Friday, February 09, 2007

Where are they now?

It has been a long time since my last update. I apologize for that. My new job as Activities Coordinator for the American School in Maputo kept me much busier than I expected, but now we are on holiday and I have stolen a few minutes at the computer to update my diary.

Where are we??? Well, we are back in the "First World," for about one month. We arrived in Holland last weekend and have been visiting JJ's family. As we arrived in Holland and drove out of the airport we suffered a bit of "reverse" culture shock...just to drive around and see everything so clean and not a sign of any poverty in sight was a bit strange. But that lasted a short time, then it felt normal again. It took us a bit longer to start driving on the right side of the road again and get our wipers vs. our turn signals straight. But to tell you the truth...we kind of miss Maputo and its "charm," but are ecstatic to be in Holland and going to Miami to visit everyone.

We started our holiday in Zeeland in the south of Holland, where we stayed in a cottage near the beach with JJ's sister, husband and Benthe - our niece! A cottage on the beach sounds like fun in the sun, but hello...it is winter! It was freezing, but we did enjoy walks on the beach with our coats, gloves and scarfs and instead of cold drinks we had hot chocolate!

Then we were off to Apeldoorn to visit with Oma Stolk (JJ's grandmother). After a night's rest we were on the road to Groningen in the north of Holland and also where JJ's mom and father lives. Well, JJ's father lives in Bedum, right outside the city. In a small little town. Everyone walks and rides bike here...even when it is 30 degrees and snowing. No wonder all the Dutch people are so in shape! Just to put it in perspective for all of our Maputo and Miami friends....on Wednesday it was Marlotte's (JJ's youngest sister) 17th Birthday. Well, she usually bikes to school everyday. Being a nice sister-in-law I suggested that for her birthday, in light of the freezing weather and snow, that we drive her to school as a "treat"on her birthday. I was quickly reminded that strong Dutch girls are used to riding bike in this weather. Note to self...make sure to stay home on my birthday if I ever live in Holland. Oh, no my birthday is in June....won't have to worry about snow....wheww!

But right now the city is covered in white! It is beautiful. Seriously everything is covered in snow and guess who rode bike to school this morning...Yes, Marlotte! You go girl!

Well, I have to go bundle up and get ready to head out. We are headed to Miami on Sunday. Too see pictures from our Holland visit click here.