As strange as it may seem, it's been almost eleven months since I left for the Netherlands, and this weekend I'm leaving. The last month seems to have flown bye faster than anything, from my parents coming in the end of may, then going to numerous end events with AFS (regionally, and then with all the exchange students in the Netherlands). Last weekend I had my end orientation, which was both amazing and absolutely depressing. It was strange seeing how different everyone has become, some more than others, but mostly that everyone could communicate with eachother. Some times we had to use a funny combination of Dutch and English, but compared to the first orientation where we just clicked with the rest of the people from out country, it was amazing.
Because I live in North Holland, I've unfortunately had to have school until today. But thankfully I finished my last final this morning, so I'm officially done with school. Tomorrow I have to turn in books, then am free. In the end I didn't try too hard in a lot of classes because it seems like I can study as much as I like in the US, but am only in the Netherlands once. So while I didn't completely leave my school work at the wayside, I've mostly been focusing on saying goodbye to people, and soaking in the last of the Netherlands.
In some ways it feels like it's actually been a month of goodbyes. In the beginning of June I had my last circus practice in the Netherlands, and my last orchestra rehearsal, then two weeks ago my last violin concert and private lesson. I'm so glad that I was still able to do the things that I love while here, though for circus I haven't been able to train as much as I would have, I have still been able to grow a lot. Especially since in circus they mostly focused on ground acro, which is my weak point.
The last two weeks I feel have been mostly saying goodbye to all of the other exchange students and the people I've met through AFS. We had a BBQ two weekends ago for everyone in Noord Holland (timed nicely with a massive rain storm), and then I also went to a friend's for her going away party. And of course last week with the end orientation, and I also went to Alkmaar for a day to say goodbye to the amazing AFS volunteers there. Mostly it was amazing, but it's very sad as well, especially since I might not see everyone ever again. But I certainly hope so, especially since some of the people I've met here are absolutely fantastic and have been such a support throughout this year.
Tomorrow is my last full day in the Netherlands, which is exceptionally strange. I'm having a small going away party for friends from school, then will presumably finish up packing and then will be ready to leave. So far my suitcase weighs around 18 kilos, so it should go fine!
I look forward to seeing everyone at home!
P.S. I'm pretty sure that I've got terrible run on sentences and spelling and grammar in the above post, my apologies!