54 days left..

Hello there!

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote something on my blog. So, let me tell you what happened in the last few months. I’m also working on another blog, that will be up soon as well.

I just checked: my last blog was on April 1st (no joke) and was about extending or not. I told you that I’m not going to extend. I want to thank everyone who sent me messages after that blog. That was really nice! I’m happy with the choice I made and I’m sure it was the right one. I love this family and like the US a lot, but I’m done for now.
Although I’m excited to see my friends and family again, I’m not looking forward to leaving my American family. My little brothers and sisters, the cats and host parents. I’ll miss America, my home, my friends and the food.

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I cooked an orange dinner on King’s day (April 27th)

But, I have 54 days left, and I’m going to enjoy every one of them.

The last couple of weeks went pretty fast. I made some trips, we swam in the pool at home and the weather got better. Although, right now, the weather is not great for June. It’s raining (not as much as it does in The Netherlands) and it’s not as hot as June usually is here.

 

 

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The pooooooool

In April, I went to the Niagara Falls with Richella. We took the bus in New York and sat in the bus for 12 hours (?) (with stops). But it was so worth it! The first night we saw the falls from the NY side in daylight, and from the Canada side in the dark. The next morning, we went back and had the same view again, but in daylight. Later that day we arrived in Toronto where we spent the afternoon & night. The next day we went home and stopped by at the Thousand Islands, on the border of Canada to the US.
We had a loooot of fun and the Niagara Falls were amazing to see.

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Niagara Falls at night (Canadian side)
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Niagara Falls (on the boat)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Me ruining the nice view form the New York side of the Falls.
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Thousand Islands with Richellaaaa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A few weeks later, I went on another trip. This was the trip to Montreal, the finale of the great classes (18 hours) I took about the city. The weather during this trip wasn’t great, but Montreal was pretty cool! 19073795_1411130992309774_330610887_n

 

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Besides those two trips I hung out with my friends, went to the gym 4/5 times a week and of course workworkwork. Last week, Ilka, the au pair of my host family before me, came here to visit us. It was soo good to see her again. The last time we saw each other was in October 2016, but it felt like it was just a week ago.
Also, the last weekend of May was Memorial day weekend, and there was a fair, here in Weston. That was cool.

It’s June 8th now. In 9 days, my hostfamily is going to Italy!! They’ll come back on my birthday, July 1st. I’ll stay home and have pool parties with the cats.

From June 28th, till July 6st, two of my brothers will be here to visit me. They’re going to stay at the house and I get to celebrate my birthday and the fourth of July with them YAY. If they want to celebrate if with me..

Yeah.. And then a few more weeks and then it’s over… Then I’m going home. Back to the Netherlands. Back to school. To a new school.

I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to move to Wageningen as soon as I start school, or if I’ll travel every day for the first months… (But all tips for rooms in Wageningen are welcome!)
It depends. I must do an internship on Monday’s and Tuesdays. Then Wednesday till Friday, I’ll have to go to school in Wageningen. So, if my internship is close to home, it’s not worth the money to rent a room. So, maybe I should find a place for my internship first. Or not.

Als iemand tips heeft voor een stagebedrijf, laat het me weten! Ik ben opzoek naar een bedrijf waar operationele processen plaatsvinden. Ik ga voeding en communicatie studeren, dus het moet daarop aansluiten. Bij voorkeur in de achterhoek of rondom Wageningen. 

 

Toedeloeeeeeeeeeee

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Winter

Hi,17505829_1336454209777453_98172576_n

It’s been almost three months since my last blog… I’d like to tell you about everything that happened in the last months.  (scroll down to the end for a summary)
I’m in the United States for almost 8 months now.. and almost six months in  this awesome family.
Only four months left… or 10 or 13? I’ll tell you in my next blog what I decided. Yep, I made the decision.

