Rose, outbound to Netherlands

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It's almost been three months since I arrived in the Netherlands. I can't even begin to believe that it's been that long. It feels like yesterday that I hoped on a plane to Amsterdam with dreams and fears in my eyes.

Since my last journal I have traveled to what seems like every corner of the Earth. I went on a day trip to Germany about a month ago. It was only a 30 minute drive! My host dad and I went to Bocholt, Germany together on a sunny day. Getting in seemed too easy; there was no border control between the Netherlands and Germany at all! Despite how close we were to the Netherlands, it seemed as though we had stepped into a new universe. Everything was different, from the architecture to the way people walked, there were few simularities. My host dad and I just walked around the city and explored the shops and old churches. I also ate the German Currywurst which was amazing. It's like a bratwurst but with curry sauce on it. 

I also went on a trip with my school to England! We stayed in a little farm house in Settle, Yorkshire. I had always wanted to go to England, and it was really cool getting to do some things that I normally wouldn't be able to do. For example, we got to spend a day in a British school. It was very interesting to see how different the British school system was from the Dutch or American school system. We also went to the Manchester United stadium. Soccer is such a big deal in Europe so I was glad to have gotten an inside look on how things work within the sport. Although we didn't get to go to London, I loved the trip none the less. The north part of England is absolutely breath-taking and I wouldn't trade that trip for the world.

In addition to these adventures, I finally got to meet all the exchange students. The week after my England trip I had my Rotary Dutch Orientation Course. I had the privilege of meeting students from 17 different countries. At the DOC we had Dutch lessons, learned about the Dutch government, and talked about the culture of the Netherlands. But, of course, the week wasn't just work. We ice skated and went traveled around the area a little. Getting to know some of those exchange students was the best part. I came to be fairly close with a girl from Italy, a girl from Indonesia, and a boy from Peru. It's truly amazing to have friends from everywhere that I would have never met if I hadn't done this exchange.

Recently I celebrated Halloween with a Canadian family. To be honest, because my favorite holiday is Halloween, I was feeling a little homesick. It was a much-needed breath of fresh air to speak English all night and celebrate something like I would at home. But now I have America out of my system... For now.

I went to another Rotary meeting today. I'm starting to make connections and it's also really helping my Dutch. My Rotary club is hosting a Santa Run soon. I am helping out and am very excited to be helping and not running. Joking! (Sort of).

I just can't believe that this year is just flying past! 2016 is ending in two months. I just can't wrap my mind around it. 

Tomorrow I have my first test in Dutch. Wish me Luck...