Monday, December 12, 2011

Great Times

This past weekend was an absolute blast. A Rotarian took 3 of us to Luxembourg, Germany, France, and Belgium in one day! I love Europe sooooo much. It is amazing to see how the countries differ so much even though they sit right next to each other. The drive was about 300 miles, but it didn't seem that long. Our first stop was Belgium. We went to La Roche and that small city was absolutely breathtaking. I have never seen anything like that town. Our next stop was Luxembourg, the capital. I think that was my favorite city that I visited over the weekend. I definitely wasn't expecting what I saw when I went there but that is the great thing about Europe. We had lunch at a Mexican restaraunt there and me being me, I ordered a burger. I guess I am still not missing the Mexican food too much. We visited an American war cemetery while we there in Luxembourg where approximately 5000 American soldiers were buried including George Paton. While I was there, I stood still for a few minutes and looked over the graves. I realized then how truly thankful I am to be part of a country where an American soldier is willing to give his life for my freedom. Then we went to Thionville, France. We walked around there for a little and that city was beautiful as well. We got some freshly made churros while we there. I you may think it is wierd how I always talk about food on my blog, but that is just a sign of how good the food really is here. The architecture in the city of Thionville was more modern it seemed like but it still had a lot of character. Then we went to Trier, Germany. It was dark by the time we got there and everyone was out and about. We spent most of the time at the Christimas Market walking around. I could barely move because of how many people were there. It was insane! The highlight of that city I think was a building that dated back to about 120 AD. It was absolutely incredible. After that it was time to return back to my new great host family. I am pretty much completely settled in with my new host family and I am really enjoying my time here. It feels almost just like home. Yesterday I had another basketball game. We lost but it was still really fun. I really like playing on the team I am a part of because everyone is there to have fun. I like playing basketball with a team that plays for fun. I am really good friends with everyone on the team and they take good care of me. I love it here so much! Only two weeks til Christmas and I know I am going to miss home, but I am really excited to celebrate Christmas here in the Netherlands. I know this post isn't as long as it should be, but I have to get back to studying for my test tomorrow. I will update in a few weeks and reflect on the things I missed in this post.

Monday, November 28, 2011

All Moved In

I did not write the week before this, because not much was going on and I know that it is hard to believe because I am an exchange student. It wasn't because I was being lazy, it was just because nothing was really going on, but this last weekend a lot happened. On Friday it was time to pack to move in with my next host family. It is definitely like me to start packing the night I had to bring my stuff over. Amazingly it didn't take to long, but goodness, I have a lot more stuff with me then what I came here with. I had to bring two seperate bags with me just to pack everything, but that could also be because I am quite bad at packing. Friday night was my last night with my first host family. I still can not thank them enough for being a part of this opportunity and for being such a great host family. It was definitely hard to leave them, but thankfully they live about a mile away. Saturday night, all three host families came together to celebrate Thanksgiving. The food was almost exactly the same as back home in Arizona (turkey, mashed potatoes, bread, stuffing, etc) but I am in Europe so I can't expect it to be the same. It really reminded me of the holiday Thanksgiving. On Thursday I said all that I was thankful for, but on Saturday during dinner, I really thought about what I said to myself. I realized how truly blessed I actually am. I have a great family waiting for me back in Arizona/Maryland/Illinois/Pennsylvania, and the 3 host families that I have here are great. I thank God for blessing my family and I. One thing this exchange has done for me is make me realize and appreciate my surroundings even more. I have been here for almost 4 months now and I am already looking forward to the day that I get to stare my family in the eyes again, but I also know that saying goodbye to the life that I have established here is going to be extremely difficult. I am going to bring so much knowledge with me back to the USA and I can't wait for that day to come. But for now, I am going to enjoy the remainder of my time here in the Netherlands because it is going by quickly. Back to the Thanksgiving dinner....I was able to socialize with my third host family more during the dinner and I know that I am going to enjoy my time there as well. When the dinner was over, it was time to say goodbye to my first host family and move onto the next. It was hard saying goodbye to them, but I knew that the second host family was great too and I was right. I have only been with them for 2 days so far, but I really like it. We get along great, and I am really looking forward to the rest of my stay with them. On Sunday, we took my little host sister to a little Sinterklaas party (a really popular holiday here) that I found to be quite nice. I really enjoy going out and celebrating the traditions here and every time I get the opportunity to become a part of the tradition I immediately jump on the opportunity. Today was just another normal day at school, so as usual I enjoyed it. Well depending on what goes on this weekend, I might update again in another week, but I am not sure yet. Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rotary Weekend in Den Haag (The Hague)

