Last One


I’m a little late – I think pretty much everyone knows by now – but a week ago, I heard that I got the 8th  place in the World Championship! I’m really happy with that, it’s top 10! Before I went to Orlando – and while I was there – I secretly hoped that I would be able to end up in the top 10, but it’s amazing that it actually happened!

Now that we know this, I think this means the end of this blog. Everything is getting back to normal and nothing worth blogging about is going on right now. Maybe I’ll continue blogging eventually, I could change this blog a little and write about things I find interesting, but I don’t know yet. I’ll see and I’ll let you know if I’m really going to continue writing. 😉



Home sweet home


The last few days have been crazy. I haven’t posted since Monday evening, but that’s because I didn’t really have any time. So now that I’m back home, I thought that it would be good to update you all on what has been going on in the past few days.

Tuesday we went to Disney. It was very busy, but so amazing. I love Disney so much and it was so great to be there. I’ve had so much fun all day and we’ve seen and done some pretty amazing things. Especially the parade and the fireworks in the end were so cool!

And then, on Wednesday it was – finally – time for the Award Ceremony. After some great inspirational speeches from important people, all students had to line up. We all had to go up on stage – one by one – and then we had to say our name and country. After that we got our participation certificate, we had to smile nicely for a picture and then we could go back to our seats.

When everyone was back in their seats, it was time to give out the awards. Even though I didn’t expect to win something, I got a little nervous by then. Especially when I realized that Excel 2013 (my catagory) was the last one. So I just had to wait. And clap every time a winner was announced. After all the waiting and the clapping, I was glad that it was time for Excel 2013. I didn’t win anything, but that’s okay. This week has been so amazing and it’s something I won’t ever forget. In this case, being there was so much more important than winning!

After the Ceremony, we gathered our stuff and then we went to the airport. There we found out that our flight from Orlando to Atlanta was delayed, and because of that we would miss our flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam. So that was bad.

Luckily, Ymke managed to get us on stand-by for an earlier flight from Orlando to Atlanta. We ate something and when we went to the gate, they had some seats left and we could get on the flight. So we got to Atlanta in time, and we even had some spare time to eat something.

The flight from Atlanta to Amsterdam was fine. It was a long flight and I did not sleep at all, so I’m not too happy with that, but we arrived safely in Amsterdam. From there, everything went very quickly; we got our suitcases and then we could finally see our families again! With seeing our families, the time to say goodbye to each other also arrived. That was pretty strange. After spending a week like this together, it’s weird that we are all in different places doing different things right now. I’ve had a great week with you all, thank you so much!

Pretty soon after saying goodbye, I was in the car with my father, on our way back home. I’ve had an amazing week, but it’s also good to be home again. I’m (a little) tired and by now I’ve been awake for 32.5 hours and I’m going to sleep.

A big thank you to everyone who has been reading this blog. And thank you so, so much for supporting me during this week. It was so great to see all of your nice messages and read your encouraging words, I really loved that.


PS: if I ever find out whether I ended up in the top 10, I will let you know 🙂

Waiting for the test


Today was the day I had to take the test. The real reason we are here. It kind of slipped my mind after all the nice things in the last few days, but it had to be done. As I said yesterday, I was in the fourth group, at 14.30 local time. So this morning, I was pretty relaxed. I had a lot of time left before I had to do the test and there was no reason to be nervous yet.

After breakfast, we had the real opening of the event. With a very cool lasershow and some guys dressed up as astronauts, it was a great start. Then a few important men had things to say, but it didn’t take too long. At 9.23 we were allowed to leave, and then the waiting started. Tijmen was in the second group, at 11.30 and I had to wait 3 hours longer, until 14.30.

We watched a little bit of the Olympic Games. (Rowing; the Dutch men didn’t qualify and it was kind of disappointing.) Around 10.50 we went back downstairs, because Tijmens time was coming close. However, at 11.30 nothing had happened yet. We were told that they had a little delay and in around 10 minutes, test would start. Well, that didn’t happen.

At 12.00 we were still waiting and it made me really nervous to be honest. At 12.30, Tijmens group finally started, so I knew that they were running an hour behind on their schedule, so I wouldn’t have to do my test until 15.30. We had lunch and then we waited for Tijmen to finish. After that we watched some more of the Olympics, while waiting. When we went down again around 15.00, it turned out that there were 15 minutes of delay. Instead of the original 14.30, I would now start at 15.45.