 

 

 

In the end of 2016 my mom and stepdad came here to visit me. They stayed at my home for the first two days. Together we went to New York City, Washington DC, Philadelphia and to Lancaster (where the Amish live). I showed them where I live in Connecticut and they met my host family.
On Christmas day, we went to New York City. We walked through Central Park, saw the tree at Rockefeller Centre and we had a good dinner at Brasserie 8 1/2.
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In Washington DC we got a tour in Dutch along the memorials, given by Petra. She’s a Dutch woman who got married and moved to the USA. She has her own blog (in Dutch) where you can read about her life. > http://nederlandseamerikaan.blogspot.com/
We’ve also visited the Pentagon. You’ve probably heard of the pentagon before, but if not: The Pentagon is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense. It’s one of the largest office buildings in the world, with about 6,500,000 sq. ft. (600,000 m2), of which 3,700,000 sq. ft. (340,000 m2) are used as offices. 23000 people are working in The Pentagon, but there is place for 40000.
The construction of The Pentagon started on September 11, 1941. Sixty years later, September 11, 2001, shortly after terrorists flew hijacked commercial airliners into New York City’s World Trade Center, another hijacked plane struck the Pentagon, killing 189 people and damaging roughly one-third of the building.

The Pentagon and everything we saw in Washington DC, were interesting and I liked it a lot. I would love to go back there. And if you’re planning on visiting the Unites States, I’d recommend Washington DC! (and if you’re Dutch, do the tour with Petra)IMG_20161227_145549.jpg

Then we went to Philadelphia and from there we drove to Lancaster for a day. We learned about the Amish people and their culture. This was one of my favorite days. It’s super interesting to see how they live. We did a tour through the area in a van. That felt a little weird. It was like we were looking at monkeys in the zoo. Not that the people look like monkeys, but it was just weird that we were looking and where they live like they come from another planet.


The Amish don’t use electricity. So they don’t have cars, a heating system, a wash machine, a dishwasher or the newest IPhone.  Instead of a car, they use a buggy pulled by a horse.
We also saw the inside of a school and a house. These were fake, though. They have small school with one classroom. There’s one teacher who teaches all eight grades. So, the kids are all together in one classroom. Usually the teacher is a girl of my age, like 18 or 19.
The kids use scooters to go to school. They think that a bicycle is too worldly.
Anyway, there’s much more to tell about the Amish and I’d love to tell you, but there’s more I want to tell. If you do want to know more about the Amish, I’d say: go there and see it yourself. Or look it up on Google.

On the last day of 2016, we were back in New York. In the night, we did a boat tour where we had drinks, food and an amazing view over the NYC skyline. At midnight, there was a lot of firework and it was beautiful. (and I think I lost the pictures)17467590_1336453896444151_1865521659_n
They day after I went back to Weston, while my mom and Hennie stayed in NYC until Thursday.
Tuesday night I took the train to NYC, to go to The Phantom of The Opera on Broadway. With my mom and hennie of course. The show was awesome. But afterwards it was time to say goodbye. On Times Square. It wasn’t easy to say goodbye, but we have had a good time.

And then it was 2017. In the first weeks of January, nothing much happened. It snowed, I guess. It was cold and yeah nothing special.

In the last weekend of January, my dad and stepmom Pauline were visiting me. Yayy. And that was also awesome. They stayed at my home, from Friday till Monday. On Saturday and Sunday, we went to New York and we saw a lot. Oh  and we did a boat tour, and that was windy, but cool. On Monday, we went to a Diner for breakfast: typical American. And then in the afternoon they left :(. They got back home on Tuesday and got back to work on Wednesday. How awesome is that. “weekendje weg naar New York”.


We also, accidently, ended up in a demonstration.  Thousands of people were marching through the city, while yelling “no hate, no fear, immigrants are welcome here”17474922_1336454026444138_1942449954_n

So, I try to think what I did in the last months, but there’s not that much to tell. I started my classes. I’ve had class about Montreal. That was boring, too long and not really interesting. But hey, that’s done now and I’m super excited for the trip to Montreal (May 5-7).

I’m also taking yoga classes on Saturday, for credits. Yay. I was supposed to start another class last Monday: World travel geography. But that class got cancelled. So, I had to find a new class and I’m going to do a weekend class in April. The class is about “the mysteries of Human behavior”, what sounds interesting to me. It’s in New Rochelle, close to where I used to live. It’ll be two long days, but I’m going to see a friend of mine who lives there and I’ll sleep there. So, I’m excited to see her again.

