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Reisverslag The first week and my first schoolweek in America.
11 september 2016
The first week and my first schoolweek in America.
The last time I posted a blog I said my plane got delayed by 37 minutes. My plane was bound for take-off at 09:25 AM. I think we took off at 00:08 PM. Jupp, It was delayed big time!
The plane ride itself was not as pleasant either. Since I already had a long day of traveling behind me, I was very tired as you can imagine. So I slept on the plane. But then suddenly I woke up because the plane got in a thunderstorm (No I’m not kidding). I looked around and everyone had this terrifying look on their faces and the mother next to me was holding her child close to her. I had a window seat so I could see the lightning bolts crashing down to the earth beneath us. Luckily we did not get hit! I admit that I was very terrified at that moment. The whole plane was shaking and I literally had to grab my chair to not fly out of my chair. Of course I had my belt on but I still felt like I was lifting out of my chair.
I AM SAVE NOW! That I should tell you of course, But it was really scary. After we landed I picked at my suitcase, and this was about 1:30 in the morning. I met my host dad and we drove from Lubbock (home of Texas Tech) to Lamesa, the place I will be living this upcoming year! I came home about 2:30 in the morning and got something to eat and to drink (Milk and a huge American Cookie which I couldn’t even finish) I went to bed and slept from 3 in the morning until noon! I was so tired.
The next day I had breakfast and after I think 12 hours after I landed in Lubbock I had a from head-to-toe Medical exam which is required to play sports in high school. I passed it. After that we went to the school to sign up for classes, arriving there we were asked if we could come back later because it was ‘open house’ that day, which means that the students get to pick up their schedule. Because we couldn’t sign up for classes my host mom and I decided to watch football practise because Tim, the other exchange student in my family was already training. Watching the team practise was already a dream come true. And it’s so weird to see something you’ve dreamt about actually see in real life. It was awesome! After the training I got introduced to the head coach of the team. Since my first- and last name are not really easy to pronounce the coach said he was just going to call me ‘Matt W’ with an astounding Southern accent which made it even more cool! After practise we went to the open house and listened to principal as he kicked off the school year. My host mom introduced us the a few teachers and they were all very kind hearted, for as far as I can tell.
I did not sleep that well the first night actually. I woke up at around 3 pm and 5 pm and then slept all the way through 11:30 in the morning. After brunch we went back to school to sign up for classes. Since this year doesn’t count for my school back in The Netherlands I wanted to take as many classes that I wouldn’t be able to do back in my home country, so I told the counsellor that and together we made a schedule that would fit me, including some wood construction and a class that’s called ‘Earth and Science’ which I’m looking forward to! After making that schedule we went back home and at 3:30 am we, Tim and I, had to be at practise. When I got in the locker room there was already a locker that had my name on it: Matt W. The coach wants everybody who comes on the team to first have 4 trainings to get to know how everything works. So I did not get to wear the football pads right away and have those four training sessions. Since I did not have a single clue how the game works it was all really confusing. The first hour I was so confused and couldn’t be asked to figure it all out. But after that first hour things got a little more clearer and every time I watch football it gets clearer and clearer. So I hope I am able to get to know the game and actually play some games!
This morning I had to get out bed early in the morning to get to Lubbock with my host dad. On the way to Lubbock we picked up Jonathan, Jonathan is from Belgium and one of the exchange students who was on exchange year a couple of years before I got here. After picking up Jonathan we went to Lubbock’s courthouse where my host dad had to go to for work. After that ended we visited a few places like Old Navy, where clothes are really cheap and I got there some clothes and other things I needed at Old Navy and Best Buy. We also ate at Olive Garden for lunch, it was DELICOUS! We visited some big big big ‘grocery’ stores and also went to a kind of museum where we looked at the region’s origin. This eventfull day did mean I had to miss practise, but as an exchange student practise is not the only thing that is important to me. Wednesday was a really fun and good day!
Thursday was the day to do some settling and shopping again and we had a scrimmage. that is a kind of football practise session against another high school team. Since I’ve only watched practise once I had the great and responsible task to carry the footballs. I’ve always wanted to be a ball boy, a dream come true!.... :/. But hey, we have to start somewhere right? That’s what I thought. Already experiencing the atmosphere of a (kind of) football game was great and it also helped me to understand the game of football way better. Always look for the positive sides.
