Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Today, I visited the town Leiden to see Leiden University with Ashton's mentor teacher. She attended Leiden University and received her bachelors and masters there. Now she's back as a student taking classes in Italian, and she encouraged me to visit Leiden University to see if I like it enough to go to grad school there. 

We took the train to Leiden from Rotterdam Blaak. She purchased my ticket so that I could get a discount. Once we got to Leiden, we walked to the University and she pointed out different places that I could go to while she was in class for four hours. We went to the old academia building, and she told me stories from her past. The tradition in Leiden University is fascinating. 

When she went to class, I walked around the town. It is such a college town, and I really liked the atmosphere. I went to the Museum of Antiquities, where there were tons of information about Egyptian history. I saw a lot of mummies. It was awesome. 

Then, I grabbed lunch at McDonalds, of course. I really like exploring by myself. After lunch, I found a street full of stores, so I wasted time there. I bought Anthony a really cool bday present, and I hope he'll like it. I really need to stop spending money. Ugh. 

The rain started. :( I went to a cafe and ordered a hot chocolate and apple pie both with whipped cream. Yum. My two favorite things. The wind is crazy in Leiden - much worse than Rotterdam. 

We took the train back at 3, and she saw one of her former students who also works after school at Calvijn. I got a chance to talk to him, and he seems really cool. He's going to Leiden for German Language and Culture. He also told me that the students he worked with at Calvijn said that I talked too fast, and it was hard for them to understand me. I didn't think I talked fast, but it's a good thing to know. I'll make sure to talk slowly from now on when I thought I was doing that. I also make sure to ask if they understand and they say that they do. I don't know. 

Also, the principal from my former middle school emailed me asking when I was getting back to the US so he can interview me. I guess I have to keep my hopes up. We'll see. 

The wind is ferocious today! I saw a couple of people falling off their bikes because of the strong wind - me being one of them. It was way too intense. 

Then I took a nap that lasted forever. Ugh. I have to stop taking naps.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Funniest thing ever: I got pulled over by a cop on my bike. He was on a scooter, and to get my attention, he was yelling at me. 

It was my fault, I guess, but the fact that it happened still makes me smile. I got on the sidewalk for like 2 seconds (I've seen people do it all the time) and apparently crossed the road when the light was red when I thought it was a blinking green. Whoops. 

I just started shaking my head. Luckily enough, the cop didn't give me any ticket. It was very interesting because you hardly see any cops in Rotterdam, and I could've argued with him (cause you can and it'll be fine) but I think the fact that I didn't speak Dutch made him leave me ticketless. 

I didn't have to teach today because I went on a field trip with the History class. We went to a museum that provided information on how WWII affected The Netherlands. It was very interesting. Of course, we took the public transportation with 22 students and 3 teachers. It still blows my mind how public transportation is taken when there are field trips - it's just too chaotic. 

I also met with my two girls that I tutor every week. They're adorable, and I'm going to miss them so much. Their English writing exam is next Friday, so we'll be meeting almost every day next week to just practice their writing skills. I really hope I've done a good job tutoring them. I'll be grabbing dinner with them on my last day in Rotterdam. :(

Also, I finally tracked down where my package was with the help of my mother and two awesome ladies from the museum. I was getting frustrated because the TNT post here couldn't help me track my package and tell me where it was. Every number I called led to another number I needed to call, and it made me realize just how much service sucks here in Rotterdam. I guess they don't get paid being helpful...

My family is the greatest! In the package were food, medicine, prayer books, and little things that I needed. They also included a card where everybody wrote in it and told me nice things. Ha. 

I can't believe that Ashton is leaving next week. I'll be lonely for a week, then I'm going to Romania, then I'm going back to the US! Whoa. How unfortunate. Ha. 

I'm going to Leiden University tomorrow and asking lots of questions about possibly going to grad school there and extending the deadline for the application since it is due this upcoming Thursday...



So today, I handed out evaluations for my students to complete about me. Here are some of the answers that I received. 

Question: What is one thing that your teacher does well?
Answers: "She dresses attractive." "She's taking good care of herself." "Try to learn Dutch." 

Question: What is one thing that you can suggest to help this teacher improve?
Answers: "Don't wear  your glasses anymore. This looks great (without)." "Saying my name." "Get more experience in handling fights." "Spend more time with me." (one of the boys) "There are things but not important things. You will do great in the US." (I guess I'll never know what those things are.) 

So yea, what an entertaining day! :)

I also took a picture with 4h4 class. 

I taught the 4h4 class, which always goes very interesting since they never want to listen. I don't dislike them though, they do make me laugh. 

Since I wore my contacts today and dressed up, the boys in my classes went crazy with compliments and comments. I finally realized why I wore my glasses and not my contacts - to prevent all the drooling from the boys. Not being cocky or anything, it's just strange...

After teaching, I worked out at the gym. I talked to my mom about my package and apparently it has been sitting at the post office for two weeks now. I have to go pick it up. :) I also talked to Kristen, whom I haven't spoken to in quite a while. 

Then, I went to my mentor teacher's performance. She sings for a band, and she's really good! We watched the other performers - it was a free jazz show. And we cycled home together. It was a very nice evening - except that I went straight from the gym to the performance. I'm sure I smelled something not pretty. Ha. 


Monday, March 29, 2010


So the time changed today - an hour ahead. And so, once again we're 6 hours ahead from the US. 

I didn't realize the time changed until I got to church. I arrived on time (10:30 am) and was so confused at church because they already started taking the collection. It was bad enough that the mass was all in Dutch, so I sat at church sooo confused. 

The Filipino woman I met a while back saw me and introduced me to another Filipino. The lady asked me if I wanted to go to the Vatican City for Easter weekend for 220 euros. I would have gone because I would have seen the Pope, but I don't have any more money. :( Anyways, the Filipino lady told me that the time changed when I asked her what time the mass started. Whoops. 

I also felt really bad since i haven't been going to church because of all the traveling that I've done. I really have forgotten almost everything which scared the crap out of me. :(

That was my morning. 

Another thing that I think is really funny is that I have a phone, but I don't have any more minutes which means that people can call me and text me, but I can't respond. I have at least 8 voicemail, I just refuse to buy any more minutes because I won't use them. So people are probably thinking I'm ignoring them. Oh well. 

At two, Gene and Marcel came and picked us up at our apartment. Gene is one of Ashton's mentor teachers, and I really didn't know much about her, but she's awesome. :) They don't have any kids, and they look so happy together. The more I stay here, the more I don't want any kids. 

Anyways, we arrive in Delft, a college town. A famous technical university is located there so it is a college town. Most of the students are boys, so Gene told me that Delft is the place to be if you're looking for a Dutch man. Ha. Anyways, Delft was gorgeous, of course! Apparently, lots of tourists visit Delft. We were also introduced to the Royal Delftware, which is beautiful and very expensive. The weather started out a little icky, but turned beautiful with the sun out and everything. 

Gene and Marcel gave us a free walking tour around Delft, and it was very nice. I'm starting to really like the Dutch culture. They love getting coffee and apple pie. Yummy. We sat outside because the weather was great. After walking around, we went to this bar where they played live jazz music. It was such a nice atmosphere, and we had beer and bitterball. It was so much fun hanging out with them. 

Gene also exposed me to Leiden University in Leiden. I'm seriously thinking about getting my master's there if I get a scholarship. I'm visiting the university on Wednesday, something I'm so excited about! 

So needless to say, the weekend was a success, and I started missing The Netherlands more even though I'm still here...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nether-Dordrecht & Kinderdijk

Today was amazing! I realized just how much I'm going to miss The Netherlands. It's such a great country...

Anyways, I woke up at 5 am this morning to 6 voicemail messages from my parents freaking out about Duffy biting my little sister's face. I was livid. There should be no reason why Duffy is biting anyone. Ugh. I'm so disappointed in him.

Well, I went back to sleep and got ready for the trip to Dordrecht and Kinderdijk. We arrived at the fast ferry stop near the Erasmus bridge and got on to get to Dordrecht. It was only 4.40 euros for an hour boat ride, and it was a pretty satisfying ride. We arrive in Dordrecht and met up with the teachers, Frank and Roger. 

First, of course, we went to a cafe to have a cup of coffee and a slice of apple pie. Yummy! :) Way to start a day off! Then, we walked to the windmill in Dordrecht and went up the windmill! Apparently, you can have a party inside or even have a wedding inside! It was too cool, and I was too excited. I also bought several souvenirs that I think my cousin and my aunt would love! This windmill was used to make flour. :) 

After looking at the view from the top of the windmill, we went to a second-hand store to look at antiques. I really like just looking. There were a lot of cool things, and the owner was super nice. Then, we walked through Dordrecht, and received more information about the city from the two wonderful teachers. 

We stopped by at this restaurant where they specifically sell poffertjes which are small pancakes drowning in butter and powdered sugar. Whoa. I like fatty foods, but this was a little too much. 

All Ashton and I could think about was walking off the million calories that we just ate, and we ended up at the tower of the reformed Catholic church. The stairs were so narrow and it seemed to go on forever, but the trip upstairs was definitely worth it. The view of Dordrecht was absolutely breath-taking. 

Windmills was our next stop. Everyone has been telling us to go to Kinderdijk where there are 22 windmills. And as you all know, Netherlands is known for their windmills. Well, people actually live in the windmills which I thought was very interesting! The weather and the view was perfect. We took Roger's car to get to Kinderdijk. 

Oh, before we went to the windmills, we made a bathroom stop at Roger's place. Roger's house is huge for one person, and the kitchen was downstairs! We also went to Frank's house where he showed us his hobby, miniature train station with towns all around! It was impressive!

To end our day, we ate at a Chinese-Indonesian Restaurant where we ordered a lot of food! Of course, i stuff my face and was the last person eating, and I impressed Frank and Roger with my ability to have a bottomless pit and keep eating. Ha. I was a bit embarrassed, but I couldn't stop eating! Very American! Haha.

On our way home, we took the train because it was too late to catch the fast ferry. Frank ended up buying our tickets back home, and we felt bad because the two teachers already paid for everything the whole day. So Ashton and I have decided that we're putting the money in his mailbox at school. :) 

So yes, I had a very relaxing day. I spent the whole day outside enjoying the weather. It was more than I could ask for.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Nethermuchbetter :)

Knowing that I have so many people who care about me makes me really happy. 

Today was a very productive day. Although I wanted to sleep in, I promised a student that I would come and meet with her at 9 am. 

So off to school I went at 8 am, and organized my life while I waited for our one-on-one session. 

The student that I met is a very bright student, and she has dyslexia. It was a new case for me since I've never worked with a student who had a learning disability. I tried my best to help her, and she seemed so thankful. :) 

After our 50 minute session, I worked on my unit lesson plan and all the assignments that are due for my class....and I finished putting everything together. Finally. I'm also halfway done with my COST portfolio, which makes me really happy. I am nervous about carrying two heavy binders with me, but oh well. 

