18 August 2012

Bye bye summer…

Although there's a heat wave going on in the Netherlands, the end of my summer break is near. I'll be diving back into my study books on Monday and be back at work on Tuesday. Before returning  to the hectic working life, I want to look back at these previous weeks first. What a summer I've had: South Africa, Trai He Thieu Nhi & Fladderen are just a few things to mention that have made this summer very memorable!

Let's start with Fladderen. Fladderen is a children's festivity week in my hometown. 1400 kids from the age 4 till 14 participate with Fladderen. It's a three-day activity week where they come together (at eleven different locations) simply just to have fun. There are about 150 volunteers who prepare for this week throughout the year and during the festivity week itself, there are more than 500 volunteers coming together to make sure that the kids have a good time. I love love love Fladderen: it's so much fun to see the kids enjoying it and I love how it brings the people in my hometown together. I help out at location 'de Grund'. This is a location for kids from 4 till 6 years old. This year we had a dwarf theme going on, so I was a dwarf for a week.

Me as a dwarf

The kids from 10 till 12 go on a camp near my hometown. Every year, there is a horror quest in the forest where all the volunteers of the different locations have scary acts to freak the kids out. This year, my location decided to dress up as zombies. It was a good horror-quest-year, because a lot of kids were scared, cried and a bunch of them didn't dare to finish the entire quest ;-)

Dwarf by day, zombie by night

South Africa is also on the top of the list of most memorable moments this summer. It was truly great to return home. Not only was I able to meet up with good friends and family, I've gotten to know some of them so much better and I was blessed to make new friends as well. I was able to get some closure that I needed to move on from certain things in the past. It's still a work in process, but I'm getting there. I'm just so grateful for another priceless Africa experience. It's another one that will be treasured in my heart.

So good to return home

<3 (re)connecting with my friends & family

Being one of the leaders at Trai He Thieu Nhi (Vietnamese children's summer camp) has also been one of the fun things that I've done this summer. It's good to be reconnected to something that has given me so much joy when I was a kid. It's because of these summer camps that I still have friends of Vietnamese heritage. Being able to pass this forward to the current generation is the least that I can do. The camp was superb. The children were fantastic, true angels! I can't wait to see them again in September when many of them will receive their Holy Communion or Confirmation.

Sylvie & Minh Thu,
two of my favourite ladies of the camp

So much fun, great memories!

Other than that, I've also spend a lot of time with my nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Good quality time that was much needed. This summer might have been busy and perhaps too crowdedly planned, it was still magnificent and I wouldn't change anything about it!

Much overdue quality time with my niece Cindy

Tomorrow is my last day 'off' and I'll probably head to Lowlands (huge Dutch festival) for the day… a perfect ending of a great summer!

Enjoy the rest of your summer! 
Seriously hope that you've been just as blessed as I have been!

Lots of love,
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