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 😊

 

 

Week 6&7: Yankees, school, gym

I forgot something really important in my last blog! During my 4th week there were two special days: the 26th and 27th of August. Those were the days were the reason why I wasn’t sure about leaving on the 1st.

lisabdayThe birthday of my best friend, Lisa, was on August 26th. I knew that I would go to the US for 12 months, so of course: I would miss at least one birthday. But maybe this birthday was more special than other ones. It was a really hard year, and Lisa fought so hard, stayed positive, graduated and became so much older in one year.  It felt weird for both of us to be so far away on this special day.
I sent Lisa a balloon of a cow on her birthday with a personal card. And Iris and I gave her a clock with a photo with the three of us.

On the same day in the evening started the National Championships of Vaulting. And my team and me qualified  for the Championships this year. So they were there, and I was here.
To be honest, I was already a little bit used to be somewhere else while my team had a competition. I broke my ankle last April, during our second competition of the year. voltige So during the 3rd competition, which was one day later, I was watching from the tribune. The 4th competition (7 weeks later), my ankle was healed, but I had to work on that day. So while I was at work, they went to the competition. And during the 5th competition I was on a holiday in the Caribbean.. But yeah, those were normal competitions. This was a really special one. A month before I left, I told my team that I had contact with a nice family, but if I matched with them I would miss the championships. They didn’t like that of course hahaha. They were counting on me and when I made the decision to go, they had to change the freestyle for the championships.
Eventually they ended at the 4th place at the Championships, which isn’t bad, but I know that they are better than the first, second and third team 😀

Back to my life in the US.

The 6th week here started with Labor day. Don’t ask me what it is, I don’t know exactly, something with for workers. I know that American people like free days, so if they can find a reason to be off, they will. Sooo, they came with Labor Day.
okay, I just found on Wikepdia what Labor Day is: It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of the country.

I didn’t do a lot on Labor Day. Actually, I had to work for a couple of hours, but my host parents were both at home, so they came to the conclusion that they didn’t really need me. So I went to the park with some other au pairs. Oh, and there was a camp counselor sleeping with us again. Will, from England. The next day, I dropped him off at the train station, and he would spent the day in New York and flew back in the evening.

Tuesday was the first day of school. The kids had to wake up at 7 and we left the house at 7.45. The boy wasn’t feeling so well in the morning. Eventually, when I came home from dropping them off, I got a text of my host mom that he has thrown up at school. So I went back to school to get him and he spent the rest of the day in bed.

The next day he felt good and went to school. I went to the gym with friends on both days.  When I came home at Wednesday in the evening, there were two girls in the living room. Again! Camp counselors! And this time there were two of them.. and it were girls! And I didn’t tell you the best thing yet…..

One of the girls was Dutch and would stay with us for a couple of days. I already met her when I came to summer camp. Her name is Lisa and she’s from Oss. The other girl, Sophie, was from England and she spent one night at the house
The next day I already left the house before they woke up. So, unfortunately,  I didn’t speak a lot to Sophie.

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Chipotle with Rike!

The rest of the week I spent a lot of time with friends. We went to the park, to the gym and to Peachwave (where you can get Frozen Yogurt). The 6th week was really busy and I didn’t speak to my family and friends a lot. So, in my 7th week I planned to plan less 😀 And it helped, I finally got time to skype with my friends and family, to clean my room and to watch GTST (Dutch serie).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Last Sflagunday I went to a game of the Yankees with Lisa (the camp counselor). My alarm didn’t work.. so Lisa woke me up at 7.30, I showered really quickly, ate something and we left the house at 8. We went to Grand Central  by train and to Lisa’s hostel with the subway. There we dropped off Lisa’s baggage ( a big bag pack, a smaller bag pack, two suitcases and a handbag) at the hostel. Her fight was on Tuesday,  and she wanted to spent her last 2 nights in the city. From there we went to the Yankees Stadium. We went to the Memorial and to the Museum before the game started. Those were really impressive. After that we bought a popcorn, a big drink and we went to our seats. It was 9/11, so before the game started, they had a special ceremony. There was a big orchestra with bagpipes, drums and other instruments. They also had a big flag of America spread over the field, while someone was singing the National Anthe.
It was beautiful.
Eventually the Yankees lost.img_20160911_111720

