Saturday, December 26, 2009


Merry Christmas everyone! It was pretty weird not being with my family for Christmas and seeing my friend over the holidays but that didn't stop me from having a good time, it was just different.

So a few days before Christmas, my host siblings and I went to my host grandmother's house out in the country. There wasn't a lot to do but it was nice and peaceful. I spent most of the time reading but I did get out a few times. On our second day there, Gwenny, Valentin and I made a snow couch! I know you're probably wondering what that is. Well, it was a totally legit couch (perfectly carved, unlike those messy couches you sometimes see), but made of snow! I wish I took a picture, but since I didn't bring my camera, you'll just have to take my word for it.

Then then the next day, Gwenny and I went for a long walk to look for animal tracks in the snow. It was really
fun and we saw prints of pretty much everything! (Cats, dogs, deer, foxes, squirrels, rabbits, boars, weasels, dinosaurs, etc...) Gwenny is really good at identifying them and we also had a book to help. We were out for a good two hours, it was pretty fun.

On Christmas Eve we all (including my host parents) went over to my host aunt/uncle's (mom's brother and wife) house for the big Christmas dinner. The food was delicious and the company was warm and friendly; all in all a good Christmas. Oh and they also had a huge great dane who was absolutely wild the whole time! I was covered in dog slobber by the time I left but whatever, haha.

We didn't get back to my host grandma's house from the dinner until like 2am so we basically all crashed. I woke up at 9 and the only others that were awake were Dider and my host grandma.... everyone else in my family likes to sleep in, and I mean REALLY sleep in, until noon or later. K
nowing this, the three of us decided to go for a drive. It was really nice. We just drove around in the country and actually went into France (literally 5 minutes away from the house) and then we went to a little fortified town called Rocroy. My host grandma said it was built by Napoleon but now that I look it up it actually wasn't... haha. It's actually much older and I don't think Napoleon even had anything to do with it... anyway, the layout is really neat and it's completely enclosed by a huge stone wall with a moat. Here's an aerial picture that I found online...

So after our drive and when everyone woke up, we opened presents. Everyone liked that gifts that I got them so I was happy about that. From my host parents I got these slippers that are shaped like sheep and a little set of ESPRIT (very popular here) perfume/body wash. And I got a pair of earrings from my siblings. After that we ate and drank....BUTTER BEER! haha, yes Butter Beer from Harry Potter! It was so exciting. Amandine found the recipe online and we made it the day before. It was good, but a little different than I expected. Though it's very comforting to know that my host family is as Harry Potter obsessed as I am. :)

So that was my Christmas. It was weird though, you know that feeling that you get when you finally get home after being away for a while? Well, when I got back to our house in Malonne and went up the stairs and into my room, I was overcome by that comfortable "I'm home" feeling. I guess Belgium is working it's magic on me. I'm finally starting to feel like things are right here. It's a little difficult to explain, but in simple terms, life is pretty good here.

So my mom and sister will be arriving tomorrow probably in the early afternoon and I am so excited to see them! We've never been apart for this long (over 4 months now!) and I'm dying to see them again! I'll keep you guys posted on our adventures.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

Here's the pictures I promised....

Decorating le sapin de Noël. That's my little brother, Valentin.

My house in the snow!

To the left of my house in the snow!

...more snow...

Malonne in the snow!

...uploading pictures to the blog is kinda a pain in the butt, so I made a flickr account and will be uploading pictures soon. Hope you enjoy, Happy Christmas, I think about you guys everyday! :)

Sunday, December 13, 2009


Hello all, sorry it's been so long. A lot has happened since the last time I wrote but I'll try to make this short and sweet!

Let's see... the biggest thing that's happened so far has probably been St. Nicolas. Man, oh man, I wish we had this in Oregon!! Well first there's the traditional holiday part: St. Nicolas (different from Santa Claus/Father Christmas) is the patron saint of a lot of things, but in Belgium, he is known as the saint of children and students. There are a lot of different legends about him but the big one here is him traveling on a steamship from Spain to the Netherlands/Belgium (even though he was originally from Turkey) to deliver gifts to children. The night before St Nicolas day, the kids put their shoes in front of the fire place and if they were good that year, then St Nicolas puts little gifts and chocolate inside... Santa Claus is modeled after him, I think.

