Sunday, January 10, 2016

Winter time

Hi everyone!
It has been more than a month since I've written something on my blog, sorry for that! It's January already (can you believe it?!) which also marks the first 5 months of my exchange year. I'm exactly halfway through now with only 5 months to go. I know I've said it before, but time flies!

Winter has only started a few days ago here. It was still quite warm during christmas but now it's finally starting to get cold. There hasn't been any snow yet though. It's really different in the Netherlands right now: it's been so cold there that streets have frozen over and turned into ice skating rinks! So basically, people ice skate through their street. I don't think it's ever been like that before.

The Christmas lights in Disney World

Christmas is so much more important here in the USA than what I'm used too. A lot of houses are decorated with cute lights, Christmas music & movies are everywhere, people go caroling and bake Christmas cookies. Of course I did all of those things. I also went Christmas shopping with my host family in Charlotte, and went to a few Christmas parties!

Another cool thing is that I'm going to be in the school play! I auditioned for 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' and got a part. I really like the play and it's also fun that everything is in old English, which is totally new for me. We just started rehearsing and the performance will be in March. I can't wait!

Miss my family!
Even though the holidays are a lot of fun, December was also a hard month for me. It was my first time celebrating Christmas without my family, while Christmas always really focuses on family. I also realized how far away I'm actually am (4300 miles) and that it's gonna be a long time until I'll see my family again. I'm so happy that my parents and sister will visit me during Spring Break though, because that means I'll see them again in 72 days! I've also started missing things from home that used to be 'normal' to me, like my bike or specific food. I think that a lot of exchange students recognize this, especially during the winter months!

Ice cream in December? Sure!
Now something about my Christmas break, which were two fun weeks. I got to meet a lot of family members who live all around the country. We also drove down to Atlanta, Georgia to celebrate Christmas with family living there. I did fun things with friends a lot, like going to downtown Greenville, watching movies, going to an ice hockey game and tie dying t-shirts. 

In our Christmas pjs!
On Christmas eve, we went to church and got our first present afterwards: pajamas for me and my host sisters. We watched the movie 'The Polar Express' and went to see Christmas lights in a big park, which you could drive through by car. They were really pretty!

Almost all my American cousins
On Christmas itself we all opened our presents. And let me just tell you: I've never had so many presents at once! I love everything I got and I'm my host family so thankful for that. Of course I also got them some presents and our dog Duffy got a present as well :) For breakfast we ate pancakes and of course we went to family in the evening, where we ate together, gave presents and played games!

The castle!
During the second week of Christmas break, we went to Disney World again! My host family has annual passes so we were able to spend New Year's in Magic Kingdom. It was so crowded that we couldn't even get close to Cinderella's Castle, but we did see the big firework show from a little farther away. It was so beautiful and special to start 2016 in such a magical place :)

We also visited the other Disney parks: Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. One of my wishes to meet a character came true because we met Tarzan! Another cool thing are the Christmas Lights they have in Hollywood Studios. A whole street is decorated with lots of lights! I just couldn't stop watching because it was amazing. 

Guess what? I got a henna tattoo!
And now school has started again. Next week we have midterms: exams about all the things we've learned so far in our classes. I'm not really looking forward to those because it's a lot of work. Hopefully I'll get some good grades and won't procrastinate too much ;).

How has your Christmas Break been?