As might be expected for a first week abroad, so much has happened that there's no way I'll be able to summarize all of it. I'll try, however, to capture at least some of it in words. So here's my week, compressed, shrink-wrapped, and ready to read at your convenience.
Every year, all of the small villages in the Netherlands, or at least this region, have what are called kermis-pronounced kairamiss, which is a party-festival for the entire village (which are super, super tiny, as in a single street sometimes). One of the villages surrounding the town I'm in had there´s this weekend, and on Friday night everyone plays a card game called Klaverjassen. My host brother Thomas invited me, so I spent a good portion of the week learning how to play, with Truus and Piet, and also with Thomas' friends. Friday night we went to the kermis, and managed to not get last place.
Cards aside, I did a lot of running around, seeing new things and such- Thomas and Peter both gave me tours of different parts of the town, on Tuesday Truus and I went to the beach where Siemon works, and on Thursday Thomas and I went to Amsterdam to get papers filed, then walked around the touristy part which was fun. Friday was the kermis, and then yesterday night Siemon's friends came over, so I met them. Everyone's been really welcoming and helpful, despite the fact that I can´t actually remember their names. Or pronounce them.
I've been continuing to attack my Dutch, with both my giant book thing from AFS (which is annoyingly formulated but still helpful), and of course just by listening. Peter has also been helping me learn the names of household objects- I've got most of the kitchen stuff and utensils down now, except the articles are impossible to remember- unlike french there is no rule..
That's about all, I've also been doing a good deal of math so that if they ask me to do anything at school I won't have forgotten it all, plus I can't get Calculus here (probably). I've also been playing violin, as per usual. I'm trying out two different violin teachers in a few weeks, one in town, and another that's a ways by train, so hopefully one of them will work out.
Friday I have a meeting at the school, I'm in a subject track that isn't geared for math people, so hopefully I can worm my way into the mathy-sciency one. They have all had 3 years of what they call chemistry here already, so the school says I can't, but I have a feeling I might have actually already done a lot of it- my host brother gave me some example problems and it was no issue. Of course there's the language barrier, but that will go away as the year progresses. We'll see, it's all up in the air right now.
Anyways, I´ll keep you all posted on what´s happening.
I´m doing well, hope you all are too.