I think that’s kind of it. A summary of the last few months:
It snowed a lot and it was, it still is, cold.
The kids had a lot of snow days.
I worked, went to the gym, hung out with friends and started my classes.
My parents visited me.
My youngest host kid had her birthday and is 10 years old now.
My host mom also had her birthday.
And it was Valentines days. Two months ago.
We still have eight cats and I’m going to miss them when I’m going back to The Netherlands.
The cats are peeing everywhere. In purses, in the sink, on beds. Even in the toaster.
There were elections in The Netherlands and the “Dutch Trump’s “party didn’t become the biggest. Yay. (my mom voted for me, for D66)

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That was it, byeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Thank you for reading this 😊

 

 

Weekend in Boston

From September 16th till 18th I was in Boston to visit my Dutch friend, Daphne. The first time I met her in real life was on August 1st, at the airport. We started the same adventure, at the same time. We said goodbye to our families and walked into our new life’s together. We were sitting in the airplane next to each other and talked a lot. At the orientation days we met new girls, but we were still together a lot.
At August 4th, we said goodbye: she went to Boston and I stayed in NY. A couple of weeks later we planned my visit. Friday September 16th I took the bus to Boston.

After a 5 hour trip from NYC I arrived in Boston, around 11.30 pm.
Then I called Daphne.  She was waiting for me at the station,  but I couldn’t find her.  Half an hour later she finally found me.We gave each other a hug and I was very happy to see her again. We went to her home where I met her host dad. He was really nice, we talked for a while and got in bed around 2.

14330013_1146484312107778_5282846062827301876_nDaphne is taking care of a 4 months old little boy. On Saturday morning we walked with him to the river where we had an amazing view of Boston.  When we were back home we ate a delicious breakfast. Her host parents made French toast of really tasty cinnamon bread.

 

In the afternoon we had a cluster meeting (a meeting for au pairs/host families in the area). Actually, Daphne and her host family had a cluster meeting,  but I could join them. The meeting was at a place where you could pick apples.  First we drank something,  ate some donuts and talked with other Au pairs and their families. I met a couple of really nice girls,  but unfortunately they all live in Massachusetts. Later we (Daphne,  her host parents,  the little baby and me) went to the apple trees to fill our bag. We got a looot of apples. I took some of the apples home and Daphne and her hostparents made an apple cake.img_8559

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In the evening we went to Quincy Market: a place with a lot of shops and restaurants.  We ate dinner at Cheers. After dinner we wanted to get Frozen yogurt,  but the Frozen Yogurt places were already closed 😦 So we went back home,  talked for a while and went to bed.

The next day we left the house at 9am. We walked to the train and in the train we realized that we were a little bit too late.  We booked a ducktour at 9.40. So,  we got out of the train and walked really fast / ran to the place where the tour started. I also had to carry all my stuff I brought for the weekend,  because we wouldn’t go back to her house. So it was pretty heavy with my backpack and handbag,  buuuut we got there on time! We made a photo  with the bus/boat and then our 80 minutes trip began.
The tour showed us a lot of Boston, first from the road and later we made the splash into the water. It was a nice tour, definitely something you have to do when you’re in Boston.14322738_10205287968199004_5323057780753792979_n

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After the tour we walked into a kind-of-foodfestival. There were a lot of different stands and almost everywhere we could try some food. There was bread, chocolate, milk, maple syrup, salads, cheese and much more.

Unfortunately we didn’t have much time left after that because my bus departed at 3. So we walked around, I bought some food and drinks for in the bus and we took the metro to the station. I said goodbye to Daphne, got into the bus and late in the evening I came home.

It was a great weekend and I’m very glad to have seen and talked to Daphne again.
Daphne, Thankyouu! And thanks again to your host family !

ps: Daphne is a great photographer and also has her own blog: https://daphneverstijnen.wordpress.com/

Week 3: Pizza, New Hampshire& NYC

This time I won’t say I’ll keep my blog short. Last week I did,  but eventually that blog was longer than I thought it would be… 

Monday was a busy day at home. My host Dad and kids came home from summer camp the day before.  They have been away for 7 weeks,  what means that they had a lot of stuff with them. Monday we had to wash all the clothes and clean up the stuff.  At the same time we had to pack our bags for the little trip to New Hampshire.

