Merry Christmas Eve, everyone—this is my final post before I leave Amsterdam.


I’m relieved to be done with exams, and now that those are over I can concentrate on getting all my things ready to go. My flight leaves at 12:30pm on Monday, and will get to Dulles around 3pm ET (six hours time difference). By the time I write again, I’ll have completed a trip that began in August and will be back at home in Virginia.


My wonderful Dutch friend, Chantal, has offered to pick me up and take me to the airport Monday morning. She’ll be driving in from a much farther distance than it would be for me to catch the train, but she offered…and I’m very glad that she’ll be seeing me off.

I have too many memories to even begin contemplating at the moment, but I’m glad to be going home. For the past few weeks I have purposefully not been thinking about my return very much, because I get tears in my eyes when I do. My prediction is that I’ll be able to hold myself together until I land (I’m good like that), and will then be a consistent crybaby for the next few days—thanks to a staggered process of seeing family and friends.


I received an email from my big sister yesterday, of which I’m going to share a few lines. I hope she doesn’t mind. I generally have a strict “no crying in the university computer lab” policy, but luckily the room was almost empty and I was able to turn my face away from the person sitting on the other side of me. Tell me if this isn’t irresistible:

Devin [my nephew, age 7] was looking through the music videos on On Demand last night [a cable service where you can choose from a list of videos to watch] and came across a rock song called something like “Here in Amsterdam.” He ran into the kitchen where I was watching dishes and said “Mom look at this, this is where Zandria is, they are singing about Amsterdam.” Of course while he was saying this he was jumping up & down. It was so cute. While he is counting down the days to Christmas on a board […] he is also counting down the days until you get back.

I’m aware of how lucky I am—that I have so many people waiting to see me when I get back. I wish I could be with them tomorrow, but it’s not killing me that I can’t be there. I only have a few more days, and 12/27 is just as good as 12/25.

I wish everyone a Happy 25th, wherever, or with whomever, you happen to be celebrating.

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