Well…it’s December 1st. It may mean many things to some people and nothing to most, but to me it means something very important – I have been in the Netherlands for a month. Although it’s true I arrived a little before the first of November, but I gotta figure into the equation being on a plane for 24 hours, being jetlagged for a couple days, job training, and everything else that goes into moving 5371 miles away (hey that’s the name of this blog!)
And my analysis? Well you’ll have to excuse the obligatory Charles Strouse reference, but “I think I’m gonna like it here!” I have a great host family and a great little girl to look after and love for eleven more months…Fien is such a sweetheart. At first she hated me because she was smart enough to realize that me being there, meant that Mags (the previous aupir) wasn’t there anymore. But I think now, we’re pretty good pals. She understands English perfectly (all her aupairs have spoken English to her) but she only responds in Dutch. I have to remind her “en Engels” and if she can’t figure it out, she shows me. She also can’t really say the “L” in my name and sometimes she skips the “B” as well so it sounds like “Yi-yee.” Sometimes I can’t tell she’s calling my name until I realize she’s practically shouting at me. But her English (and Dutch) gets better and better each day. We do have our fights, but I’ve learned to deal with them. Dealing with a two year old is hard, especially when you’re used to explaining to ten and eight year old geniuses your logic…I know most of you have been wondering what my life has been like on an every day basis, as opposed to the adventures I have away from my family. In fact my Grandma pointed out to me that reading my blog, you wouldn’t really know I actually took care of a kid. So, a typical work week here looks something like this:
Monday: 8:30-18:00 including making dinner
Tuesday: 12:00-18:00 including making dinner
Wednesday: 8:30-10:00 then take her to Oma’s
Thursday: 8:30-18:00 including making dinner
Friday: 12:00- 16:00
These times including playing with Fien, laundry for the week, light necessity grocery shopping, making lunch, and whatever else we happen to do. Fien usually takes about a two hour nap in the middle of the day which is mine time off (thank you baby moniter!) Of course she never wants to take a nap, so I use that time to go for a five-minute walk to the grocery store and she falls asleep in the stroller before we get there. Then I just leave her in the stroller for her nap.
Of course sometimes these times change, but not too much. I don’t keep track too carefully since I figure it’s all going to even out in the end. Like last week when my family was on vacation and I only worked a total of a couple hours when I did laundry and the grocery shopping.
At the end of the day, I bid goodnight to the family, steal a quick hug and kiss from Fien, and it’s off to my little apartment on the side of the house. I quickly change into my pjs, put on my bulky sweater and slippers and head downstairs for a cup of tea or a glass of wine. And maybe I also usually have some sort of sweet treat as well. I then turn on my computer, settle down for some "Cheers," write this blog, read friends' blogs, roam the internet, skype with friends, make plans for the weekend, and when it’s time, go upstairs and snuggle up under my warm duvet, and get ready to do it all again the next day.
So eleven more months to go. Of course, when you think of it as eleven months, it seems like forever, but when you think of it as 1/12 of the way done, I’ll be home in no time.
Word of the day: lopen - walk