Saturday, 21 June 2014

ROTARY EXCHANGE July 2nd-July 5th.

Tuesday July 2nd 2013
It was Hanneke's birthday! My host family on birthdays (Since I was there for two, hanneke's and mine!) put up these triangular pieces of fabric on a string and hung them up all over the living room and kitchen. Hanneke was having a party that night for her birthday where a lot of her friends and some family would be coming over. So being dutch we had to go the Cheese store, which i have to say had veeeery good cheese! My favourite was the Limburg cheese (the cheese from the province I was living in!) The store, " 'T Keesheaukske" was probably the same size as a typical Aldo Shoes store. We then went home and I practiced my speech more and then we had dinner and off we went to Oor. The guests would be coming while we were at the Rotary Meeting. Upon getting to the hotel the meeting was at, which was the start at 7, we were 10 minutes early and yet were the only people there, from the other inbound and out bound students. We waited for about 20 minutes and then Winnie from the Netherlands and Lea from Vancouver island showed up! It was weird seeing her because she had been at my rotary meetin as well, for Vancouver island! I felt really bad for her though she had just flown in that day and then had to come there and present. After more waiting the last couple came and I don't remember the Dutch girls name but her partner was Daniela from Mexico. Then after even more waiting we finally got to go in to see all of the Rotarians. I think it was about 7:45 when we were told it would start at 7. I started getting paranoid that me and lea would have the same presentation on Canada but we didn't. She went first and talked about her and her school and her town and her rotary club and basically nothing I talked about. Then Daniela went (and you could tell that the Rotarians were beginning to lose focus a bit) and she talked about her friends and her school and her town and her self and her family.. And I starting thinking "oh no... I'm gonna go up there and bore everyone to death." Neither of them had speeches or written down anything! And then.. Daniela gave them all a huge thing of Mexican tequila. How could I top that? All I could think about was katniss in the first hunger games...but I went up, and presented and speed talked my way very quickly through the whole thing. Then we went home had Hanneke's birthday party and I met Aline and Corrina Again and this time Vincent Aline's boyfriend. I had my first European beer that night :)
Wednesday July 3rd 2013
 On the Wednesday me and Nienke and Maartje went to the Efteling. Now none of you probably know what this is and all I can describe it as is a ... Per-Disney. Like the real original fairy tales in their authentic forms before they were disneyified, plus more that never went through Disney. It is kind of like an amusement park.... But not at the same time. Every ride has a story. There was Monsieur cannibale which was like the spinning tea cups but instead they were pots that Monsieur cannibale was going to cook you in. And droomflucht (dream flight) which is kind of like a tour through a fairytale land....and fata morgana which was very like the pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disney land. I really liked that one, there were of course roller coasters and what not(my favorite being the Flying Dutchman) but my favorite part was the fairy tale forest. It's was soooo cool. And I would like to thank my mum for always reading me so many fairy tales and telling me so many stories when I was younger, if you hadn't I probably wouldn't have none half of them! Some that I did know were Snow White, sleeping beauty, mother holle, the frog prince, hansel and gretel (that was a really cool one!),  the wolf and the seven kids,  Tom Thumb, rumpelstiltskin, rapunzel, Cinderella, the little mermaid, little red riding hood.. But there were a lot more that I had no idea about. It was kind of rainy that day so not super hot..... Which I liked :) for dinner I tried a kroket-which was the first thing I didn't like food wise since I got here! Then I tried Nienke for her frikandel-which was the second thing I didn't like. So I bought some food in the train station.. That night on the two hour train ride I lost my retainers... and I had to get a new pair when I got home :/ though I had a great day that day, I dont really think I realised how much of a great day I really had until coming home and remembering it so clearing and for sure wanting to go back!!
July Thursday 4th 2013
We stayed home.... And honestly I can't remember what I did...probably watched movies :P or read haha
July Friday 5th  2013
Me and Nienke took the train into s'hertogenbosch (most people just call is den bos) one of the first things we did when we got there was to go on a canal tour. It was all in Dutch but having my own personal translator comes in handy :) it was really cool learning about the history and stuff seeing everything that was so old. At this one part where we were in like a tunnel or something it branched off into another part that apparently when for like 800m or something and it was called either.. A) hell's tunnel b) tunnel of hell or c) the devils tunnel... I don't remember but it was terrifying looking. After that we had lunch and walked around the city I didn't think the city was super outstanding, it was pretty don't get me wrong but it's not one of the best the country has to offer... However it does have an absolutely beautiful cathedral, st. Jan's. it was built in the gothic style and was on my list of things to see when coming here. It was massive and for I think apart from the Dom in köln, Germany the biggest church I've ever been in. I loved it. It was one of those moments of walking in and not knowing what to look at. I'm pretty sure I just took pictures of everything my eyes laid on :) the outside was amazing but the inside kept up to par that's for sure.... It just made me think how long it must have taken to build this one church. My country of residence is under 200 years old and this one single church had a building process of 300... It was a weird feeling being in a building that you know is older than your own country! I think pretty soon after that we took the train home. It was such a beautiful building. Theres one thing that Europe definitely taught me, and that was how to appreciate beautiful architecture, my favourite for sure being as this one was, gothic. 

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