I know I haven't update in 2 weeks but that is because last week if I wrote it would have been like a paragraph update. After this update it might be another two weeks before I update because I am moving in with my new host family on the 26th so next week is going to be a busy week because of packing and everything. Besides last weekend, not much has happened in that past 2 weeks suprisingly. Or a lot of stuff has happened but I have forgotten what I did because I am sort of having a brain fart as I am typing. Anyway, this past weekend was amazing. Friday I went to Den Haag to meet up with all the other exchange students. My luck with the Dutch transportation system hasn't been too great since I have been here. I missed both trains on the way to Den Haag so I was late to the station where everyone was standing around waiting for me. Besides the bad luck with the transportation, the rest of Friday was great. The first stop on Friday was lunch, and everyone that has been reading this blog knows that eating the food here is one of my favorite things to do. After lunch we visited the House of Europe where one of the main people gave us an introduction to how the European Union is doing economically and how the system works which I found to be quite interesting. Being an exchange student is a responsibility so I enjoy learning about what is going on in the world. We spent about and hour and a half or so at the House of Europe and then we were all greeted by the host families that we would be staying with during the weekend. I must say that my friend and I got really lucky because our host family was awesome. They told us we could visit again anytime so I am going to try and go back. Friday turned out to be a long and fun day. Saturday had more in store for us. Our first stop was a museum filled with mostly art. Downstairs however, were the wonder room where pretty much everyone spent the hour that we had there. The wonder rooms were kind of a mixture of everything ranging from a blue room to a fashion room. The museum was fun, but it was not too interactive. After the museum we walked for close to an hour to a restaraunt on the beach where we had lunch. My goodness what a good lunch it was. Everyone was given 5 euros to do a little Sinterklaas shopping (Sinterklaas is a really big holiday here in the Netherlands but I believe the real Sinterklaas day is on December 5). We all wrote down our names and what we wanted and then we all set off to buy something for whoever we chose from the drawing. I am not too good at gift giving or finding the correct thing so I was not able to get the person what she wanted but I did get her some nice Delft blue pottery that she can take home. What I got, well that is a different story and I am not going to tell. All I can say is that all the exchange students know I am a good kid and I don't really do anything bad so they got me something that I would react to but I thought it was really funny. The rest of the day was pretty much a chill day with the other exchange students which everyone always enjoys. Later in the evening we had sort of a goodbye party sort of thing to say goodbye to the exchange students that came in January. There are new exchange students coming in January again, but this group was a really awesome group and they are definitely going to be missed. So that was a really depressing moment for pretty much everyone. Later in the evening we had a music workshop with a few guys that taught us. We later had to play for Sinterklaas and the other Rotarians that were there. Everyone enjoyed that as well. Saturday in total was about a 15 hour day of doing something with everyone so it was a another long but fun day. Sunday was a good day as well. Our first step was a museum, but it was more of an interactive museum so that was cool. The museum was supposed to show us what it was like to be a refugee and I thought they did a pretty good job because I kind of felt like one during the tour. After that it was lunch time again so we stopped by McDonalds. After McDonalds we made our way to a famous art museum where a lot of famous paintings from people such as Rembrandt were on display. I am not the biggest fan of art, but when you are hanging out with other exchange students, you can make an art museum really fun. After that it was time to walk back to the train station and say possibly a final goodbye to the exchange students that came in January. I rode home with two of my good friends for most of the way because they live near me. I thought I was going to get lucky and have no problems and I would be back with no problem, but nope that didn't end up happening. They were working on the tracks so we had to go back to Roermond and wait for a bus to take us to the Sittard train station. Well like when I was traveling to Amsterdam, I think at least 500 people were waiting for a bus so I was standing there for 2 hours in 40 degree weather. That didn't help the fact that I was already exhausted and now I was standing in the cold so when I finally arrived back at my host family's house I felt like crap and I did not go to school today because I don't feel to great. Anyway besides the bad experiences with the Dutch transportation system, the weekends was awesome and I can't wait until the next one.