I also had lunch with the American woman that I met earlier. She had pizza and salad for me, and we briefly talked about how my experience was going. She's a very intense and outspoken woman, but I love listening to her. She's full of life and opinions. She definitely gave me good advice about getting a teaching position which led to me working on more job applications. I'm getting really discouraged about getting a job. :(

I went back to school to observe Ashton and take a picture of her with her class. It was amusing that at age 17-18, the students still separated themselves - boys and girls. 

I had an appointment with a personal trainer today, but since he realized that I'm the English-only girl, he couldn't work with me because he didn't speak any English. But then again, you don't really need to talk to get me to work out. Once again, another slap on my face that I should have learned Dutch. :( I did have a good workout though. :) 

Then, I just had roomie time. We planned on going out, but we've both become hermits. We like each other's company. :)

Oh yea, today in the teachers' workroom, there were apple pies and whipped cream! Two teachers had their birthdays today!

Another thing that I think is really cool here is that a parent can give a teacher/administrator alcohol and there are no problems. 

I miss home. I miss my family and friends, especially my puppies. However, I'm not ready to go home yet...I can't believe I just have one more month left. :(

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Nether-hit me hard

Worst. Day. Ever. 

I finally hit rock bottom. I thought I could keep on going with a smile on my face, and how my patience seemed unlimited. I haven't kept a negative thought in my head for more than 3 seconds, but now it seems that I cannot get the negative thoughts out of my head. 

I love teaching. It has nothing to do with teaching or my students. It has everything to do with teaching in a school where they teach in a different language. I thought that I could go on not learning Dutch, and ignoring the Dutch comments that my students had about me. 

Well, as it turns out, I finally broke down. My thick skin finally broke and left me bare. I was teaching my 1mh2 class when suddenly the students went crazy because a student said something about me in Dutch. I didn't catch it because I didn't understand and I told the class that I would handle it after class. 

When I handled it after class, the student had a hard time expressing me his thoughts and comments in English so I had my overseas coordinator translate for me. That's when I felt my own faults of not trying to learn Dutch and it hit me hard. I was at a disadvantage yet again. Apparently the students were talking about "my voice being horny while teaching" (which makes no sense at all) and also how I'm apparently having sex with a biology teacher (I don't know where they got that since I don't hang out with any of the teachers outside of the school). 

The biology teacher approached me about what the students were saying, and asked how they could have come up with it, and I answered him with an "I don't even know." 

How awful and awkward. 

I broke down, Cried my eyes out because I was so upset. 

I couldn't pull myself together.....I was so frustrated at myself, upset that I had no idea what was being said all around me. 

Oh God. what happened?

Thankfully, I had my small group meeting today to help me focus on the important things, and what God has in store for me. I can't give up now even though I really want to. I've given my all to this student teaching experience, and I feel that my payment was students cursing me out in Dutch. As much as I want to call it quits, I know I can't.

I also haven't been able to find a job back in the US, and it disappoints me so much since I've tried to do everything to make sure I stand out. It's frustrating. 

And it also hit me that I might lose one of the most important people in my life because of my dishonesty. 


Other things: 
- taught my 4h4: amazing lesson plan, not such a great lesson
- taught my steunclas: review 
- my mentor teachers are the greatest
- :(

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Hm. Two people spoke to me in Dutch, and I smiled at them hoping that was the end of it...but they kept going. It was embarrassing for me since I pretended to know what they were saying, and later tell them I only spoke English. How amusing and frustrating at the same time. 

Anyways, today was very chill. i cycled to school today, and the weather was amazing! All of my thick coats will have to be packed already. :) The flowers are coming out!

I finished my book contract today, and did some other paper work that is needed for my classes. 

I had a meeting with my overseas coordinator about him observing me, and he will be observing me next Thursday while I'm teaching the 4th years. Whoa. Hopefully, they behave for me at least this one time. :) 

The girls that I normally tutor on Wednesdays didn't show up, so I don't know what that's about. I have to email them and find out. 

I worked out today, finished my laundry, the usual. Nothing too exciting today, my days are winding down. I'm pretty bummed about it. :( 

Oh, one of the teachers showed me the fast perry to Dordrecht! It's an hour boat ride, but it should be fun. I get sea sick, but hopefully this boat ride will be fine. :) 

Tom will be a busy day. How exciting. I think I'm going to start reading "The Book Thief." :) 

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


"Your shoes are sexy." 
- a compliment from a student

Since I only got 5 hours of sleep last night, I was super exhausted today. 

I got up at the same time every morning and started off my day. I have been dressing up a lot just so that I can make sure I've worn everything that I brought with me. I'm really worried about packing. :( Anthony packed for me to make sure everything fit, and now I have more stuff to bring home. I shouldn't have gone shopping. 

Anyways, I taught 1mh2 class, and we had a good time reviewing past simple, vocabulary, reading aloud, etc. The students participated and actually attentive. When I told them that I would be teaching them again on Thursday, they were so excited! 

For my steunclass (remedial English class), we played Jeopardy, and for the first time, I felt that the computer room was useful since every student can see the questions and answers in front of them. We had a great discussion about grammar rules, and the students were really interested. They did really well with subject-verb agreement as well. Yay!

My 5h3 and 5h4 class had to do their book reports so my mentor teacher and I saw 4 groups of students where they verbally report about the book they read either in English or Dutch. The students had choose a genre they wanted and read at least 2 or 3 books in that genre. Then, they have to compare the books. The teacher asks questions about the plot, characters, setting, hidden message, etc. It was a very interesting process. My mentor teacher and I also graded the essays that the 5th years wrote during their testing week. 

