Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

Sunday, 4 March 2012


As I said in my last post, Carnaval week just past us by, and I finished it off in Amsterdam on Rotary trip!  50 students (only 9 of them guys haha), 4 Rotarians, and just a good old time up in the place they like to call "The Venice of the North".

We started off the trip by stopping in the small town of Delft.  It was an adorable little place, and our main reason for stopping was to visit the Vermeer Museum.  He was an amazing artist, and the museum really explained not just his art, but his life and his style of painting.  We also had a little time to look around Delft ourselves, and we discovered some neat little things, and also sampled some Dutch cheese :) YUMMY!!
                                  One of Vermeer's most famous paintings, "The girl with the pearl earring"
                                                        Caroline, Amy, Catherine and I
                                                  Catherine and I with the nice cheese lady :)

That night also got to Amsterdam and had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe :) After that we also walk through the Red Light District :O no pictures of that though!
                                                               Lenny Kravitz' guitar

                                           Jose, Juan Jose, Catherine, Amy, me and Caroline

The next day we started off by exploring a Jewish Synagoge.  It is one of the largest around and we (especially the women) were only allowed to enter it because it was closed for the winter (they have both winter and summer synagoges).  We then visited the Jewish museum, which explained a lot about Jewish culture and history. After that we had some free time, where we really got to explore the city, including the famous flower markets!

Inside and outside the synagoge
This exhibit was to explain the origin of this name which is considered very Jewish.  At the end, visitors where encourage to write down the meaning  and history of there own names and pin them on the wall

Amy and Caroline listen to an explanation of Jewish mariage

an old Torah, Jewish version of the Bible

The flower market entrance

Our next visit was something that I never actually thought I would get to see.  We actually entered the Anne Frank house.  There were no pictures allowed inside, but I don't think I will ever forget that house.  There is no furniture, as Anne's father Otto (the only one of the family to survive the Holocaust), requested that it remain the way it was after the Nazis raided it.  However, on the walls you can still see the posters that Anne put up, the small map that Otto used to track the Allies progress across Europe, and the pencil marking which indicated how tall Anne and her sister Margot grew over their two years and one month inside the "Secret Annex".  It was something that I could barely believe.  Throughout the house there were videos showing the history of the Franks and the people who hid with them, Fritz Pheffer and the van Pels family.  It also included the stories of the four people who hid them, Miep Gies, Victor Kugler, Bep Voskuijl and Jo Kleiman.  I know I will never forget.


That night we also visited the Van Gogh Museum, but once again no pictures :( Still, it was amazing to see the works of such an amazing and renowned artist

We started off our last day by visiting the Rijks Museum, which is home to some very famous pieces and some extremely cool models.  It was here that we saw works by artists such as Rembrandt and once again, Vermeer.  Last on the schedule was a beautiful tour along the canals :)  No better way to see the city!
Model of a 17th century ship, actually built in that time

A statue of Cupid

Rembrandt's "The Night Watch", my favorite :)

The "Dancing Houses"

The smallest house in Amsterdam.  It measures only 1 meter, 10 inches wide

Another, slightly bigger ;) model of an old ship
So, all in all, this was definitely a trip to remember: the places, the people, THE CHEESE!! haha!!  Amsterdam is a beautiful place, and I hope I get a chance to go back! Amsterdam 2012!  If we could write a book!! haha!

Much love!



A lot has happened over here!!  a couple of weeks a go was CARNAVAL, so naturally, it was the Belgium version of crazy!!  Parades, confetti, oranges EVERYWHERE (don't ask), guys in starge costumes, and a whole lot of fun!

Me and my buddy from USA, Ben

The parade
 Confetti raining down on me and Emma, also USA

Much love!


Whoops :P

Yes, I know! The unfaithful blogger strikes again!  I really have no excuse other than the fact that you know I must be having the time of my life, otherwise I would have the time to keep up on the blogging! Ok, ok, it's a lame excuse, but hey!  I'm doing what I can :D  I'm going to sign off on this post and we can all pretend that I've been posting faithfully :D and get ready, because here comes a good one!

