Exactly one week ago I left the Netherlands and arrived on Iceland. One week already. Time flies! Some people have been asking what I have been up to, so with this blog I would like to give you a quick update.

The past weeks I had been preparing for Iceland. Some practical stuff back home, being in contact with the Icelandic AFS office and packing my stuff. As I expected Iceland to be super cold, I made sure to buy enough warm clothes in NL that I could take with. While packing I was surprised how much stuff I could actually bring. I even managed to fill my 40kg that I could take with.

February 18th I invited family over to say goodbye, while I already had said bye to some friends of mine earlier that week. The morning of February 19th I visited my grandparents’ to say goodbye to them there.  Due to farmer strikes we didn’t want to risk to get into a traffic jam on the way to the airport. My dad dropped me and my mom of at the trainstation from where we left to the airport. Good job to me….. I almost forgot the most important bag in the car. Luckily my dad could bring it just in time to still get into the train on time. Arrived at the airport we had much time left. We checked in my bags, went to the panorama deck,  had some food and then I waved my mom goodbye when she took the train back. For me that was the time to go through security to the gate. At the gate I ran into another Dutch AFS volunteer I’m working with who was gonna travel, such a coincidence.


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It was a good flight. The landing was in the the middle of a snowstorm, so it was a real welcome with Icelandic weather.  Aron and Mathilde, two AFS volunteers, picked me up from the airport. Aron dropped me and Mathilde (who I already knew) of at my new house where we put my stuff in my room. Then we walked to her place where we ate late dinner. In the picuture below you can see the house where I live now. It is the grey house in the picture.


Thursday I started at the office. Elín, a girl from Iceland who was at the same time on her exchange in Iceland, lend me her bike for one year. She brought this on Thursday to the office. The next morning it turned out the tire was flat, so I already to to fix it this weekend. At the office it was lots of practical stuff this week, also helping out with some tasks and getting to know the people in the office of course. Everyone is super nice and I’m excited for what will come!


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On Saturday morning I walked around Reykjavik. I’m living in the downtown area and I was curious about where I actually live.






In the afternoon there was Árshárið, this is an annual party for AFS volunteers. It was super nice seeing the volunteers I already knew and to meet more of the Icelandic volunteers. There was an afternoon program with some teambuilding and at night there was a vegan dinner and a party with some more activities. The party was musical themed, I borrowed a pink ladies jacket from one of the volunteers. One thing I have already noticed in Iceland: Icelandic people are very into Eurovision.


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Sunday morning I joined the free walking tour around the city. The streets downtown are heated, so I put on thinner shoes: worst decision ever. Of course we walked routes through snow and standing still in parks with snow so I got quite cold at the end. After the tour I went home to warm up and to get lunch. In the afternoon I went to the Icelandic pool with some volunteers; a whole new experience. Also being in an outside pool with 1°C outside was not the thing I would expect me doing this fast. It was very nice tho, and afterwards we went to get some icecream. This is also something that you could get yearround here, in the Netherlands icecream shops are usually closed in the winter. On the way back home it was dark and it snowed which allowed a beautiful view at the Sun Voyager.



Monday evening there was a chance to see the Northern Lights. I went out on my bike and waited. I did not see anyting, but my camera cought a bit. Earlier this week I already missed very good opportunity, Laura texted me when there were nice northern lights, but it was just after I went to sleep.


This week there are many holidays in Iceland. On monday it was Bolladagur. This is a day where everyone eats Bolla, which is like a bun.  Kids will have made a wand on this day and hit their parents while yelling “bolla, bolla, bolla”, the amount of times that they hit and say bolla will be the amount of bolla that the kids will get. Then Tuesday it was Sprengidagur / explosion day, which is a day where people just eat until they can’t eat anymore if I’m right. And today it was Öskudagur, also known as ash wednesday. For this kids dress up and sing songs at companies to get candy. I did see some kids walking around downtown, but as AFS is on the 4th floor the kids don’t get there. I do want to mention that this is how I understood these holidays. Think it is about right, but it could be a bit different.

Today I started my first Icelandic classes at the Tin Can Factory. I’ll be following a course for the next 6 weeks and hopefully I’ll be able to understand and speak some of the Icelandic language soon. I also bought some children’s books which will hopefully help me learning the language faster.

