Monday, December 5, 2011

Day 121

Maandag, 5 December 2011


Well, it didn't really start out that way.  Woke up to Patrick knocking on my door 15 minutes before I needed to leave for school - definitely overslept.  Actually managed to pack a lunch (which I don't even do some normal days), had breakfast, and got ready.  Marcela was a bit slower (she woke up at the same time), so it was quite a rush to get to the bus on time.

Which, of course, was late.  We would have made it at the normal time, but since it was late, we were just like, we rushed to wait at the bus stop?  Got to school, did the homework that was due, and then class.  Some pretty funny moments today, and we learned about Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet.  Basically, from what I've gathered (so this may be wrong; please correct me if so) that Sinterklaas is kinda like Santa.  You know, the whole red coat and white beard.  But, instead of riding reindeer, he comes on a steamboat from Spain, and then rides a horse.  Oh, and instead of elves, he has Zwarte Piet, which is basically like his slave.  Picture someone in 17th century clothes and black face, and that's Zwarte Piet.  And he's the one that carries around the sack and gives out the candy.

So, yeah.  Pretty fun to learn about.  And I was drinking one of my bottles of Mountain Dew (waking up suddenly makes me really cranky - Mountain Dew cancels that out), so it was a good day.  We lunched, and then when we were walking back to the school, it started HAILING!  Like, little hails, so it was almost like snow.  Marcela and I were so excited!  Marcela, because it was close to snow (yes, she's seen hail before, but only big ones - small hail was soo close to snow!) and me because it was close enough to snow to remind me of home.  :)

A period in the library, music theory, and then Latin.  We had a vocab test I was unaware of, so... let's just say it's good I don't need to pass classes.  I am going to attempt the exam next week, so that should be interesting.  The teacher was surprised that I would even try - I don't think that's a good thing.  More hail and some thunder/lightning on the walk to the bus stop, which was fun.  Talked with Marcela on the way home, and then, much to my excitement, a package for me was on the table!

And it wasn't just any package - it was from my secret santa!  And not just any secret santa - my online secret santa!  See, there's this website I go on that's been holding secret santa (and many more) exchanges over the past few years.  I've done the summer one twice, and this is my second time doing the winter one.  Basically, out of allll of the strangers from all around the world that sign up, you get matched with someone.  You send them a gift, either anonymous or not (my guy is in Spain), and then someone else sends you a gift.

So, I run upstairs with the gift, and had Marcela take pictures of me opening it (you post what you got on an online gallery so everyone can see what you got). SO AWESOME!! I got RosettaStone Level 1 for Dutch, which is a great language learning software, but pretty expensive. And not only that, but also a voucher for £40 of wine from this one website (note: around $62 or €45)!


Needless to say, I was stunned and super excited.  I was literally shaking - it was probably one of the best and most thoughtful presents EVER.  It's all I could talk about during dinner, and I rushed upstairs after to put the pictures online so everyone could see how awesome it was.

But the day wasn't over yet.  Then, we went to Robyne's old judo club because Siemen was dressed as Zwarte Piet to give out candy.  We went to watch them give it to the little kids, and then when the older judo group (Robyne's group) went to see Sinterklaas we moved a lot closer to get some good pictures.  Of course Siemen, knowing we were laughing at him, had told the guy before that we were exchange students, so they had us GO UP THERE and take pictures with Sinterklaas and the Judo club.  It was fun, but completely unexpected.

Siemen is in the blue

With Robyne's Judo club - the guy in blue in the right corner is my  third host dad!

Us with Siemen

Then, there was more talking and Christmas-y goodness, after which the judo club started to practice so we started for home.  As Siemen was leaving too (they had to go take off the costumes and get the face paint off), he attacked us and got Marcela, Truut and I with some of the face paint.  Got some candy (the bags they were handing out to the kids), and went home.  I installed my RosettaStone software, and tested it out a bit - it's so cool!  I really want to do more, but I need to get to bed.  Slaapwel!

Also, SS, if you're reading this, THANKS SO MUCH!  Starting tomorrow, when I seriously start using the software, you have to know that a lot of my upcoming memories will be thanks to you, and your helping me learn the language.  I'll always be grateful to you~

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