Quebecois! Een jaar highschool in Canada

23Apr/123

So Fast

Hey everybody!

Wow, the time is flying by! Just 2 and a half months left. I'm totally used to life in Canada and I have so many things to do! School is getting busy, especially drama class. We're working on our end-of-the-year show, which will be on the first of june. I'm very excited to be a part of it, and I will recieve a recording of the show afterwards, for those who would like to see it. Prom, the highlight of the school year, is also coming closer by the day. I got invited to go by Olivia, a friend in 12th grade! I'm also very excited to experience that :) There will be a garden party, followed by the prom itself (at the National Arts Centre!), after which there is an afterprom.We'll even be transported from place to place in a limo!

On a more recent note, I'm going to play baseball! Val, a friend from school asked if I would like to apply together with her for the team. I hope I still know a thing or two from 4th grade,  6 years ago when we lived in Bedford ;)

Lately I've been hanging out much more with people from school, instead of the exchange student group. A lot of people left, and new people came. It's not the same anymore, something Marije and I both agreed on today. She came over to catch up on each other, and speak some Dutch face to face after a loong time :)

I'm very happy to have Johanna, a Finnish girl, in the host family now. We get along very well :) Just this saturday we went to see a Finnish movie with a couple friends. The movie was a bit like the Finnish equivalent of 'Puk en de Petteflet'.

As for life in the Netherlands; I miss it, especially with Koninginnedag coming up. As long as I'm busy here though, the time seems to fly by! I hope everything is well with the 'achterblijvers' ;)

À Bientôt!

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1Mar/123

I Realised…

Hello everybody!

This past month, february, has gone by fast. It's winter, it's cold, and it's snowing. Right about now I could go for some summer :) So what`s new in my life? To be honest, not very much. I've been out with friends a few times, the last time we went to a Korean restaurant. I still go skiing every week, though next week will be our last trip. I've met some really cool people at ski club, so usually I go skiing with them :) Family life is different now, as Till has been gone for about a month now. I really miss him, he had become a very close friend. I can remember when I heard i would be with another exchange student in the family, I didn`t know what to think, but when I look back I'm happy I was. School is going quite well, and I'm liking most of my subjects. The only subject that has turned out to be a bit of a bore is robotics. It's a new course, and the teacher doesn't know exactly what to do, so everybody just sits in front of their computers surfing the web. Sometimes I wish I was back in my school in The Netherlands, with subjects that are challenging. Before I came to Canada, I thought that pretty much everywhere was more exciting than the Netherlands. Now I know that that is not true. Every country has good and bad points, and `right now I'm really missing the good points of home. Don't think I'm crazy homesick or anything, because I'm not, but i just think that my perception of home and living abroad has changed since I left. In the past, I told myself that I would study in a foreign country; now I think I want to stay in the Netherlands.

I think that was all, sorry for the serious post, but I felt like it was something that needed to be said ;) I miss all of you back in the Netherlands, and thanks for the letters :D

Byee!

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23Jan/123

Halfway

Hey everybody!

It has been quite a while since my last post! I've been very busy the past few weeks. In 2 days, I will have been in Canada for 5 months! Only half a year left!

The weekend before last weekend, was the first time in my life I went snowshoeing! My plein air teacher had organised a trip in Gatineau park. It was great! We took a schoolbus to the edge of the forest, and debarked there. Having put on our snowshoes, we followed our teachers, Mseur Reinville and Mseur Theriault into the forest. The weather was amazing, it was -7, and snowing. The forest was absolutely beautiful! A thick blanket of snow covered the area, muffling the sounds of our snowshoes flattening the trail ahead of us. the four hours we spent walking seemed like minutes, as we were engulfed by nature. I wish we could have gone futher, but we had to get back to school in time for the busses home.

