waiting with a lot of snowballs ready. After a short snowball fight we went inside. I tried all my hockey supplies on because I had a game that night (Yes, I joined a hockey). We watched the movie White Chicks after I was sure I had all the stuff I needed. In the evening I had my first hockey game. I’m number 14, just like my shorttrack number on the KNSB-cups in the Netherlands. We won this game with 6-4, I went to bed pretty late and I had to wake up early again because of school.

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Rollerblading in the snow

 

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My first hockey game

 

So.. The weekend was over and school started again. This was my first schoolday after finals and second semester started. This was exciting but also sad.. It was exciting because I have some new classes now. 3D-art and Government. With 3D-art we make stuff out of clay, glass and other stuff. We already made a Kiln guardian out of clay in the first week and now we’re making jewelry out of glass. I don’t know what kind of stuff we will make more. But it is a fun class. In Government we talk about the Government in the US (this wasn’t hard to guess I think). We watched here how Obama was speaking and we ‘learned’ how to make a paper for the class. I had to make once a paper like that before for my Dutch class back home. So I know how to do it. I think it was weird to learn this in a Government class and not in an English class. I will see what this class will bring me, I’m sure I will learn more about the Government in the US. And maybe I will even learn about the Netherlands here when I compare things. 🙂 The sad thing was that the first half of my school and exchange year is over.. Hope that I can make the best out of the rest of my year. I’m sure that will be fine! I still have a weekend Minnesota, a week Salt Lake City and a week Hawaii in the planning. And I’m sure I will do a lot more fun stuff!!
What also started on Tuesday was Track season. I have 6 times a week practice with Track. Next to that I do shorttrack practice (2 or 3 times a week), longtrack (1 time a week, I will skip a track practice for this on Wednesday) and one time a week a hockey game. So I do a lot of sports here. Some people think that I’m crazy because I joined the track team while I already did a lot. I saw it as an opportunity to meet new people. And I did! The team is really nice!! A lot of people of cross country are also in the team. But I do sprint here, so I practice with other people. I was tired this week, I think because I did a lot and had new things. It will probably get better when I get used to do this much. I hope… haha The rest of the week was pretty normal.

Hmmm… This blog starts to get long.. And I still have to write for one more week. Haha

That weekend I had the mid-year Orientation from AFS. I drove there with Éviny and Seraina. At the orientation we broke up in groups. I was in the group with Éviny (Brazil), Kaspar (Germany), David (Spain), John (China) and Anna (Italy). We had to talk about things we experienced and things we still want to do. Of course Éviny and I get distracted and do the ‘No *wink*’ from the Pitch Perfect 2 trailer. David saw this and started laughing. So then we started talking about Pitch Perfect. We had a couple of times that we started talking about something else. After the talking we went eating with all other exchange students. I love those people! They are amazing! Can’t imagine I won’t see them anymore next year…

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Orientation

 

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International friends!

 

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International friends!

 

That evening Éviny and Seraina slept over. We watched the movie Avatar. When it ended we found out we didn’t get an extra mattress.. So we had to improvise to sleep. After looking around in the house we found some thick blankets and a sleeping bag. So we made a bed out of that. I already had another bed in my room. So now we had place for everyone to sleep. I woke up the next morning earlier than Seraina and Éviny. I got my laptop to see if I could find a way to see the livestream from the European Championships shorttrack. I found this, later we watched with the three of us the finals in the relay. It was fun to see it with them! Later Éviny got picked up. Hannah and I brought Seraina home when we went to practice. We left a little late (like normal) and we had to bring Seraina home and we were still in time for practice because they were behind on the schedule. This happens almost every time when Hannah and I are late. So we were in time, like we always are. Haha

This week in school wasn’t that special. It was the first 5 day school week in 2015.  I had classes, track practice and skating practice. There was no hockey game this week. Something that was different than normal was that we had to go to the auditorium for assemblies during warrior time the whole week. This was to prepare for Senior year with choosing classes. I won’t be here next year. So I was there just because I had to. Not because I need it. You also got papers every day, the first day I said I didn’t need it. But they wanted to give me the paper so bad that I took it.. I would throw it away. The last day I just gave the paper back after we were done with  it. This week I decided to go another time to Minnesota for another skating meet with Hannah, which will be the weekend of February 7 and 8.