Monday, October 31, 2011


This past week I was off of school and had vacation. The vacation was a lot more busy than I anticipated, but I am glad it was because it sure was fun. On Saturday (the Saturday before last Saturday) I met up with one of my good friends who is an exchange student in Amsterdam. Getting to Amsterdam was quite an adventure to start off. I went by train, but they working on some tracks so I had to take a bus from one train station to another. Normally it takes about 2 and a half hours to get to Amsterdam and on Saturday it took about 4. At least 500 people were waiting for the busses to come by and take us to the Hertogenbosch train station. So for about an hour I was standing outside in 40 degree weather and of course me being me I was not dressed to appropriate for that weather. And to make matters worse that day, before I took the bus I was on the train and my mp3 player broke. Now it works again, but I pretty much had nothing to do for 4 hours except look out the window of the train which I find quite nice especially being in such a beautiful country. When I finally arrived in Amsterdam I met up with my friend and his sister who was visiting from Germany. I was in Amsterdam for about 6 hours before coming back. We spent about an hour in Amsterdam looking for a Turkish restaraunt which was definitely worth it after the search. After the long search and a great lunch we decided to go to a bakery. I try to make it a tradition for myself to go to a bakery every time I travel just because the food is so good. After that we went to the red light district. I don't think it is as bad as what people make it out to be. What goes on there isn't necessarily good, but I think seeing and experiencing it is a good thing. Then the next day, my counselor and his family took me to Cologne, Germany. My goodness that city is absolutely beautiful. Cologne has the oldest cathedral in Germany. It started being built about 600 years ago and since it is so old it is still being worked on constantly. I think it is so awesome that such a beautiful city in another country is only an hour away by car. I am so thankful that I have people that do these kind of things for me because it is all a great experience. Then Monday through Friday, my host family took me to Duinrell which is a holiday park near Den Haag (The Hague). Duinrell has a small but exciting amusement park and a really great indoor water park called the Tiki Bad. I am pretty sure that I went on every ride in the amusement park while I was there and almost every water slide in the waterpark. On Wednesday we went to Madurodam which is Holland in miniature size. I found it to be quite exciting and I am so glad we went because it was on my to-do list for while I am here. Now that I went there, I can add more things to my to-do list because most of the stuff that was there, I did not know of. Thursday we went to the sea and had some snacks and drinks by the sea as well. After the sea we went back to Duinrell for a few hours and then went out to eat where I had the best spare ribs I have ever had. On Friday we went to Corpus which is a really nice interactive musuem of the human body. Unfortunately I was not able to take any pictures during the tour of the human body, but it was really cool. On Saturday I was back from Duinrell, but the fun did not stop there. On Saturday I had a baskteball game. We didn't win but I still thought we played well as a team. Later that day I went to a party that I was invited to. It was really fun and I am glad that I have the friends that I do. Sunday was more of a rest day which I needed desperately. I will update again soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Well last week was just another normal busy week, but I like those kind of weeks. On Saturday my friends and I went to Maastricht. I had to get up at 8 in the morning on a weekend. The only exception to waking up that early in the morning on the weekend, is going to a place like Maastricht. We litterally spent almost the entire day there. From 10 am to 5 pm we were in Maastricht. My friend told me that even in that amount of time we did not get to see everything. Maastricht has about 125,000 people. Talk about European cities being compact, we were able to walk from one end of the city to the other end in 15 minutes. It takes 15 minutes by bus to get to my school in Arizona, and here, if you walk for 15 minutes you could even end up in Germany. Anyway, Maastricht is probably one of the most beautiful cities I have seen so far in Europe. Part of the city is modern, and the other part still has it's early century look to it. We did so much on Saturday that I don't even know if a book would cover anything. At about 11:30 we went to a bakery and bought a few things. I got a brownie and a chocolate croissant (I hope I spelled that right, but I doubt it). My goodness, it was some of the best food I have ever had. In the Netherlands most of the people buy their food at the bakery, (not all of it, just bread and pie and that kind of stuff) so it is always fresh. Maybe that is why everything is so good. I am lucky that I have to ride a bike almost everywhere, because if I didn't have to, I probably would have easily put on 15 pounds by now. After the bakery we walked around a bit more, and went to a book store. Books here are quite expensive. The cheapest I saw was 10 euro and that was for a book with like 100 pages in it. After that, we went to go get some fries. My friend recommended we go to this place so we did. The fries were so good I almost had to go back for seconds but the portion they give you here is huge. Then we went to go get some ice cream. Me being me I decided to order a chocolate milkshake. Once again, it was great. I think I need to cut back on this love of food and start talking about some other stuff. Like I said, Maastricht is beautiful. The architecture there is absolutely incredible. No matter what kind of architecture, old to modern it was all amazing. Parts of Maastricht is seperated by the Maas (a river). I know there is some history to it but I can't remember. Saturday was an awesome day to say the least and I am glad to have the friends that I do. Sunday was another great day. It started off with going to Church. I am not sure what the mass was about because it was in Dutch. All I know is that the Priest blessed some animals on Sunday celebrating St. Hubert who was the Saint of the hunt. I thought it was pretty neat to experience considering I have never heard of something like that. The evening was also great. My host family and I went to a Greek restaraunt and the food was awesome. I personally have never had actual Greek food so it was an experience and my taste buds and I will probably never forget it. The dinner was also nice because the whole family was there and it is always nice to just sit down and chat with the awesome host family that I have been given. Well, I might not update for a few weeks because my host family is taking me on vacation next week, but when I get back I will inform everyone how it went.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Rotary Weekend