The day after Till, Dan, Leo and I went on yet another very Canadian adventure! We drove up to the cottage, sporting many layers of winter clothing. There was too much snow to drive the van up the driveway, so we dumped all our stuff on sleds and pulled them the las meters. I almost forgot to mention this; it was -20. Once we had put all our stuff in the cottage, Dan stayed inside to turn on the woodstove. It was just as cold inside as it was outside, so Leo, Till and I didn't wait to put on our snowshoe and make a trip out on the lake, which is frozen solid this time of year. After a good 2 hours of being outside we went back in to warm up by the fire.The cottage reached it's warmest temperature after dinner, about 10 degrees. Toasty warm! Upon waking up the next morning the temperature had dropped to -10, so I craftily stayed in my warm sleeping bag until the fire was going again. During the day we made our way back to Ottawa. The coldest my toes got during the entire weekend, was in the car on the way back! One of the doors doesn't close properly, so there was a frigid wind blowing on my feet, BRRRR!

Last week I had a couple parties :) One for the departure of Paryce, an Australian friend, who came to Canada for a half year. We went to Hardrock cafe, and had a laugh with our exchange student friends. The next day Till and I went for dinner at our area rep's house. We had a great time with Sandra (area rep) and Laura (hostdaughter). We all agreed that we should meet more often, because Sandra said she barely ever sees us, we're just not fooling around enough! On friday Till took me to a party with his friends from school, again to the Hardrock cafe :P We were almost the only non-Spanish or Portugese speaking people there!

This saturday Till and I went to say goodbye to Paryce at the airport, and pick up Till's parents. We got a ride back to our house, where we had dinner. After dinner Till and I left to go downtown again. We were going to sleep at Margie's hotel. She is leaving in a few days, so we said goodbye to her as well. Yesterday both the families, Paitich and Schmitz-Steger (and I) went skating on the Rideau canal. WOW. It's amazing!! So long! And it hasn't even opened up all the way. So we skated down the whole length of what was open, beautiful, and very busy!

This week I have exams at school. Luckily I don't have to study, and I only have 2 left; environmental science and French. I have also chosen my subjects for next semester! I will have Plein air (outdoor sports, but this time 12th grade), French (11th grade middel level), Drama and Robotics! I think this semester is going to be great!!!

That's all for now folks, see you next post!

Siets

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12Dec/111

Yew York

Hi everybody!

As you may or may not know, I went to New York last weekend with the exchange student group for 4 days (including 2 days driving)! It has been a great weekend, with no time for dawdeling, every single minute of the day was packed with things to do, after which we returned to the hotel to fool around in the pool and in eachother's rooms :D (Btw, the post title is Yew York specialy for all you older Dutch readers ;)

Here is a day-by-day description of my stay;

Thursday after school Nicolai, from Denmark arrived at the Paitich house. He stayed for the night because he lives in Thetford Mines, a small town in the middle of Quebec, a good 7 hour bus ride from here. Does Thetford Mines sound familiar to you? It does to me anyway, it was where I was placed the second time around, in the same hostfamily where Nico is placed right now! I didn't end up going there because the school was not going to accept any exchange students this year. Ooops, got distracted, back to the New York description!

Friday we woke up at 4 in the morning, and got ready to crawl into the car to meet the bus. Maybe you remember, I also managed to write a blogpost in sleep/zombie mode during that time :P So, once comfortably seated in the tour bus, we could get some rest. I say could, because we had the opportunity to rest. What actually happened was not resting, more like talking and singing :D We passed through Pennsylvania, New York state and New Jersey. As we crossed the Lincoln tunnel our tour guide put on a little show, very funny :) At around 2:30 we arrived in the magic city of Yew Yo... New York!

Once in New York, we were dropped off at Times square, and got some free time to walk around in Manhatten. I was walking with a a few Aussi's, a Dutchy and a Denkmark..y? doesn't matter haha! We walked up to central park, and back down to Macy's before returning to the bus. The bus took us to the hotel for the first time and dropped us off there. We all rushed up to our rooms to put on some swimming gear before jumping in the pool. That, my friends, was our first day in New York!

