Four Days Marches

There’s this thing in Holland where people (mostly kids and elderly in wheelchairs) are marching (or rolling xD) 4 evenings in a row. We call it ‘de avondvierdaagse’ which won’t make any sense to most you guys but I still wanted to mention it :p. Maybe it’s an international thing, I don’t know. What I do know is that I envy the kids who are joining this event. Most elementary schools participate and mine never did. I joined like 2 or 3 times but never really enjoyed it. Most elementary schools let their kids sell stamps for charity as well. Of course my elementary school didn’t. You can tell I’m traumatized?

Anyway, my little cousin Justin joined the Four Days Marches with his soccer team. The last evening is kinda big with music and stuff, so I decided to go and watch the kids. They are adorable. I love kids. Especially when they’re all excited and waiting for the candy and flowers the get from their family because they did such a good job joining the marches. I’m practicing taking pictures of ‘moving elements’ but I suck. Still, I liked the expressions on the faces of the kids. A friend of my father runs the digital newspaper of the city I’m living in (Vlaardingen) and he posted some. (–> link link link <–)

They’re not fantastic but here are some of the pics I took last Thursday:

Advertisements

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting

I realize how fast time goes by when there’s a new weekly photo challenge. I’m always looking forward to this challenge, because it gives me a good reason to go through my favorite photo album: My trip through Mexico. I did my internship in Oaxaca – Mexico in 2011 and ever since I can’t stop thinking about this amazing country and it’s wonderful people. I love using my Mexico pictures, because they all have a special meaning to me and I remember every single moment.

Picture uno: I sat in the bus to Puerto Escondido playing with my camera when I saw this cute couple. I caught them giving each other a quick kiss. Just too cute!

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido

Picture dos: Puerto Escondido has one of the best surfing beaches in da world! Of course I wanted to scratch ‘surfing’ off my bucket list so I took a lesson. I’m not a pro. Not even a talent. This is just a lucky picture of me being able to keep standing up for more than 10 seconds. But I loved it!

Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido

Picture tres: Of course I visited Zócalo (Plaza de la Constitución) when I was in Mexico City. The Zócalo in Mexico City is 57,600 metres² (240 m × 240 m) and one of the largest city squares in the world. It is beautiful and really nice to walk around. I saw these people having a quick lunch. Only the dad noticed me, right at the moment I took the picture.

Mexico City

Mexico City

Picture cuatro: I like to show more pictures of my Dutch life. I took this picture in Schiedam for my photography course last year. I love that even though all objects are blurry,  you can still see everything.

Schiedam - The Netherlands

Schiedam – The Netherlands

Let me know what you think if you want to (: Thanks and good luck on this challenge!

My Exchange to the USA, part III

Earlier I wrote about why I went to the USA and how I met my host mom Sandy. Today I’ll tell you about my first day in Saint Cloud – Florida!

After we’d dropped my ‘new’ aunt Cindy off and went home I stood in my driveway for the very first time. The house looked so huge to me (I’m living in an average terrace house in Holland) and I was surprised that the neighbourhood I was gonna live in had a stone fence around it. Ok. The outside of the house looked fine to me and the district seemed quiet and peaceful and all that crap.

My host mom Sandy had told me once on the phone she had 5 little dogs. 5. No, you’re not misreading it. FIVE! When I entered the house the little monsters started barking at me while running around like lil maniacs. I didn’t have much time to pay attention to the house nor to the dogs because Sandy’s lil neighbour, cousin Barbie and her two daughters were waiting for me. Barbie seemed like a lovely woman but the kids kept staring at me like they’d never seen a European.
When I had a drink I got this huge cup filled with ice from the huge fridge (not many people have a fridge like that where I’m from).

Maybe it was because I was so tired or maybe I wasn’t exaggerating (I probably was though) but after exploring the house and writing my diary I couldn’t handle it anymore and started to cry. Everything was so dirty.  I called my mom for a while and she told me to calm down, which obviously didn’t work.

The kids hadn’t said a word to me and I just wanted to go home to my clean room in my clean house with my normal mommy and daddy and my silent cat.

