Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello everyone,

If I said that April seemed to go by quickly, May has gone even faster. Which is interesting, seeing as back home May always drags on forever with the promise of summer vacation just out of reach. It's a good thing too, that time's going quickly, since otherwise the wait for summer might drive me insane, as here school goes through the first week of July!

That said, I have mixed feelings about wanting it to be summer or not, because summer means going home, and going home is confusing. Part of me can't wait to get back home and see everyone, eat tasty food, and be home. But another part feels like the Netherlands and my host family and everything here is home, and everything here feels familiar and normal. So it's very strange, though of course I am incredibly looking forward to seeing everyone in seven weeks!

This past month, or the past few weeks, feel like they've gone by insanely fast, so quickly that I can't even remember everything that I've done! The week after the May vacation was pretty insane school wise, and the week after I had a math test. Last week was pretty easy though, because I only had three days of school. Thursday was Ascension Day, which has something to do with Jesus riding elevators, says my uncle. Because of this, school was out on Thursday and Friday, which is always nice.

So what did I do with this free time, you ask? I think that most foreign exchange students went and partied, but not me. No, I went to one of the AFS coordinators houses, and worked on knitting sock number two. For those of you who haven't heard about The Socks: when I was in the process of switching host families in the end of December, I stayed at one of the AFS regional coordinator's houses for a while, and she was knitting. One thing led to another, and somehow I ended up with a sock pattern, knitting needles, and incredibly brightly verigated yarn.

I am not a particularly talented knitter, but can knit and purl, though I'd never done anything more challenging than a hat. So the first sock, which I began in November, took approximately six months, maybe more, to make. Every time I made a mistake I'd go to the town where two of the AFS people live (both of which are talanted knitters), and have to ask for help. It got a little better once I learned how to pick up dropped stitches using a crochet hook, but then I still had the heel, which I ended up doing at one of the AFS liaison's houses, then would promptly forget the next step when I left, and then have to come back a few weeks later for help.

So, the first sock took a rather long time to make, and my goal of finishing both of them before I left was looking rather small (the needles I'm using don't belong to me, so I can't take them with me). That said, apparently the second sock can be much, much easier to do than the first one. I went over to the AFS coordinator's house on Thursday and began it, and by the next morning had knitted up to the heel. So on Friday I went to the other AFS liaison's house, and she helped me with the heel, which went much faster the second time. (And they both fed me tasty food for dinner both nights, which is awesome. AFS people are pretty awesome in general, actually.)

What with my rapid sock number two knitting abilities, I'm now about to start at the toe, and after decreasing for ten rows I'll be done! Which is very exciting, if you knit you can understand. And if you're in IHS, you can probably understand the symbolism of I don't even know what. Waiyaki and Jesus, maybe. Represented in the striping of the yarn, through different but repeating colors, and that a sock goes on a foot. Or something. (Sorry for the non-IHS people reading this, go read The River Between. Or don't, actually, you're better off without it.)

Well, I've now managed to write a reasonably long post, mostly about socks. My apologies to everyone who doesn't find knitting interesting, which is probably most of you. On a maybe more interesting note, which I should probably have said earlier, my parents are coming to visit me at the end of this week! It's going to be amazing to see them, it's very odd not having seen them for so long (9 months? 10?), and of course I've missed my family loads. So I'm counting down the hours right now.

That's about all!