Day One in Bike Country

Rafael Rios, Special Correspondent

Day one in the Netherlands was a huge success.  When we landed we were greeted with open arms by the hosts and their parents. After the greeting the hosts took us to their homes so we could get settled in. After we got settled it was time to ride a bike to school. I already knew how to ride a bike, so this was easy for me to do. While biking towards Jac. P. Thijsse College I passed a whole bunch of farmland. I was so glad to be able to soak in the beautiful landscape of this country.
Finally after biking for an hour it felt like, my host and I got to Jac. P. Thijsse College. I was amazed by this place. I have never seen so many bikes being used. There are hundreds of bikes lined up into hundreds of rows. It was weird seeing this because kids like us are used to seeing just cars.
After putting some personal items in lockers we headed to a classroom to learn about the rich history of the Netherlands and major cities. We learned about the paintings that had to be kept in bunkers during WWII. We were also taught how the dunes and dykes are formed by the coastline. After these lessons we tried learning a bit of Dutch. It is a very difficult language to learn. The last thing we did was a lab with soda and it’s CO2 gas. All the students went to a science lab to measure the amount of gas has been removed from a certain amount of soda. This lab taught us to communicate, work as a team and get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
I can not wait for what this trip will bring me. I am excited to try different things. This was a great start to my stay and I hope to learn more about this country.