iLOVE: my adopted Dutch

Every once in a while we are lucky enough to meet people who enrich our lives in the most unexpected ways.  When our lab got news that we were going to be joined by two students from the Netherlands for a few months this summer, I really thought very little of it.  I mean, we've had several exchange students and visitors come through.  Of course I've always enjoyed their company, learning about their families and University life in their own countries.  But I was totally unprepared for these two students, or how profoundly they would affect the lives of so many around them.

I think I speak on behalf of everyone fortunate enough to meet them when I say that they are two of the most dynamic, driven, friendly people you could ever meet.  To top that off, they both happen to be brilliant students with a keen sense of humour, love of our planet, and desire to learn.  There is nothing they are afraid to try, and they have some pretty big dreams.  Their ability to share their enthusiasm, vision and passion has made it possible for those of us near them to be buoyed up.

The down side of this is, of course, that they are not here forever which means that the happy floaty feeling we've enjoyed for the past 12 or so weeks will come to an end.  In fact, they leave today for almost a month-long adventure through the Rocky Mountains, and will return to the Netherlands upon this trip's completion.  Now, while I don't view them as puppies or abandoned children, I have to admit I did kind of adopt them.  They are now and will forever be part of my family.

If anyone had told me I would be completely heartbroken over two Dutch exchange students I probably would have rolled my eyes at them.  But, here I am, on the morning of their departure, crying my eyes out like a big baby who just lost two of my best friends.  As much as I am excited for them to embark on their adventure, I feel very sad that my friend with the infectious, impish grin that lights up entire rooms and my little soul-brother who gives hugs so amazing they make the cosmic fluff under my toenails vibrate are going away.  

I'm going to miss the lunches and the laughter but the love will keep on keeping on.  As painful as farewells are, it has been my honour, it has been my pleasure, it has been my heretical swan.  Much swaffelen and varkenvlees to you both, and until we meet again, bakkie pleur voor je harses. <3  Rock on.  Get it?  Rock?  On?  (Psst - they're geologists... that's funny stuff right there, "rock" on...)


Laura Jane said…
I don't think there is a conversation we've had since you've met these two in which you haven't mentioned them. Heck, you even brought them along the ride for the birth of my baby. I can't wait to hear your stories and tales, and I am sorry I missed meeting them in person. But remember, like you know, this is 'the way'. <3


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