Sunday, October 20, 2013

Full Circle.

I haven't posted since the day I left. Life just sort of caught up to me, and every time I felt like posting it felt too late or not the right time. But I guess now is the right time. I left over one year ago for Belgium, and my life has been exactly the same but also irreversibly changed by it.

I didn't feel like I was going home when I did. I don't know what it was, but I felt like I was just going to another orientation or something. When I saw my family at the airport, I talked to them like I hadn't just spent a year abroad. Maybe it was the jetlag. I don't know. I had the same headache I had when I arrived in Belgium. After not being able to understand everything for a year, I could now understand everything. It was a blessing and a curse.

Life resumed how it normally was, which was weirder to me than anything else. I expected something to be different, but I still knew where all the cups were, I knew my favorite channels on tv. The things that I had to figure out in Belgium were the things I already knew back home, and that was very strange to me. I was expecting culture shock with the small things like in Belgium, and me actually feeling like I was at home without anything being different was very strange for me. I eventually got over it. I occasionally had to think too long about what to say, and sometimes a French word would slip out, but that doesn't happen anymore. I miss French a lot. I miss Belgium a lot. But it is also so good to be home.

I have been doing a lot since I've been back. I'm enrolled in college, where I am majoring in International Relations. I'm still with my boyfriend (we managed long distance the entire year I was away. I cannot even fathom how we did it, but we did and it is possible). We are dreaming of going to Africa to volunteer. I volunteer with AFS and this past week I went back to my old high school and talked to the students about going. It was wonderful. Everything is back in order again. But AFS has forever impacted my life. I'll leave you with a few photos of what I have been doing lately.

I know that I will probably not return to this blog to write again, because my experience in Belgium has ended, and a new one is beginning. Thank you to everyone who read this, if there were any at all. La Belgique me manquera toujours.

Bisous. Adieu.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

JFK International Airport

Just a quick post to let everyone know that I made it back into the USA. I'm sooo tired and I have a massive headache because I'm actually able to understand everyone rather than just being able to tune out French unless I wanted to listen. I'm going to board my flight to Sacramento in ten minutes, and I really truly can't wait to be home.... it just doesn't feel as if I've even left Belgium yet..

I'll let you know how my transition back home goes


Thursday, July 4, 2013

It's time.

Last Friday I went to Kaari's graduation party and then went to the AFS End of Stay camp.

Tonight is the last night at home for me. The last night I will spend with my host family for the foreseeable future. My suitcase is laying on my floor, as well as two boxes of stuff because I'm stupid and have accumulated way too many things these past ten and a half months. An entire life in a year.

My host mom brought home frites for my last dinner with her. She gave me a photo book of Namur and a glass for peket.

My room looks almost the same as when I got here, but it feels as if though everything has changed. Now that it is 12am, I can officially say that I am going home tomorrow to see the people I have missed so much this past year. But now it is time to miss Belgium. And I will.


Thursday, June 27, 2013

End of the year parties

Okay I think I've put off writing long enough....

On Monday I went to Brussels with Caleb. We (I should say I) bought souvenirs and walked around the city doing some shopping. After that we went into ChiChi's for some margaritas and chips and salsa. I really miss good Mexican food.  A couple days later, we did the same, but with Madeleine and Skyler and an XXL margarita. We're shameless.

A couple days after that (sorry, everything is starting to blend together so I don't know exactly how many days are in between things) I went to a party at my friend Marine's house. We played drinking games and had a BBQ before we were all to find out whether or not we passed. Everyone was incredibly stressed out, some were even crying. I was not (for obvious reasons). Mostly everyone passed. Only eleven have to take exams over again in August, and four have to redo the entire year over again.

I had to chug an entire (really disgusting) beer because of the game we were playing (I didn't lose or anything, I just had really bad luck)

After that, I went to a party at my friend Maxime's house. Everyone had to call me "Nicole Nicole" or else they'd have to take a drink. We stayed up allllll night (which looking back now, it wasn't very smart of me to do that) and it was a lot of fun. I took the bus at 7am and I got home at 8. I slept for three hours and then Keaton woke me up and I had to go meet him in Namur so we could go to Kaari's. Kaari and I got ready and then we all headed to the ball at the Château Vivier L'Agneau. It was so much fun! I saw all of my friends there and I had a great time. I was deadddd tired by the last hour though, so I sat it out and talked with some other friends, which is okay because the music got worse and worse. After that we headed back to Kaari's and went to sleep.

My principal lol 

On Tuesday, I went to the proclamation. It was the last time all of the rhétos would be together, which was really weird. I saw all of my friends go up and get their diplomas, and then my principal decided to embarrass me by talking about the exchange students at the school, and he made us go up too in front of everyone. After that, we all had to walk out and say goodbye, but I absolutely hate goodbyes and just couldn't do it so I left earlier.

The next day I was supposed to go kayaking, but AFS Namur cancelled the activity because of the weather, though it didn't rain that day. Oh well, maybe later on in life. Now I'm just waiting for the orientation this weekend, our final one. Mostly everyone should be there and it'll be great to see everyone again. After that, I'll have only four days left until I have to get on a plane back home. But worst of all, I'll have to start packing (ugh). I'll update after the orientation if I can.

À tantôt,


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bruges for the fourth and final time

Hey everyone. My year is quickly coming to a close. I'm trying to fit in as much as I can in these last few weeks. I bought a go pass yesterday and I went to Bruges with my friends Caleb, Claire, and Madeleine. We had a great time just wandering around the city.

I can't believe this is the last time I will go to this city for at least two years. It's such a beautiful place and I will miss it. 

I've been doing exams these past two weeks, but I'll be done on Tuesday. After that I have a few parties to go to and my bal des rhétos. I'm going to Brussels on Monday and maybe somewhere else to use up my go pass. I'll keep you updated.