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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Am I extending ?

NO, I’M NOT

okay, that has been said. And now stop texting me Iris Rietberg.

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Five years ago, with Iris (On the right)

Remember my blog on January 1st, where I said that I don’t really miss “home”? Well, I start to miss a lot of things in The Netherlands. Like, my friends, family, vaulting and foooood. In that blog it seemed like I was going to extend. And it’s true: when I wrote that, I was more feeling like extending. But I also didn’t think about it carefully. And I wrote it down several tips and came to this conclusion. That I want to go home in August and start the next chapter of my life.

After that blog, a lot of people contacted me to give me advice. Thank you all, I appreciate it!
No one said: “come home”. No one said: “stay there”. What my friends and family told me was:

  • “follow your heart”,
  • “you’re young, enjoy your life”,
  • “there’s enough time to go to University”,
  • “any decision is right”,
  • “make sure you won’t regret your choice”
  • “think about it carefully”
  • “It’s your decision”
  • “I’m fine with anything, as long as you’re happy”

You were all super nice and you’re right. It’s my decision, I’m the only person who can make this choice. But, everyone who knows me knows that I’m not so good in making choices…………And how do I know what my hearts want? Or how do I make sure I won’t regret it?

I can’t imagaine how hard it’s going to be to leave this place.. This family, my family. I’m sure I’ll get homesick to here anyway. But I’ll keep in touch and I’m sure I’ll go to visit them as often as I can.

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But I thought and talked about it a lot and I’m sure.  I want to go home and I want to start University. I want to start a life. Not that I don’t have a life here, but yeah,  it’s hard to explain. Au pairs would probably understand this.  It’s like I’m standing still. It doesn’t feel like I’m learning a lot (like I did in school) and the new and exciting thing about it is kind of gone. I’m still having fun and I still do cool things, but a year is enough for me. This experience is amazing and I’ve learned so much. But it’s enough after one year. A second year isn’t going to bring me that much more. I want to do something different now.
I’m super ready and excited for university. I’m excited to see my friends and family again. I’m excited to do vaulting again. To ride a bike. To talk in Dutch. To see my Dutch babysit family again (who are expecting their fourth kid in July Yayy).
I’m looking forward to going home. But, home? Where is home?  I’m going to study in Wageningen, what is in the same province as Lichtenvoorde (mom’s house & friends) and Doetinchem (dad’s house). But the public transport (what is free as a student) is terrible in my area. So it would take me two hours from Lichtenvoorde and 1,5 hours from Doetinchem to get to school. I haven’t decided yet where I’m gonna live. Eventually I’d like to find a room in Wageningen, but not for the first weeks. I think I’ll be with my mom during the weekend and during the week with my dad. We’ll see.

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My room

 

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I also need to decide what I’m going to do in my travel month. My year as an au pair ends July 31st, but I can stay in the US for one more month. I get the change to travel through the States. But I’m not sure yet if and where I want to go. I kind of want to save money for studying and august is not the cheapest month to travel in. And I also would

like to be home for a few weeks
before university starts… But on the other hand, now I get the chance to see something I wouldn’t see when I’m in the Netherlands. As in, I wouldn’t travel all the way to Alaska from The Netherlands, because it’s really far.
The places in the US that are on top of my list are New Orleans and Austin, but both of those places are super-hot in August. And they’re not that far from the Netherlands, so I could go there in a school break.
Maybe California… I’ll see. Any advice, someone?

Soooooooooo, if you have any questions or anyting to see, post a comment below, email me, text me, facebook messenger me or find another way to contact me.
And if you’re a future au pair, or you know someone who is in the whole matching process: I know an amazing hostfamily and they are looking for a new au pair. If you’re interested, contact me!

 

Byeeebyeeee, thank you for reading this!

Winter

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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 😊

 

 

Chicagoooooooo

Hiii

1,5 week ago I went to Chicago with my hostfamily. We stayed there for a few days and came back on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. img_0549

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We flew on Saturday and we arrived late afternoon at the house where we stayed. The house was amazing. It was huge, clean and at a good location. I got a big bedroom with my own bathroom.

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That evening we had a really good dinner at a Thais restaurant next door. I ate Chicken Satay (loooove it), Chicken and beef with sweet and sour sauce and drank a Green Tea Bubble Tea.

Sunday was my day off, so I decided to do some sightseeing. My hostparents gave me tips about what to do. I rented a bike. Even though it was really cold, I enjoyed every second of it. I hadn’t ride a real bike since I’m in the US, and I kind of missed it. First I went to Michigan Avenue. It’s the main street of Chicago with a lot of shops. There is also 360 Chicago observation deck. At floor 94 (1000 feet/ 343 meters) I had an amazing view over Chicago. At one side I saw Lake Michigan and on the other side I sawimg_0572 the city.
While I was walking there with all my friends ~alone~ a girl came to me and asked me where I came from. So I told her that I’m from The Netherlands and she told me that she came from Germany. Actually, she thought I was someone else and that’s why she asked me. But the funny thing is: she’s also an au pair, she also lives in Connecticut and we arrived at the same date, with the same agency. We were on orientation’s together. She was there with an au pair travel class (where I wrote about in my last blog). We talked for a while and then they left. I made a couple of photo’s and then I left as well. I walked further on Michigan Avenue and really quickly I walked into the H&M and bought some clothes..

