Sunday, January 20, 2013


Winter has finally hit the NL. Let me explain what I mean by finally. Last year the daffodils were blooming in February. When an inch of snow falls public transportation schedules cease to exist. There is a Dutch tradition of skating from town to town via a network of canals in the North - this hasn't happened in 17 years as they haven't frozen solid enough.

This week winter has come. On Tuesday, we woke up to about 2 or 3 inches of snow on the ground. This amount hasn't fallen in years. Traffic jams hit record lengths - well over 1000 kilometers of jammed traffic spanned the country. A few teachers took around 4 hours to get to school - some (like Naomi) couldn't make it at all. 'Snow days' are unheard of here though, because this sort of weather doesn't really happen. Call it a Dutch blizzard.

Getting ready for school.

Our backyard.

The back of the house.

The front of the house.

In spite of the excitement, school went pretty well this week. I wrapped up everything I needed to for the end of the quarter. Next week we have report meetings, where we discuss the performance of individual students. These meetings generally lack structure,clarity, and goals, so I am not really looking forward to them. I also get to start a new project with my first year classes about cars. They will be learning a few things about cars while making a balloon car. We will have races at the end.

Naomi had a good meeting with the school doctor on Friday. Due to her mono, she will be given a reduced schedule (almost cut in half) until the end of February. The doctor was very supportive and told her that she really needs to demand from the school a few things - in particular that she needs to know what she will be teaching at least a couple days in advance. As it is, she finds out when she arrives at school what she will be teaching. This causes undue stress. Unfortunately, she is not the only one that this has become a regular occurrence for...

Yesterday we had a nice, relaxing time running a few errands in town and discovering a new place the serves 'poffertjes'. These are a traditional Dutch treat resembling a cross between a silver dollar pancake and a muffin. They are topped with butter and a generous dusting of powdered sugar. When combined with a cup of Dutch hot chocolate, this is a perfect way to warm up on a cold day.

A few hours ago, the snow returned. It has been snowing steadily and the road in front of our house is white. Not sure how much will add up, but it could make for another interesting commute tomorrow...

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