Monday, 26 December 2011

Surviving Christmas :P

Ho Ho Ho!!!! Christmas update!!!  I had a fantastic day yesterday!!  Woke up at 8, and my cousin Tansy and I ran into all the other rooms to wake everyone up :) I felt like I was 5 years old again! It was great!  Then we went and made tea (because that is the English way :P) and took it into my aunt and uncle's room, where we all opened stockings together :)  Then I went to church with my aunt and uncle, and that was beautiful!! It was a very old, tiny church, and the service was lovely :) 

Once we got home, I changed into something fancy and the whole family went up the road to a neighbor's house for drinks and such :)  What great people!  I met a lot of the neighbors, and everyone was so nice :)  We then went back to our house for appetizers and more drinks :)  My cousin Jonny's friend little Dave and his parents came over, AND THATS WHEN WE OPENED PRESENTS!!  I got some really nice things from my British family, and I even had a couple little things from home :)  I actually got a little teary reading the cards from my parents and siblings, it was kind of hard not to be spending this day with them.

After presents was dinner, which was absolutely delicious!  I tried Christmas pudding for the first time, and even though I can't say it was my favorite :)  it was certainly an experience!  We also opened Christmas crackers, and inside each was a bell, and we played Christmas carols with them, because we all had a different note! Well, we tried to play them anyways :P

Throughout the day I kept trying to skype my real family and my host family, which I finally managed to!  It was great seeing them, and it looked like both families had a happy Christmas :)  I also skyped many, many friends from around the world: Belgium, Canada, US, Brazil and France, to name a few :P  Also, sorry to Carolina in Peru for waking her up!  But it was nice to talk to her and my friend Luke (who is staying with her :P). Oh! I don't know if I told you guys this, but Luke's blog from Peru is the reason I started mine in the first place :) Love you buddy <3

So that's it for my Christmas day!!! It was fantastic and incredible and I love my British relatives for inviting me here to experience it with them!!  yes, it was hard not being home for the holidays, but  I feel so fortunate to have been with family and friends that I love very much!!

Much love!


Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas from across the Channel :)

So I'm writing this post from a different house, different town, and a different country than usual!  That's right!! Where am I you might ask?? I'm sitting in a house in the charming little village of Trotticliff, West Malling, Kent in Merry Old England!!  I was invited here for the holidays by my borther-in-law's family, and so far I'm having the best time ever!!

I took the Eurostar on Wednesday to get here, but even trying to catch that train was an experience, due to the MASSIVE train strike in Belgium!  HUGE thanks to my host dad for driving me through crazy traffic to Brussels so that I made my train on time!  But once I got on the train, it only took two hours to get to England!! (they built a train tunnel UNDER the English Channel! Good thing I'm not claustrophobic!)  My bro-in-law's aunt, Sally, met me at the station :) It was so wonderful to see her again!  She hugged me harder than I've had in months!!  I felt right away like I was with family!
She drove me back to her place, where I was greeted by the rest of her family: her husband, Stephen, her son, Johnny, and Tansy, who is one of her daughters :)  The other daughter, Holly, got home yesterday :)  They are such a funny  and warm family, and I'm so happy to be with them for Christmas!

They are also really great about showing me around!  Sally has been taking me around the countryside and has explained all sorts of interesting things about it!  She even showed me the road that the pilgrims traveled down in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"!  How awesome is that?!?!

Yesterday Johnny took me for a tour around London! I SAW EVERYTHING! Buckingham Palace (the Queen was home!), Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Camden (a very cool marketplace), Trafalgar Square, and so much more that I should stop now before I write another 2 pages :P!! Don't worry, a video is coming!
Whew!  That's all for now!  I'm actually surprised I wrote this much after playing hardcore rounds of DANCE CENTRAL on the Kinect with Johnny and Holly :P haha I can't wait to see what the adults look like playing that after drinking mulled wine of Christmas day!!

Much love and Happy Holidays!!!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's gonna be a white Christmas :)

So I'm sitting here after an awesome night out with my fellow Canadian, Sylvie :)  We are feeling especially happy right now because IT IS SNOWING OUTSIDE! YESSSSSSSSSSSS! And we're talking A LOT!!!! HAPPY DAYS!!!!! Time to go brave the blizzard!!!

Much love!