Saturday we woke up quite early, and hopped on the bus to visit the oh so famous Central park! We stopped right in front of Yoko Ono's apartment, where John Lennon was shot. Of course we took a moment to view the 'Imagine' monument built to commemorate him. After a brief tour of the park we got back on the bus. Next stop: St. Pauls church, a very nice cathedral that is not finished, and will not be finished for another 100 years! I made a few nice pictures there, and left for Pier 17. The idea was that we could eat lunch there, and if we wanted to, buy tickets for a broadway show. I didn't buy a ticket, because I just felt it was too expensive for a show, almost 70$! After having eaten lunch, we got on the Staten Island ferry, to take a look at the Statue of Liberty, which is as probably all of you know, a present from France to the United States. Leaving that lovely lady behind us we went to Ground Zero and Wall street, both very sad and depressing places. By now we had worked up an appetite, so The bus drove to Times square and dumped us, so we could find some food. I went with a couple of other students who hadn't bought tickets for a Broadway so how to Koreatown. Ever since reading a book on North Korea, I have been extremely interested in both Koreas. Now I got the chance to taste some of the food! Luckily we had a Korean exchange student with us, who took us to his favorite Korean chain of chicken restaurants. It was very good food, and had a sleek modern atmosphere. The walk to the restaurant was pretty long, so we ended up just walking back to the bus.

Sunday was the day of the Empire state building! Again we embarked on the bus, and crossed the Lincoln Tunnel, ending up in New York. We took a nice route along 5th avenue, to the Empire state building. The elevator inside (luckily faster than Oma's) shot us up to the 86th floor, after which we took another elevator to the observatory. The view was incredible, just slightly higher than the last time I was there, in 2005 ;) The ride back down was equally fast, popping everyone's ears. Next up; Chinatown! As soon as we entered chinatown, we were in another world. Nowhere are there western letters to be seen, as a mass of Chinese characters took over. Walking along the streets, we were almost dragged into the various gift and souvenir shops. My little group decided to find a grocery store, so we could buy some weird asian candy. After chinatown we hit up Little Italy, where we had lunch in an Italian restaurant (not nearly as good as a real one). Little Italy was followed by The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had 2 hours, and used it well. Of course we went to the modern art section, photography and Korean art. It was beautiful! As the day came to an end, we headed off to Rockefeller center to view the enormous Christmas tree and have dinner. Daehwa, Madeline, Kate, Paryce, Marije, Nico and I decided to go to Koreatown again, this time a more traditional restaurant. The restaurant we went to was called Miss Korea. I finally got to try the famous 김치, or Kimchi (Spicy cabbage) for those of you who have trouble reading Korean ;) The meal was very nice, probably the best thing I ate all weekend! After dinner we made it back just in time to the bus, and drove out of the city for the last time...

Monday we drove back, stopped a few times and arrived in Ottawa at around 6 pm. It had been a great trip, something never to forget!


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2Dec/110

Movember

Hello everybody!

Right now it is 4 o' clock in the morning, and I'm writing a blog post. Crazy eh? Hahaha no not really, we're leaving for New York at 5, with a busload of other exchange students. We will be staying 3 nights in a hotel very close to the inner city :)

In other news, Movember has come to an end! For those of you who don't know what Movember is: Movember is a movement of men who grow a mustache during the month of november, to support prostate cancer research. Some friends and I participated, so just up until yesterday we looked like scraggly scoobie-doo's. It was great!

This tuesday was a special day. Special, because Margie, one of the Australians was turning 18. Her hostmom, Laura, and Drew had organized a surprise party for her! They told her she would be going out for dinner with just her hostmother and Laura. That however was was not what she encountered in the restaurant. There were a good 20 exchange students there to yell "surprise" in her face! :D I had burned a cd of Blof (Umoja) for her, and translated all the titles, so she could somewhat make out what the songs were about. Maybe we'll see Blof becoming popular in Australia ;)

Last weekend Till, Marije, Paryce and I decided to go do something cultural, so we went to the NAC (National Arts Centre) to see a show. A few weeks in advance I had found a band that looked interesting, the Sunparlour Players. Was it interesting? Let's just say Till and I bought a total of 3 albums together after the performance. It was amazing! The Sunparlour Players is a 3-man group, playing a wide variety of instruments. They play a mix of country/rock/bluegrass, and the lead singer looks like Alan from the Hangover ;)

I have to leave now, a 10-hour busride awaits me!