At 15.30 we were all ready, waiting in front of the testing room. Nothing happened and we knew they would be delayed even further. Around 16.15, I was pretty done with all the waiting. It had been almost 7 hours and I just wanted to get it over with. I wasn’t really nervous, I just didn’t want to wait any longer.

Then, around 16.30, we had to line up to go into the room. And then, finally, I could sit down behind a computer and do my thing. I had to recreate an Excel workbook, but I got pretty good instructions and nice printscreens of how my workbook should look at the end. I was a little nervous when I started, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t as hard as I had feared.

All in all, I think I did pretty well. I finished with 7 minutes left (so it took me about 43 minutes), but I was actually one of the first people in my group to finish. I’m really happy, I did what I could and it’s so amazing to be able to compete here!

When I was finally done, we went to a shopping outlet nearby. I bought souvenirs voor Minke and Jochem (are you two happy?), and a little bracelet for myself. We also had dinner there and after the boys did some more shopping, we went home. Tomorrow will be a busy day; after a couple of presentations in the morning we will be going to Disney, I’m looking forward to that!


Alligators & Apollos


By now, the first two days in Orlando are over already. We’ve done some pretty cool stuff, which I’ll tell you about later. By the way, I wanted to post a blog last night, but I was really tired and I thought sleeping was just a little more important than writing on here. (I’m sorry ;p)

Anyway, yesterday we went to Gatorland. And yeah, as the name already suggests, it’s a park full of alligators. I loved it, it was really cool! Alligators are pretty scary things, but it’s so cool to see these really ancient animals. And the thought that they live here in Florida added something to the experience. Honestly such a strange thought that these animals live in the wild here. (I saw one today! We were driving back to the hotel and I saw one in the water next to the road!!)

Today we went to the Kennedy Space Center. From there, the Apollo missions were launched. We went on a bus tour and we saw the sites where these spacecrafts were launched into space. The most famous Apollo is – of course – Apollo 11; the Apollo that made the very first moon landing in 1969. So we saw the place from where the first man who ever stood on the moon departed. I thought that was pretty cool.

Besides doing these trips, we also have a lot of free time. I’ve seen quite a bit of the Olympic Games, although we missed the first Dutch gold medal this afternoon. I’ve also missed all of the field hockey games, but that’s partly because they don’t show them on the TV here. Unless the US is involved, they don’t really care about it. That’s a little unfortunate, but I’ve seen some nice things, so it’s okay.

This afternoon, when we came back form the Kennedy Space Center, the first ‘preparations’ for the World Championship started. After the nice days we had, it almost felt like a holiday, but we’re really here for the Championship. We registered and then we did a quick keyboard check. It is not much, but it made me remember that I have to compete tomorrow and the nerves are slowly creeping up now.

Tomorrow is ‘the big day’ and I’m actually looking forward to it. I’m nervous, but it’s an amazing experience and I’m so grateful that I get to be here. Tomorrow, I have to do the test at 14.30, so I’ll have to wait for quite some time. I don’t like that very much, because I will probably get a little nervous, but I’ll be okay. It’s a nice challenge and it’s something I haven’t done before and I really like that!


IJsselstein -> Orlando


Warning: I’ve been awake for waaaaay too long (I’ll tell you how long somewhere else in this blog) and I may not always make sense. I probably won’t make any sense at all, but it’s 21.44 right now (3.44 in the Netherlands), as I’m starting this blog. I’m writing this blog right now because my goal was to stay up until 22.00 (4.00 in the Netherlands), in attempt to get in some sort of ‘normal’ rhythm for the next few days.

Anyway. Today started very, very, very early. My alarm was set for 5.45 which still sounds really cruel. However, I woke up at 5.11. At first I thought that I could sleep for 34 more minutes but that didn’t really work out. So that was an amazing* start of my day (*sarcasm).

Now, I could bore you with details of the flights but that is not that interesting. We had two good flights, so that was nice. No strange things happened, nothing was delayed, everything went great. The only little inconvenience was that I wasn’t able to sleep.. Instead I watched a lot of movies. (5 in total; Papertowns, the Notebook, Sisters, Zootopia and How to be Single.)

Finally, we arrived at the hotel. By then I had been feeling like a zombie for a while. I honestly feel like I’ve been half-sleeping for quite some hours now. But that’s okay. We had dinner – I mean; everyone else had dinner but I didn’t feel like it. (because of the time difference it felt like 1.00 so…) – and then we went back to our rooms.