Think that’s about it for now. I’m really enjoying my time here. I’m not sure how often I’ll update my blog. If you want to really keep up to date you can also follow me on Social Media. Have a great day! Goðan dag!

So.. It’s July 29th and I’ve been home for 4 weeks now. Time has gone by so fast!! I really miss the US and all the people I met there. Let’s go back in time and see what I’ve done.
I told in my last blog that Eleni (my NL friend who visited me) would write a post about the week she was with me. Unfortunately she didn’t have time for it yet. So I will see if I have some time to write it myself. I already have to think a lot about the last weeks what I’ve done. It’s easier to write about the week with Eleni because I have a lot of pictures. So that one will come later.

In the last week in the US I tried to see as many people as possible. The day after my last blog I met up with my psychology buddies Michelle, Kayla and Katie. Michelle picked me up and we went to Chick-fil-a. Here we talked and unfortunately I already had to say goodbye to them.. It was great to see them and it is sad that I don’t know when I will see them again… I also made plans with the family to have a goodbye party that Saturday, or the way as Hannah calls it: ‘Celebrating Anke is leaving party’ haha Love you too Hannah. 😉

Chick-fil-a with Katie, Michelle and Kayla

Friday we went in the morning to Noah’s house to walk the puppies Strider and Cinder. Later that day I went gardening with Hannah to clean for the goodbye party. Most people walk around the house so we had to cut all the branches so the path was clear. We cut off a lot haha. In the Evening Beatriz and a friend of her came over to say goodbye. She wouldn’t be able to come to the party the next day. Hannah and I were already tie dying, so Beatriz and her friend joined. The shirts turned out pretty good!! Way better than the ones we made in Hayward I think. But this was other kind of dye which I liked better!

With Beatriz

Saturday morning I got up early. Tessa and Jed (and the puppy Ruger) left to go to Hayward that morning and I wanted to say goodbye before they left. After they left I went back to bed for a few more hours. When I woke up again and came out of bed Brandon was already there. He would help make my kitkat cake for my goodbye party. In the morning Hannah, Brandon and I first went for a bike ride. On our way we also went to Jewel where we bought some more strawberries for my cake and we bought some ice cream which we finished in front of the door before we went back home. It was kinda wet outside so when we came home we were all dirty. Brandon didn’t have extra clothes so after we all took a shower he was walking around in my pajamas haha. I also got a flat tire again. This was my 3rd flat tire on that bike in the year. Earlier this year I had 2 flat tires at the same time on that bike.

Biking with Hannah and Brandon

I helped making the cake. Although I only dipped the strawberries in the chocolate, mixed the pudding and gave the kitkats when they were needed. While we were making the cake my coach  Eric came helping too to make the barbecue ready. The way he started it looked pretty cool! 🙂 We also got rid of one tree that was eaten by beavers in our backyard. Around 4pm the first people came for my goodbye party. Unfortunately we planned this a little late so not all my friends could come.. But a lot of people of my skating team came and some friends came by real quick. I’m so happy everyone who came could be there and that they came to say goodbye!! They were all really important in my year there and my exchange year wouldn’t have been so great without them.

My kitkat cake!!

We had set up a volleyball tournament in our backyard. The teams where really even!! You would win when you had 25 points I think. But you had to be up by 2 points. After a long time my team won with 29-27 I think (not 100% sure). My house there is next to the creek, so every time we shoot the ball in there Ethan went into the canoe to get the ball back. The first time with pushing the canoe into the water it went wrong and Ethan was all wet haha. The other times it went good luckily haha. There was also a deer that we could pet. It was so cool!! The picture isn’t that good. But I’m still really happy with it!
After that we had a campfire. The fire didn’t work that good, as usual. We never had a fire that worked the first time we tried haha.

Petting a deer!

Ethan and Brandon slept over that night. Hannah went to bed earlier and we were still talking. I was half sleeping too. They got my Dutch phone and put a reminder in it for when I would be back.  I had to promise that I wouldn’t open it until the reminder would pop up.

Such good friends, taking pictures when I fell asleep..

