Skype

We had quite a bit of trouble tryping to setup internet and phone in Holland. We first tried Tele2 as they were cheapest, but they simply couldn't assure us we would have internet on January 2 (we called in November). In New Zealand getting broadband and a phone takes a day. Here in Holland it's 4 to 6 weeks. So we went to the KPN, the biggest company here, and the monopoly provider like Telecom was. They could assure us we would get our phone and internet in time. However, they only gave us internet, no phone. Perhaps something went wrong, because we had to call them as we couldn't order over the web. We wanted our ADSL router delivered to a different address as we didn't live at the delivery address obviously. But you can't do that via the website.

Winter in Holland

It is really winter in The Netherlands. This is about 7.40am on Monday morning when we went to the Van Lodenstein College so they could organise a place in a class for Auke, Dieuwe and AnneRoos. And yes, we're somewhere in the middle of the picture:

Later today we drove home, this is driving into our street:

School vouchers and Christian education

Having to bring considerable financial sacrifices for Christian education might not be such a bad thing after all. One of Auke's subject is reproduction, including a considerable section on the human side. But they use a completely worldly book for that nowadays. The content was just shocking. Mind you, this school is the creme de la creme on Christian education in Holland. Teachers are not allowed to have a television at home. The schools has a filtered internet, using a white list: so only sites which are allowed can be visited. You have to fill in a detailed form when applying for the school, and only the children of attending specific churches are accepted.

The Netherlands

On Saturday I  bought some ice skates (ice hockey skates), which are really cool. Then we went ice skating on a lake that was about 20 minutes driving from our house. There were quiet a lot of people who were ice skating there. This was the first time I skated on natural ice in about 6 years just like everyone else in The Netherlands (the last time it froze so much was in 2002).

Ice skating

It's winter in Holland. Real winter for the first time in many years. So that means ice skating on natural ice. Here Auke on the "Uddelermeer", a tiny lake on the Veluwe:

We were there with Gerbert, Ida's brother and his daughter:

It was busy as you can see. Supposedly there was about 15 centimetres of ice:

And AnneRoos was there as well of course:

And here a picture of a very cold Ida:

I had forgotten my camery, so these pictures are taken with my mobile, but they're not too bad actually. Some detail missing, but passable I think.

Pictures of our house

Here some pictures of our house. This is the living room:

Ida in the kitchen:

And at the dining table:

The house has three levels. Here are the stairs:

We and the boys sleep on the first level. This is the bed room of the boys:

AnneRoos sleeps on the second level, here her roomy room:

The Netherlands

Today we flew from New York to Washington D.C which took us about 40 minutes (which isnt very long). We flew on the smallest airplane I have even been inside. Then from Washington D.C we took an connecting flight to Amsterdam which took about 7 hours long. Along the way we watched some movies and tried to get some sleep (which we didnt). When we arrived in Amsterdam we saw Pakke and Beppe and Opa and Arwin who were waiting for us to arrive. They took us to our home in Hoevelaken, which is a neat little home in the middle of a town with the shops close to us and Oma was there to suprise us which was cool. After that we talked and had some food and Pakke and Beppe went home. Then Arwin, Opa and Oma went home and Gerbert and Gerdin, Hilde and Rick went to come to bring the bicycles we needed to bike to school everyday. Anne Roos and me biked to the shops after that and daddy, Dieuwe and Hilde went to walk there.

Arrival in The Netherlands

We arrived in the Netherlands today. Our grandparents and some aunies and uncles picked us up or visited us at our new house for the next few months.

 

One of our uncles is lending Auke and I a laptop (which I am using right now). We already bought some new skates and shoes for iceskating tomorrow and getting ready for school on Monday.

Holland!

We flew to Washington, it only took us 40min!!!!!!!!!! That was so fast!! But cool.

Then we flew to Holland, it was a night flight so it was a bit annoying. We arrived and had to wait 45min to get our baggage!!!!!!!!! That was really really annoying, we entered the arrival gate and saw our family waiting for us. We all said hi to earch other and then drove to our house, we arrived. It was a really nice house. I put all my clothes in the drawers and all that kind of stuff. We had a really nice lunch and just talked, my uncle gave me this really nice bike to borrow. I rode on it, then we went shopping for ice-skates to hire. We ended up get dieuwe second hand skates and Auke brand new ones, that will be his very early birthday present. That all for now!!!!!!!!!!!!

Arrived in Holland

And we've arrived in Holland. Nice house, larger than expected. Photos soon.

Toilet being repared

We're now at Washington D.C. Dulles airport. As there seems to be an issue with one of the toilets, they have a guy working on it. Unclear if this will lead to any delays.

USA, New York 2

On Tuesday we did quite a lot of things. For starters we visited Brooklyn Bridge which was cool. Then we went to Central Park, which was huge. Dieuwe, Anne Roos and me all iceskated there which was cool although they only had figure skates. Then we visisted Trump Tower, which was an awesome experience, we even had some Trump Ice which was delicious. Then we walked around Time Square which was really, really busy. We had McDonalds there as well. Then we went to the hostel again and slept. 

