Sander’s been sick and the weather here has been pretty bad. It’s been so windy that the rainstorms hit us from the side!
I decided now would be a good time to look at old photos I took from my first year in The Netherlands. It was time when The Netherlands was fresh and new. The language was nothing but gibberish to me. It was also a time of freedom. It was the first time I was out on my own (well I was with Sander) and away from my family.
Of course we did our share of sightseeing in my first few weeks. We did so many touristy things that have stayed with me to this day. Like visiting the beach on a terrible day. It was the middle of August but the weather was my first taste of what it means to live in The Netherlands. It’s unpredictable but the Dutch won’t let that mess up their plans!
I also got my first taste of WWII monuments. Madurodam was the first of many war memorials that are scattered around the Netherlands. I also got to experience May 4th which is Remembrance of the Dead day. WWII changed so many lives in The Netherlands and they ensure that the younger generations don’t forget. We had 2 minutes of solid silence. All stores close and people in cars pull over to the side of the road. The radio is dead silence as we remember the dead.
We also make the trek down to the Efteling. There are dozen of Dutch fairy tales that I was unaware of. I’d like to get a book on them someday. I also want to read Anne Frank’s diary in it’s original Dutch format. I’ll bet you didn’t know it’s called Het Achterhuis.
I’ve learned so much about The Netherlands since I moved here. It’s been a wonderful and difficult journey. Moving to a new country has been an eye opening experience to how the world outside of America is. I’ve loved so many moments and struggled through others. The wonderful thing about living is that we can live in the present. The past is behind us and we can learn from it. The future is something wonderful to look forward to and I know I do. It’s only been a few years since I’ve moved to The Netherlands but there’s so much more to learn and that excites and terrifies me. But here’s to the future! May it come and burn brightly!