Anyway, so I didn't think we were really celebrating St. Nicolas day because nobody said anything about it. But the morning of, my little brother came and woke me up, saying to come downstairs and the entire floor of the living room/dining room was covered with candy! And the table too. I mean COVERED! I've never seen so much candy in my life. It definitely made up for their lack of Halloween here.

So that was pretty fun...but even better was the friday before. "St Nicolas des rhétos". This is when the seniors (rhétos) all dress up in crazy costumes and literally ambush the rest of the school with silly string, shaving cream, confetti, hair gel etc, etc! It was insane! At first I was a little hesitant to attack strangers, but I'm really glad I did it because I had a blast!

So other than St Nicolas, not a lot more to tell you about... Last week was finals week and that (and a few other things) kinda put me in a little depressive funk.... I'd rather not talk about that though, as I am feeling loads better now. It's amazing, the difference talking to great friends can make...

Here's some pictures! (I'll put them in a another post)


Wednesday, November 18, 2009


I've put on a bit of weight... ;)

I'm legal now!

Me on Halloween.

Full gypsy attire.

Notre Terre exhibit in Brussels.

Museum in Brussels

We're archaeologists!


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Belge-Life

Well hello there, it's been a while! I'm sorry my posts have become so sparse, I just don't know exactly what to write about. My day-to-day experiences usually follow the same course: school, confusion, fun, happy, sad, weekend, repeat.... So I thought that I'd take this post to just talk a little about the Belgian life, in general.

School in general:
- No music in School. This is very different for me, seeing that I was so involved in the music program back home. I knew I'd miss it, but I NEVER thought I'd miss it this much. It was such a big part of my life so I just feel a little weird without it.

- No sports in school. Even though I never did any sports (Which is probably my biggest regret, even though I don't know how I'd find the time between band and everything else.) it is really different to not have them in school.

-It's longer and harder (that's what she said) than American school. But they get more vacations that we do, so I guess it evens out in the end.

My classes:
-Religion. Interesting class. It's a mix of religion, philosophy and the social issues that those concern. Mostly, the teacher just talks a lot and sometimes gives illegible notes. I think it would interesting though, if I understood French better.

-Geography. It should be called government, because it's more about politics than geography. It's not a bad class though. We don't really do much.

-History. I really like history but this class is HARD. The teacher is clearly very passionate about the subject and thinks everyone else ought to as well. This class consists of him talking, and then him talking more.

-Spanish. Least favorite class. I don't even want to talk about it.

-French (3B). This is one of my 3rd year (frosh) classes. I'm really popular with the kids but the class itself is boring. She usually either ignores me, or gives me a story to try to read during the class.

-French (3D/E). Second third year class. It is actually quite helpful in learning the language, just not too interesting. We learn about grammar and stuff like that.

-French (6A). This one's with my fellow 6th years. Another difficult class, but I really like it. It's challenging, but I feel like I can actually achieve something, I just have to try really hard!

-Chemistry. Ok, this one ties with Spanish as my least favorite. I don't understand a single thing, and it makes me feel terrible and worthless. I hate Thursdays. I didn't even like chem back home. Though I was actually quite good at it, I was just never really interested. I don't care how many electron shells Sodium has, nor how it reacts when mixed with something else. Sorry, but it just doesn't hold my interest. But what is interesting, is that I learned that my name can be spelled using element abbreviations from the periodic table. CLaIRe. (Carbon Lanthanum Iodine Rhenium) Cool, eh?

-Math. It's a little different from math in the US, which is frustrating sometimes, but it's not that bad. The problem is that I miss half of the classes in order to go to one of my French classes. So I'm half lost. What else is new?

-P.E. Unlike in the States, P.E. is actually taken seriously here, and it's not easy! I don't think I have ever ran so much in my life. But I like it, even though I may bitch about it every Friday, it's good for me. The only problem is that I keep getting blisters from my shoes. Hopefully the shoes

-Biology. Biology is was one of my favorite subjects back home but unfortunately, this class is a joke. It's so sad. We only have one hour a week and we don't learn anything. Major bummer.

-The chocolate here is better than anything else in the world. Enough said.

-Beer is good too. I've never had American beer though so I don't really know what it's like in comparison, but they say it's the best. Don't worry, I'm not an alcoholic.

ok.... That's all you get for now. (Just because I'm kind of boring myself. haha) I'll put some pictures up for ya!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

La sagesse, c'est d'avoir des rêves suffisamment grands pour ne pas perdre de vue quand on les poursuit.

