Aliyah, Outbound to Netherlands

Three weeks in and it’s amazing here!

To start, the country itself is so beautiful and and the houses are so pretty!

Everything is walkable from where I am, the library, the museum, the grocery store, and the mall plaza! My school is about a 10 bike away. But even better I don’t even have to go to school at the same time everyday. Sometimes it’s as early as 8:30 and sometimes it’s as late as 11:30am. I absolutely love it. My classes are a bit hard though. I still can’t understand Dutch that much, but I’ve made a few friends to help translate. Everyone knows English here, but I try my best to ask for Dutch translations as well. I have a book and every night me and my host family fill it with 10 new words. I’ve learned words Duolingo wouldn’t have told me for weeks. Dutch is hard when it comes to pronouncing the G but people understand.

I also go to every Rotary meeting with my host dad. They are very nice (especially the dinner meals) and I really enjoy going to them. Yesterday we went to Hanos a super market that only people who own food related businesses are allowed to go into. We got to try a ton of different cheeses and they served us some other samples as well. I talked to a lot of Rotarians, everyone has a story to tell. A few of them have been to Florida so it was fun to talk to them about that.

Speaking of which I got to meet the Rotex student here that went to Florida as well! She’s really nice, along with the other exchange and Rotext students! We went for a weekend in Goes and played some games, as well as visit DeltaWorks and go sailing (I didn’t sail though, I have a fear of small boats haha). But it rained there and it’s been raining a lot here too. I’m pretty sure I’ve caught a cold, or maybe allergies but my nose has been running the entire time writing this journal. I hope I get over it though I actually don’t want to miss school. And if this weather gets me sick than I’d be sick all winter. I’m so excited for December to come! Everyone’s been telling me about Sinterklass and the food and the celebrations ah! I’ve decided to make Coquito for my host family. It’s a Puerto Rican drink that my parents make very Christmas to give out to friends and family. I’m so happy to be able to share it here!

And then to share their Christmas food with me too. There’s Pepernoten, they’re like cinnamon cookies and they are absolutely delicious!

They share them only around this time so everyone is excited to eat them. I’m going to have SO MANY! And I might go eat some right now. Or some Hagslag with bread (sprinkles on bread). Now I’m just rambling on about food. I should go eat something.

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