Wednesday, April 11, 2012
So for those of you who don't know, I just had my birthday on the 26th of March. That means that I am now 17. Unfortunately, I don't feel like it, but age is just a number. Personally, I thought my birthday was great. I mean it was a rough day because I am away from home and everyone wants to be home for their birthday. However, I am very happy that I was able to experience my birthday in the Netherlands. I did not throw a huge party or anything like that, but I had a great time with my new host family. I can honestly say that so far things are going quite well between us and I am definitely going to enjoy staying here for my last months here in the Netherlands. I didn't think a birthday here was too different from the birthday's in the USA. However, for dinner we cooked ourselves on the kitchen table. I have never seen nor heard of that in the USA, but I really enjoy it. The food is also amazing but as you all of you already know I really love food so of course I brought food up again. Now that I am 17 and in the Netherlands I can say that I feel more mature. I still act immature but I know that I have matured a lot. You really have no choice though when you are away from family at such a young age. I have also realized that I have faults just like everyone else. I use to think that I did nothing wrong, but honestly I think that is normal because almost every teenager thinks they are always right and they think they are invincible whether they think so or not. Another thing I have realized over the course of 8 months is that I never would have thought how different cultures were if I hadn't come here. I know that I sometimes say that the culture isn't much different, but they are totally different. The people here act different than those in the USA and everything in every day life is done a different way. I am not saying that either culture is wrong I am just saying that they are different and I am glad that I have finally realized it. It is amazing what comes to you as you age. I wonder what it's gonna be like when I'm 40....or 80.....but I don't want to think about that now because I am still young and I have a lot to learn in life. Anyway, enough about that stuff. I will continue on the past few weeks. Last week and the week before last we had test week at school. They have 3 test weeks here in the Netherlands. However, since I can't fully understand everything in a lesson yet I only took an English and Math test. Last week we had Wednesday through Friday off and on Easter Monday so we pretty much had a another week off of school. I do have to say that this vacation was one of the best I have had so far (besides going to London and Duinrell with my first 2 host families). Thursday I was with 2 other exchange students and we went on a day trip throughout the Netherlands. We pretty much visited the entire west coast of the Netherlands. I left at 9 in the morning and I actually had to stay the night at an exchange student's house because I would not have made it back in time for the midnight bus which is the last one. So if my math is correct we were traveling for about 16 hours. I think the coolest thing we did was visit Texel which is an island in the Northwest of the Netherlands. We actually had to take a ferry to get there. Unfortunately, we didn't have much time to get back so we took a bus to tour the island. There are not many people living on the island but it sure is beautiful. That was my first time on a small island and I found it to be quite an experience. On Saturday I went to Amsterdam to meet some more exchange students. I really love going to Amsterdam because of the history and the architecture. I think it is a beautiful city to visit. Later that night I was with 3 other exchange and we stayed the night together in a town nearby The Hague. We went to a club and just hung out for a little. It was a ton of fun and the exchange students are like family to me so even if we are only together for a day it is always hard to say goodbye. As all of you know, I only have 2 and a half months left here. It has been a great year so far, but I intend to make it even better. Time has gone by so fast and I can't wait to get back to my family in AZ but I know that I am going to miss not only the Netherlands, but all of my friends and my 3 great host families that opened their homes to me and made this year possible for me. I really can't believe this year is coming to an end so quickly, but I am going to make the best of these last 2 and a half months. Thanks for reading everyone.