Moving to Holland is not easy, but it's worth the effort. This blog tells the story of shifting from American life in Pittsburgh to Expat life in the Netherlands,
and all of our European adventures that follow.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Good friends

We have made a truly amazing group of friends in Holland.  Most of us were Expats, so we formed our own 'family' abroad.  We traveled together, barbecued together, and partied together (sometimes too much), and celebrated baby showers, birthday parties, and Dutch football victories.  Our experience would not have been the same without them, and we wanted to show them our appreciation, and celebrate our repatriation by throwing a farewell party.

We started with dinner at Bazar with Jake and Erin.  I don't know who was more upset about us leaving, us or them.  ;)  The four of us were our "American connection," and we helped each other through many days of homesickness.  We celebrated the 4th of July with barbecues in the park, and watched college football and NFL on ESPN America, or the ever-choppy Slingbox.  There were someone who we didn't have to explain ourselves to, or preface every story with "I'm an American."  You couldn't ask for better friends in a foreign country.  

For the party, we chose one of our favorite local, old-school Dutch pubs, Sijf.  All of our good friends from Erasmus MC and Maersk were there: Jake and Erin, Dayrina, Toyer (Andrew), Tim and Becky, Hannah, Rusa and Perry, Arjen and Linda, Dominic and Caron, and even the old party animal, Dick.

We will be forever grateful to the hospitality and friendship of Arjen and Linda Amelink.  They brought us into their home on holidays, family outings, football viewing, and more.  They introduced us to Sjoelen, and the art of grilling on a 1x3 foot charcoal grill.  Most importantly, they were our family away from home.  

They gave us some wonderful, unexpected gifts, including these beauties!

And, Perry and Rusa, also put together an amazing book for us, with pictures of some of our fun and crazy times, and personal messages from each of our friend.  Needless to say, this was the drop that broke the dam, and the tear flowed from this point on in the evening.

I hope that we will be able to keep in touch with these wonderful people.  And, hopefully, meet up with them again in future trips to Rotterdam, or somewhere else.

Thank you to all of our wonderful friends!  We love you all like family, and we will miss you greatly. (ok, here I go again with the tears...)


The rest of the pics are here on flickr:
(though, we only took pictures in the beginning, as later in the evening was all tears and beers) ;)

No comments: