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I just turned 16 last Thursday (03/16). Birthdays in the Netherlands are done not too differently than in the USA. I brought some candy for everyone, someone brought me a party hat, and I ate way too much cake. Actually, my dutchies (aka my Dutch friends), bought a cake and brought it to school for me. It was chocolate and peanut butter and I couldn't believe that they had actually brought a cake to school. They sang "Lang zal ze leven" which is the Dutch happy birthday song. Other than that, the actual day of my birthday was pretty tame. I had gym that day. We climbed the rock wall, a thing I had never done before and hopefully will never do again.
The weekend before I went to Giethoorn, a cute town completely made up of islands. It was a Rotex weekend and they had rented us our very own island. I always love seeing my exchange friends. I can't believe how close we've gotten to be in only 6 months. The Saturday of said weekend was National Volunteering Day. So we took a boat out on to a different island and cut down dead trees. Although it was hard work, we also had a good time. The whole weekend had such beautiful weather. For the first time in a long time I didn't need a jacket to be outside. Now I don't know if that's because I'm finally getting used to the Dutch weather, or because it was actually warm outside, or if it was a mix of both. But in any case, the weekend was beautiful and awesome.
This journal is not in chronological order, and for that I am sorry, but so many nice things have happened to me since my last entry. I have now been with my family for two weeks. They have been nothing but nice and supportive and helpful. They took me out for sushi on my birthday, put up banners for me, and have just been all around amazing. I also went out with my exchange student friends this weekend because once you are 16 you can go in to discos (aka kid clubs). We had a really fun time dancing the night away with each other.
I can't believe I only have about 120 days until I leave the Netherlands. I really don't want to go. I've had an amazing experience traveling around a small land packed with culture, history, and amazing people that I never want to let go of. Only 120 more days......
Posted on Mon, March 20, 2017
by Terri Wescott