Friday, April 23, 2010


Today was an amazing day.

I started out by visiting a primary school meaning from age 4 - 12. The teacher that I worked with, Laura, was amazing. Although Annemarie has been emailing her to remind her that I wanted to observe, she just now answered. Like I always said, better late than never. I was super excited about being with students that I'm used to in the states - the age level that is.

When Annemarie finally introduced me to Laura, I was more than thrilled because Laura taught 10-11 year olds and it reminded me of Mrs. Bailey's class last semester. The whole class was so excited that an American teacher is with them. We started the morning with a group talk where I talked about where I was from and answered questions they had about me. The students were so eager to talk to me in English and they understood most of what I said - and this was their first year learning English. It was impressive! They barely made mistakes and it was the fact that when Laura teaches them English - she teaches them IN English. The questions they asked were really good too like "How do you feel not knowing Dutch and not understanding?" and "Have you lost a close friend" < - that hit me hard.

The most impressive thing though is the respect and interest that I received from the students. It was just super nice, and I've missed that. Even when they couldn't translate their questions in English, they looked at me while asking a question in Dutch while Laura translated. When we went outside, the students started showing me tricks with their skateboards, and I had a couple of girls follow me everywhere. It was nice to be wanted. :) I took pictures with the class because I absolutely loved them. I gave them my email address to keep in touch and I've already received an email from one!

One of the students also helped me try a wave board. Kids here make it look so easy, but it was sooo hard! It was fun, though.

There was also a smart board in every classroom and I was super excited. There are 550 students in the school, and they also have another building/school. Well, when the students were asking me questions, Laura can just bring up pictures/videos/etc on the smart board. It was amazing, and I've missed technology so much.

Then, I had lunch at Annemarie's. We ate our lunch outside in her garden. It was another beautiful day, and I loved the sun's warmth on my body. We had a nice chat about everything, and she said that she was glad I was here another week. She's really something else.

After that, I went back to my apartment because I was super tired. I originally wanted to go to Mag's son's bday party at this park, but I was just too tired. Well, instead of sleeping, I checked my email and I received an email from Calvijn Groene Hart (a bilingual school!) saying that they wanted to interview me! I was super excited and I called my parents and everyone I knew! It seemed that I was the only one excited though. Oh well.

Then, I went to the post office to send another box home. I have no idea how I ended up with so much stuff. My goodness. I went home, cooked food, and got ready for a Dutch Evangelical wedding with Mag.

I took the public transportation to Oud-Beijerland to attend the wedding. I thought about backing out on that one as well, but I couldn't miss a wedding. The wedding was absolutely gorgeous. Mag translated everything for me. There was this woman that was sitting beside me who wasn't very nice, as Mag would say it. She wouldn't scoot over for us - rude.

The wedding was completely different than Catholic wedding. There was a live band, tons of music, people raising their hands, etc. The groom even washed his bride's feet to show her that he wants to serve her as Jesus served his disciples. It surprised both me and Mag.

After the wedding ceremony at church - the reception! However, our reception is completely different than the Dutch reception. The Dutch reception is where all the guests get in line to congratulate the groom, bride, and their parents. They also hand their presents, and grab coffee/tea and a little snack. Then at 10, everyone who wasn't invited to the "party" is kicked out. Whoa, right?

Now, I'm home and I'm feeling weird. I've had a good day then I get home and I feel weird. I don't even know how to explain it. We'll see.

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