Because I’m here for just a few weeks,  I didn’t know where I had to leave all the clothes and other stuff.  But I’ve tried to help where I could.

In the evening it was time for my first cluster meeting! A cluster is a group of au pairs in the same area. The meeting was at Frank Pete Pizzeria  in Yonkers and we got unlimited pizza and soda. I don’t really love pizza, but this pizza was tasty!
Lisa,  an other Au pair who I didn’t meet before,  picked me up at home, and then we picked Barbara up. When we arrived, we had to sign in and we said Hi to Paula (our counselor).  I saw Stephanie,  so we went to sit with her at the table.  There were already two other au pairs at that table. Another Au pair, Luise from Germany, was also going to sit with us.

It was a really fun and cozy evening! I’ve tried to learn more German phrases. Almost everyone at the table spoke German.  I learned them to count in Dutch and some other words and phrases.
The new girls I’ve met,  are  super nice and we’re definitely going to meet again!

The day after,  around 10.30 am,  my host family and I left for the little trip. We had to sit in the car for 4/5 hours,  so it was pretty long  drive. Eventually we  arrived in Rye,  New Hampshire. After we settled in our room we went out for diner. We ate at ninety-nine, where I had a really normal,  boring but delicious diner.
After diner we went back to the hotel and went to bed pretty early.

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The rest of the week was really fun.
We went to the Seaside Science Centerwe swam in the pool at the hotel,  hplayed mini golf and went to the Beach. The coolest thing we did was the Water park where we went two times. They had really cool slides.
It was great to be with the family and it’s super nice that they took me on this trip!

 

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Around 4pm on Saturday we came home. Together with my host dad I did the laundry of the kids. I’ve called with my mom,  because I was a little sad,  and it made me feel better.

In the evening I went to Richella,  a Dutch girl who lives 20 minutes’ drive away from here. On Sunday we had planned to go to NYC,  so I’ve slept there.

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Next time I’ll say my name is Kim.. 

And than it was Sunday. We wanted to get the train from 8.50 am.  Buuuut, we missed the train, because we didn’t know where to park the car. We had to wait an hour for the next train..

Eventually, around 11 am, we were finally at Grand Central in NYC. But we wanted to go to the American Museum of Natural History, so we must continue by metro.
After 15 minutes of looking at the Metro Map, we thought we knew which metro we had to take. Buuuut, when we were in that metro, we found out that it was an Express, and that it wouldn’t stop at 81st Street, where we had to be. So at the first stop, 145th street, we went out of the metro and took another metro back to 81st.dino
At the museum we bought the tickets and then we finally got into the museum. We started at theBernard Family hall of North American Mammals. The animals looked so real and it was very impressive to see.

In the rest of the museum we’ve seen meteorites, people from different places around the world (Asian, African etc.), dinosaurs and much more. It was really cool and if you ever go to NYC, you definitely have to go there!
Little tip:  when you first walk in, you will notice the entrance fees posted. Typically $22 per adult is the “suggested donation”. It’s suggested, not required for entrance into the museum. So, just go stand in the lane and pay whatever you want for your ticket.

 

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Later we had lunch at Cafe Piccolo,which was located atAmsterdam Avenue

. Richella ate a ciabatta with pesto, tomato, arugula and mozzarella (I think?). And I had a toasted ciabatta with grilled chicken, avocado, mustard and mixed greens. It was really tasty, but hard to eat properly…14114081_1124521017637441_1520582033_o

After lunch, we had wanted to go to 34th , to go to Macy’s (a warehouse). It shouldn’t take a lot of time to get there.. Buuut, meet Rich& Babs: we can take the wrong metro, get out of that metro and then jump in another metro, which is also not the right one.
That’s why it took us an hour or more to get at Macy’s. It was already 5 pm, so we just had a quick look and Rich tried some shoes on.