For the last hour, I’ve had the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games on as a background noise, I’ve been in contact with Jochem, who was watching the Opening Ceremony and I’ve been in contact with Harry, who wanted to know about the palm trees. And now I’m writing this.

It’s a few minutes later now, I’ve brushed my teeth and reread this blog. It’s 22.11 by now, which means I’ve been awake for exactly 23 hours. That’s an insanely long time!! I haven’t changed the time on my laptop yet, and that little clock is telling me that it’s 4.11. That’s pretty confusing and exhausting, in my opinion. Well, I’m going to sleep now, FINALLY!

I guess pretty much everyone is reading this in the morning, so goodmorning to you all!




Tomorrow it’s – finally – going to happen! Tomorrow I’ll fly to Orlando! I’m looking forward to it; my suitcase is pretty much packed and I’m totally ready. So, I thought that it would be nice to post one last blog before I go. Strange idea; the next blog I’m going to post will be written in Orlando. I like it.

Last week has been great with Harry. We went to the beach on Saturday, we built some IKEA things on Sunday and on Monday we went shopping and we ate sushi. Tuesday Ruth slept over (we watched some reaaaaaally terrible movies ;p). On Wednesday Harry and I had dinner with my grandparents, because they wanted to see me before I left. And today I packed and we did some small things that needed to be done here. So..

Oh wait, I kind of almost forgot; 7DAYS interviewed me on Tuesday! (For the people who don’t know; 7DAYS is a newspaper for teens.) That was pretty cool, but the coolest thing – I thought – was that they sent a photographer here because they needed pictures to accompany the article. That was something that hadn’t happened before, so that was a nice new experience!

So, anyway, tomorrow I’m going to Orlando for the World Championship. It still feels like some kind of dream, if I’m honest. I’m looking forward to it and I’m not in any way nervous (yet?). So that’s good. I don’t think I’m going to be very nervous. At the National Championship I knew that I could win and now I don’t really believe that. So I’m just going to have a lot of fun!

While I’m in Orlando, I’m going to try to post a blog every day. Due to the time difference, I will post them when it’s very late in the Netherlands (or very early, depending on how you look at it). Anyway, I’m going to try to keep blogging, but I can’t promise anything. 🙂


One week to go


Yep, it’s absolutely true what the title of this post tells you. In just one week I’ll be on a plane to Orlando. That’s a very strange thought, it’s suddenly coming so close. But I’m looking forward to it, it’s going to be an incredible experience, that’s something I know for sure.

The past few weeks you haven’t seen any new posts on this blog. That is honestly just because nothing really happened in those few weeks. I’ve been on holiday in Austria, which was very nice and I could have written about that, but that doesn’t fit with the content of this blog. (Now that I’ve mentioned Austria, I just want to say that we have seen snow and that was really awesome!) But now that the World Championship coming so close, I thought the timing was right to start writing again.

At this moment, I’m home with my aunt; Harry. (Her ‘real’ name is Mariëtte, but I’ve called her Harry since I can remember and I’m going to keep doing that, even on here.) She is home with me because both of my parents are away on holiday. My dad is in Greece, and my mom is in the Czech Republic with Minke and Jochem. It’s very weird that they are all on a holiday and I’m still here, but it’s okay. I miss them, but I’ll see them again in two weeks, and in the meantime we’ll all have fun.

In one week I’ll be on a plane to Orlando. It’s crazy. It’s so soon. I’ve been thinking about it since I won the national championship in June, but now it’s actually coming close and I like that. I’m not nervous and I’m pretty sure I won’t be. I am so happy that I am able to do this, the result won’t really matter to me this time.

Lately, quite some people have been asking me whether I have been practicing for the World Championship. I haven’t and I’m not going to. My goal for this year was reaching the national championship and when I managed that, I thought it would be nice to win, because I always want to win. Except for this time. I don’t want to put any pressure on myself, I just want to enjoy my time in Orlando. Of course I’m going to try my best, but winning is not the point anymore. And besides that, it’s just not realistic, considering the competition.

However, it’s way too early to even think about that. The upcoming week I’m going to have fun with Harry. That’s it. I’ll also try to post another blog sometime next week, probably around Wednesday or Thurday because then everything is coming closer and maybe I can write something more interesting that this.