Adventures in Europe

Monday, September 25, 2006

The past few days have been good. On Friday, I didn't have classes, and I was going to go to a town called Pieterburen with my American friend, but she woke up in the morning with a fever and was sick, do we ended up going on Saturday. Friday I just relaxed and then went to the market with a friend. It's so great because there is a food market and then a clothes/random market. The food market is also amazing because there is just TONS of frsh fruits, vegetables, all kinds od meats, cheeses, chocolate, fish, and anything else you can imagine. I bought some fresh food and then Allison and I made dinner together that night. Later that night, at my student house, it was "international cooking night", and most people made food from their home countries. It was awesome, and tons of people made food, and everyone was just eating and talking and I tried pretty much everything. Most things were really good! Saturday I went to Pieterburen with Allison and it was nice. It's just a town right by the North Sea. They have a seal sanctuary there, so we saw the seals and just wandered around. We also wanted to do the "wadlopen" which is "mud-walking". Apparantly it's famous in Holland, but we didn't plan well enough, so we're going to go back in two weeks and do the mud-walking on the North Sea with a guide and everything. It should be fun! But everything is still good here, and I'm enjoying myself. I'm trying to plan some traveling trips with people, and my classes are okay. School is school, no matter where you are! And the language is still hard and I don't understand anything! But everyone is really nice and helps a lot. The excitement of everything is starting to wear off and I'm a little homesick! But I still love it and I'm happy! Enjoy the pictures! Doei! This is me in a pretty garden we went to in Pieterburen.
This is another really old church. It was in the garden area. Lovely shot, isn't it? Haha, I liked it!This is outside the entrance of the seal sanctuary.
The seals were looking at us!
I think I'm "riding" the wooden seal or something here...
Me and Allison posing with the stuffed animals and the fake water. But it kind of looks like we're in the ocean, right? The seals were so cute! They kept coming right up to the window and just watching us! We loved it!
Another random pose. I think I thought I was funny.
This is one of many quaint little houses in Pieterburen.This is at the international dinner. Food from all over the world!
These are most of the people from my floor who I hang out with a lot. We share a kitchen, so we congregate and chat there. I'm not sure how to spell their names, but they are: Dima (Jordan), Pot Zourig (Mongolia), Tarig (Jordan), Levan (Georgia the country), Emma (Scotland), Madelyn (Sweden), and I don't know the other girl! They are great people and it's awesome to meet people from so many different places!

Friday, September 22, 2006

I'm famous! Well, kind of.....

So the past few days, I have had several people I don't know (and some I do) come up to me and tell me that they liked my blog! I was so confused about how people knew about it, because it's not like it's really easy to find! And I finally found out today that I am famous once again! Apparantly, the local newspaper (de HANZE) wrote an article about some international students who were updating their family and firends at home through blogs. They found my blog (along with a few others writing from Groningen) and wrote about it in their article. They also put some up some pictures from my blog, and a link to my website! So now it all makes sense, and at the moment, I am currently being featured in TWO newspapers in Groningen. I'M FAMOUS! Haha, not really, but it's still exciting. So for all of you who aren't my family and friends (and for my family and friends as well!), I hope that you enjoy my blog and my pictures and everything, and please feel free to leave me comments because I love to read what you have to say! Doei!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Friday, September 22, 2006

Ok so all is good in Groningen and (as far as I know) Holland! The weather has been fantastic here and it's almost always sunny and warm! I kind of hate the humidity, but I love the sun! Everyone says it's not normal at all, but I like it! Anyway, last weekend I went to a town called Apeldoorn. We played "laser game" (laser tag) with the church people there and it was fun. Afterwards we had a bbq and we stayed the night. It was a fun weekend and next weekend I'm really excited because I'm going to Brussels, Belgium! So that should be fun fun! What else? classes are still good. I don't think they will be too hard and I have a group paper I have to write with some Dutch students. Oh yes! And for everyone at home that doesn't already know, I'm going to stay here in Groningen a little longer than I originally planned! I was going to leave here early and go up to USU late, but now I'm going to stay here and finish my classes and miss spring semester in Logan. I'm going to go home and work and save money (cuz I'll probably be broke!) and then take summer classes either in Logan or online or through the extension in Salt Lake or something. Kind of crazy and sad because I love Logan but I'll be back in the summer or for sure next fall, and I think that it's worth it to stay here and enjoy it. It's a really great experience and so I want to stay! But I guess that's about all and I finally took some pictures of people so I hope you like them! Doei! Here I am at the "Hornseplaas". Not sure how to spell it, but it was a beautiful lake with trees and ducks and everything.
So this is interesting. I got asked to cook an "American" dish for some boys who write for the school paper. Every week they have an international student cook and then they write about it! So I made old fashioned hamburgers and jello-o! It was really fun and surprisingly good and this is the article from the paper! I don't think you can see it, but I'll try to find it on the internet and attach the link. But now I'm famous all over campus and Groningen! (ya right...)
Updeated picture of my room! Now I have decorations and stuff because I went to IKEA. It's much nicer and I like my room now!

