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. 😉
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!! 🙂
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.
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! 🙂
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..
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. 🙂
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)
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.
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..
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!
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!!!
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!!!!