Bye, until next post!

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5Nov/112

Halloweeen!

Hey everyone!

Time for another update, this time: Halloween! Halloween is not a new phenomenon for me. We've trick-or-treated in Bedford multiple times, always very fun :) This, however, was my first trick-or-treating trip in a long time. Till and I went out with some family friends, who had little children, always nice for the candy harvest :p I went as captain, the same costume that I wore to the zombiewalk. Till went with a crazy leather mexican mask with horns, just a bit more frightening then my costume ;) So we went around the neighbourhood, got some candy and went back home. Sometimes we got the feeling that people disapproved of us, being older, also trick-or-treating. But we got candy anyway so all was well. Some of the decorations on the houses were pretty amazing, including ours! We had put up a ton of decorations, and even made two 'characters' out of plastic bags, newspapers and old clothes. One of them got to stand by the door, the other got hanged off of a streetlight :p Dan also does a very good job of scaring people. He dresses up as the Joker from Batman, and listens to recordings of the Joker's voice, so he can copy it perfectly. Till and I thought it would be funny to scare Dan himself, so we rang the doorbell and jumped out in front of him :P He was scared all right! After all that we decided because it was a scary event, we would have to watch a fitting scary movie; Silence of the Lambs! Not just scary, quite mind-boggling as well.

In other news; I now know the outlines of the courses I will be taking next semester. They will be Drama, French (12th grade low level instead of 10th grade low level), Robotics and English (university level). I will be looking into the courses Creative Writing and Plein-Air (12th grade) too, and see if I can switch those in somewhere.

Today we took down all the halloween decorations, and cleaned up around the house. I will be leaving shortly to try out a French conversation club in the public library, I hope it's fun! After that I'll be going skating in an indoor rink for the first time in Canada!!!!!!

See you next post!

ps. Pictures of our stay at the cottage in september are being added right now, here is the link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66990892@N06/

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25Oct/112

Zombie Walk

To all you living people out there:

This has weekend hasn't been very lively. It was pretty dead actually. Ever heard of the Ottawa Zombie walk?

Well I hadn't either, so I gathered a few 'dead' exchange students and I went there! What I saw there was funny, awesome, disgusting, horrible! A huge crowd of more than a thousand zombies! There were all kinds of zombies, zombies from video games, lego zombies, gay zombies, loud zombies, Harry Potter zombies, Michael Jackson zombies, military zombies, and even survivors (non zombies)! Our group, made up out of a few dead exchange students and a few dead canadians, met at the starting place to check out eachothers costumes and those of others. At three o'clock the starting call of "BRAIINS" sounded and we marched, or rather stumbled our way to Parliament Hill. All along the route there were hordes of living people cheering us on. There were three kinds of people: people who knew about the zombiewalk, people who didn't, and people in lederhosen left over from the oktoberfest earlier that day. The people who didn't know, were absolutely perplexed, some even mortified :P I have to say, the zombies were not the brightest bunch either. This is a direct quote: "What do we want? BRAIINSS! When do we want them? BRAAIIINNS!!"

After the zombie walk our group headed over to Smokes, the best place to get poutine in town. After wolfing down our poutine (we hadn't found any brains to eat during the walk) we went to the mall to 'hang out', a popular canadian pastime. This all happened with our makeup and costumes still on so strange looks in abundance from 'the people who didn't know' ;)

The next day, Sunday, was Cees' birthday party, which I got to attend! Very nice to see everyone again, even though it was through a computer screen. Apparantly I still looked like a zombie (Late night ;) Happy 50st birthday!!!!!!