Today was a rather easy day where I slept out because the jetlag still caused me to wake up at 5 pm every morning and would not get to sleep again until 8:30. In the afternoon we got to go to Bargain Mart where Tim, my host dad and I could get all kinds of products for a pretty cheap price. Since Tim and I both like meat and like to eat we got a lot of meat to eat. In the evening I got to bed early because Saturday was going to be a long day.
I got up in the morning at 6 in the morning and had some breakfast, then we would leave in the car for an about 3,5 hour drive to Guadeloupe Peak, also known as the tallest mountain in the state of Texas. On about 8200 foot it is about 2600m high. We started hiking around 11 pm and got to the top around 3 or 4 am. The view was amazing and I really enjoyed climbing this huge mountain. It was perfect weather for hiking. There was not much sun and it was cloudy. I guess I got lucky because if the sun had shined a lot my legs would be burned black instead of red. During the hike we made some cool pictures. After I think an 8 hour hike we were back down and got in the car on the way back home. On the way home I tried to stay awake but could not help to fall asleep every two minutes. We stopped at a Texas state sign to take a picture and then proceeded our way back to Lamesa. We got home at about 11 am and I was told this was a regular Payson weekend day. For me one of the longer and more intensive days I have had to experience but that’s the life of an exchange student.
Sunday morning I woke with a so called ‘Payson Hangover’. My calves were as sore as never before. We went to church and when I walked in the room where the Youth were I immediately saw two boxes of donuts on the table. Really? Donuts? Welcome to America. It was really funny to see that.
Monday was the first day of school, I was really excited but also really nervous. I did know a few guys from the football team I met on practise the other day but that was about it. The day went really smooth. The classes were nice and before I knew it it was already time for practise. The other football players and I ran from the school to the Field House (where the locker rooms are) where the coaches were already waiting for us in line. I greeted all of the coaches and when I came to the headcoach he asked me if I was going to be training with pads on. Since I only had one practise to watch I thought I had to wait three more practises to play with pads on. But no, two coaches got me all suited up and I was ready for my first real American Football training.
I’m not gonna lie. It was hard. It was really hard. It’s really physical and more complicated than I ever thought it would be. When I got out of training I was very tired and hungry, luckily I live in Texas and food AKA meat is always somewhere to find! Food tastes great when you’re hungry!
Tuesday began really early. I woke up at 6 in the morning and at 7 I was already in the weight room in the Field House. We started lifting at 7:15. I have to admit that I had not exercised in at least a month. I was still sore from Mondays practice so lifting weights did not seem the best thing in my opinion, but it had to be done. It was really hard. My workout partner could lift way more than I could so it was really hard for me and we had to lift on the whistle and that whistle went fast! Really fast! We are doing this every Tuesday. After lifting we had school. School was still very new. Not much happened at school that day. After school we had practise for about 3 hours which was hard because my muscles were sore from Mondays practise. It was a good training and after warming up in the beginning the soreness was not as bad and I could continue on. Wednesday was just a ‘normal’ day with school and practise.
Thursday we had our first game! In the morning we could get our Football jerseys from the locker room and wear them to school the whole day. So we did that. After school we were called to the auditorium (the stage) and when everyone was there the coach said the game was cancelled because of the rain.. :/ I was sad. I was really looking forward to the game. After that news we watched some game film from the varsity opponents. After watching that and not understanding a single thing of it we were done and were out of school. Friday was another day of just normal school and practice.
Saturday in the afternoon we drove to Fort Davis Area and stayed the night at a church near it. On Sunday we had church and ate nacho’s afterwards. Then I experienced a rainstorm as I never experienced before. It was raining hard. I mean, really hard. The ground just flooded with water. And Tim and I had to push the car out of the ground because it wasn’t able to move after it got stuck. It took a truck and two football playing lineman to get the car out. Although it was raining I really enjoyed it in some weird way haha . After that we went to drive to Fort Davis and see all kinds of nice landscapes and scenery. We got to Fort Davis and looked around for about 45 minutes and then hopped back in the car and went home.
From here and forth I will be only telling ‘mentionable’ things that really stood out.
11 september 2016 15:14 | Door: Mama
O Ties, wat een verhaal over de laatste vlucht!!
Leuk je belevenissen te lezen. Volgende blog de uitslag van de footballwedstrijd van vorige week?
12 september 2016 06:59 | Door: Heidi
Hoi Matthijs, Leuk om mee te lezen :)
Succes met de wedstrijd volgende week! Zo te horen kom je straks terug als Action Man
16 september 2016 13:10 | Door: Benita
Pfff, wat een schrijver is die man....!!☺