On Sunday we all went to church. After that we went with the whole Bosman family (except Tessa and Jed), Brandon, Ethan and his family to lunch at Honey jam. I had nutella crepes with bananas and Hannah got something else. We both didn’t know what to get so we both ordered something and we shared it. After that at home I played tennis with my hdad, Hannah, Micah and Brandon. My back started to hurt pretty bad.. So I stopped after a while and I just watched.

In the evening we went to practice. This was my last practice with Glen Ellyn. This was sad.. 🙁 At the end we made a group picture. I really miss this team…. (On the picture I’m wearing one of my shirts that I tie dyed!! 🙂

Last practice with GESS

After practice I went to Rachel. She wasn’t able to come to my goodbye party. I still wanted to see her, so I went to her house. Here we just talked and later her mom brought me home. During the week I already started to pack a lot. But Monday I really had to finish this. Hannah left me because she had to go to a practice. Brandon came over to help me packing. All my stuff didn’t fit in one suitcase. So I got a big hockey bag where I put all my stuff in that I had left. After that we just went to the basement where we played some pool. I also made a video all around the house.


In the evening Hannah was home again. So I could still see her!! I had to be between 7 and 9pm at Elmhurst college. This is pretty close to my house. So around 8.30pm we left and we first went with the whole family and Brandon to Oberweiss to get ice cream and after that we drove to the college. Here they had to drop me off.. I really had to say goodbye (and see you soon) to my family where I stayed the whole year… Around 9.15 they left and I was left with all the other exchange students who were left in my area. AFS told us real quick what would happen the next day and after that we could do what we wanted to do.

Last American ice cream with the family
With Brandon, Micah and Hannah

Saying goodbye to Hannah….
Last family picture!!

That night I didn’t sleep a lot. I really wanted to enjoy my time with my friends from around the world. Alexia (Brazil) said I couldn’t go to my bed. So then I got my pillow and went to the couch where I laid down. I couldn’t fall asleep. I think later I slept for like 20 minutes. Not long after that it was time to get up because we had to be downstairs around 5am. During this night I also exchanged shirts with Eviny. She has a shirt from NL now and I have a Brazil shirt! 🙂

I’m Brazilian!! Oi, tudo bem? Eu bebo agua!! 🙂

When we were all downstairs the names where checked and we had to hand in our keys. We had to walk to another building of the college. This wasn’t that far, but it was kinda hard to get there because the hockey bag didn’t have wheels. Matheus and someone from AFS helped me to get my bags to the parking place where we had to bring it too (thank you!!!!!). The parking place was full of bags. There were so many people there!! And more bags!! We were all in a big gym, here I slept for 2 hours or so on the bleachers. After that I walked around a bit and I watched a movie with Ana. In the noon we found out that there is a nap room. So then I went there and slept for a while there too. After that it was time to get ready to go to the bus. So saying goodbye to some other people who were still left and after that I went to the bus. My Brazilian friends walked with me, they also helped me to get my bags in the bus. I was kinda struggling with it… So then I had to say another time goodbye and went into the bus..

All the bags on the parking place. (not all the bags are in the picture)

Arrived at the airport I was left with 3 others from NL who would fly with me and some others who would fly somewhere else from London. My bags where both the perfect weight and I could even take of 2 of my 4 shirts. So that was really good!! At O’Hare we had a while to wait. Here me and Rick got some food and I bought a magnet of Chicago. After a while waiting we could finally go into the plane. We (all the NL AFS’ers) didn’t have seats together. So I was sitting with people I didn’t know. It was a really nice plane. In the plane I watched some movies. I was really tired so I fell asleep during the movies… I also missed my food. But the food wasn’t that good I heard, and I still had a chocolate muffin. 🙂

Dutchies on their way to NL

At Heathrow we only had one hour layover. Because of that we could go in the ‘fast line’. So after that we were in time for our flight. It didn’t take too long before we could board for our next and last flight back to the Netherlands. This flight didn’t take too long. When we landed we went to get our luggage. Here I already saw my parents, brother and Freya (his girlfriend) and dog. It was great to see them. And they had made a great banner for me. (See picture)

Reunited with my NL family
Welcome home bbq

We had a barbecue with some family and friends when I came home. It was good to see everyone again. My grandma made soup and my dad bought special for me an ice cube machine. Because I asked for ice at home when I came back haha. One of the first things I found out is that my room here is pretty small. There was also a sign on my door which said: ‘No own bathroom, no walk in closet.. Sorry. Welcome back in your own room!’