As I was grading the essays, I was slightly falling asleep. I was so tired. :( 

I got home, called my mom, ate, and took a nap. I only intended to take a 45 minute nap and go to the gym. However, I woke up 4 hours later, and the gym was already closed. :(

So, once again I'm up late at night.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Quote of the day: "Please dutch me there!" hahahaha

Today was eventful, to say the least. 

1. no 5th years classes because they still had tests
2. applied for teaching positions and emailed principals
3. modeled for a drawing class (awkward, and I realized that I could never be a model)
4. had a lovely discussion with Ashton about weird things
5. looked at my schedule with Annemarie - time is going by so fast, it makes me really sad
6. realized that next week is my last week with my 4h4
7. fight in my classroom - shook me up big time - between two big boys 
(here's the story: W has always been disrespectful to me and when I was talking to the class, apparently he was saying bad things about me in Dutch. S told him to shut it and W said something about S's mom, and they started fighting) I was so bummed, I felt like I should have prevented it. I was so close to tears, but I kept it in because I still had to teach.
8. personal talk with my mentor teacher
9. have to teach my other mentor teacher's classes
10. talked to my mom about principals in Sumter County being fired
11. found out that dining out with Anthony got moved to the 29th and I won't make it
12. God's way of telling me to hang out with my family first - Thank you God. (I always lose sight of everything when Anthony's around, not a bad thing but not a good thing either)
13.  I finally worked out today! Zumba is awesome!
14. my family and friends are the greatest - they know how to make me smile

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Irish luck!

Dublin, Ireland has become my favorite! 

Actually, instead of having luck during my trip to Ireland, I had everything but. 
1. I got on the train and completely missed the memo that I had to transfer trains to get to the airport. (I was upset that I couldn't understand Dutch and know what the announcements in the train are.)
2. I had to take a taxi to the airport and it cost me 35 euros. I was stuck with a taxi driver who talked about smoking hash everyday and how he's quit -- this past Monday. I didn't really believe him after he accidentally said that he smoked on Thursday. Ugh. 
3. After I finally arrive at the airport, it was too late to check in so I had to wait in line for 15 minutes to finally get help. The lady was super nice to run with me to get me past the passport check before I missed my flight.
4. So I was one of those people who ran in the airport ---- it was at least a 10 minute run, who would've known Schiphol is huge?! I had to take a break in between!
5. When I finally arrived at my gate, there was a long line still. I got anxious because the line wasn't moving so I asked it was going to Dublin. Of course, it is! 
6. Our flight was delayed because of security reasons. Whoa. 
7. I did talk to a really nice Irish woman about all the fun things to do in Dublin.Apparently a huge rugby game was playing in Dublin, and the weekend is supposed to get crazy. 
8. As I went through security, this really cute guy tried to flirt with me, and I completely overlooked it and just smiled. Whoa. 
9. As I approached my window seat, I realize that this man already took my seat. :(
10. I finally arrive at Dublin - supposed to be raining so I only wore and brought my rain boots. (Didn't rain at all the whole weekend!)
11. The first thing I see is a Scottish man playing his bagpipes with a kilt on! 
12. I got on 16A bus to my hostel and it took more than an hour to get there. (the whole time I was sitting, a guy had his crotch on my face. Ugh) Delay, delay, delay!
13. I grabbed food at this store, checked in my hostel and got told to wait because my room wasn't cleaned yet. 
14. I walked around the other side of the city and bought four books! Push being one of them! I also mailed postcards to my family and H130 guys. 
15. Met two Asian girls who invited me to go out with them - didn't do it. I'm such a lame now. 
16. Boys in the room were obnoxiously loud. 
17. Girls came in at night and complained about how dirty the room was. 
18. Read Redeeming Love for the night. :) 
19. Ireland lost the rugby game against Scotland

**bought a converter....completely forgot that Ireland's outlets are like UK's---oh yea, got my passport stamped! and the guy complimented me saying I was too pretty to be teaching and that he wouldn't be able to focus. whoa. ***

- woke up early to walk around and explore
- found a souvenir shop and bought some stuff
- also went in a couple of thrift stores (for some reason, I always go in those kinds of stores to see if I could find something)
- took pictures of lots of lots of buildings
- Free Walking Tour at 11am - amazing! (I actually stayed the whole 3 hours!)  I learned so much and completely fell in love with Dublin.
- bought three dresses! :)
- had a sausage roll and hot chocolate for lunch
- loved walking down Temple Bar: absolutely amazing atmosphere
- went window shopping :)
- received prayers from this Christian group: very touching prayer
- went to a Cathedral to pray and got interrupted by a homeless person for money (it confused me because I didn't know if I should give him money or not since I was in a godly place...i ended up being more annoyed than helpful. oh no.)
- went to Guinness Storehouse and poured my own pint! also got a hotdog 
- bought souvenirs at the storehouse
- went to a market and had a conversation with a man who claimed that he knows all nationalities (he didn't think I was Filipino because I was tall and skinny. according to him, Filipinos are short and fat. If he only knew...)
- went back to the hostel and made more new friends (1 from Russia, 1 from France, 1 from Canada, 2 from Brazil, and 2 from Germany) 
- got asked to go out that night and turned it down: instead, I read :) 
- very busy day

- woke up early to go to the airport  through air coach
- Irish man sat next to me and we talked the whole way - he was on his way to watch the rugby game between manchester and liverpool, if I'm not mistaken
- arrived an hour and a half early to prevent missing the flight
- breakfast at mcdonalds :)
- finished Redeeming Love
- bought a lot of liquors and more souvenirs - for who? I don't know. 
- made it to the gate, one of the first ones to get on
- after 20 minutes, got told that there was something wrong with the plane and we had to get off and switch
- so once again, the flight was delayed by an hour
- when I finally arrive at amsterdam, i try to buy a train ticket and i couldn't use my debit card
- so instead of worrying about it, i went to eat at burger king 
- got home, talked to Ashton, unpacked, and started reading Push by Sapphire
- heated up food, finished my apple pie, and finished Push!
- so glad to be home! 