Saturday morning was my first Saturday track practice. After practice we went with the track team to Simons to eat breakfast all together. I think it was really nice and it is good to get to know other people better. When I came home I was tired so I did easy. My hdad came when I was about to start a new blog to tell he and my hbrothers would go to the movie ‘The imitation game’ and if I would like to come. Of course I would like to come. When we came at the movie theater the tickets were sold out. Then we were thinking about American Sniper. But those tickets were sold out too. So we went to Portillo’s to eat and after that we went to another movie theater. Here we watched The imitation game. I thought it was a really good movie!! I’ve been a lot of times to the movie theater here. I’ve been there more times in my half year in the USA than I’ve been there the last 2 or 3 years in The Netherlands. I still have a lot of movies on the list I want to see. So it could be that I will go more often to the movie theater. 🙂

Yesterday (Sunday) we had an snowstorm. It already started snowing Saturday evening and it snowed all day on Sunday. In the morning I started cleaning my room (which was really necessary) and I was planning to go to Éviny in the noon to see the Super Bowl game together. The road was really bad and there was like 1 ft/ 30 cm snow on the car. So I decided to stay home. Now I helped the family shoveling and I played a videogame with my hbrothers in the evening. I watched the super bowl game from half way. I cheered for the Seahawks, unfortunately they lost because of a stupid move. I also walked with Hannah around the house in the evening. The snow came to my knees, it was fun to walk in that. 🙂

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Shoveling

 

I had a snowday today (Monday February 2nd). I took this morning some nice pictures of the snow around my house here. After taking some pictures I went playing in the snow with Hannah. We made pictures of it. We just fell down in the snow or we jumped into it. You didn’t feel anything of it because there was a lot of snow. It was really fun!! After that I skyped with my parents to show them some pictures. In the noon Hannah left to Milwaukee for practice. I didn’t go, instead of going to Milwaukee I started writing this blog and tonight I will play my second hockey game.

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Snow in the backyard

 

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Our house in the snow 🙂

 

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Falling into the snow

 

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Hannah jumping into the snow

 

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Jumping into the snow

 

Today I also ordered a map to collect quarter dollar coins from each state in. I think it would be fun to try to get them all before I left. I came to this idea when I saw that Alexia this did. So you can make me happy if you’re American (or if you have quarter dollar coins) which I don’t have yet and you want to give it to me! I also ordered a selfie stick for when I’m in Salt Lake City and Hawaii and of course other moments where I can use it and I ordered lenses that I can put on my phone like wide angle, fisheye and macro. I don’t know how they will work but I will see. 🙂

I’m really looking forward for what the coming months will bring me and I will try to update my blog when I have time. I think I will try to make soon a vlog (video blog) soon too about my normal day in the US. I still have to arrange something with school for that because I can’t film in school during a school day because of privacy of people. I hope the video will work out. I might try to make a video in my Minnesota weekend to try out if I like making videos. I also still have to find time to write my blog about differences between the USA and The Netherlands.

I hope you enjoyed reading my blog! Please let me know if you want to know something about what I do here! Comments are always welcome!! 🙂

Bye from the snowy Chicago area!! Have a nice day!!

After Christmas, New Year, my Birthday and more!! :)

Heeeyy guys!!

I’ve done a lot of things the last weeks and it was awesome! I didn’t really have time to write my blog. Only with new year I made some time to write a quick blog about 2014. In this blog you will read about snowboarding, new year, Chicago, my Birthday, finals and saying goodbye.. My blog with adventures ended last time after Christmas.

Let’s start at Sunday December 28th. This day I went with my hostdad, hostmom, hostsisters Leah and Hannah and my hostbrother Micah to the Brookfield Zoo. Here they had amazing Christmas lights, it was really pretty! There were also lights which went on and off with music. I made videos of this. Here are the videos and some pictures:

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Lights in Brookfield Zoo

 

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With Leah and Hannah

 

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Holiday Magic Brookfield Zoo

 

On Monday I was first planning to meet up with Éviny. But Tessa and Mary Beth invited me to come snowboarding with them. I think this would be really nice to do and I could meet up with Éviny another time. So I decided to go snowboarding. We went snowboarding at Alpine Valley in Wisconsin. It was a lot of fun to go here. Of course I took my camera so I made a lot of pictures here again. 🙂

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Snowboarding with Tessa and Mary Beth

 

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Alpine Valley, Wisconsin

 

We had a family party Tuesday at our house. It was nice to meet new members of the family again and to see others of the family again. We had a lot of food to eat. We also walked in the neighborhood and we played Just Dance on the Wii. I also found out that a Cousin was with Christy in the Cross Country team. Christy is an AFS exchange student who was last year in the Netherlands. So this proves again how small the world is.