Here is Allison (the American), me and Camille (she's from Paris).
The Frenchies: Camille, Emmanuel , and Antoine.
This is Daniel (I think!) and he had a little bit too much to drink that night, but he is really funny and said that he loves American girls! It was pretty hilarious.
Bea (Paris), Camille (Paris), Me, Allison (USA), and Gaby (Germany). They are really fun, cute girls!

Me and Gaby. She is super nice and very smart! It was a fun night.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Friday, September 15

Well classes started on Monday and I think they're going to be good. It's definitely different from at home, but it's good. I have classes with regular Dutch students so that is fun. Luckily everything is in English! We have to do a lot of group work so I have been able to meet people from around here. On my first day in one of my classes, the professor was talking about his rules and he said "I usually only have problems with the guys on this rule, but today it's a girl." And he looked right at me, and everyone looked at me! It was because I was wearing a hat! He won't let us have hats in class! LAME! I was really embarrassed and he made me take it off right then! Ugh, so that was annoying, but everything else seems good. I met a guy that is coming to USU for spring semester as an exchange student in one of my classes! It was so exciting and I have been telling him all about Logan and USU and Salt Lake and everything. It was fun. Anyway, things are still fabulous here in Holland. The weather has been scorching, but really pretty. Everyone said it's never this hot or sunny, but I am dying with the humidity and everything! I didn't bring any kind of summer clothes, so I have just been dying of heat all the time. But I'm sure it will get cold soon and I'll wish it was hot. That's about all for now, but Ill try to get more pictures with people in them! Doei!
This is a garden that we went to in the city. That is about all I know about it!

I guess a lot of people get their wedding pictures taken here. Cute!
This is the view from on top of the Martini Tower. It was awesome.
On the left is the church attached to the tower. The roof is so amazing!

Me and Chris on top of the tower!
There's me with the town hall in the background.This was at a park-thing that we went to. The orange thing is a rock climbing tower and it was HUGE!
Here's me when we were going up the steps of the tower. There were millions of them, and they were just tiny stone steps the whole way up!

The town hall and the market.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