After the game we went to the city. We didn’t know what we wanted to do, and actually it was already pretty late. So we walked through Central park and got dinner at Chickpea.  I ate a wrap filled with hummus, falafel, chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber and maybe something else. I don’t know haha. I didn’t made a picture of it. Every time when I’m eating something special, I realize to late: hey maybe I could have made a picture of this for my blog. But yeah, usually I’m to hungry to think about that.snapchat-710149710829065966

After our dinner I said goodbye to Lisa and went to Grand Central to get the train to home. img_20160911_212741My hostdad picked me up at the train station. His daughter had a party in Long Island, so we drove there to get here. From Long Island you had a good view of Manhattan (not in this picture) and we saw the two blue lights for 9/11. These lights were on the place of the Twintowers. We weren’t really close, so you can’t see it really good on the picture.

So yeah, that was the Sunday. The 7th week I spent more time at home to relax. And I went to the gym almost every day with Rike and Barbara. We also met a nice new girl, Anna and she’s also from Germany.

 

 

And now I’m in Boston! Daphne, a friend of mine, is an au pair here. We flew together and were at the same orientation days. It’s really nice to see her again, and of course: I’ll tell you everything about my weekend in the next blog!

Only 12 days left! 

The countdown has started!   In less than 2 weeks I’m walking in New York City.

On August 1st I’ll fly to New York. I’ll be staying in NYC till the 4th and then I’ll be picked up and I’ll go to my host family. The first days I have an orientation program with many other au pairs from all over the world. We have 3 busy days of learning about childcare and everything around it.

Last monday I went to the US Embassy in Amsterdam.  My appointment was at 10.30 am and from my home to Amsterdam is a 2 hours drive. Fortunately my  mom went with me.  We went at 7.30, because I wanted to be sure I got there on time. My mom dropped me at 9.30 close by the US Embassy and she went to a park area to park the car. From where I had been dropped I had to find the right building.  I left my bag,  including my telephone in the car,  because you can’t get your phone into the embassy.

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My passport with the visa

Eventually I found the right building and I had to stand in a lane of people outside. It is like waiting to go in the Space Mountain or any other attraction. There where nice people around me. We talked a little bit about what we’re going to do in the US. There was a girl who is going to study for a half-year and another woman who is a stewardess and need a visa to fly to the US.

After more than  1 hour waiting I finally got in. First I had to go through the security check and then I went to another room.  There I had to wait till they call my number.  I had a quick conversation in Dutch at a locket and after I had to sit down again. A couple minutes later they call my number again and I had had a conversation with another woman. This was in English and was going about my host family,  the place where I go and some other stuff. The woman said I’ll receive my passport and visa in a couple of days!! I was very happy that everything went well and that my visa request is approved 😀

At 12 o’clock I walked outside where my mother was waiting for me 🙂  We spent the rest of the day in Amsterdam and went to some shops.  I bought  4 jeans,  1 sport pants and 2 t-shirts. I hadn’t had the intention to buy clothes, because I can’t take all my clothes with me,   but I liked these  very much. Around 4 pm we went on the road back home.  But after an hour we came in a traffic jam 😦  On the radio we heard that it was a traffic jam of 12 kilometres (almost 8 miles) and a delay of 75 minutes :(.  So when we saw an opportunity to  get off the road,  we did that and went to the Ikea. It’s a construction market. It also has a restaurant where we ate something. Eventually we came home at 8 pm.

P1000144Now I’ve got my visa,  I’m almost ready to go.  I can start packing my (very big)  suitcase. In a couple of days I’ll receive my flight details, so than I know how late I’m going to fly.
My great adventure begins in just 12 days!

Sooo, this was just a short update. In my last weeks I’m going to enjoy the weather and have fun with my friends and family. On July 30th I’m giving a birthday/graduation/goodbye party. I’m really excited for that, but it’s gonna be hard to say goodbye to everyone.

I hope you all having a great day!

Babette

 

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