Hey everyone. Well yesterday I got back from the Rotary weekend that I mentioned in my last update. Seeing all the inbounds again was great considering I haven't seen them in 2 months. We were supposed to go sailing, but unfortunately we didn't get a chance to do so because of the weather. I did post some pictures on facebook of Neeltje Jans (I think that is how you spell it) and the weekend if you want to take a look. I am pretty close to all of the exchange students because I try my best to talk to everyone. Everyone calls me Baby Patty because they thought I was the youngest. I am not the youngest but the other person who is younger then me looks older then me, so that nickname is definitely going to stick for the rest of the year. Anyway, no one really got any sleep during the weekend either. The first night, I was lucky enought to get into bed at midnight but didn't fall asleep until like 1 in the morning. Saturday night was the night pretty much no one got any sleep. It was our last night together for the next month or so, so we all talked the night away. I thought the weekend was great and the weekends in the future are going to be just as fun. Zeeland (the province where the weekend was) is beautiful. When they say the Netherlands is flat, they aren't kidding. I think last weekend was the only time in my life where I was actually below sea level unless I was actually in the ocean. The train ride back yesterday was an adventure. Going to Zeeland took about 2 and a half hours but it sure didn't seem that long, but coming back was really long. It took about 4 hours to get back and it seemed like an entire day (probably because I was so tired). We stopped at the Eindhoven train station and from there we had to take about a 45 minute bus ride to Weert where we took the train back to where I am staying. Besides the train ride (which was also pretty fun) everything was pretty fun and I am glad I got to see everyone again. I think in another month or 2 we are all going to see each other again, but after that the inbounds that came in January are leaving to go back home. They are all awesome too and I am going to miss them, but they still have about 2 months here so I am going to try and together with them. Well I am sure that this coming week is going to be busy again so I will try and update again soon.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Hey everyone, so like I said in my last post my weekend was booked. On Saturday, my friends and I went to Brunssum for a few hours. Our first stop was an ice cream place. There are 2 famous ice cream places in Brunssum, but I think we went to the one that is a little more famous to the locals, but I am not sure. After we had our ice cream, we walked over to the carnival. We could not figure out what to do at first so we went to the park. The parks here are so nice and I really enjoy going to them. My friends and I then decided to go back to the carnival to ride a ride that we had been looking at when we first got there. The carnivals here are so much different, well not in the sense of the things there, but you have to pay for every ride seperately.The ride that we went on cost 4 euro! When I heard that one ride cost about 7 USD I nearly fainted haha. Yes well, that was the only ride we went on, and although it was so expensive, it was worth the 4 euro. Then we went on the shopping street after our adrenaline calmed down. Shopping streets here are quite interesting. I don't particulary like shopping, but walking around the shopping street is pretty interesting. As usual I didn't get anything. That was the end of the Saturday journey, but hopefully my friends and I are going to do something in a few weeks again. Yesterday was an absolute blast! I went to go meet a family that my Youth Minister back in Sierra Vista knows. You know that it is a small world when your youth minister knows a family that lives 15 minutes away from where I am when he is 5,500 miles away. Anyway, they were awesome. They were so welcoming and friendly, but one thing that I will make sure not to do is play them in soccer because I would do terrible against them. We spent a few hours at there house, and had a late lunch. Before we had that late lunch I watched one of their kids play soccer and that is why I know that I should watch out if I am ever to play them. Later that night, we had XLT which is a Catholic church event held once a month. I have not been to one since June so I am so glad that they invited me. Whoops, sorry I forgot to say that I went inside my first windmill that was 200 years old. I thought it was pretty awesome. Okay so back on track. They said I was welcome anytime so I am definitely going back to see them since they are only a 15 minute train ride away. That was my other adventure on Sunday. I have been in Europe for 2 months now and yesterday was the first time I traveled alone by train and by bus. It was not hard, just a little wierd since I am not used to that sort of thing, but it all worked out. So, yea my weekend was amazing and I have another great weekend coming up. All the inbounds in the Netherlands are going to Zeeland to learn how to sail! I will let everyone know how it went when I get back. I might not be able to update right away, because I will have a monthly report to send, but I will update again soon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