Pic 1: Thats me Iceskating at Central Park

Pic 2: Thats us eating at the McDonalds

On Wednesday we tried to visit the Statue of Liberty but it was so busy that we didnt do it because we had to wait for 1 and 1/2 hours and then we couldnt even get inside it (it was not worth getting close to it because our ferry passed it every day). Then we went to Time Square again and placed around it. Anne Roos and Mum went to go shopping for cloths while Dieuwe, Daddy and me went shopping for shoes (which we couldnt find) and for books (which we did find and we bought a couple). Then we met up again at 3 o'clock at the Museum of Natural History and then we went over to ChinaTown where we had some very nice Chinese food. Then we went back and went to bed early as we needed a good nights rest for tomorrow (because we leave then to Amsterdam).

 

 

New York

On Sunday we went to this really cool church, we meet lots of new people, we also went to this families house, they also invited other families, we had a really nice lunch there.

On Monday we left our hostel and brought our rental car back, and went to staten island, we took the long way, it took us three hours!!!

We went to the B&B and had dinner (subway) then we went to bed. In the morning we had a nice breakfast there, then we went to the brooklyn brige, we walked on it! Then we went to central park and ice-skated, that was fun! Then we went to time square, it was crazy there, there were ssssssooooooo many people there!!    Then we went to trump tower and had ice-cream! That was so cool!

Then...........................we had....................American.....McDonalds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

On Wednesday we where going to go to the statue of liberty but it was way to busy, any we had aready seen it from the ferry. Then we went shopping, I bought some clothes and some books, and then we went to chinatown!!!! We had an alright dinner at this chines resturant, then went back to the B&B.

On Thursday (today) we had breakfast and then we got ready to go to the ariport, the taxi arrived and we were off. We arrived and cheked in and all that, now here I am!

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone! I have been sick for the last few days, so I have a lot a catch-up.

 

On Tuesday we took the ferry to Manhattan, past the Statue of Liberty.

 

Once there, we visited the Brooklyn Bridge (we stopped by Starbucks on the way).

 

Next we went to Central Park.

 

We also went iceskating in Central Park.

 

Then we went to Times Square and walked towards Trump Tower. We passed a Chirstmas tree on the way.

 

We had McDonalds for dinner (it was suprisingly hard to find).

 

And finally we went to Trump Tower and had some Trump Icecream (yummy).

 

 

On Wednesday we wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty, but it was too full. So instead we went shopping. I was supposed to find some new shoes and a jumper, but we could on find video and book stores... I wonder why ;)

We had dinner in chinatown, and then went back to Staten Island.

 

We didn't stay in Times Square for New Years, as we read it would be very bussy. I also read there would be over 1000 cops, and counter-snipers on every rooftop. It must have been very secure.

new york

We hebben hier in New York geen goede wireless, zodoende niet veel blogs. Ook zijn we savonds meestal laat, dus is er niet veel puf meer om wat te schrijven.

Laat ik nog even bij Washington verdergaan: zondagochtend naar de kerk geweest bij de Reformed Presbyterian Church. Ik had het thuis al op internet gevonden en was heel opgewonden dat er een soortgelijke kerk hier bestond. Ze hebben de Westminster Confession of Faith en houden de erediensten op gelijke wijze als onze Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland. Alleen de Psalmen worden gezongen, zonder begeleiding van instrumenten en de preken zijn op reformatorisch grondslag. Het is vrij uniek om zo'n kerk te vinden. Na de dienst was er nog zondagsschool voor de kinderen en de volwassenen hadden een keus om Bijbelstudie over de Spreuken te doen of om catechisatieonderwijs te volgen. Er waren zo'n 80 mensen. Na de Bijbelstudie werden we uitgenodigd voor lunch door een familie, meerder families kwamen en we hadden een goede tijd samen.

Maandagochtend terug naar New York gereden, we zijn door 5 staten gekomen: Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York. In NY aangekomen zijn we de uitdaging aangegaan om met het openbaar vervoer naar onze bed & breakfast te reizen. Eerst dus met de airtrain, toen de trein naar Penn Station genomen, vandaar de metro naar South Ferry, toen de Ferry naar Staten Island, vandaar een bus naar onze b&b. Een hele missie..........Toen we daar aankwamen hoorden we dat een taxi maar $50 kostte......Terug toch maar een taxi nemen:-) B&B was erg leuk, een oud huis met een prachtig uitzicht over de Hudson Bay en de skyline van New York. Duidelijk is grote gat wat de Twin Towers hebben gelaten.

Sochtends lekker ontbijt. Keuze uit bagels, croissants, toast, cereals. Veel gedaan die dag. De Brooklyn Bridge overgelopen, naar Central Park geweest en veel gewandeld en waar de kinderen 1.5 uur geschaatst hebben! Vandaar naar Broadway en Times Square. Een hele belevenis. Maar ga nooit rond kerst of oud en nieuw hier heen. Het is zo verschrikkelijk druk. We snappen er niks van, want het is ook nog eens zoooo koud. We wilden natuurlijk ook nog even naar Trump Tower waar we Donalds' icecream hebben geproefd, mmmm. Alles is groots hier en mooi verlicht vooral rond deze tijd.

Vanochtend wilden we Ellis Island en het Vrijheidsbeeld graag bezoeken. Maar de wachttijd voor de boot was 1.5 uur en bij het vrijheidsbeeld stond ook een lange rij. Toch maar niet gedaan, we komen met de boot naar onze B&B elke dag langs het Vrijheidsbeeld dus daar gaan we geen uren op wachten om het dichterbij te zien. Nog even wat gewinkeld, souveniertjes gekocht en naar Chinatown gegaan. Daar lekker chinees gegeten.

Geen foto's dus, die plaatsen we DV in Nederland er wel bij als het internet wat beter is.

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