Meanwhile, it was raining really heavily and we wanted to go to Chipotle for diner, which was one block away. So we ran through the rain and we got there pretty dry. Chipotle is aMexican Grill where you choose what you want to eat. First you choose a wrap, taco’s, bowl or salad, then the beans, the meat and the toppings. Pretty simple, right?
Richella ordered a burrito with chicken, black beans and some other stuff and I ordered a bowl with chicken, pinto beans and some toppings. After diner we’ve been to one more shop, where I bought 3 blouses and a dress and then we went to Grand Central. 

Around 10 we arrived in the town where Richella lives. It rained very heavily and we parked the car 1 block away. Buuut, the car wasn’t in the street where we thought it was…..
We’ve found the car quite fast in the street next to it.
I dropped Richella off  at her home and I drove back to mine (really slow, because of the heavy rain)

When I came home, I took a shower and went to bed. I immediately fell asleep.

 

In my next blog I’ll tell you about week 4&5: my first real work weeks! 

Byeebyeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

Week 2: Meeting new people

It’s already Sunday! This week went veeery fast. I’ll tell you about it in this short blog 🙂
The kids and dad are still at summercamp and my hostmom had to work this week. So I had a lot of free time. My hostmom showed me some places every night.

Monday
Today I’ve met Rike. Rike is 18 years old German girl. She actually lived pretty close to where I lived in the Netherlands.
Rike is in the same cluster as I am.. A cluster is the group girls who live close to each other. We have one counselor: Paula. I haven’t met Paula yet, but I’ve heard from other au pairs and my host family that she’s amazing.
Rike’s host family is moving, so the whole family will live for a couple of weeks at the parents of her host parents. They live in Manhattan! After the move they will live in Scarsdale again. Actually, they went yesterday on a vacation for three weeks.
Buuut, the day was really nice! She picked me up at my home and we went to the centre of Scarsdale. We bought some food and a drink and just chilled and talked. Later we bought ice cream, went to the park and eventually she dropped me off at my home. It was really cozy, our conversations were funny and Rike is very nice.

 

Tuesday
Tuesday I went to Larchmont,  where Stephanie lives. She was my Swedish roommate at orientation. We went to the Starbucks for coffee,  talked a lot and ate a frozen yogurt. And then it was time to go back home.

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Stephanie!

It was a great day with Stephanie!

I’m not sure, but I think I went out for diner with my host mom that night. (we went out for diner a couple of times and I don’t remember which days exactly)

 

 
Wednesday
This day I’ve met Rike again. The plan was to go to the Walmart in White Plains and maybe to some other shops.  Buuuut Rike texted me in the morning that she had a little problem with her car. Sooo, she picked me up and we went to the car garage. The bumper of the car was broken or something.  Rike had to go back the next day to get it fixed. There was a really nice guy there who helped us.. Maybe I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks that Rike’s has a new boyfriend

After 2/3 hours we could finally leave and we still had 3 hours before Rike had to pick up her kid. So we went to the Walmart,  a couple of hours later than planned. Walmart is a shop where they have everything and it’s really cheap.  We bought some stuff (I don’t remember what exactly😂).  Wait,  I know what I bought: a sim card! I got a phone from my host parents with which I can call and text.  I used my own phone for internet and WhatsApp, but I could only use those when I was connected to the WiFi. So I bought a simcard with a plan and now I can use internet wherever I am.

13902627_1117539955002214_689636216027154475_nWe spent a lot of time in the Walmart and after that we didn’t want to any other shops.  So we rode to Hartsdale, where we ate a Frozen yogurt and then she brought me back home.

That night was the same as the others,  I think.. Next week I’ll  write down everything I’m doing, so in the next blog I can tell you what I’ve done 😀

Thursday
Another day,  another meeting. This day I’ve met with Barbara from Germany. She was also at the orientation days,  but I didn’t spoke to her so much then. We both want to set up a plan at a fitness center,  so we went to a fitness center here in Scarsdale.  She also lives in Scarsdale btw. My host mom told me about a cheap fitness centre (10$ a month) so we went there.  The guy there gave us a tour and told us about the plans. They have the 10$ and a 20$ plan. For 20$ a month,  you can sport at every location,  you can use the massage chairs and you can tan for free. I think those are the most important differences.
Barbara didn’t like the gym and I think she is going to look for another gym. I liked this gym,  but I also like the Planet Fitness gym in White plains,  so I’m going for the 20$ a month plan. I think that’s still very cheap. In the Netherlands I paid €30 a month.

