Sunday, March 31, 2013

Quick Update.... Not many pictures, but more to come!

Bonjour (or bonsoir) à tous!

Yesterday I went to Namur to hang out with a few of my exchange student buddies. It was really refreshing to see some old faces that I hadn't seen since orientation (but even then for a few moments) and talk and drink beer. Namur is great because of the Place du Vieux/Marché aux Legumes seen here:

There are no tables out right now because of the terrible weather, so we have to go inside. We went to L'Havana this time. They just finished remodeling, and it looks so much better.

My friends were so nice, they even bought me a beer after I dragged them shopping with me! You know your friends love you when they spare no expense, Chimay Bleue is the best. Unfortunately I had to leave almost immediately after, so I had to drink it as fast as I possibly could. I felt bad about leaving, but I'd been there since 1:30pm and it was almost 8! I had a great time though, and it was great just hanging out with the guys (and Skyler, who is super easy to be around) when you're living in a house full of girls and all of your friends are girls!

That's really about it for now (I know, how boring of me) because last weekend we didn't really do much in class. On Tuesday I'm going to go to an exchange student's house until Thursday because my host mom is busy with pharmacy work and feels bad that I'd pretty much be left alone to fend for myself. After that, I'm going to Callie's house near Louvain-La-Neuve for a day or two. During the weekend I'll probably go to Namur and do a repeat of this past weekend. Then on Tuesday I'm off to Amsterdam!!! Pretty much everything is in order for that trip, and I'm getting really excited besides the horrible turn in weather we're going to be expecting. Seriously if it snows I'll be so upset!

À tantôt~


P.S. Right around now is the time I got accepted into both AFS USA and AFS Belgique.... if you're in the position I was in exactly one year ago.... try to deal with the anxiety/impatience and good luck! I wish you all the best and I really hope you get to experience what I have and more. It's the best decision I've ever made, and I hope you'll think so too.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Busy Weekend

Hello everyone. As you can tell from the title, I've had a busy weekend so far. I've actually had a very busy week, but I only have pictures from the weekend so I won't waste your time.

On Friday in Socio, our class started making a huge sign for our school to educate and motivate them about social movements. When we were first brainstorming, I thought it'd turn out terribly. It has actually turned out really well so far, but we are going to add the words "BOUGEZ-VOUS!" which basically means "move" or "get moving". Here's a picture of all of our class (except our wonderful teacher) and preview of our sign.

After school, I went home with Kaari. We went on a long walk through Dhuy and saw many beautiful things, including a large estate surrounded by a lake and a tunnel of trees.

We also watched movies about Paris and made banana pancakes for breakfast. I ended up putting nutella on mine because, duh, bananas and nutella are awesome together.

I'm so creative, I know

We had the idea that we'd go to Bruges the next day. I know many people back home (and by home I mean CA, I know NY is still pretty cold) are enjoying mid 70º weather, but we have plunged back into winter. It was very cold and it was even snowing, so we all decided to go to Namur. Kaari and I met up with Claire, Emma, Madeleine, and Skyler, and we also ran into some other exchange students occasionally.

We did some shopping and we ate at Exki because we wanted soup. After that, we all headed to the train station to part ways. When we were walking to the station, we ran into two missionaries, one from France and one from Utah. It's weird to think that some people get placed in the same region I'm living in, right around the same time I know people from high school who are getting ready to leave or have already left on their missions.

That's all I have for now! After this week I'm on vacation, so I will update you when anything happens.


Friday, March 15, 2013

Soirée des Rhétos & Flight Itinerary

Bonjour à tous!

Last weekend was my last soirée des rhétos and I had so much fun. I stayed out until about 2 or 3 am and had such a great time. I had a great time at the last one my school organized as well. I didn't get in for free, but I got a lot of free drinks, so that balanced everything out. I went with Kaari, the Finnish exchange student who goes to my school as well, and I was able to go back to her house afterwards to catch up on some sleep. After a quick breakfast, I made my way back home. I was so exhausted after the entire night, but apparently the soirée was successful because we were able to raise around €3500, which is great because with that and the last soirée we've raised over €7000 for our bal des rhétos


Something weird happened over this past week. I woke up today to three emails, one from AFS, one from my dad, and one from JetBlue. I officially have a flight itinerary for my departure from Belgium. It feels so weird just typing that. I'll be back home (it's weird even typing that, Belgium is also my home....) July 6 at 11pm after traveling for almost 20 hours. It's just enough time to stop by at In N Out before crashing in my bed with my dog (that's the part I'm excited for... MY bed!!!!) and then I'll wake up le lendemain matin and everything will be different, but not at the same time. My life will have forever been altered by this experience, but I'll be in the same place I was just 8 months ago. My experience, my other life, will have come to an abrupt end. I'll go weeks (or even months) without speaking a word of French. I won't be able to see my beloved exchange student friends or Belgians. Life as I know it now will be different, and I'm positive that I'll miss it. I'm incredibly excited to go home, but that also means losing the home I've come to know here. I don't know how I feel about that yet.

Bisous et à bientôt,


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Four Months Left

Hello everyone!

It is now March, which means I only have four months left in this tiny, beautiful country. I was going to write about how spring has sprung, but I looked at the weather forecast for the next week and temperatures are plummeting 30 degrees........

I haven't been doing much besides school. However, last weekend we had two extra days off, so I went to Louvain-La-Neuve with my Belgian friends. We were a group of 8. We walked in first and weren't carded, but when my other friends tried walking in, they couldn't get in because they got carded. I didn't bring my ID card and my other friend was 17, so we couldn't leave. The other girls decided to go home. While I felt bad for them because LLN is about 30 minutes away, I didn't want to ruin my night.

I ended up staying with 3 of my closest school friends and we had a lot of fun. We stayed out until 3am though, and then went back to one of the girl's houses to rest. I had to be up at 8am to catch a bus, and I was dead tired. After such a crazy night and having to wait for two buses, I was ready to go home. I spent the next day recuperating and then I went out to Namur.

I am doing it all over again this weekend, because I have another soirée des rhétos on Saturday. I'm pretty excited for that, my school throws excellent soirées and all of my friends will be there.

I'm thinking about planning trips to Amsterdam and Paris if I get more organized. Other than that, life is pretty normal around here. School does a pretty good job of making things normal. Something cool though: I realized during my socio class today that I understood everything that the students were saying during their presentations, and I didn't have to try ridiculously hard. I've got to go, I'm being called down for dinner.

I'll leave you with some pictures I've taken this week.

View of Namur Train Station from Point Chaud

Spring has, in fact, not sprung.

I walk across this court every day and go downstairs (just left of the dumpsters, fancy, right?) to catch my bus after school. This is the view from the local des rhétos

The empty local des rhétos after school. See where those calendars are hanging up on the opposite wall? That wall was knocked down a few months ago to expand the room. Which means 100 students crammed into a room half the size it is now. 

À plus tard,