> Irish people do love to drink and talk about drinking: definitely live up to their reputation
> I loved the Irish accent, and all the red-heads! 
> Lots of young students I saw had school uniforms: it reminded me of attending a Catholic school in the Philippines
> the lanes for driving are the opposites 
> People were really giving their seats on the bus to the elders.
> Dublin had a euro menu like the dollar menu at Mcdonalds. 
> I really liked traveling by myself --- it was definitely a great first experience. :)

Today, I'm gonna try to mend a broken relationship with an ex-best friend of mine. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


What an exhausting day. 

- woke up early to start my lesson plans for the day
- teaching my 4h4 class was a blast today (taught them a little about The Troubles" in Ireland)
- my mentor teacher brought her daughter to class, and let me take over
- taught my other mentor teacher's class because she was ill from 11:05 - 12:45 
- the lesson was frustrating but nice! (only because they acted out b/c they had no idea what I was saying)
- my 2-4 pm class was also great - musical chairs! 
- the students loved the musical chairs - other students came in to try and be in the class (that's just how much fun we were having!)
- found my way to Oud-Beijerlaand
- Zuidplein was very interesting: got whistled at by one guy and hit on by another---whoa----nice ego boost
- feet hurt because of heels
- dinner at mentor teacher's place - she got me a bday present!
- my other mentor teacher gave me a Dutch recipe book - yay! I'm gonna start cooking!
- small group discussion: about worship - very nice :) - absolutely love my group
- finished another book - Yay!
- super exhausted
- still have to pack for Ireland

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


First of, I'm so blessed to have my family and my friends. I want to thank God for giving me another year to live my life through Him. 

This birthday was probably the chillest and most relaxing birthday I've had. There were no parties to arrange and set up, no presents, and no expectations. Birthdays are supposed to be like this, not like what I've had in the past where I worried myself sick about throwing a party and expecting all kinds of presents. 

Man, how I love being in Europe and gaining a totally different perspective of how life should really be. Not saying that being in the US is bad, it's just nice to experience another lifestyle and culture. 

Anyways, I went to school today to tutor the two girls that I've been tutoring. I came in early with a smile on my face although I was exhausted and worn out. Some of the teachers remembered it was my bday (through facebook) and greeted me which was nice enough. Some of the other teachers even sang me their Dutch birthday song, and a couple more teachers approached me to wish me a happy birthday. It was very sincere. 

I had fun with the two girls. My mentor teacher provided me with these books that are so much fun to work with. The two girls and I worked on word order, vocabulary, grammar, prepositions - all dealing with shopping! - their ultimate favorite thing to do! I even got hugs from them (totally out of Dutch culture) because it was my birthday. They also want to meet with me more during the week! :)

All of the people who cared the most called or emailed just to wish me a Happy Birthday. I do have to give a shout out to Clayton for being the first one from the states to call me on my birthday (Netherlands time). 

Since I started on the journey to get a closer relationship with God, I feel much happier and content. Everything is falling in place with God guiding me. I do sometimes wonder if I'm doing things right. I don't know, it's weird to explain. 

I also found out that I have to teach more classes tomorrow because one of my mentor teacher is sick, and I'm taking over her classes. Late notice, but I'm excited. 

Great news! Anthony got accepted as an OSI agent in the Air Force. I'm really proud of him. God is constantly blessing us. 

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Today was a great day. :)

- woke up pretty early
- read my book - chapter today was all about love and relationships
- dress up nice 
- come up with a quick lesson plan for two classes
- tried Spin the Bottle strategy with my students (they loved it! and i was amazed! thank goodness they've never heard of the game.)
- was supposed to only come up with an activity but ended up teaching the whole lesson
- had a great conversation about God and his blessings
- one of my mentor teachers had to go to the hospital this past weekend (fainted and stopped breathing, whoa)
- was finished at 2 instead of 5
- didn't have to tutor the two girls because of schedule changes
- finished unit lesson plan
- booked Romania trip (teaching there for a week!)
- changed my flight back to the US from May 5 to Apr 29
- received my refund from the flight to Athens, Greece (which was unfortunately cancelled)
- thinking about canceling my Germany trip (really don't want to be there for 5 days, too long of a trip and I know I'd be exhausted)
- started a new book, The Atonement Child
- called the principal again and he didn't pick up :(
- emailed another principal and no job opening at that job although she's keeping my resume and letting me know of a job opening if there is one
- discovered how amazing the books are that her mentor teacher let her borrow
- has the best roommate ever! (provided wine, ice cream, apple pie for my bday! even though we didn't really make it to midnight - my actual bday. ha)

***from last night, Anthony and I chatted on google. Great chat. We caught up on stuff. He finds out about his OSI position on my bday. I'm his date for his dining out!***

(I feel nauseous about going home early and I have no idea why. I'm also very excited about going to Romania!) 

Monday, March 15, 2010


So after traveling for several days, I'm exhausted. I finally recovered from the tummy ache that I had in Rome. This week is the exam week for the 5th years; therefore, we don't have classes. 

Anyways, I woke up early today to clean up my room, organize my life, and shower. :) 

It turns out that I didn't have to come in early because my 5th years don't have classes due to exams the whole week. Anyways, I worked on my portfolio and I finally put the finishing touches on my unit lesson plan. I had to teach the 20 minute class today, meaning my 4th years, and we just had a discussion about my trip to Italy and some embarrassing things that happened to me. Then, we shared stories about our most embarrassing stories. They actually paid attention to each other which was shocking. 