I went to Milwaukee the last day of 2014 for practice. When we came back I played Settlers of Catan with Ethan and Hannah. I also made my ‘Bye 2014, Hello 2015′ blog. In the evening I went with my hostsiblings to Noah his house. Here we played another game of Settlers of Catan and we saw the movie Divergent. The movie just ended before 12 so then we waited for the new year. *Happy new year!*. After being in 2015 for a while we went home. Here Andy (a friend of Tessa who slept over) cut my hair around 1am. I think this could be the first haircut in the States in 2015. Haha

Tessa left the next morning back to California. I slept in and later that day I went with my hostparents and Hannah to the movie ‘Unbroken’. I think this movie was really good. We didn’t do much more than that that day.

The next day, Friday January 2nd I went to Éviny in the evening. Her hostfamily tried to make Indian food, which was good. It is different food than what I’m used to eat. After that we went to Oberweis Diary to get ice cream. They have really good icecream!!

Saturday morning Éviny and I woke up early to catch the train to Chicago. We would go Iceskating with some other exchange students. Unfortunately the ice was really bad. So we ended up on going to Panera to eat. After sitting here for a while a part of the group left. So we were with 8 persons left. The weather was bad so we decided to go to Arami (from Paraguay) her house. Here we hung out and later Ana, Carlee and I had to leave to catch the train to their house. I would sleep over there the next night. I had a lot of fun at Arami her house, here a picture of us made by Matheus (Brazil) who is sad because he isn’t in it:

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Hanging out with (from left to right): Pedro, Ana, Carlee, Talles, Arami, me and Tiago. Picture made by Matheus

 

I also found out this day that Talles (Brazil) has family in The Netherlands. To be precise in ‘Meppel’. This is really close to my house in The Netherlands. So when he will visit his family together with other exchange students who are in our area then they will visit me too!  Or the way I say it: They will visit me and because they are in NL then they can visit the family too! 🙂

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At the bean before skating

 

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Skating, the ice was too bad so we weren’t there too long

 

So that night I slept over at Ana her house and we went the next morning, after our pancakes and bacon breakfast, to the station to go to Chicago again. It started snowing so it was really pretty there. In Chicago we went to the field museum. We walked there from the station. I think you could do it normally in 30 minutes. But Ana and I got distracted everywhere. So it took us like 2 hours to get there because we watched at the bean, we made an amazing AFS Brazil-Netherlands sign in the snow (see picture) and we went to Lake Michigan which was half frozen. Only with the walk there we had a lot of fun!

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Snow at the Bean

 

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With Ana in front of the Bean

 

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AFS Brazil and Netherlands

 

We didn’t have that much time anymore when we arrived at the field museum. So we only saw a small piece I think. I have the feeling we missed a lot. When we got hungry we got something to eat and after that we went to ‘Sue the Dinosaur’ to make pictures. Ana put her water bottle in my bag real quick so she didn’t have to hold it on the picture. When we took my picture and I walked away the bottle fell out of my bag really close to Sue. We couldn’t get it because there are a lot of alarm systems. So after waiting a while and looking around in another part of the museum we finally got the bottle back. We named the bottle: ‘Sue the second’. We always have a nice memory with that bottle hahaa. When we got it back we made pictures with the bottle in front of Sue and after that we went back to the train to go home again. Me to Oak Brook and Ana to Palatine.

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With Ana, Sue and Sue the second haha

 

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With Ana

 

When I arrived with the train I went to the ice rink to see Micah his hockey game. I have to learn the rules because I’m joining the hockey team of my hfamily named: ‘The Wooden Shoes’. It was cold (16⁰F/-9⁰C) outside and my feet were soaked. So this wasn’t the best combination.. After watching the game we went home and that was the last day of my winter break. School started Monday again.

