Monday, November 19, 2012

school and family

8-14 october
this week was also a busy one! there is quite a large number of canadians that are on this exchange and so we celebrated canadian thanksgiving! everyone brought a dish so there was a large jumble of assorted foods that amounted to a unique, delicious meal. there were people from all over the world and it was fun to eat yummy foods like 7 layer dip next to crepes rounded out with traditional mashed potatoes then finished off with stroopwaffels and pie.

after a wonderful meal and even better friends we all headed home and i got the chance to skype with eric and my friend studying in London! A great start to the week to say the least.
i won't bore you with the remaining days of the week which all involved school and homework for a majority.
friday morning however i was able to take the train north to visit family! after 3.5 hours on the train i arrived in Groningen where oom Wim was waiting to pick me up. we stopped by the house to drop off my things and have a cup of coffee with tante Jenneka before they took me around Kornhorn. i was able to see the houses my grandparents lived as children, the church they were married in, and the house that my grandpa built. it was wonderful to hear stories and to see where they had lived. of course everything has changed since that time but it was still neat to be in touch with the past.
on saturday tante Bab came by to pick me up and we went into Groningen for the day. Annamarie came as well and we took a boat tour of the city. after the informative tour we stopped at a pub for some food. Annamarie knew all the best places to stop because she had moved there for school and simply stayed after. i could certainly see why! it was a lovely city - quieter than Den Haag but still with lots of activity and charm. we also did some walking around, shopping, picked up dinner from a delectable italian shop and also some ice cream. for dinner oom Onne and more family came over.
it was great getting to know everyone but also difficult as my dutch was still close to nil and why should everyone have to struggle with english? often i would try to listen and learn from conversations or someone would summarize for me what had been said. it was a wonderful time and i'm very glad i've had the chance to come here to meet these people. after a lovely time tante Bab and oom Onne dropped me back off at oom Wim and tante Jenneka's. oom Wim and i stopped by tante Kiki's to say hello. she is a very sweet lady in her 90's and she knew who i was! she knew that i was yvonne's daughter and told me that i should learn more dutch so we can talk when i come visit again! back at Wim and Jenneka's we watched a great music program and talked about all sorts of things. tante Jenneka even showed me all the birth announcement she had saved over the years. mom - she had yours!
the next morning i went to church with oom Wim. however it was all in dutch! i was able to understand a few of the songs because i had the words right in front of me but when it came time for the sermon - oh boy was i lost! i continued to try to find words i could recognize but it was rather difficult to do.
after church we went back home and all of grandpa Tim's brothers and their wives came over for tea.
the book of baby announcements  
looking at a very old photo of family

it was lovely to finally meet all the family from this side and to try to speak dutch and hear stories. it made me realize just how incredibly lucky i am to have the chance to come visit and be in touch with so much family! after tea i went to Groningen again with oom Onne and tante Bab to cheer for the 4 mile race and to spend time with even more family.
i'm so incredibly thankful to oom Wim and tante Jenneka for opening their home to me, feeding me, working with me to speak english and teach me dutch, sharing stories, and showing me all around where grandpa and grandma grew up.
can't wait for my next trip up north! 

1 comment:

GrandmaD said...

Awesome. And Grandma Dee can't wait to talk to you about it all. Love you!!!!