Then, I also stayed for the 4th years to take their WASP exam. 8 students showed up during the early time. Originally, my mentor teacher was going to leave early to pick up her son (it's his bday today) and let me handle the rest of the group who wants to take the test later during the day. However, since only 8 out of 28 students showed up, she stayed. The students said that they didn't get to study because they couldn't log in on the website. It aggravated me a little since I feel like they should have said something about it earlier - but I understand, I did the same thing when I was in high school. However, I do think that US schools are much stricter than my school. I do think that even with that excuse, the teacher will still say, "your loss, you should have told me sooner." 

Anyways, we just went on to the new WASP and assigned them some assignments to complete. Three guys also skipped today to avoid the test that they didn't have to take today.

I rode the tram today because I'm exhausted from the traveling. I didn't get to go to the gym today because it was raining and I didn't want to get sick again....or maybe I'm just being so lazy. 

I've lost the motivation today. Although, I did do a lot of paperwork, I'm still so unmotivated to do anything which is really bad. In four days, I will be going to Dublin, Ireland. I don't know whether to look forward to it or dread it. I really just want to lay in bed and do nothing. Whew.

Anyways, I almost completed everything on my to-do list. I gotta go work out in my room. I have to do it. 

I still can't find cheap flights to Romania....I really want to go. I might cancel one of my other trips to be able to afford Romania. I don't know, we'll see. 

I'm super duper tired....

Italian Adventures!

March 9, 2010
- cycled to school with Stevon
- Stevon met one of my mentor teachers and some of my students :)
- went home to pack and get ready for Italy and Greece! (or so we thought)
- got lunch at the train station, waited at the platform, confused our platforms, and missed our train by 2 seconds ---- whoa
- finally arrived at eindhoven, had to take a bus to the airport, arrived at the airport, very tiny airport, security took a while (had to buy a ziplock bag for my liquids), ordered wine while waiting to board
- free seats on RyanAir = chaos
- worst landing ever in Italy!
- rainy and dark already, got on a bus to get to town, got on the metro, and found our hostel (Art in Accomodation)
- Paolo met us at the door, very tiny hostel but very nice and clean, we were the only ones there, they gave us maps and phone number
- went to dinner (Italian food is awesome! cheap wine, great pasta and pizza!)
- went on a night walk to the colosseum and the arc (massive but also very pretty!) --- also grabbed dessert (not so good)
- raining the whole time, my feet got soaking wet, not a happy camper --- our bright yellow umbrellas were the best investment yet!

March 10, 2010
- woke up early to explore, grabbed breakfast (included in the hostel price), breakfast was way too sweet (pastries!)
- the weather was rainy then sunny then rainy then sunny the whole day
- feet were wet once again, very uncomfortable
- went to the colosseum and the forum, gladiators were tourists trap, saw me with my camera and knew that I wanted to take pictures with them === charged me 10 euros ==== ugh, never again
- walked everywhere! found almost everything on the map! very productive! :)
- went inside of Pantheon for free: massive and oh-so gorgeous!
- had lunch beside H&M, waitor didn't give us back any change, ordered a liter of wine
- went to get my haircut (18 euros), Asian cut my hair! cut off split ends and side bangs
- took a nap after a long day
- woke up to use the internet, found out that flight to Greece was cancelled due to a strike - couldn't find another flight so had to cancel the whole trip, very very disappointed
- very hard to find a phone card, a woman shooed us off when we spoke English to her
- internet cafe is full of Filipinos, kept cursing in Tagalog, bothered me a lot but was very interesting that I could understand it all
- Stevon got pushed into another tourist trap with these useless bracelets
- more people in hostel, nobody to ask in hostel
- dinner was great! so much food! :)
- sent postcards to my family and H130 guys

March 11, 2010
- woke up early to grab breakfast at the same place, breakfast was better this time!
- went to the metro station where nobody helped us out even when we were standing in front of them waiting for them to stop talking
- went to train station and lady was screaming, she was just very loud
- another internet cafe, searched for other trips, found Pescara, Italy!
- bought train tickets to Pescara (a whoping 4 hour train ride through the mountains!)
- walked around in Tiburtina (nothing too pretty, nowhere nice to eat), gross restroom in train station,
- ate at a cafe, pizza and wine
- finally got to Pescara, nobody spoke English
- got on a bus, very frustrated because we didn't know where to stop
- it was getting dark and we were still walking around, finally found the bed and breakfast and nobody is there; Stevon and I got very agitated and anxious
- had to search for a phone to call the guy (phone card was another great investment) and finally his sister and mom let us in the bed and breakfast
- Brezza Marina (B&B) absolutely gorgeous!
- dinner was very cheap and the best yet! broccoli was amazing!
- took money out of the bank
- met 2 Italians who were also staying at the bed and breakfast

March 12, 2010
- breakfast, pastries! very awkward since we couldn't talk to anyone in English
- the housekeeper was super nice, though
- walked everywhere! took pictures of everything Montesilvano had to offer
- hiked up a hill where there was a big cross
- gorgeous view! so worth the hard hike
- went to the beach: absolutely gorgeous: learned how to skip stones: picked up shells
- even the weather was cooperating :)
- had lunch at this restaurant where they didn't speak English and the language barrier was super hard
- feet were hurting after so much walking
- walked on the beach again and found this restaurant that had the best seafood ever
- the waitress spoke English! and picked our wine
- we misunderstood her and thought she said the wine was 50 euros after drinking it but it was only 15 euros so we ordered another one
- sat on the rocks on the beach feeling good --- talked about everything
- walked to a supermarket to buy another bottle of wine (that Stevon ended up drinking by himself because I was asleep)
- Stevon went to a bar by himself....hahaha