So last week was basically the week before on repeat: up-and-down throughout but finishing strong.

The 21st was my 2 month anniversary! Woo! It went by really fast... It's weird to think that I'm almost a quarter through my stay here....I think that this last week I was probably the most homesick that I've been so far. I don't really know what sparked these feelings of nostalgia, but it was pretty bad. Don't get me wrong, I am enjoying it here very much but for some reason I just really missed home. It's kind of hard to explain....It's not that I want to leave Belgium, but I just wish I could go home for only like one day just to see my friends and family, say "Hi" to everyone, maybe get a Dutch Bros. or Jamba Juice, grab a burrito and then come back to Belgium! haha. If I could do that like once a month, life would be perfect!

So let's see... interesting things, interesting things..... On Thursday I went to the store and bought the equivalent of $15 worth of chocolate to ship home. (Yes, I'm so generous. haha.). Well this didn't exactly work because the postal guy said that I couldn't ship chocolate to the US... didn't really catch why though. He wasn't very friendly! He was rather intimidating, actually. I had a card to send to my friend, Troyce, for her birthday and so, since I couldn't send the chocolate, I asked to buy just postage for the card. I hadn't written the address yet on the card (just her name) because I had been planning on just putting it in the package with the chocolate, he saw this and said very whiney/rudely, "Do you know where you're sending it? There's no address on the card. You can't send it without an address.", but in French of course. It was really annoying. I wish I knew how to say "Chill out a-hole, I'm writing it now!". I mean seriously, It was obvious that I was searching for a pen in my purse and he drilled me with his snide questions. Maybe he thought that Americans are unaware of the fact that one must write the address in order for it to be delivered. haha, Oh well!

Friday was a nice day. Nothing super exciting, but pleasant none the less. I got my report card. I don't think that they're official grades, but they kind of are... I'm still a little confused but whatever. I actually only got grades in 4 of my 10 classes. My other teachers aren't going to give me grades until the end of the term (Christmas). So instead of being out of 100 (A-F) like they are in the US, the grades here are out of 20 and anything below 10 is failing. But anything above 10 is good.... It's a lot harder here to get good grades I think. Like, nobody gets 19s or 20s and 14s and 15s are considered good, and even 11s and 12s are fine. So anyway, In religion I got a 5 (bad!), in French I got a 5 (duh), in PE I got a 15 which I was a little disappointed about because in the US, everyone gets an A in PE. haha. Oh well though, 15 is "really good" apparently. Oh and in geography I got an 18... YA! 18! I'm very proud of that 18 because it's actually higher than some of the Belgians in that class! haha. Who said Americans don't know geography? :)

So the rest of the day went pretty ok... PE was intense though! We had to run 600 meters in 4:15, then 1:00 or rest, then 600 meters in 4:15, 1:00 rest, then 1200 meters in 8:30, 1:00 rest, 1200 meters in 8:30, 3:00 rest, then we finished off with 20:00 of running non-stop! It's crazy, American PE is a joke compared to this.... and each week it gets harder. I'm pretty proud of myself though because I am one of the only girls in my class who did the whole thing without stopping to walk or take extra breaks.

Oh and I forgot to mention that they were doing teacher meetings last week so I got to go home everyday at 2:35 (rather than the normal 3:40 or 4:30)... so that was nice :)

So there is this guy (No, it's not what you're thinking!) that is in almost all of my classes and lives really close to me, so nearly everyday, I see him walking home when I'm walking home. It's kind of funny because we'll be like 20 feet away the whole time but not even acknowledge each other. I always figured that I should talk to him but my french was never confident enough in my french to do it.... until Friday! haha. So that's a small feat for me. It was nice to talk to someone who hardly speaks English for change. All my other friends are so good at English that if I don't know how to say something I can just bail out and speak English but with him, I really had to work hard to be understood. That being said, I think my French is improving because I'm pretty sure we understood most of what each other said.

