Jeez I can't believe it was 2 weeks ago when I last wrote in here. Time seems to be stuck somewhere between flying and crwaling. Weeks go by quickly, but days drag a little. I mean school is still school (which means it sucks) but of course I am still beyond happy with the Slokkers. I go back and forth a lot, will I miss it here? or won't I? I'm sure I will but lately I've just kept thinking "I'm ready." Can't help it! It's been one heck of a long journey and I do feel proud and accomplished to have done this year. In August, the idea of being here in mid-March was shocking, lightyears away. Not that I ever really planned on leaving (ok I mean I entertained the idea...once...or twice) but that you never actually think about much past the year of exchange. It's just a hard concept.
In other news I had a nice (tiring) weekend. Friday I hung out with friends from school, they came here, then we went out for the night. I wouldn't say anything special happened but of course I always enjoy going out with them. The next day my host parents left for a weekend in Brugges and Crystal and Caitlin (USA) came over! It's been a good 2 almost 3 months since I'd seen Crystal and only a few since I'd seen Caitlin but it was really nice seeing them and showing them my new house and family (even though the only person home was Moniek). Moniek's birthday was last Wednesday so she had friends over on Saturday to celebrate. We hung out with them for a little while and then when they went to town we just relaxed and watched TV for a little. Oh except for dinner we had tacos and they were the shit. I cannot wait to eat Chipotle asap after I get back to the US.
I have a cool idea of something to do with this entry. Earlier this year I was keeping a moleskin with random jots of stuff when I was in school and bored. I am almost too bored in school lately to even remember to write in it so I'm give you guys a few things I've written in it through out this year:
"Haven't I been myself? Don't I deserve some legitimate comradery? I say yes. The Dutch, no surprise, remain confused. Sometimes I emerge from the cloud of disillusionment I seem to be shrouded in and realize - who do I have here!? No one." - 9/16/09
"I would reckon things are getting much better. By a lot. Yay." - 9/30/09
"Being here lately had made me realize what everyone says is true! A summer/semester isn't enough. To think I left Panama two weeks prior to this point last summer. It's pouring out - I think I must get used to this." 10/1/09
"...lately things have still continued in a positive direction! At home sometimes it's not amazing...I think my Dutch is making strides. It's fun to practice with people." 10/7/09
"I know there is something that connects me to these people but I just keep going because each day is something good." 10/14/09
"Last week sucked with them and not that it was amazing this week we can coexist. I feel like they know so little about me and my life and only what I tell them- they never ask questions!" 10/16/09
"Although making plans is what gets me through the day I don't want to spend too much time with AFS. Lord knows when I'll learn how to speak this language. It's supposed to be Speak Dutch Wednesday - it's not going so hot." 11/4/09
"A lot of people are starting to ask me if I'm having fun here or if I'm bored yet. Yeah - I don't exactly know what to say. It is boring and not that fun. It's just life." 11/5/09
"I'm having a very difficult time lately- even considering going home. There are strong arguments for me going home, including my health and happiness. Yet I know the arguments are even stronger for me staying." 11/25/09
Ok well those are a couple things I was thinking early on in the year. In a little while I'll post some from December on, I don't want to write them all in here at once - that'd be boring. I wish my school just knew what to do with an exchange student. Blah sorry it's just so easy to lapse into talking about dumb stuff in this blog instead of focusing on other stuff. See, I guess it's at this point in the year where it's rather hard/awkward to always find something to write about in a blog. It's not the beginning, nothing is new anymore. It's not the holidays, we just chillin' really. It's not exactly the end, I still have 2 more months, yet some days when I look at my ridiculously busy weekends it can feel way shorter. But I've got this idea that when this year is over this blog will tell me something. I can look back on it clearly as I have tried to be objective as possible this year. I have been (most days) my harshest critic this year (although on the days I wasn't (ehem hello first 5 months) I'd say I was a close 2nd or 3rd!), but I don't think that's a problem. It's a growing experience, a time to see for yourself what you're made of. Honestly I still don't know the answer. Between boring classes, trying to prove my Dutch, and just in general keeping my brain from melting, I haven't always gotten the time (ha...) to figure it out. Then again people always say it's nothing you can see on exchange.
I hope people don't get disappointed by this blog not being a silly, lovely, flowery account of Tulips & Klompen: The Year in the Netherlands which CHANGED MY LIFE. Because honestly I'd rather gag myself before I write one of those tales. I can't think of new, cute, little things I love about the Netherlands everyday. I've said it before and I'll say it again. It took me a long time to love this country - but I do. I left Panama after 5 weeks, and I took with me a piece of Panama. It was right there in my heart. The culture, the soul. It took me 5 1/2 months to feel the same way about the Netherlands. But that's ok. If I had this easy, I highly doubt this year would be half as fun. If it was easy, I'm almost positive you wouldn't get half as many blog posts out of me and it may look like the blogs of some of the other kids in my group (shoutout).
In less than 2 weeks my family comes. It's time to stick my two worlds in the blender for a week and see what comes out! I know I'll have the time of my life showing off the Netherlands to my parents and siblings, I honestly can't wait. From other people who've seen their families (Crystal, Caitlin) it sounds like a really recharging experience. And while after they leave I only have about 8 weeks left here, I hope it works in a similar fashion. I'm doubting my ability to pull out another entry before they come though so the next time I might get all up in blogger again would be in April (this is insane to me).