The first week I was home it was really hot. These days I went a lot of times with the boat. I also met Kati and Beatriz, AFS’er from Texas, USA and Brazil. It was great meeting them!! I biked with a Kati and I saw her a lot of times. I saw Beatriz only once when she came visit with her hfamily and she slept over.

Enjoying the nice weather
Enjoying the nice weather, monoskiing
Enjoying the nice weather, wakeboarding

Enjoying the nice weather, waterskiing

Enjoying the nice weather

With Kati from Texas, USA in our hometown Wanneperveen
Biking with Kati

In Giethoorn with Beatriz from Brazil

Giethoorn with Beatriz and my mom


The last weeks I’ve been really busy. I worked a lot by my grandparents, I decided what I will study and I started preparing everything for the study. I will study ‘Mens en Techniek’ (human and technology) in Tilburg. This is all in the South of the Netherlands and I had to find a room here. I found one and I already got some of my books I’ll need online. My skating team sent me a picture where they made my name on the skating rink. This was really nice to see. I miss them..

Looking for a room in Tilburg
My US skating team made my name on the ice 🙂

One really cool thing I had with work was that there was a customer who was an AFS’er 50 years ago. It was so cool to meet him!! I made a picture too of course!

With an 50 year AFS returnee

On August 21st I will get an Italian AFS sister. We will host her. I’m really excited to meet her in real!! Can’t wait to meet her!!!

Skyping with Arianna and her family

AFS still looks for more hostfamilies in the USA and in NL. So if you’re interested to host someone then you can check it out on www.afsusa.org or www.afs.nl/gastgezin !!!!  It is really fun!! And the student you will host will be really thankful!

The coming weeks I will prepare more for my study and I will work some more. I will also try to write the blog about the week Eleni was in Chicago.

Byee!! Hello from the Netherlands!!!!

Heey Everyone,

It is a while ago I wrote my blog. I just have one week left in the US right now and I can’t believe it!! 😮 I don’t want to go home yet, I just want to stay a little longer with those amazing people here.

I ended last time with my hbrothers getting puppies. So it is great having puppies here. The name of Jed’s dog is Ruger, he lives in the same house as me. So I see that puppy a lot of times. My oldest hbrother Luke got this week a puppy named Cinder. It was a surprise for all of us. Because we didn’t know that he would get a puppy too. All the puppies are really cute!! 🙂

Ruger (Jed), Strider (Noah) and Cinder (Luke)

My last day of class at Willowbrook highschool was June 4th. This day we did review for our finals. A lot of seniors weren’t there because they didn’t have to make finals and would graduate that Sunday. I went to the graduation and it was great to see. Just like a movie. Everyone is wearing the special graduation clothes and they got called name by name to walk over the stage. After the ceremony I went with Rachel and her family to Gullivers. Here we ate deep dish pizza. It was a lot of fun!! I’m really proud of all my friends who graduated this year!! You guys are awesome!!

Graduation ceremony
With Rachel

I was done with school after my last final on June 9th. I only had 1 final that day, so I was done really early. To start off the summer good I went with Natika and Alicen to Simons to eat breakfast. It was a lot of food. We also came with the idea to go to Starbucks. Which was fun but maybe not the best idea. I couldn’t finish my drink there because it was just too much after the big breakfast. After that I walked together with Natika to her home where we could get the car so she could drop me off at my home. From there I would first go downtown with another exchange student. But it was hard to catch the train and it would get too late because I had to get up really early the next morning. So that’s why I didn’t go and I went to skating practice instead.

That evening I finished packing my bag to go to the lake house of my hfamily in Hayward, Wisconsin. Éviny came too, because she would come with us there. Also Ethan and Michael (skaters) came with. The next morning we had to leave around 6am. We first had to put all the bags in the car and we had to fit all the bikes we had on the cars. In total we had like 8 bikes to take with. On each car we fit 3 bikes and my hdad who drove up later that week brought the other 2 bikes. The first day we stayed around the house. Just looking around and make plans for later that week. Hannah, Ethan, Michael and I did an dryland practice. After that we all went swimming and canoeing in the lake. I also had a watermelon eating competition with Ethan. After finishing 1,75 watermelon together we decided to stop because we weren’t sure if it was still healthy. That day we had some problems with the water in the house. So we had to take our bath in the lake. It was kinda cool haha. We just walked into the water with our shampoo and conditioner to wash our hair. Again a new experience! 🙂 In the evening we enjoyed the amazing sunset above the lake.