Saturday was busy busy. Well at least by my new standards. I got up early and went into town because I needed to get a book for school and also I just to look around in the market. It was pleasant, the market seriously has everything. Books, clothes, flowers, fruit, animals, soap, etc.... It was nice walking around and just browsing the different stands. I bought this book called "un idee positif par jour" (a positive idea for each day) which I think was just perfect. It's a small book and on each page, there is a short inspirational quote. So everyday, when I wake up, I will read one and think about it for the rest of the day and try to apply it to my life. Today's was perfect, it was "La sagesse, c'est d'avoir des rêves suffisamment grands pour ne pas perdre de vue quand on les poursuit."
which I translated to "Wisdom is having dreams that are big enough to not lose sight of when they are pursued." It's by Oscar Wilde so he probably worded it better than I just did, but I couldn't find the actual English version when I searched online. At first, I really liked it and could definitely see how the "pursuing dreams" thing really applies to me now...but the more I think about it, I think Wilde may have been being a little sarcastic....
Saturday was my host grand-parents' (paternal) 50th wedding anniversary so we went to go visit them when I got back from the market. My host parents made a print of one of their wedding pictures with "1959-2009: 50 ans de bonheur(years of happiness)" on it. It looked really nice.
So after that little "party" we went to Valentin's godmother's house for dinner. It was fun, she has a 15 year old daughter who I talked to a lot. Again, it was a test of my strength in French because she knew very little English.

Sunday was pretty blah. I slept in, cleaned my room, tried to read my book for French (very hard, got nowhere) and then went out to take some pictures. It was one of those beautiful fall afternoons. You know, the kind with clear skies and the sunshine glitters through the trees. And not only are the leaves yellow, but the whole world seems to have this warm, golden hue. Unfortunately, my pictures don't really convey the beauty very well. I learned that landscape photography really isn't my forte.... I'm actually quite bad at it... oh well.

Monday. That's today! I went to school but only had one hour of class because one of my teachers wasn't there. At lunch, I went into Namur with my classmates to see a movie about war in Lebanon... it was interesting. haha. It was animated but really bizarre... I don't really like that kind of movie, they just make me feel guilty...

This week should be pretty fun. I'm going to take my two little siblings trick-or-treating on Halloween so that will be nice. Then, after that, I have a week off school. It will be nice to not have to work but I don't really know what I'm going to do with myself for that long. I guess I'll just wait and see!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What just happened and why can I understand what everyone is saying?

So last week was an emotional roller coaster! haha
I was very frustrated at first with my French. I figured, that since it's been nearly two months, I ought to be able to speak/understand it better. I'm just going to skip the doom and gloom though, because I'd rather not relive it. haha.
So anyways, I had this big text I was supposed to write. Well, it wasn't thaaat big, but what made it such a big deal was that I was to read it to my whole class. Not just read either, but preform expressively. In the US, I never had a problem speaking in front of people. Actually, I enjoyed it. But here, it's different because I feel like they're all either critiquing my grammatical/vocab. errors, laughing at my terrible accent, or just plain can't understand! haha

Anywho, I procrastinated writing it just because the anxiety of having to present it was overbearing! I ended up getting a little extension so for me, it was due on Friday. Ok, so Thursday night comes around and I still only have part of a paragraph. Dammit! Why do I do this to myself?, I thought. Then at dinner, my 10-year-old brother, Valentin, told me that my French was improving a lot. That made my night and gave me a little bit of motivation to write the rest of my text. I was happy that I got help from Damien and Kamil (thanks, guys!) on the first part but for most of it, I was on my own. I was surprised that once I actually got down to it, it took me less that two hours to write and wasn't even that difficult. I guess a little bit of motivation/confidence goes a long way (Thanks, Valeintin!)!

Friday. So I wake up a little early so I can have time to print my text. I get dressed and then head upstairs to print it. Well of course, I can't get the printer to work. I've never had any problems with it before but of course, it has to happen today! I get really frustrated and then decide to just copy it out by hand. Well, this took at least 15 minutes which was more than I had bargained for! By the time I was finished, my sister had already left for school and I was running late! I quickly packed my school and gym bags, grabbed a piece of bread and jetted out the door. I wasn't really that late but I wanted to get there in time to show my text to Kamil, just to make sure there weren't any HUGE mistakes. It was pretty funny though, the crossing guard, to whom I say "Bonjour" everyday upon passing, said "Bon Appetit" instead. I thought that was cute.