In other news, school is going good, I just got back a math and an environment test back. A 95% and an 81%! I am very pleased of course =) I also know how to make bread now! Pretty easy, you just dump all the ingrediants in the machine and turn it on. It makes really nice bread! (Goed idee vanderwoodies?)

That was my post for today!

Sietse

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17Oct/110

New photo’s

This is the link to my photo's: http://www.flickr.com/photos/66990892@N06/

 

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14Oct/110

Short update

Hey everyone!

Sorry for the long wait between posts, I had some problems recently with the website aka it deleted my whole post. (grrr) AND I wanted to post pictures, but picasa deleted the ones I wanted to post!

So except being extremely frustrated with computers, I'm fine. I went on a camping/biking trip with school, very fun! It was 100 km in total, so 50 to, and 50 from. People in my class found it quite exhausting. I have to say after The Great European Biking Vacation nothing is physically hard anymore ;) The camping part was pretty funny. We were staying at a YMCA campsite, so we had a washroom and a climbing course, à la Jungle Ranger park. The counselor was interesting as well... When we arrived, we were greeted by a man who looked extremely like Alan from 'the Hangover'. The only difference was that he was wearing a scouting uniform and had space-age goggles on his head. As we were mumbling to eachother about how he looked like Alan, he yelled: "Incorrect! He looks like me!". So the camping trip was a success. Such a success, that I am organizing a hiking/camping trip for exchange students next weekend :D  I am also going canoecamping with pleinair next week, lots of camping! The fall colours are nice, not brilliant though, the weather wasn't too good for amazing colours.. I have to go now, dinner is being served.

NEXT TIME ON SIETSEGAATVERWEG:

HALLOWEEN!

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22Sep/112

First month!

Hello everyone!

Sorry for the long wait. This first month has been very busy!

I've been going to school now for 4 weeks almost, and I think I'm settling in fine! I have 4 subjects this semester (half a school year). My subjects are French, Math, Environmental science and Plein-air (outdoor activities). All my subjects are in French. At first I had a hard time understanding what was being said, but now I understand most of what is said. My favorite subject is Plein-air, where we are biking maintenant. The biking here is a joke :P The first week or so was all about bike safety and wearing a helmet. After the safety talk we went biking on small trips everyday during the lesson. Tomorrow we will be going on a daytrip; you probably won't believe it, 35 kilometers!!! Hahahaa that is nothing! In the summer vacation, Cees, Jaap, Vincent and I went on a 400 kilometer bike trip through the Ardennen, so this trip is fairly small in comparison ;) The teacher told us to stock up on carbohydrates two days in advance.. Soooo you get the idea, biking isn't very everyday here. The other subjects aren't very challenging either, I barely have any homework. The hardest part is the language. One of my friends very kindly taking the time to tutor me in French once a week :) Thank you Sarah!

Though the lessons here are in French, the students speak a mixture of mostly English and partly French with each other. And the French here is very weird, like French with an American accent :) 'Je peux' is pronounced 'Je pur'!  With my friends I speak mainly English, and sometimes French when I'm trying to say something simple. I have a group of friends I hang out with, and there are also a lot of people who just randomly say hi because I'm the only exchange student in the school :p

Two weeks ago I went to visit Marije, the other dutch exchange student. She lives in Russel. She and her hostmom came to pick me up in the morning. Upon arrival in Russel we went to a restaurant to eat breakfast, a vegetarian omelet, delicieux! After that we went to the Russel fair, a small annual country fair. There were classic cars, a cattle show, horses, a market and a lot of junkfood :D That evening we had dinner in the house and retreated to the hottub(!) It was really nice to see Marije again :)

Last weekend Till and I went to a meeting for exchange students organized by some australians. We went downtown and ate at a burger place, Zack's :D Afterwards we went to the hill, an outlook post at the river. It was beautiful! To see a bunch of the exchange students again was great, we'll be sure to organise another meeting soon!

This is the end of my blogpost, until next post!

 

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