On our way to Hayward with all the bikes
My hfamily’s lake house in Hayward, Wisconsin
Dryland practice at the lake house
Our ‘bath’

The next morning we went canoeing again. Michael caught a crawfish while we were getting the canoe ready. So of course we took pictures with the crawfish before we left. We went onto the lake pretty far. Ethan was too late to get into the canoe and so we left, he went to get donuts together with Tessa. It is a family tradition to go under in the water the first morning and then you can get a donut. So when we came back from canoeing we first had to go all the way under the water to deserve our donut. Later that day we went to an inline track so Hannah, Ethan and Michael could do a practice. Éviny, Tessa and I just made pictures. We found a small place with a lot of flowers. Éviny and I made a lot of pictures in here until the others came back. We also went biking. Hannah, Ethan and Michael more as a practice. Me, Éviny and Tessa more for fun. In the evening we played volleyball and we enjoyed the sunset again. Hannah, Éviny, Ethan, Michael and I also had a campfire that night. It wasn’t a big success. But the fire was just good enough to make our hotdogs and smores. It rained earlier that day so a lot of the branches where wet and didn’t want to burn.

With the crawfish
Hannah, Ethan and Michael doing their inline practice
Flower pictures with Éviny
Flower pictures with Éviny
Biking with Éviny and Tessa
Sunset with Éviny <3
Making hotdogs

The third day we left in the morning to Duluth, Minnesota. It is really pretty there!! First we went to a small beach which was still in Wisconsin. While we were driving here Éviny said it looked like the place where she lives in Brazil. It was really pretty, so I’m kinda jealous now. Haha Sure I will go to visit her!! After that we really went into Minnesota where we started at the Enger tower. This is an old tower which is there for a memory for someone. From the tower you could see over Duluth. It is really pretty!! After the tower we walked around through the park, there was a Japanese (?) bell which you could hit. So we all hit this. When we were done looking around there we left to the cliff jumping place. Hannah already showed me pictures of when she was there before. I couldn’t wait to jump!! It was really cool!! We didn’t jump from the highest spot, just to keep it safe. But there were people who climbed into a tree to get even higher and then they jumped. The place we jumped is like a big hole which is really deep (I don’t know how deep). It was great to jump down there!! After that we went into town. Here is another family tradition, if you swim in lake superior then you get ice cream. But it was really windy and cold. So we were walking around with towels around us and we didn’t even want to swim or eat ice cream. We went to a pizza place to eat  and we walked around town. We were really tired after. So we just drove back to Hayward instead of going somewhere else. In the evening we had some fireworks which we fired next to the lake. It was a great and long day!!!

With my hmom and hsister Hannah
Michael, Ethan, me, my hmom, Éviny and Hannah at the Enger tower
Japanese bell
Cliff jumping
Cliff jumping
In the waterfall
The place we went cliff jumping
Downtown Lakewalk with Hannah, Michael, Ethan and Éviny
Fireworks at the lake

The next day we went into town and we went fishing. In town Hannah, Éviny and I went in a lot of stores without buying anything. We were in the 4th store when the guys had seen the whole town. So they had to wait for a while. We bought some tie dye in a store and on our way back to the house we bought some white shirts at Walmart to tie dye. With fishing Éviny won with catching the biggest and the smallest fish. We kept one fish we caught to eat. We skinned it and baked it ourselves. In the evening we tie dyed our white shirts we bought and we watched the Hawks game, who were still playing the Stanley Cup.

Going fishing
I caught a fish, with my hdad in the background
Éviny got the biggest fish
Getting the fish ready to cook
Getting the fish ready to cook

The last full day in Hayward we went tubing. It was so much fun!! We couldn’t stop laughing. I also went on the sea-doo with Hannah and Éviny. Hannah drove and we got to the maximum speed of 69 Miles per hour. It was great!! We went mountainbiking too that day and we played some more volleyball with the family. Tessa punched her uncle somewhere this week. With this she fractured her arm. A stupid way to do that, but we can laugh about it. In the evening with sunset we made some awesome pictures!! That evening we had to pack our bags again and we would leave the next morning back home with my hdad. My hmom would stay a little longer in Hayward.

