Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Neglected Blog = A Tired Exchange Student

At least one good thing about not updating for over a week means I have tons to talk about. Also, I have a very good reason why... so many things have been happening over here! Every year I forget that this time of year is always extremely busy, and this year is no exception.

The Scouts camp was very fun, but extremely exhausting. I had gym that day at school, and after getting home, I was told by my host mom that we were leaving in thirty minutes and I still had to pack. I also had to dress up as a patient or doctor in a psych ward, because that was the theme this year. It was also raining, but this is Belgium so I expected that. After scrambling to get all of my stuff together for the weekend, we were off to meet everyone else.

We were told to split up into two teams, because we were going to have to walk to our destination using a few clues. We were told it'd take about an hour and that spaghetti would be waiting for us when we arrived. The walk ended up taking two and a half hours. We walked through different towns, a forest, up and down hills, and through absolutely massive puddles and heaps of mud. We kept our spirits up by stopping for fries (of course) and laughing at someone whenever they stepped in a particularly big puddle. We ended up running into the rest of the group and decided we didn't want to walk anymore and so we called for help and were taken to a building where our retreat would be held.

After dinner at 11pm, the parents left and it was just the staff or "chefs" of Scouts. We drank beer, played games, and just hung out with each other. It was a lot of fun, but I was dead tired. I held out until 3am, but I was still the first one to go to sleep. Everyone started waking up at 8am the next day as well. I don't know how Belgians do it....

The next day there was a competition between the two teams that had to do with Scouts. Then we had dinner and repeated the party all over again, except this time I went to bed at 11pm. The next day we cleaned up and left, and I have never appreciated a hot shower more in my entire life.

On Wednesday I went to le carré in Liège for the first time for Titles. It's a big tradition for Rotary students, and occasionally AFS students will go. It was pretty crazy and not something I could do every week, but it was a lot of fun and meeting up with exchange students I hadn't seen since orientation was great.

On Saturday there was an AFS activity with Namur. We went to Charleroi to go ice skating, and after we went to grab a drink and then there was a cheese party in Namur. It was fun but I am absolutely terrible and terrified of ice skating. The cheese party was a little unusual, but it was also pretty good. I was lucky and only had one bad piece of cheese. While I was there, I looked out side the window and I saw snow!!! It was the first of December and the first snow of the year.

Also, St. Nicolas made an appearance. St. Nicolas is a man sort of like our Santa Claus, except from what I understood from the story, he saved children from being cut up by a butcher. We were called up one by one and most of us had to do something embarrassing to get the bag of treats he was giving out. I had to do the chicken dance. I thought it was absolutely hilarious watching everyone go up there, although the St. Nicolas costume kind of scares me!

Today I woke up to more snow! This time it actually stuck. There was probably one or two inches of it, which is crazy to me!!! I think it's going to be a very cold winter... 

I went to Scouts again this weekend, and St. Nicolas made another appearance for the Baladins, the group I'm a staff member of. The kids seemed to enjoy it, and loved getting candy after having a moment with St. Nicolas. We also had a snowball fight (I decided to retreat to the radiator after a short while) and then I had to leave to go to my host aunt's house to celebrate St. Nicolas with everyone.

This was a really fun weekend (with lots of great food) but I am SO ready for it to be over. That sounds backwards - me wanting to go to school?? - but exams start this week and I'm only taking four, per the AFS requirement. Tomorrow is math, and I'm definitely not taking that one, so I get to sleep in! I'm going to go now though, I'm so ready to sleep. Now that vacances de Noël is starting soon, I will update with more pictures and places I'm going to visit.

À plus tard,



  1. Hi Nicole! I have been reading your blog for a while, because I'm pretty interested in studying abroad, and I was just wondering what exactly is Scouts? Thanks, have a great stay in Belgium!

  2. I had fun reading this post. Very informative as well. I didn’t know the procedure can be easy. your blog is very nice.Thanks for posting this important blog on your website. I appreciate your efforts to bring such a huge list for us. Nice feeling by reading this types of things…thanks…
    vakantiehuisje frankrijk

  3. Nice Blog! Spending an exchange year is awesome! Check out this blog too: I hope you like it!