That's right - I have finally switched families (and it feels so good!). I now live in Aalst, a neighboring village of Waalre, which in my case takes my approximately 10 minutes closer to school (sweettt). Also I now have a host brother who is 11 years old, and a host sister who is 18 (both redheads!). Their sister is in America right now with AFS and when she had some medical issues and was in contact with AFS Nederland they put the pieces together and asked if they were interesting in hosting, turns out they were cool with it! They seem like super cool and relaxed people, although I'll admit it's hard getting used to living with people whose Dutch is a little different. I think it'll really improve my Dutch though because I will have never had a background of speaking English with them so the vast majority of our relationships will be formed in Dutch, which I suppose is cool. I am really proud of myself when it comes to Dutch nowadays. I was so resistant in the beginning to speaking Dutch at all and really absorbing it but now I'm trying my best and I'm happy I can really operate in it. It was painful unpacking all my stuff into my new room and it just scares me to think I have to try and get this all back to America somehow.
In other news I have been nominated for a blog contest, so it would be highly appreciated if you could vote for "Wanderlust" on this site HERE. I've poured so much of myself into this blog this year and although it sounds a little lame I'm really excited to see it in a couple months as a "finished product." I have found a website where they turn blogs into books for a good price and I can't wait to do that with mine, just because I don't think I've ever really had anything like this in my life. I don't really journal, I try a little bit here but it doesn't work so well. Maybe I'm just lazy and the only thing I like about blogging is that I can type it, or it's that everyone can see it. Either way this has been a nice way for me to ramble on without having to think about how the person listening feels (because you're choosing to read this blog!).
Last weekend I went to Amsterdam with Ivy on Friday and we had a swell time. We walked around for 5-ish hours further acquainting ourselves with the capital city (which everytime somehow does get better). We magically found online the night before an actual hotel that was basically the same price as a hostel so we got a private room with a bathroom and everything that night (ok, I know that's not that exciting but for a pair of 18 year olds it is)! When it came to thinking about going out that night we knew that to go out in Amsterdam it'd probably just start pretty late and after all that walking we just didn't have it in us, especially since the next day we had to go to Utrecht to take our AFS-administered language test. We got a bunch of junk food at Albert Heijn then went back to the hotel, pigged out for an hour, then slept (for like 11 hours! ha). The next morning we were up early to get ready and hop on a tram to Centraal Station and catch a train to Utrecht. Upon arrival we met up with a bunch of AFSers and after a little bit of a struggle we finally got to the testing location. The test itself wasn't all that bad, I wouldn't say I placed in the top 3 (they get an official language certification test paid for by AFS) but I don't think I did shabby by any means. When that was over we did what AFSers do best: made lemonade of lemons and sat on a canal, drank, and played cards. After that I went back to Eindhoven and went out with friends for the night.
Who knows now what is to come in the next few months with a new family, but I hope it's as good as it can be. I think we are going to Rotterdam Saturday and Breda Sunday (hah I know, already) for various reasons which include my host mother's birthday and a reunion of vacation friends (respectively).