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After that I cyled to Millenium Park.  I cycled along the Navy Pier and through the park. It was beautiful. I parked my bicycle and walked to the Cloud Gate. I took some photo’s, drank a coffee and continued my bicycle adventure After a while I had no idea where I was, so I cycled back to Michigan Avenue. Went to the Protein Bar to get a smoothie and  went back to the house.

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In the evening we went out for dinner with friends of my hostparens. We went to an Ethiopian Restaurant. For me, it was the first time to eat Ethipian food. I didn’t know what Ethiopian food exactly was. What they eat is kind of sourdough flatbread, what looks like pancake: injera. Theytop it with  meat, usually a thick stew and side dishes, as a salad.  You use pieces of injera to pick up the food. It tasted really good.

On Monday was the big day for my host mom, the reason why we were in Chicago. She had a talk at the University of Chicago. So, that day she was preparing for her talk and me and my host dad took care of the kids. I went to the Zoo with the oldest boy and his girlfriend, while my hostdad took the other kids to a play café. (a place where you can play with birds and some other animals).  I liked to be out, but I didn’t really like the zoo. There were tigers and lion’s, who are cool to see of course, but their cages were so small. And basically all the cages were too small, in my opinion.snapchat-19646243422
After the zoo, we had lunch together and we went back to the house. We (the kids and me) didn’t do anything special in the evening and ordered food (at the Thai place) for dinner.
My hostmom’s talk at the University went really goood.

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University of Chicago

On Tuesday I went with my hostparents, Serafina and Aidan (the 9-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy) to the University of Chicago. The week before I went with a group of au pairs to Yale University in New Haven. Both universities are really similar, but cool and pretty.
That night we ordered food at the Thai place, again. We packed our suitcases, watched a tv show and went to bed.

Wednesday we flew back and when we got home, the rest of the family was there (grandparents and uncle). They were busy with making pies for Thanksgiving.

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And then it was Thursday, Thanksgiving! My first Thanksgiving ever. We had an amazing dinner with Turkey (of course),stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes and a salad. And the Pumpkin Pie, Apple pie, cookies and whipped cream for dessert. It was delicious and we had a great time.

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Thankyou for reading this blog! 

Byeeeeeeeeee

My first Skype conversation

I came home from my vacation on Tuesday. I should had a skype conversation on the same day in the afternoon. But the flight was a little bit delayed, so I wasn’t home at the agreed time. I sent her a message if she could skype a day later, and she could do that.

Sooo, today,  Wednesday, is the day we are going to skype. And I am so nervous. I had a busy day planned: I had to check my blood values before 11:30 AM , make an appointment with my doctor, go to the gym. I had to do some grocery shopping, getting a birthday present for my best friend and bringing library books back.. Then the skype meeting, cooking and then I wanted to go to the birthday of my best friend…

But, that didn’t go on. I have been in (or on? (it’s a island)) Curacao for 2 weeks. On Curacao it’s 6 hours earlier, so when you wake up in Curacao, it is already afternoon in the Netherlands. I also haven’t had a lot of sleep in the past few days. What results in a veeeery long sleep from 10 pm on Tuesday till 3 pm on Wednesday. I was like WOOOW. I’m not that kind of person who can sleep till 11 am or who sleeps for more than 8 hours straight. And now I slept for 17 hours?

After this little shock I adjusted my schedule for today. I couldn’t go checking the values in my blood or making an appointment with the doctor. I had to do that before 11.30, so I would do that tomorrow. Okay, almost everything I had to do today, I moved to the schedule of tomorrow . Except the birthday. I can’t move a birthday of someone else. But my other best friend was also going, so I asked her if she wanted to buy a present from us together, and she did. While I woke up, I took my medication, dressed myself up and went down for breakfast. I’m still doubting if I should go to the birthday of my best friend, or go to the gym. Haha no I’m joking. My best friend is everything to me 🙂 I’m going both.

It’s almost 4 pm, so I started my laptop and went to Skype. I had a message from the woman who I should talk with at 4 pm. If it was okay to talk 15 minutes later. Well of course. And now it is 4:20 pm and I’m typing this. I don’t know where she is. The Skype status tells that is she is still “absent”. It’s 4:35 when I get a message: “I still need a few minutes, I will skype to you soon!”.  Oh there she is. I wait a few minutes and then she calls. We have talked for 50 minutes. We talked about her and her family, what she searches in an au pair and about me and my experience. She has a 8 years old son and a 16 years old daughter. The dad is hardworking and travels a lot. She is the primary caregiver but also an artist and yoga instructor. I really like her. She seems so nice. She tells me that she has more options for her future au pair,  but she also asks me if I want to talk to her current au pair. I would love to talk to her. So after our skype meeting she emails me the email of her au pair and I make an appointment with her for our skype meeting, which will be on Friday.

I was nervous, but it went very well. Sometimes I couldn’t find the right words or I didn’t know what to answer. But I think I showed very well what kind of person I am and how much I want to do this.

I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Byeeee!

PS    You can leave your messages below this blog. Please tell me if you want me to blog about some specific thing, or if you have questions or comments or other things:D

PSS   I wrote this one and a half week ago.