Tuesday, July 16, 2013


208,497 words handwritten in 502 days of my journals from China ----> Bulgaria over land and sea (YES! all of which Mom has typed out for safe keeping.) that only overs 3 of 18 journals.....
That's an average of 415 words EVERY SINGLE day. In the beginning (age 14) I was not very thorough and even skipped a few weeks of writing. So the daily average later on is actually much higher. I've kind of impressed myself.
Ammon’s remark to this was, “Wow. Ouch. How's that for daily homework? Kids don't do anything near that. Plus reading on top and cultural learning…”
Savannah Grace

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Horse Racing and Kite Surfing

So now that summer is finally here in Holland, we have taken advantage of every ray of sun we’ve been deprived. Since getting back from Mauritius, Kees has been obsessed with kite surfing, as his Mauritian instructor had forewarned. Along with kite surfing, he’s trying every other water sport he can get his hands on. Every chance he can get, he’s taking out his new boat, which is parked on the outskirts of Amsterdam central, a perfect location. Last week we went out 3 times, and managed to get Kees up on his wake board (which is really his kite surfing board!) and that made him super happy.
 We’ve also been digging into the sheds and clearing stuff out, in preparation for the move we’ll be taking at the end of the year. We found an old kite that he’d used for buggy kiting on the beach years and years ago.
We unpacked it in the field to test it out. Man, I’ve actually never flown a kite before, especially not such a big one! They sure are powerful!

After a few test flights, being cautious but without a safety cord to release the kite if the winds got too strong, Kees decided he’d had enough and was scared of flying away to Germany.

Holland always has such a big blue sky, it’s stunning. After over 4 years in the country, I really can’t get sick of the open stretches of green fields, separated by canals and windmills in the background.

When we got home we realized we had free tickets to the horse races in town. This was also a first time for me and I was  so happy we went. All the horses were being brushed, fed, saddled and readied for the exciting competitions. The connection between man and horse was touching. This was a trotting race with the small buggy fastened to the back. I couldn’t help but think about how close the riders face is to the horse’s butt….

We made bets and cheered our horses on. #3 gave us a good run for our money but fell back on the last round. After 3 rounds we decided to bet on all the horses, we wanted to win something!!! In the end we walked away with 15euros…let’s just not say how much it cost to get that 15E.

It was a wonderful night and I’d love to go again. Kees and I both mentioned how we’d love to have a horse at least ONCE in our lives… so who knows. The future is always full of surprises.

Savannah Grace

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


So if anyone was ever curious how my day of filming turned out, this was the end result. 
If people get as obsessed over these kinds of ratings as I am over my book reviews...... 


Monday, July 01, 2013

Sea Urchin

One night, while walking back to our room after dinner I spotted a crazy looking rodent running into the garden. Naturally, I yelled at  Kees, “Oh my gosh! You have to come here RIGHT now! What is that?!”
 “It’s a rat.”
“There is no way that is a rat! Look how slow it’s going.”
And also the fact every rat would dodge into the bushes and disappear in a shot but this little clumsy shadow was out in the open “attempting” escape.
We managed to corner it and get a good glimpse with the light of our phone.
He really looked like a mix between an anteater and hedgehog with his long nose and prickly back.
On our way back to the room afterwards, we bumped into a couple staff guys and told them our spectacular story of this prickly rodent thing we'd discovered…. Only to find out they see them all the time. Hhaha, I just love that I am on the other side of things. When I was young we grew up with all kinds of different cultures in our home. We use to laugh when the homestay students from Asia, Europe or South America would jump up and down if they’d see a raccoon and run out with their cameras. The same reaction occured when sighting squirrels,  bears, or skunks. I love that it’s my turn to be that excited about something which for some are as normal as squirrels and even considered a pest. It made Kees remember the first time he ever saw a gecko. He practically flipped his homestay’s house upside down to find it, jumping up and down all the while, telling them they wouldn’t believe but there was a GECKO in their house. This is one of many reasons why people love to travel. Like Kees says, “lions are great but if you can’t appreciate
the small things….”

Speaking of spikey creatures, did you know you can eat sea urchin? I didn’t. Sounds gross right? Well it is. There’s hardly anything to eat,just strips of gooey slime from the inside shell. I could never figure out why some nights they’d have a whole table piled with those prickly monsters but I can’t object to what one of my twitter friends said lately, “Would be good revenge for the number of times
I've had to pull an urchin spine out of my foot!” (@zzelladonatella) Perhaps it is all purely revenge-based? But maybe it's actually the urchin  that gets the last laugh while our stomachs turn…as we have to eat their  fishy, sandy goo.



And while I’m talking about sea food, which I never thought I was a seafood kind of gal, despite my unconditional love for sushi, I tried lobster for my first time EVER. Only five words, Can I have some more? WOW, what a delicious beast. Why did it take me so long to discover this one? Or perhaps it was a sihpromatum (sip-row-may-tum) because it saved me years of huge bills. If it hadn’t cost 50 euro a piece, I would have had it twice a day. I must admit I was surprised that I loved it, but also how small the actual edible part is. That whole animal, living in a tank and going in the pot JUST so I can eat that little bit of tail? Isn’t it a bit of an unfair world? Do you ever wonder why people have less affection and sympathy for water creatures? Is it because they don’t hear their pain? Or because we don’t see their facial expressions? Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter because I will eat every lobster I come across from now on. I’m a mean, lean, lobster eating machine.
Savannah Grace

Check out video of spiked rodent here on FB page