Hey all. Since the last post, as usual a lot has happened. On Friday our class went to Brussels. The first stop was mini Europe which was pretty neat. All the countries that are a part of the EU had a famous building that represented the country. We stayed there for about 2 and a half hours and then moved on to the city. There, we were taken on a short tour where we went to the center of Brussels. Truthfully, I could not believe what I was seeing. The old architecture of Europe absolutely blows me away. Most of the buildings in the center of Brussels date back to the 1600's and have only been renovated once. Most people today do a renovation on their houses every few years but only 1 time in 400 years, incredible! I was suprised when some of the classmates told me that they have never been to Brussels. Brussels is only about an hour and a half drive so it really suprises me. While I am in Europe I want to go and see as much as I can before I leave, but I guess since my classmates live here, they aren't in any hurry to see anything. I also thought it was kind of funny when we were seperated into groups during our alone time to explore the city. Well that wasn't the funny part, but the funny part was everyone wanted to go to Mcdonalds. I would have never guessed that anyone would want to go to Mcdonalds in a historic city like Brussels. I am definitely going to go back before I leave because 1 hour is not enough time to see Brussels. When I talked to grandma before I left, she said one of the things she remembered from Brussels, was the little statue of the boy peeing. Of course I had to go see that so I did. I can now tell my grandma that I saw the little statue of the boy peeing. Sunday our basketball team had a game. We did not win, but it sure felt good to get back on the court after not playing for a few years. Brussels was the big story of the week, but I have another busy week coming up so I will update again soon.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Hey everyone, sorry I have not updated my blog for a while. As you can tell by the title I have been extremely busy lately and still will be in the future. Anyway, since I last updated I have done quite a bit. My mom's dad invited me to a professional soccer game. It was a blast and I can't thank him enough for taking me. I have never been a part of crowd that yells at the referee so much. It was really funny. The professional team plays in a village a few miles away. This year they haven't been too good, and the game I went to see they were playing the first place team. The ending result....We won! The score was 2 to 1 and I was so happy that the home team won. Normally I am not the biggest fan of watching soccer, but after that game I think my whole point of view changed because I really like watching it now. Last weekend we went to Woerden for an information day where all the kids in the Netherlands that want to go on exchange get to look at information on the countries they are interested in going to. There must have been 80 kids and coming from a district that only had 8 outbounds that was a lot of people for me to see. Then we went to Enschede to stay at one of my host brothers friends. Her family and her were very nice and it was nice to see more of the Netherlands. I was shocked when they told me that their house was right on the German border. I thought that was pretty awesome. Coming back from Enschede, we drove in Germany pretty much the whole back. It is amazing because right across the border it is a whole different world. Last week I found out the school I am going to is taking our class to Brussels on a day trip! The trip is this Friday and I am so excited! I haven't been to Brussels yet so it will be nice to see more of Europe. I am making more and more friends as the weeks go by. This weekend I was invited to a party so of course I am going. The language barrier isn't really affecting anything right now because all of my friends know that I am trying my best to learn Dutch. Yesterday, I actually spoke Dutch for the first time to my friends and it wasn't that bad. I guess my Dutch is coming along better then I thought. I will try and update again soon.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