So things have been going great so far. I officially start classes on Monday and I'm really excited! I went to IKEA last night with Sarah, an American in my ward who married a Dutch guy and lives here now. She is so awesome and we had a good time. But IKEA is quite the place. It was amazing. It was ginormous and had everything you could possibly imagine you could need for home decorating. They had the coolest stuff and it was all so cheap! I bought a bunch of sweet stuff for my room and now my room is much cuter and I like it a lot now! I guess we're getting an IKEA in Draper soon, but I"m not sure if it will be so cheap, because it's a Swedish company so they have to import everything. Anyway, it's an awesome store and it's really big over here. Everyone shops at IKEA and it's definitely worth it. Not much else to report, but I am happy and loving Groningen. I am starting to think about making some travel plans, but I think I'll wait until I get settled in a little more and see what happens then. But I'll update again soon! Doei! Here I am with my stylish European scarf Yes, I did take a picture of myself....but everyone wears them here and they sell them everywhere, so I had to get a few for myself!
The view of the Grote Markt from the steps of the town hall.
These are some people in the middle of the Grote Markt and they were doing some sort of religious revivial thing. They were singing and acting out being drunk and then being saved by the group. It was kinda weird and kinda cool.
Here is me with the Grote Markt and the Martini Tower in the background. The Martini Tower and the market below.
This is an organ in one of the cathedrals in the city. Today was Monuments Day, so all the churches and monuments were open and free around the city. Usually you can't even go in them at all, so it was cool to see inside them!
I liked this picture I took of some vases I bought at IKEA and flowers that match the vases! They sell flowers everywhere here for cheap, and I have vases around my room with flowers in them, I love it!
A few days ago I was browsing the market and there was a lot of excitment going on outside the town hall. So I asked around and found out that the Princess Maxima was coming to the town hall! Everyone was so excited and many people her have never even seen her before. So I waited for a few minutes, and she pulled up and got out. People were clapping and cheering and it was very exciting. There were videocameras and photographers everywhere. My Dutch friends were jealous that I've seen her and they never have!
This is Maxima getting out the her car and the people and press everywhere.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Well things have been great so far. I am having the greatest time here in Groningen, and I really love it! The people are so nice, and I'm so happy that I have the church here! I went to church on Sunday and as soon as I walked in, a lady greeted me and introduced me to everyone. They were so excited to have me and everyone spoke at least a little English. The missionaries are awesome, and they're both American, from California and Georgia. They translated for me, so that was nice. After church, all the young adults ate together at the church and I liked everything we had, it was good! Then they invited me to one of their houses to play RISK. It was so much fun, but very interesting because I didn't know how to play the game, and they all were speaking Dutch and the game was in Dutch and everything! But they explained nicely in English and I figured it out. It was a lot of fun. I think I will probably learn some Dutch while I'm here because I'm around it a lot with the church people and everywhere, and I'm also taking a Dutch class for exchange students! Yay.
At church I met this boy named Chris. He is a dutch guy and he went on his mission to London, so he speaks good English. He has been my lifesaver and helped me so much! He has taken me on bike rides and shown me the city and how to get to class and answered my questions. He even got me a cell phone! Last night, we went bowling with the missionaries for their p-day then went over to another couples house and had dinner and watched a movie. It was a lot of fun, and I'm so glad that I have made friend here and everyone in the ward is so wonderful.
Classes don't really start until next week, but this week we have been having orienation and we're working on a group project with other international students. We had to make a cookbook with recipes from all of the countries in our group. There are 16 group members and 9 different countries, so the cookbook is pretty cool. We also have to give a presentation tomorrow and I'm in charge of that part, so it should be fun! Everyone thinks I'm in charge or something because I have the best English so it's kind of weird! But they are all nice. It's crazy because sometimes I feel like a retard because I only know one language and most people know several, but I'm really glad that the language I do know is a good one and all my classes and everything is in the language I know really well! A lot of people can't even really speak English, and classes are in English! It will be rough for them so I'm glad!
But I guess that's the latest, I will update some more soon and try to get more pictures with people in them. I have made some friends, but I just didn't take any pictures with them yet! Doei! (That's bye in Dutch)

This is my on my rad pink bike looking like an American in my hat and jeans! I seriously ride my bike EVERYWHERE! At least 10 miles a day! I love it!
I found some frosted flakes! I am soooo happy! I love them so much and they taste pretty much the same as at home! YES!
This is the Grote Markt (big market) and the building in front is the town hall type-thing.

This is the main building of the other university in Groningen. I wasn't looking at the camera.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Day 3: Bicycling Fun

Saturday, September 2, 2006

So today was even better than yesterday! I got to sleep in and then I got up and rode my bike to do some errands. I was so proud of myself because I found all the things I needed and for good prices too! And then I went on a long bike ride through some of the city. I found the Central Station (I only got lost twice), and then I went to the city center/Grote Markt which is where I was yesterday. It was so chaotic and so much more people than yesterday which is crazy! But it was awesome and I just love the atmosphere here-it's great! So I was pretty much on my bike the whole day (I need to take a picture of myself on my bike!), and it was super fun! So tomorrow I go to church and I can't wait!
These are some pictures I took of things I saw on my bicycle ride around the city. This is pretty much what it looks like everywhere.
There is a canal which circles the city. Here are some boats on the canal.
People riding in a kayak (I think that's what it's called?) on the canal.
The is the Central Station from the other side of the street.
People walking across the bridge to the Central Station.
This is inside the Central Station.
Inside the Central Station.
This is the building I can see right out my window. It's just across the freeway from my apartment-very close. I'm not sure what it is though!
This is the view of the train station from the bridge. I accidentally went the wrong way on my bike adventure today! I was trying to get to the Central Station, and went across the bridge, so I just took a few pictures, and found my way back to the station!