When your hsister grabs on to you in stead of the tube……
Enjoying the lake
Mountain biking

When we got home we Éviny and I finished the movie we were watching and we just rested. In the evening we went to Seraina to say goodbye. She would go with her hfamily to Mexico and after that she would travel with her own family through the US. So we wouldn’t see her anymore. Bruno was here too and later in the evening Roos came. Éviny and I got picked up just after the Hawks game began. That night was the last game of the Stanley cup if the Hawks would win. So we wanted to be home quick. But there was a lot of rain and roads were flooded. So it took a really long time to drop off Éviny and after that it took like double the normal time to get home. The traffic was horrible. I think houses in my neighborhood where flooded, my house is more on a hill. So ours wasn’t flooded. The water came up high in our backyard. I walked into the water and only halfway the backyard I was into the water too over my middle, of course I had to walk into the water again to make pictures and videos haha. The Blackhawks won the game that night. This meant they won their 4th game against Tampa Bay. They had to win 4 to win the Stanley Cup. So hereby they won the Stanley cup! 😀

Visiting Seraina to say goodbye…
Backyard flooded
Backyard flooded

The next day I had a day to clean my room before Eleni would come to visit me for a week. Eleni is a friend from the Netherlands who went to the same school as me. Once I was joking that she should come so I could put my stuff in her suitcase to bring back for me. She looked up prices and thought it would be a good idea. I never expected she would really come. I picked her up after my skating practice where I had to leave a little earlier. I asked her to write a blog about her week here. I will upload that one when it is done. 🙂 It will probably be in Dutch, but my website has an translation button. So you can always translate it!! 😀 I’m just telling you it was a great week!!!!!!

Chicago with Eleni
Chicago with Eleni

Yesterday we dropped off Eleni at the airport again after a great week (blog comes later). Her flight was delayed with 22 hours. But we managed it to get her on an earlier flight that day. So she is back in the Netherlands again now. At night I had my last skating practice on ice with Glen Ellyn Speedskating. I brought some souvenirs to practice that KPN (the sponsor of the Dutch skating) gave me to give away here. So now everyone from the club who was there had a souvenir from the Netherlands. I can’t believe I am back in the Netherlands next week.. I don’t wanna leave yet.. I just want to stay a little longer with all those people here!! This team here is great and I’m going to miss them a lot!!! It is nice to know some are already planning on coming to visit me in the Netherlands! 😀

Love this team!! Gonna miss them a lot!!!!!!

After practice yesterday I went together with Hannah, Colleen, Michael, Brandon and Ethan to a drive in Cinema. This was one thing I wanted to do really bad here!! And now I did it!! It was pretty cool. We took the truck and we were just all laying in the trunk. It was great!!!  We saw the movie Jurrasic World. I already saw it with Hannah and Eleni a week before that. But it was still really fun!! It was so cool to be in a drive in cinema, really happy I could experience this with great people!!

Drive in cinema
All in the back of the truck
Having fun at the drive in!
Having fun at the drive in!

Today I have a lazy day. I was really tired and didn’t really have anything to do. This won’t happen later this week haha. I will do as much as I can before I leave. Tomorrow I will meet up with a friend from school. I still want to go bowfishing, if it is possible. I have to ask my coach here if they can take me this week. And I still want to go tie dyeing a shirt one more time with another kind of tie dye. Saturday some friends will probably come over at our house. And not sure what I will do Sunday yet. Monday I have to finish packing all my stuff (which I will do the whole week) and in the evening I will have to leave my hfamily.. It is so sad.. I really don’t want to leave them. But on the other side, it would be fun to see my family and friends in NL again. But they can wait longer I think, just want to stay a little longer here. But that is not possible…

I’m going to enjoy my last week here as much as possible now! This will be my last blog I’m writing myself from the US. The blogpost Eleni will write will be up soon and I will post a blog after being home again for a while. Thank you for reading!!