I wrote in my diary:
“I’m finally at Sandy’s. The flight was okay and everything went well. But I keep crying because the house is so dirty. The couch, my blankets… Everything! […] Sandy is nice but she eats so unhealthy and is addicted to potato chips. Her cousin is here too and the kids are simply terrible. […] Why the **** did I come here?!”

I probably just needed a good night rest, but I’ll write about that next time!

The House

The House

Sandy

Sandy

The Diary of a Young Girl – Anne Frank

 

“I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I have never been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”
– Anne Frank

Anne Frank. Almost everyone knows about this Jewish teenager who lived in an annex for a couple of years during world war two, until she and the others were betrayed, discovered and sent to the concentration camps. From June 12th 1942 until August 1st 1944 Anne kept a diary. She tells about the limits for Jews before she and her family had to hide and about her feelings. When the family moves to their hiding place she keeps writing her diary, which has become her best friend named Kitty, and tells about her life in the annex.

Dagboek recht hoge resolutie

I read the diary once before. I was 10 years old and very curious. I remember I was both impressed and shocked by this book and went to the Anne Frank House with my mom to get to know more about Anne. History repeats: 11 years later I decided that I should read it again. This book is one of the most important books in the world and I think everyone should read it. If more people who are living in inhuman conditions would publish their diaries (without trying to make it a best-seller) I think we would all appreciate our own lives more. At least I do now I’ve read it again.

In the diary Anne talks in all honesty about her feelings. She dislikes her mom Edith, loves her dad Otto and doesn’t really know if she really likes her sister Margot. The other hiders who live with them; Auguste, Hermann and Peter van Pels (Petronella, Hermann and Peter van Daan in the diary) and Fritz Pfeffer (Albert Dussel in the diary), drive her up the wall often and she puts all her resentment in the diary. The first year she is an angry young girl. She talks badly about her mom and loves talking about how many admirers she used to have. But while life in the annex goes on she starts to change: she grows up very fast and starts to fall for Peter. She keeps reading and studying and waiting for the day she can finally go back to school. Unfortunately, that day never came…
She always talks very positive about the helpers: Miep Gies, Bep Voskuijl, Victor Kugler and Johannes Kleiman, who risked their own lives for her and the others.
I’m not gonna discuss the whole diary, because I think you should read it yourself.

What I think about Anne.
Anne Frank was deep, funny, honest, cocky and a dreamer. I think I would get crazy if I were in her shoes, but instead of getting grumpier by the day she tried to learn from her mistakes. She’s an example for everyone! This girl loved movie stars, history, royal families and writing. While keeping her diary she discovered she enjoyed writing and started a couple of short stories. She wrote more than once that she wanted to go on living after her death:

“I don’t want to have lived in vain like most people. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death!”

 39

August 4th 1944 Anne, her family, the van Pelses and mr. Pfeffer got arrested and sent to the concentration camps, where 7 of the 8 hiders died. Otto Frank was the only survivor. He received Anne’s diary and some of her notes from Miep Gies, who had saved them to give them back to Anne. Otto decided to fulfil his daughter’s dream to become a famous writer and published her diary.

If you’d like to read the book (again) – and I recommend you do – you could order it online

If you go to Amsterdam don’t forget visiting the Anne Frank House! You can see where and how Anne lived and learn more about her and the other hiders.

160px-Anne_Frank_signature.svg

Kingsday Festival!

Last week I posted about my bucket list item no. 24: Going to a festival. My friends and I bought tickets for Mysteryland – August 24th. I kinda hoped I would be able to cross this off my list before the end of August, and soon I can! April 30th it’s Queensday in Holland. A national holiday when we all dress up in orange and go out to party! This year our queen will retire and her son is gonna be king, so our famous Queensday will be Kingsday. And Kingsday wouldn’t be Kingsday without some good parties to go to. Together with a bunch of friends I’m going to the Kingsday Festival in Amsterdam! I already bought an outfit; I’m optimistic and I really hope it’s gonna be a sunny day. A friend of mine from Mexico will be in Holland so for him it will be amazing to experience this typical Dutch holiday!

I’m excited and can’t wait! Just saying: If you’re planning on visiting the Netherlands and you’re in for a party come April 30th! The fun will be EVERYWHERE!

Kingsday Festival