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 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.

I’ve found my host family!

Waaaah! I said yes! I have found my family! Okay, more details:

The last blog I posted was about my first Skype conversation. After that one I had more Skype meetings with 2 other families. I wanted to blog about that, but it suddenly went so fast.
Last Thursday I talked at Skype for the second time with the Lass family. I’ve spoken them once before and I had a really good feeling about them. It was 11.30 PM and I was a little bit tired, but I was looking forward to the conversation.
First I talked  with the dad and his daughter. Later on, the mother came home and they asked me directly whether I wanted to become as their Au pair. The day after I had planned a conversation with the family I wrote about in my last blog. So I didn’t say immediately yes, but I was very honored and happy that such a nice family wanted me. They reacted very nice. They said that I had to talk about it with friends and family and they hoped that I would say yes.
So I did. The family is great, that wasn’t the thing I had doubts about. But they want me to be there August 1st, which should sound great, if I hadn’t had the Dutch championships of vaulting at August 26th. I also had to work at the Cheese farm in August (yes, for those who don’t know: I work at a cheese farm). But I’ve thought about it, talked with a couple of my team members, with family and friends and made a decision

So on Saturday I emailed them to set up an appointment to talk at Skype. We should talk on Sunday. But Sunday she emailed me that she had car problems and she could Skype with her phone but only with sound and no video. So I emailed her back that I wanted to tell her that I would love to be their Au pair and if we can Skype later in the week. She was very happy about it and we are going to Skype at Wednesday.

The dad named Jonathan is a teacher at middle school. The mom, Kari, is a radiologist. They have a 12 years old twin: a boy named Andrew and a girl named Melissa. They live in the state New York and very close to New York City.

I don’t have much time to get my visa, insurance and everything else done, because I will leave at August 1st. But the organization helps me very well and we think I can get everything done at time.

Oh btw, the conversation with that other family I wrote about earlier went well. But eventually I had a better feeling with this family.

I’ll have my visa package, so now I can fill in the papers for my visa. Then I’ll going to the US Embassy in Amsterdam for an interview and to give them the papers and my

Lisaaaaaaaa

passport. And hopefully I’ll get my visa in a few weeks.

Soooo, that’s it. I’m going to enjoy my last month in the Netherlands. Tomorrow is my 19th birthday. I’m not going to do much special..
I’m going to a pool with Lisa and I have vaulting training. Maybe I’m going to a friend in the evening and of course I’m going to eat cake 😀

 

Talk to you later! Byeeeeeeeee 🙂

 

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.