Santa Claus or Saint Nicolaas?

4 december 2018 - San Diego, California, Verenigde Staten

The Christmas season has officially started! The streets are decorated and in every store I am treated to a different version of "Santa Claus is coming to town" or about Rudolph with his shining red nose. The radio is daily mentioning how many days to go until the magic Christmas Holiday will happen. The (school)activity list of December is also providing in a lot of nice options to experience and share this season. 

Presentation                                                                                                                      To improve my speaking skills I had the honor to give a presentation in which I was free to choose my topic. Yes: Sinterklaas of course! My first job was to teach them that Sinterklaas has nothing to do with Santa Claus, since (while talking about Christmas) they constantly referred to our Sinterklaas and the black guys. My next job was trying to explain the social discussion that's going on in the Netherlands right now, what is affecting the joy of a very old tradition. And my last goal was to introduce the real Dutch pepernoten;) which I 'd bought in the Dutch shop in LA, specially for this occasion. And they love it!

Visit another American family                                                                                          Michelle, my classmate lives in a homestay and her house mum is a baker. Due to the birthday of our teacher the next day, we got the idea to make him cupcakes at her home. We figured out the recipe in English but the oven seemed not doing well so we extended the baking time. Well, it turned out that the vanilla's all were burnt but thanks to the baker house mum, she helped us out by making an amazing cream. We had to cut off the burnt bottom and to make crumbles of the rest. It became a cake with layers of cream. Honestly, it was better than a cupcake;)  After this adventure she invited me for dinner, a special evening with a small group of the church. So generous! And it was this moment that I saw the largest bag of taco chips ever and such a giant can of cheese sauce like we had to feed the whole neighborhood.

Progress                                                                                                                       We are working in class on a very hard subject: the 3 tenses like the past, present, and future. I've never understood this and I still don't do:(  There are always more options and I'm wondering all the time which one I have to use. My problem is: I think too much and I want to understand the grammar in a logical way but I just have to listen what sounds the best.. By the way, I found out that drinking a cocktail helps a lot to speak fluently haha, no impediments anymore. (This is a new word I learned, cool though?) My vocabulary is increasing and we are learning to use the new words in creative writing. I also made flash cards, like I used to do for my 1st graders and these are very helpful. Maybe, by reading this you can get the impression that I 'm missing my job, the answer is NO, I love to be the student;) Although our test yesterday was horrible...

Gospel Brunch                                                                                                                At the 5th street, just one street ahead is the House of Blues. Me, my classmate and her house mum went to the Gospel Brunch this Sunday, what means: joining a (black) gospel concert while having brunch. Black gospel music gives me so much joy, I m missing my choir, they are in the last rehearsals of the Christmas concerts and I wish I could join them. So this concert made me happy in that way;)

So far, so good! Enjoy the season!

Thanks for your comments, I like it and read them all!


9 Reacties

  1. Yvon Heuvel ten:
    5 december 2018
    Ha Marieke , as usuel enjoyed Reading your story. Love and Kiss .
  2. Sacha Smit:
    5 december 2018
    Lieve Mariek, Wat heerlijk je verhalen en je foto's!
    Zo mooi dat je ons zo laat meegenieten.
    Heel blij voor je dat je deze stap hebt gezet! Geniet maar fijn, keep safe and be well dear! xxx Sacha
  3. Michelle Bonkestoter-Kolk:
    5 december 2018
    I love al the blogs that you are writing !!! So very nice to read all about the adventures in the USA. My question is, what do the people in the USA think of Black Piet. Because of all the discussion that is going on in The Netherlands
  4. Rita Molen-Kuipers:
    5 december 2018
    Ha Marieke, wat een andere wereld he, dus daar wordt geen sinterklaas gevierd maar alles concentreert zich op Kerst. Als ik je goed begrijp? Hier is het flink donker en ik heb net erg gelachen om een Sint cadeautje wat ik kreeg. Als ik jou verhalen lees, heb je het heel goed naar je zin !! Top. En wat gaat de tijd snel. En het Engels gaat zeker vooruit, dat lees ik in je berichten. Goed zo. Keep going. Love you.
  5. Amber:
    5 december 2018
    Wat schrijf je fijn, het leest vlot! Geniet van de kerst maand!! Kijk alweer uit naar je volgende verhaal. Groetjes en dikke kus uit Antwerpen
  6. Gerrie:
    6 december 2018
    Wat ben jij goed bezig zeg! Je geniet er ook erg van als ik het zo lees. Dapper hoor. Leuk dat je de sint hebt aangeprezen👍. Wij hebben het de 3e uitgebreid gevierd. Succes meid😘
  7. Sanne:
    7 december 2018
    Super leuk! En toffe presentatie!
  8. Marieke aarsman:
    7 december 2018
    thankx; was leuk weer even "juf" te zijn;)
  9. Marieke aarsman:
    7 december 2018
    Hi Michelle, nice question, I'll answer on this page, because I think other people would like to read this too.
    First: the American don't think about the Netherlands anyway. Let alone that they know what's going on there. Most people I met don't even know where my country is on this planet. They associate it with Scandinavia, something like that.
    But I asked my teacher how they would react if our social discussion was on the news and he said that this would be shocking. Not the demonstrations, but that we are used to a Sinterklaas with black guys as his helpers and that we are painting black faces. The American would be horrified, it is very controversial. America has a long racial history and they are still dealing with it. It will cause an uproar if you would appear like this....

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