So I got to school with no further delays, and ended up reading (or trying to read) my text to a few of my friends. It was really hard though! Yes, I know that they're my friends and I shouldn't be concerned with humiliating myself in front of them, but I was, ok! First class up: Français! I decide that I'm going to go first, to get the humiliation over with.....
Success, everyone! I didn't die!!! Actually, it went rather well. It lacked expression, but that's a given. Afterwards my teacher said to the class that he was very impressed and that my French was progressing very well. And that he understood everything except for two words. haha! I guess two words out of two and a half pages isn't too bad! ;)

So if I wasn't already happy enough about that, in math, this guy in my class who I have never talked to before said that my French was getting better. It was cute though, because he said it in English and it really took me off guard, but I was very flattered. :)

All in all, Friday was a good day and I think if made up for the frustration earlier in the week. It's odd though. I really feel like I took a HUGE leap in my French in just one day. It just seems a lot easier now to figure out what to say and I find that I can understand A LOT more than before. Maybe the confidence is what did it, but it was like someone finally flipped the switch. I don't really know what happened, but hey, I can understand French now.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nearly illegal.

Hello all,

Just thought I'd share about my day. Today we had another meeting about Morocco and now the dates are set... I think. haha. Well, as of now, it's March 31- April 7. Mark your calendars; this is when you will change from being jealous of me because I'm in Belgium to being jealous of me because I'm in MOROCCO! Have you seen Casablanca? That's where I'm going. Actually, I'm not. But I'll be in the same country and that's what I meant! So from what I'm getting from the paper, 5 or 6 of the 8 days are going to be trekking days, which means 5 to 7 hours of hiking through the ATLAS MOUNTAINS, you know, the ones where Atlas himself held up the heavens. Well, that is if you're into Greek mythology. If not, then they're the ones you've heard of but never been to. But anyway, it's gonna be intense. After the trekking we're going to be in Marrakesh and then back to Belgium. I'm excited! :)

Instead of going to one of my French classes today, I went to English with my fellow 6th years. They had prepared some questions for me about school in America. At first it was kind of awkward because I was facing the whole class and they were all writing down what I was saying. It was fun though once I warmed up to it. It was really funny/embarrassing though. Somebody asked what I would do after school on a normal day and I said that I would hang out with friends and we would go to a coffee shop almost every day, sometimes during lunch too. I didn't know this yet, but that was not a good answer. haha. They all were like "oooh" and kind of looked at each other but I didn't really make a deal of it because I figured they just thought it was weird that I hung out with friends every day instead of doing homework. A few minutes later, a girl asked what we did at the coffee shops every day. I thought this was strange and responded with "ummm....drink coffee. We aren't allowed to drink alcohol like here so coffee shops are very popular for teenagers." Everyone smiled and she said that in Belgium, people go to coffee shops to buy drugs! haha. WOOPS! I explained that it's different in America, and that it's a very socially accepted activity, with no drugs involved! Hopefully I cleared things up, people were still laughing. So now I know that I've been going around for 2 months telling people that in America I went to coffee shops almost every day! It's about time someone told me! haha, so not only am I a weird American who can't pronounce "au revoir", but also a drug addict! Oh, here's a random fact: there is only ONE starbucks in Belgium! It's in the airport in Brussels. Crazy, huh?! Most people don't even know what it is.

I got to leave school early today to go into Namur to obtain my residence permit and ID card. Well I accidently got the time wrong and showed up nearly an hour late! I was lucky though because they still saw me. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get my permit/card because I didn't have my birth certificate? and because my picture wasn't the right kind. It was hard, because I was all by myself and my French still isn't great. But so I gave the lady my number and she's going to call me when she gets the information that she needs from my birth certificate. My host parents aren't too happy about it, but all they could really say was "Well, that's Belgium!".
My attestation expires tomorrow though so I'll technically be illegal after that. haha. Hopefully they don't kick me out.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

I like October.

Sorry Mom and Dad, my blog posts are becoming few and far between but I guess that's just because I'm keeping pretty busy. Ok, not busy compared to my American norm. But still...

So this last week at school wasn't bad. We didn't have classes on Wednesday, which was a plus but it still seemed REAALLLY long. haha. I've taken a few tests in various class already, and let me tell you, the grades are terrible! I don't think I've ever gotten such low scores! It's kind of sad... What's even worse though is that it doesn't really bot
her me as much as it probably should! I used to get over stressed about everything and then when I realized that, I decided it wasn't a very healthy way to live so I tried to change. It worked, but I think I over corrected because now, even getting the equivalent to Fs on all my tests doesn't phase me! WOOPS, went too far on that one! It's ok though, I think they'll improve as I master the language. Some of the teach
ers are cutting me some slack though. One of my teachers is letting me write essay questions on tests in English, which is very helpful. But others, like my French teacher, gave me a 5/20 on my last assignment with a note at the bottom saying "I'm grading you as if you were a native French speaker." Great!!! haha.