March 13, 2010
- woke up early, grabbed breakfast, the owner didn't show up so we didn't know how to pay
- we gave the money to the housekeeper and called the owner, he was disappointed that we didn't meet each other (supposedly, he sounded hot on the phone. ha.)
- grabbed the earliest train back to Rome
- train worker walked up to us and started speaking to us in Italian: we didn't speak Italian and he didn't speak English: it was very frustrating: he kept repeating and it was very frustrating so he just gave up on us
- the guy came back with a sheet of paper in English and he took care of us the rest of the train ride
- he was cute :)
- apparently, we had to get off the train and transfer to a bus, we don't know why but we got back to Rome
- had lunch near the Vatican City, went back to the internet cafe
- the guy at the internet cafe spoke to me in Tagalog (really he was flirting, whoa)
- booked a room with Alessandro Downtown: huge hostel, not bad!
- bought an awesome jacket :)
- went back to Vatican City, stood in line forever, then this man goes "oh, this is just a private tour." you clearly saw us standing in line, why couldn't you tell us earlier?!
- saw another entrance to the Vatican City, and was just amazed
- went to the post office to mail postcards to my family and my aunt and uncle
- went on a night walk again, souvenir shopping - spent so much money on religious things! :)
- dinner was great except I ended up throwing up all night because of the food I ate
- last night in Rome = throwing up in the bathroom and all over myself and my new jacket = super gross
- seemed like the longest walk of my life back to the hostel
- the metro stops are so out of the way, might as well walk

March 14, 2010
- woke up early to grab breakfast
- I still couldn't eat because my stomach felt like crap
- went to the Vatican City again to go to mass, but didn't happen that way
- went inside St. Peter's Basilica, absolutely gorgeous
- I confessed my sins inside: after many years of not doing it --- a bit emotional
- rushed to catch the metro and bus to the airport (literally ran down the streets of Rome)
- the bus took forever, we were scared that we would miss our flight
- but got there just before check in was closing....whoa
- the flight was uncomfortable, pretty view though, there was a leak above my seat, the flight attendants were really loud talking about boy problems (quite annoying)
- caught the bus to the train station back to Rotterdam
- talked about life, stomach still felt bad
- dropped off everything in the apartment: great to be back home!
- cycled to go shopping in Rotterdam b/c Stevon needed to spend his Euros
- went back to apartment, watched the new Gaga video (ridiculous!)
- watched more music videos (music makes me happy)
- ordered food, still couldn't eat
- watched Ally McBeal with Stevon: great way to end the night :)
- super exhausted

- lots of couples making out, no shame in their game
- Italian language is amazing
- Italian boys are pretty
- lots of Filipinos! everywhere!
- Pescara, Italy = no English but gorgeous
- food is great
- can't eat pizza and pasta anymore
- wine is yummy!
- :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010



- got up to go to school and teach!
- lesson went well! students had a lot of put in
- Steven slept in instead of helping me :)
- finished most of the paperwork that I need to
- planning a trip to Romania to teach Kindergarten students for a week: English, of course
- taught 4h4: mini debates
- mentor teacher moved up the class time an hour and a half in advance
- didn't get to meet with two students b/c of the class time change
- tried to pick up medicine but no record of me at all: weird
- did a boat tour with Steven: amazing view!
- got a bottle of wine, hotdog, and apple pie on the boat
- explored more of Rotterdam by shopping - found a lot of nice things
- all of the stores close at 6: whoa
- restaurants don't open until 6: another whoa
- ate at 't Fust - calamari, fries, veggies, and a bottle of wine
- wanted to go to Bagel Bakery: closed. Ugh
- walked back to apartment, and stopped at a "night" store
- took tons of pictures of the Erasmus bridge
- tried to put in my hoop ring for my nose: epic fail
- took pictures pretending the hoop ring was in my nose: awesome
- Anthony emailed: whoa
- ugly weather: pretty clouds
- subtle hook up: yes!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010


Having Steven here is so much fun!

- went to fish market at 8am and bought everything that caught our attention
- weather was super cold
- got Steven to cycle with me :)
- explored the cube houses: it's like being in a different place, it had little stores and it's just a really cute place to be - one is for sale, and we want to buy it
- Dudok: tried the famous apple pie and it was delicious! also ran into one of the teachers
- cycled back home to organize our life and drop off everything we bought from the market
- got locked out of the apartment because my key cards aren't working again
- cycled to park and beside the water - the bike ride was relaxing
- Euromast: saw Rotterdam in a complete way
- had a glass of wine and pea soup! (very yummy!)
- went home, Steven took a nap while we got ready for dinner at my mentor teacher's place
- had dinner: Indonesian food, fruits for dessert, and her son playing with words: very amusing
- Museum Night!!!!!!!! started at 10 at night until 2 in the morning: went to the photomuseum, worldmuseum, Kunsthal (where we fell asleep on the big orange pillows), architect institute (my favorite!), art museum, 3D video/game, and strolled through Witte de With!
- supposed to go to Plan C (on the list and everything) but we were too tired :(

- let Steven sleep in while I worked on lesson plans :)
- cooked lunch: hamburger, mushrooms, and rice (so easy to cook mushrooms, I'm super excited!)
- went to Media Markt to buy battery charger then went to H&M to go shopping!
- hopped on a train to Amsterdam: had to change trains three times!
- exchanged dollars to euros - totally charged me 60 euros to exchange :(
- walked around Amsterdam, ate at an Italian restaurant then a bar/restaurant for dessert
- rode the trams, asked for directions to Anne Frank's house, and everyone had a different answer
- finally found Anne Frank's house three hours later and explored some more
- bought a hoop earring for my nose----so exciting!
- got home at 11: had a great time hanging with Ashton and Steven when I should've been sleeping

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I finally went to the doctor and the diagnosis is: throat infection and fever

I am now supposed to take antibiotics 3 times a day for a whole week....and my voice will be back! Yay!