More School

This week is my second week at school. So far I am enjoying the school and the people that go to the school. I have made quite a few friends so far and yesterday I asked one of them if they would like to come over for dinner one day. The language is still exhausting me, but I am learning new words every day. I may not be able to speak Dutch very well, but I think I am beginning to understand quite a bit which is a big step in my eyes. Yesterday I went to basketball practice for the first time. It is nice to finally play competitively again for the first time in a few years. I made some friends on the basketball team as well. I was shocked when I heard what time the practice ends (9:30) but I didn't get home until 10:15. I really like how people stay up so late here. A dinner out with friends and family can last until 6 pm and go until 11pm. That is not because the food takes long to get out, but because everyone talks and I enjoy talking to everyone as well. I find myself learning Dutch a lot faster and easier during family events. I don't know why, but everytime my host family has someone over I find myself speaking Dutch, not too well, but I am at least speaking it. Today, I am going to Eindhoven to get my visa/residence permit. I am actually really excited because Eindhoven is suppose to be a really nice city, not that we are going to be there for a long time, but even driving through the city will be nice. A few days ago I got an email from Rotex (past exchange students from the Netherlands) and they are setting up a weekend for all inbounds in October. We are going to Zeeland (a province in the Netherlands) and we are taking sailing lessons and going sailing. I don't know what to expect but I think it should be pretty fun. It is a month away, but one month goes by really fast on an exchange. Anyway, I will update again soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011


I just started school on Tuesday. School here feels like it does in the states, just an ordinary school except the language is different. My schedule is just like a college schedule. Sometimes I have breaks in between classes, and sometimes I don't start school until 9:20 which is awesome! The only thing that I am having trouble with right now is the language and not understanding anything. It is exhausting to sit in school for 7-8 hours a day listening to Dutch. Although, it makes me even more motivated to learn Dutch as quickly as I can. I have made a few friends already and everyone has been really nice. My favorite subject so far is BSM which is like an extra PE class for 2 hours on Tuesday and Thursday. Tonight I have baseball practice, and I am going to start playing basketball next Tuesday as well. Baseball practice is on Tuesday and Thursday from 6:00 to 8:00 and basketball practice is on Tuesday and Thursday as well from 8:00 to 9:30 but luckily the places where I am going to practice are right next to each other. So I guess you could say that my schedule is pretty full. I am excited to start playing basketball again competitively because it has been a couple of years. My first week of school is almost over and I know that over the weekend, I am going to sleep A LOT! Yesterday I had a really nice dinner with my counselor and his family. My counselor took me for a walk around the village he lives in, and during the meal, I could not help but look out their kitchen window. Out the window was a beautiful church, some great Dutch architecture and the famous hills of Limburg. Anyway, I will update again soon.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Well, on Saturday I returned from the Dutch Orientation Course. The course was fun, I got to meet all the inbounds and we all had a great time being together. I did not learn as much Dutch as I expected to, but it will come along. On Tuesday I went shooting with my host club and I was much more sociable because I no longer had jetlag. The shooting was a contest, but the game is unique to Limburg, some parts of Germany, and some parts of Belgium. I came in 2nd by the way! Anyway I just think it is really cool that I am living in a province that has so many things that are unique to it. Yesterday I met with some kids that are going to be going to the same school as me. They were super nice and very friendly and I think we are going to be really good friends. We hung out for a couple hours, talked, got some ice cream, and just got to know each other a little bit better. Then I spent the rest of the day with my host family, who is awesome as well. They make me feel right at home.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the Netherlands!