We had a meeting for the Morocco trip later this year. I'm so excited, it's going to be so fun! Oh, and Mom, the Reeces were a big hit here! Keep those coming! :) I was surprised actually, after trying on
e, I thought they wouldn't like them here because the chocolate is like wax compared to the chocolate here, but I guess it's all in the peanut butter! I think my French might be improving? It's kind of bad sometimes because my friends are so good at English that
it's just way easier to speak in English to them. I can understand a lot of what they're saying in French(when they're not speaking at lightning speeds), and I usually know a good enough response, but I just lack confidence. My goal for next week is to speak as much French as possible!

Let's see... outside of school has been pretty uneventful (until yesterday. I'll elaborate in the next paragraph.). Basically everyday I just come home, do homework, eat and sleep. Well, I have also been running almost every day. For the exercise, and hopefully to lose some weight! haha, I'm terrified of being the fat exchange student! But mainly, just for something to do. Oh and Friday I went to a Chinese rest
aurant with my family! Usually, we don't eat out but they are remodeling their kitchen and Friday wa
s demolition day so they couldn't cook. The food was great but it was weird ordering Chinese food in French. haha.

So yesterday was very fun! I went into Namur around 2pm and bought some earrings. Normal earrings, because I decided that I'm letting my ears heal back to normal (they were stretched a little bit, for those who didn't know.) I love my gauges, but I just miss wearing normal earrings! I'm thinking of getting second lobe piercing and mayb
e stretching those (calm down Mom, multiple ear piercing, especially just two, aren't unpractical in today's world and I'd only stretch them a little bit!) but that would probably wait until I got back home. I don't think I'm brave enough to do all of that in French! Anyway....then I met my friend Damien and then we went to wait for out friend Marie. Marie was with a different friend who didn't really want to be with us (she wasn't very friendly, I guess! haha)so they left and Damien and I just wa
lked around. It was fun! We went to all the video game shops (Damien knows where everything is! Very street savvy!) to see which one had the lowest price for Wii Sports Resort (or whatever it's called
) because we all (like 8 or 9 people?) put money into the pot to buy it for our friend Coralie, whose birthday was that night. After that, we met up with Kamil after his piano lesson and went and got a giant Garfield card and frames to put some party pictures in (for a post-birthday present). We still had money left so we got her a CD too. Then we went back to Damien's house (he lives in Namur) to wrap the gifts. Then we met Marie at the bus station and the 4 of us went to the soirée together. It was so fun! :) I'm so glad that I was invited! It was actually a surprise party so when we got there (it was actually at an elementary school that I live by. Weird, but I think it is in this place that yo
u can rent) we all packed into this room and turned off the lights and did the whole "surprise part
y" thing. Then for the first part, we just hung out, drank (it wasn't wild Mom and Dad, parents were there!) and took crazy pictures on the playground. Later, they even got me to dance! Not that I don't like dancing, I was just kind of uncomfortable at first because I was a little out of my element. But the music was great (WAY better than prom!) and they only made fun of my dancing a little! (Kamil!). They also like to call me an alcoholic too, but I didn't even drink that much! haha, I guess they just like teasing the American! We had dinner and vienetta (yum!!!) and then more dancing and crazy pictures. It was great, everyone had a good time from us teenagers to the adults (most of her family was there) and even the two little girls that were there! I walked home around 12:30am when most of the other people started to leave. I was exhausted! haha but it was well worth it! I can't wait until the next party! :)

A group picture that I stole from someone elses facebook. :)

Johanna, Leila, Kamil, Me, Marie

I taught them the "Z-snap" haha.
"Double snap, cobra neck."
They still need a little practice....

Caroline, Kamil and Johanna.


Damien and Coralie (Birthday girl!)

Don't ask...


Damien, Coralie, Marie, Caroline and Kamil.

Coralie and Damien dancing!

Johanna, Marie and Coralie.

You can see my hands! haha, no pictures of me dancing!

Birthday girl! :)

Kamil, Caroline and Marie.

What a fun night! :)

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Productive weekend....ou pas!