The doctor's office was in a really cool building that is shaped like a paper clip! The doctor was super nice, and I only waited five minutes! I also didn't have to pay for anything...which I thought was a little weird. I think my mentor teacher picked up my medicine for me since I was going to Amsterdam for the rest of the day.

Amsterdam - first impression: really no one believed in taking the trash out so the trashcans are all full and trash is everywhere. :(

Ashton and I explored in the morning, bought souvenirs, saw really cool things - Amsterdam is such an awesome city. It's very touristy - and there were lots of Americans --- I thought I would be excited finally knowing what is being said, but instead I found it annoying....

We went on a free walking tour - it is known as one of the best walking tours. The weather was horrible, meaning it was cold and rainy. We went through the red light district which was not as bad as I thought it would. In the middle of the red light district is a huge church! After committing sins, you can go repent it at church. The famous windows with girls weren't very impressive. It was interesting seeing prostitution in that kind of way - and the girls weren't very pretty. They were hmm...ok to say the least. There were also tons of smart shops and coffee shops. All of the souvenir stores had marijuana things on them. It was like being in a different world. 

By the way, the ages of the prostitutes are from 18 to 73 years old! Crazy, huh? Oh yea, the tour guide was from Australia and was amusing! His accent was kinda hot. Ha. 

Then, we picked up Steven at the airport - we waited 30 minutes for him because we were early and we caught happy hour at the bar! Buy 1 drink, get 1 free! So of course, I got my wine, and Ashton got her beer. The atmosphere was great. After Steven arrived, we just sat and talked and watched people. 

On the way to Rotterdam, we accidentally got on the hispeed train and had to pay 6 euros extra. Ugh. It sucked. 

Also, I got asked out on a coffee date before I left for Amsterdam by this Dutch guy. It was flattering. :) 

Needless to say, we were hot messes for the day and night. We ate so much food....

Thursday, March 4, 2010


As many of you know, I've always had a relationship with God but never really wanted anything else. I was satisfied with the fact that I believe in God, and that's all that really mattered to me. 

However, I was fortunate enough to meet people here who made me face what I've been avoiding - accepting God fully. Today, I took my first huge step towards a better relationship with God and learning how to trust in Him. It'll be a lot of work and it'll take a lot of strength but it's a journey that I'm willing to make, no matter what. 

I just hope that I don't go back to my old ways after this journey. I met some wonderful women today - ones that listened and prayed for me. I've never had so many people pray for me at once, and I just felt refreshed. It's a nice feeling. 

"Taste and see the goodness of the Lord." My mom sings this verse all of the time, and I actually never listened to it until I recognized it in the Bible. 

Anyways, I've had a rough Thursday. Very busy and frustrating, but very grateful for it. I'm exhausted as a teacher and teaching has overcome my life. I have so many things to do, but I'm not complaining because I absolutely love what I'm doing. 

I was told an hour before that I was teaching a class and coming up with a lesson plan was an awesome task for me. I've had to be creative so many times, and I absolutely loved it. I have my own master key for the school, so I do feel like a teacher. 

The students are asking for me more and more in the teachers' workroom, and the teachers are finally talking about me asking if I wanted to stay. :) I've made my mark. 

I also had to teach my 2-4pm remedial English class and we had so much fun. It's a very interesting class because there's always new faces. We had a market today, and they had to ask me questions in English when buying candy from me. I even made fake dollars for them - something that they were so excited about. :) (Hey, look at that - incorporating Mathematics with English class! Go me!)

My overseas coordinator went to Poland during the break and brought back Polish chocolate for me and Ashton! Yay! He also said that I've been doing a great job teaching and such. I really like nice compliments. 

Hm. I'm going to the doctor tomorrow, and I'm hoping that the doctor will make me gain my voice back. My overseas coordinator did tell me to over exaggerate so that they'll give me medicine for my throat. Nothing like the US - doctors give you pills for everything!

Steven gets here tomorrow. How exciting except that it's raining tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today, I woke up NOT feeling like P. Diddy, unfortunately. 

I didn't have any classes today, but I do have tutoring sessions with students. I have a lot of paperwork to do, but I just haven't found the motivation to do it. I have to do it before I leave for Rome and Athens. 

I met my mentor teacher at the bank and tried to change dollars to euros and the bank told us that the only place that does that is the airport. Ridiculous. Needless to say, I wasn't very happy. I did find a place to change my money, but I would have to pay $75 just to change it. Ugh. 

Also, my mentor teacher set up a doctor's appointment for me for Friday morning. Right before Ashton and I leave for Amsterdam to explore and later pick up Stevon!

Then, I looked at my finances and BAM! I'm broke. No more money, like zero account. :( I'm a bit nervous because I have two months left and five trips to make. Eh. We'll see what happens. 

I rode my bicycle today which was awesome. I was cruising to make sure that I wouldn't dry out my throat or anything. I also did Zumba and that made my throat hurt really bad. 

I took an antibiotic with my lunch, and that's when I started feeling bad. :(

Nothing too exciting. Worried about money. The students I worked with today could tell that something was bugging me. I felt bad that I wasn't more energetic for them. 

I'm ready to get my voice back....