Well for all those reading, I apologize for not updating in such a long time. Anyway, I am now in the Netherlands! My host family is amazing and so is the town I am living in. Right now I am at the DOC (Dutch Orientation Course) that Rotary designed to help all the inbounds try and get a head start on the language. I arrived on the 8th of August and the first few days I was exhausted the whole day because I was not adjusted to the 9 hour time difference. The Netherlands is an amazing country, and so far the experience has been incredible. I have visited several cities near where I live, and I have also gone to Amsterdam which was awesome by the way. I am surrounded by wonderful and willing families and I could not be happier. I feel so blessed to have the host families that I have. In a few weeks I will be going to a culinary festival in Maastricht (the oldest city in the Netherlands!) but I hope I update before then. I will try my best to keep everyone informed as much as I can while I am here in the Netherlands. And for all those wonering about what an exchange year is like, it is not easy. I have only been here for about a week and a half, not even the whole year, and it is quite hard. Adjusting to the host family, the country, and being so far away from home is mind bobbling, but the key is to keep your mind away from all that stuff. An exchange year is no vacation, but it is one great experience!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Since then....

Okay, so it has been a really long time since I last posted something. Since then I have found out who my first and second host family will be. Both families seem super nice and I can't wait to meet them. I have yet to contact my third host family, but maybe I will see them when I arrive! I am beyond excited! I am nervous as well, but the excitement that I am feeling is definitely overwhelming every other feeling I have. I think there is only 76 days until I leave to the Netherlands! I am getting excited just writing this post, but I guess I have to wait another 76 days to go. Well I am sorry that this post is so short, but I have to get going to study for my last final exams tomorrow!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Coming Months

These coming months are going to be extremely busy entering the final months until my departure to the Netherlands! I have to try and raise more money, get things for abroad, and much much more. Since my last post I have met people from all over the world and gone to a few more Rotary meetings. I could not be happier with my choice of program to go abroad with. This past weekend we had an overnight orientation where the outbounds got to interact with the inbounds in our district. It was so much fun. The bond you make with each other is unimaginable in the 24 hours we had together. I still miss the inbounds, but I will be seeing the outbounds again before we all go off and experience the best year of our lives.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Can't Stop

I know I wrote yesterday, but that is okay. Wherever I am, I can't seem to stop thinking about going to The Netherlands for a year. I am filled with joy and I don't think I have ever been this happy before. Every word now that comes out of my mouth has to do with studying abroad. I don't know if that is a bad thing or not, I don't think it is, maybe it just shows how ready I am to do this. Only nine days left until I turn sixteen and only five months left until I leave to The Netherlands for an entire year! I am glad I have school for the next two and a half months to pass the time. I am ready to bring two cultures together to make the world closer together. Netherlands here I come!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

First Thing First

As you know or may not know, I will be turning 16 soon. Quite frankly, I think it is pretty exciting. This coming year will be no normal year or even close to a normal year. I will be spending about 10 months abroad in The Netherlands. Excitement has taken its toll on me, but that is quite all right. This is a dream that I have worked really hard to reach and I won't let anything or anyone stand in the way of it. This educational and adventurous journey will open my eyes to so many new things. A new culture, new families, new food, new architecture, a new country, new friends and most importantly a new life. Is that it? I don't think so. I have been asked what I expect to do abroad, but to be honest, I have no idea. I know that I have expectations and I know that they will be reached, but I can't predict what I will do or what I want to do. A new country is just too new to know anything. No matter how much research I do, nothing will prepare for what I am about to do.

I feel scared and excited at the same time. My happiness and excitement definately out weighs my fear. I know that I am ready to experience a great year abroad in a country that I have always dreamed of going to. I refuse to turn back on my decision to go abroad and experience the best year of my life. This decision is by far the best decision I have ever made and I haven't even experienced what the decision is about to offer. Just by the thought of studying abroad, I already know more about myself then I ever would have imagined, but I know that there is a lot more to know about myself and I will figure most of that out while I am abroad in a great country. I am now just 5 months away from achieving my dream, but these 5 months will be the fastest five months ever, that is until I am abroad anyway. I am ready to embark on this journey and have the best year of my life!