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
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
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.