After our gym tour we went to White Plains, where we went to Target. This shop is the same as Walmart: you have everything and it’s cheap.  I bought a simple black top and a scissors there. (and possibly some other things what I don’t remember)
Later we went back to Scarsdale to have lunch and then I took Barbara home.

In the evening my host mom and I went to Brazen Fox,  where we had diner. I ate a really good chicken wrap and we watched parts of the Olympics there. The USA is doing very well at the Olympics. They have 26 gold, 21 silver and 22 bronze medals.  It’s a lot more than the Netherlands, they have 4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze medals..  But the USA is a lot bigger ofcourse..
After diner we went to a supermarket for foood shopping and we bought some tasty food.

14034874_1117539878335555_2166759571820957363_nFriday
Friday was pretty boring. Well, the evening wasn’t. I’ve stayed at home during the day #Netflix #Olympics.  In the evening I’ve met a Dutch girl, Benthe. We’ve met each other in White Plains, went to Starbucks and we’ve just talked the whole night (IN DUTCH YAY). And she is amazing! =D

My lovely mom has sent me a package with “forgot things what I really need”.  For example: I took my electric toothbrush with me, but not the charger.
I took the charger of my watch (with steps counter) with me, but not the watch itself..
Buuut, my great mom sent me these and some other things and hopefully it will arrive soon 🙂


Saturday
I’ve spent the whole day in White Plains with Stephanie. Oh btw, I’m realizing now that I’ve said a couple of times that I went to White Plains, but I didn’t tell you what or where White Plains is.
White Plains is a city just 10 minutes driving from my home. It has 57866 inhabitants, which is similar to Doetinchem (where my father lives, in the Netherlands). White Plains isn’t very big, but it has a lot of shops, bars and restaurants. It’s crowded, but not so crowded as New York City. I like it.
We went to a shopping mall, where they had a H&M, Forever 21, Victoria Secret and many other shops. I’ve lost Stephanie a couple of times in the mall..

Eventually I’ve bought 2 simple tops, a vest and a sweater (for those who know me: that yellow sweater I wear so often: I’ve bought the same in light pink)
And then we got hungry, sooo we went to The Cheesecake Factory. For me, it was the first time there and it was sooo good! I had these soft taco’s filled with chicken, avocado, tomato and sour cream. After this, there was no room in my tummy anymore for Cheesecake, but I definitely going to buy one some day.Naamloos

Stephanie bought some beautiful make up. She loves make up hahaha. And I don’t have any sense of make up haha. But Stephanie does, and it was fun to see her watching all that make up. She is collecting Mac lipsticks (right Stephanie?) I have no idea why they are so special, but she want to buy 10? or 12? of them this year, and she bought her 7th one, I think, last Saturday.
It was a very nice and cozy day with Stephanie. In the evening I didn’t do anything special.

Sunday
And then we had Sunday, the last day of this week. And it’s a special day: my host dad and kids were coming home!
At noon I went to White Plains to have lunch with two Dutch girls, Benthe who I’ve met on Friday, and a friend of her, Richella. It was very nice with them and it’s so cool to talk Dutch haha.

lunch
Salad with chicken, pecans, strawberry’s, mandarin, pineapple and poppy seed & half of a turkey sandwich

Around 3.30 pm I went back home. Andrew, the boy, was already home when I got back. An hour later, Jon (host dad) and Melissa came home. They also took another camp counselor with them, who is going to sleep here tonight.
We ordered Chinese food for diner and my host mom had to do a lot of laundry and I helped her a little bit. We are going on a little trip to New Hampshire this Tuesday, so the laundry has to be done before we’re leaving.

Soooooo, this was my week! I hope you enjoyed reading this. I have no idea if this is really interesting or not. Let me know in the comments!

Next week I’ll tell you about my first cluster meeting, the trip to New Hampshire aaand maybe more.