Thursday, August 30, 2012

"First" Week

It's almost been one week since I've arrived in Belgium. On Sunday my first week with my host family will be finished. I've been so busy and tired all the time.

My host sister has taken me out with her friends a lot. We went to Louvain-la-Neuve, which is like a college town. We went to the mall there and after we went to Namur. One of her friends, Simon, took me on a drive through the citadel and the old part of Namur. The sun was setting and it was beautiful. But I didn't have my camera so no pictures. I'm sure I'll have more opportunities to visit again though.

I also had my first waffle (gaufre), first beers (kriek, pecheresse), and first frites avec mayo (hence the title). All were delicious. I didn't have a camera for the first two, but I did take a picture of the fries and the beer I tried later on. I also had these chicken finger things that were soooooo amazing. The mayonnaise is different in Europe... it's less greasy/disgusting and it's more tart, like ranch. The fries were good, but taste less like potatoes than In N Out.

I also went to my school to sign up for classes. I'm not quite sure what the classes are, but I know I have 8 hours of English (a week, not per day because that would be insane), French, L'histoire, Social Sciences, Geographie, Science, Religion (it's a Catholic school), and probably more. I'm also probably going to take art and music rather than math, and I'm going to be placed in a class with younger students so they can learn English and I can learn French. On wednesdays, my school offers free courses in French for all the foreign students. There's 2 Finnish girls, one Italian, one from South America I think? And me, of course. The school is beautiful. It's really old (older than the country it is in, because Belgium declared independence from the Netherlands in 1831) and known for its beautiful gardens. The principal of the school is very nice and prepared for the exchange students.

Everyone is very nice here. It's really hard to understand everyone (obviously) and sometimes I wish I could but then I realize I've only been here for a week and fluency isn't that quick. It's super awkward when everyone laughs at a joke and I don't get it, but I've come to just appreciate the sound of French even when I don't understand it, because it's a beautiful language and it's so bizarre that I'm here, In Belgium, living out the dream I've been wanting for three years. Belgium is lovely.

I'm going to Namur with AFS (it's only for people in the Namur region) to explore, and this time I'll take pictures! I'll write soon!

À bientôt,

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