Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Weekend with the Exchange Students

Hey everyone! Well not too much has happened since vacation, but I still did a little bit to keep myself busy. As usual the school week was normal with a few basketball practices in between. It's hard to believe that I only have a few practices left here in the Netherlands. I think they may be the last actual basketball practices of my life because I don't actually play in the States. As I say on every update it has been a great year to be a part of our team here. Yesterday we actually had a game. I thought our games were over but I was wrong. I guess it wasn't really a game though just more like a fun competition. Tracks Parkstad is the club that I am with, but there are several teams within the club so they got all teams together and picked people randomly. So now we all play against each other. It was quite fun yesterday and I met some new people as well. Yesterday was also my first host brothers birthday so I was invited to go over there for dinner. It was just like old times, and I really enjoyed it. Okay, so this past weekend we had a another weekend with the exchange students. This time it was a shorter weekend (literally less than 24 hours) but it was extremely fun. We went wadlopen. Now before you get all confused let me explain to you what it is. This type of walking takes place in the Wadden sea which stretches from the north of the Netherlands all the way up to Denmark. The prerequisite for Wadlopen is a shallow sea. This means that for a few hours of the day, you are able to walk on the sea. In some places there is only a few inches of water and in some places there is just mud. I enjoyed it more when there was a little bit of water because when you were just stepping in pure mud and sinking down half a foot it felt kind of weird but either way it was really fun. We walked for about 3 hours, but it is a little harder to be walking on mud the whole time. It was a good work out to say the least. Not all the exchange students were there because it is getting close to the end of the year and a lot of them are busy. If I can remember correctly I think 8 of us were missing. It's okay though because I will be seeing them again in less than two weeks on the Euro Tour!!!! I know that this is a rather short update and I hope to update again before I go on the Euro Tour, but if I don't I will let you guys know all about it after the trip. Thanks again.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Still in Shock

Well as I said on the last post, I was going to an amusement park the next day with a couple of the other exchange students. It was a blast! The only thing that was bad was the weather, but now that I have been living here for about 10 months, I have kind of gotten used to that. Anyway, the place wasn't that busy. I think the longest we ever had to wait was 30 minutes and people here tend to think that 30 minutes is such a long time to wait. Sometimes I can't help but laugh because most places in the USA you normally have to wait at least an hour. Anyway, last Friday was an awesome day with some of my good friends. Our group is like a family and it is always great when I am able to hang out with other exchange students. Last Saturday, I finally had a relax day after that hectic vacation. Then I was at it again on Sunday. I went to a small town called Horn which is about 30 minutes from where I am. While I was there I visited a family that has been so great to me since I have been here. I have seen them several times. I only know them because my youth minister back at home met them before (I don't know if I had mentioned that before). They are such a great family and have helped me out so much this year. They are truly a blessing. I was there for XLT which is a worship night (I am sure I have mentioned this before). It was absolutely amazing. Sunday was definitely the "Highlight" of my vacation. I got to spend time with a great family and I got to go to Church. That to me is an awesome day! The next day I was back at school. I keep telling myself that time is just going to keep flying by and it is. Every week seems so short, but that is probably because I have been so busy lately. The week at school was just another normal week filled with everyday exchange student stuff. Tuesday I made it back to my host club after close to a month so it was definitely nice to see everyone again. Thursday I had basketball practice and I made sure I was extra loud this time. The season is over now but we are still practicing. I know I have said this before but the basketball team that I am part of is a great team. We are all friends and they have helped me out so much this year too. If I am having a down day, I show up at practice and I just can't stop smiling and laughing. All of them are such great friends and I am going to miss them a lot when I leave, but one day I will show up and surprise all of them. I now have only ten days of school left. The Europe Tour begins three weeks from today and next week I have off from school Thursday and Friday and then the week after that I have Monday off as well. It really makes me realize how little time I have left here. Tomorrow my host sister and her boyfriend are taking me to a city up north called Den Bosch. I have been there before but we only walked around for about an hour but I absolutely loved it so I can't wait! These next few weeks I am going to be really busy and then soon enough I will be going on the Europe Tour! I am so excited for these last few weeks that I have here! I will try and update again and thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Time is Winding Down

Well I guess I let time pass me by, because it has been close to a month since my last post and I was almost positive that I just updated a week or so ago. Anyway, I am on vacation again and my goodness what a vacation it has been so far. Sunday evening I had a basketball game in Maastricht. It was our last game of the season and we lost 49 to 50. When you are that close to winning, you obviously wish you would have won especially with the game being the last game of the season, but we all played well and I am glad that I was able to be a part of the basketball team on my year abroad. The guys on the team are really great friends and they have made the year a lot easier for me. The same evening, I went to Leiden which is the city where we had our Dutch Orientation Course (DOC) at the beginning of the year. I met up with another exchange student there and on Monday morning we met up with a few others in Amsterdam. Monday was a holiday here in the Netherlands. The holiday is called Queens Day and Amsterdam is the place to be. Total there were I believe 700,000 people from other countries and close to the million that live there. So in total there was almost 2 million people. Now when I think about it, it isn't really that many people but Amsterdam isn't very large in land area so 2 million people in a smaller area looks like a lot. Honestly, it was crazy, but it was a lot of fun. Pretty much everyone dresses up in orange so when you are walking down a street with a few thousand people you just see orange which is funny at times, but when you are with friends it is quite easy to get lost if everyone is wearing the same color. Queens Day is definitely a day to remember from my exchange year so far. It was a great day. Later in the evening on Monday I went back to a place near Leiden to stay with a different exchange student. I stayed there for 2 nights. On Tuesday we biked several miles to go to the beach. When I got there I couldn't help but think of the east coast in the USA and how much I miss it, but who knows, maybe it is just the water I miss. On Tuesday, we also went to my friend's host club for a Rotary meeting. It was quite nice visiting another club here in the Netherlands and seeing how the clubs are different everywhere you go. Wednesday, we both came back to where I live in Limburg. We had dinner with my host family and then later went to a movie. This morning, we took a bike ride into Germany (which I have never done) because I live about 3 miles from the border. I know I have mentioned this before, but it really is a whole different world right on the other side of the border. It's absolutely crazy. This vacation has been hectic, but I really enjoy keeping busy. Tomorrow I will be heading out again to go to an amusement park up north with a few other exchange students and then on Sunday I am meeting up with a family. I have been so busy lately and time is just flying by. I have less than 2 months here and with every day that passes by I just keep getting more and more excited. I can't wait to see my family, my friends, and I just can't wait to get back home. I love it here and it's going to be hard saying goodbye, but as soon I say goodbye to the people here and I will be saying hello to my family and friends back in Arizona.