Monday and Tuesday were just normal schooldays. Wednesday, January 7th was different. I got a COLD DAY! My first cold day ever!! This means I didn’t have school because it was too cold outside. So instead of school I went with my hmom and Hannah to Goodwill. This is a shop where you can buy clothes second hand. It is really cheap and sometimes they have really good quality. I got a new pair of pants, 3 long sleeve shirts and 1 T-shirt and that all for only $25. In the evening the whole family came over and we ate homemade lasagna. 🙂 Thursday I got my second cold day. This day I booked my flight to Hawaii. I will go here in spring break with Belo, this is a trip that I can do. I also skyped with my parents and my grandparents. It was nice to ‘see’ them again and to speak them again.

Then it is FRIDAY, JANUARY 9th! My birthday!!!! This was my first birthday outside Europe. It is special if I’m home on my birthday, most of the time I’m somewhere else haha. I was this year ‘home’, I was in my home in America! 🙂  We didn’t have a cold day so we had to go to school (it was still really cold). It started off good already when I was waiting for the bus at 6.50 when I found out I had a late start because of some problems at school. When I came home I was home alone because the family unfortunately had a funeral. They put the present for me on the table, a nice jacket! 🙂 In the time I was home alone I designed a postcard for my mom her birthday (which was Sunday). So I had something to do. I want to put the card on here. But because my mom didn’t get it yet I won’t put it here because the design has to be a surprise for her.

I think it was Saturday morning when my parents skyped me. I didn’t answer with a video because I just woke up and I looked horrible. This was a good choice because the whole family in the Netherlands was at my home for my (and probably my mom’s) birthday. Later I called them back so they could still see me. Later that day I invited some other exchange students over. Only Ana, Éviny, Matheus and Bruno could come. We played some pool (I have a pool table in my basement) and Just Dance. When the icerink in my backyard was free we went skating there. It was a lot of fun. Ofcourse I threw snowballs at the others haha. Somewhere in the noon we brought Matheus and Bruno to the station. After that Ana, Éviny and I saw the movie in the Theater room.  When the movie ended we had to leave to bring Ana home and after that Éviny and I saw another movie.

As you can see in the part above this, I have a really really really nice house here!! The family is also AMAZING!! There is a picture of my house in my Christmas blog. The house with all the lights when I talk about our walk in the neighborhood.

Éviny slept over and the next morning we played hockey on the rink against Micah. My hdad had to be goalie for us and Micah still won. But it was really even. After that Éviny and I stayed skating a little longer. When we were done skating we built a snowman (which looks more like a woman), did a photo shoot with the snowman and made snow angels. In the evening we went watching Micah’s hockey game and after that we did bring Éviny home again.

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Snowman with Éviny!

 

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Snowman with Éviny!

 

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Making snowangels with Éviny

 

Monday was school again. It was a lot of preparation for the finals which started on Tuesday. So guess what.. I had to study after school.. In the evening I had my birthday dinner with the family. We ate Thai food and chocolate cake as dessert. I got a really big piece of the chocolate cake so I had to finish it later.

Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I had finals on school. All the questions where multiple choice. So that is different than in the Netherlands, where we don’t have a lot of multiple choice. There We have to write the answer ourselves. I survived the week. Now I only have to hope on good grades.

Wedsnesday I went also to Chicago downtown. A friend of me goes back home to Chile today (Friday). So we went with a group downtown to the Hard Rock Café to say goodbye to him. I really hate goodbye and it was really hard. I’m sorry for the people in The Netherlands but this was way harder than saying goodbye to you guys.. Just because I know I will see you guys again. I don’t know when I will see Pedro again. It is already hard to say goodbye to one person here. When I will go home it will be horrible. Don’t want to think about it yet..

We will miss you Pedro!! See you again in Chile, Brazil or The Netherlands! 😉

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We will miss you Pedro!!

 

Now I have a long weekend. I probably go to Chicago this weekend and maybe meet up with Britt, who is visiting Chicago this weekend. She is with  AFS from the Netherlands near Kansas City. I will have school again on Tuesday. My second semester will start then. I will have the same classes except photography and humanities. These were only semester classes. I will get now government (not sure yet if I will like it, but it could be interesting) and 3D Art (which sound like a lot of fun). The next time I will explain what I’m doing in those classes.

I don’t have a lot more to say.. So goodbye everyone!! Have a nice day!! 😀

Ohh.. Thanks for the card for my birthday for the ones who sent it!! 🙂

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