So this weekend was pretty flat-line.... which I don't really mind, because the week wore me out.
I kinda had some rough spots over the past few days (just about something from home) but let's not dwell on that (or even address it, for that matter)....

Friday night I watched this French movie from the late 80s called "Le grand bleu". It was in English though... Anyway, I liked it. It was very....French. America has brainwashed me into thinking that all movies should have happy endings and that lurid sex scenes are a no-no. It must be an acquired taste but I don't know if I'll ever fully appreciate them. Ok, that not-so-happy endings I can get used to, but seriously, sex scenes are just awkward no matter who you're watching it with! Like please, spare me of the funky, poofy hair, 80s carnality. Ok, ok, it wasn't thaaaaat bad I still prefer the American style of just implying it. But you should watch it, it's a very good movie.

Yesterday (Saturday) I went to this Roman gladiator re-enactment festival at the citadel in Namur. It haha. Kind of. It was nice to get out of the house though. It's sounds like it would be cool but it was just kind of boring. The show was at least an hour long and they were basically moseying around the whole time. It must be the American in me again, but I guess I just wanted more action. haha.

Today I stayed at home most of the day but did get out for a walk. I thought I ought to enjoy the nice weather before it's gone. I also updated my website, and by updated, I mean completely re-did! You should check it out, click this link!!!! .... It wasn't a complete waste of time because it took my mind off of other things....

Next week should be nice. October has always been one of my favorite months so we'll see how it is here in Belgium! :)
Wednesday I don't have school. I don't really know why but whatever, it's all cool! Sunday I might go on a 30km bike ride with my host dad.
And then the next Monday (the 5th) I don't have to go to school because my class is going to the French International Film Festival in Namur.
So I should be having a pretty good week. :)

So....This is why I don't update my blog everyday.... It's just not interesting! haha.
I'm going to go do homework now...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Just an update...

I'm kinda feeling pretty blah right now. I don't really know why though.

This week was pretty good. I really think my french is improving, so I'm pretty stoked for that. I have a pretty big group of friends too, which makes the whole "school being really hard" thing easier to cope with. I still feel like I don't quite fit in though... Especially today. I don't know why, but I feel so down today. Not even all day either, just when I got back from school. I guess I can't just expect to move somewhere and fit in perfectly right away but I don't know. I don't know why I feel so out of it. My friends are really cool and I really like them but I guess I just keep thinking that maybe they're only being friends with me to be nice to the exchange student, ya know? Like they're obligated to. But now that I think of it (I thought about it over dinner, between this sentence and the previous one), I think I'm overreacting a bit. I'm sure they like me fine, they just don't know me real well yet. I'm just going through another "down" but I'm sure it'll be fine soon.

Sorry for the venting, but sometimes once you vocalize your problems, the solution becomes more clear. I've got it under control, don't worry.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


So Les Fêtes de Wallonie were a success!
On Saturday I took the bus to Namur around
5:30pm where I met some friends (Caroline,
Damien & Kamil) at the bus station. So
how to describe wallos. Kinda like the
state fair, but not as tacky, but still a little
tacky. And there is beer and peket at least
every 50 ft. And you don't have to pay to
get in, it's basically all the streets in
downtown are closed to traffic and there
are tons of vendors and stuff.
Oh, and like a billion people.

So anyway, the first thing I have to do when
I get there (according to my friends) is have
a peket. Peket is the drink of wallos. It's a very
strong shot and they have every flavor imaginable!
The peket stands are actually really cool looking
because they're all different colored. So I tried
apple flavored. We all took it together (except
Kamil, he doesn't drink) and after you drink,
you throw your cup on the ground and step on
it. After that we walked around a bit and then
went to this park where we met Johanna and
Dominik! Ya, I saw Dominik! Pretty cool.

So the rest of the night was wild. Well not for
me, but for everyone else there. I've never seen
so many drunk people in my life- or maybe just
so many people in general! There was this one
point where it took us like 20 minutes to get
through this street that would take less than a
minute on a normal day. It was intense! But I
had a lot of funand a few more pekets. Oh, and
I saw one of the best fire work shows of my life!
It was so cool! There was music and smoke and
lights and fireworks. It was beautiful. Most of
the night I was with Damien because everyone
else came and went. We just walked around and
stuff.I feel a little bad for him actually, he was
kind of like my baby-sitter/tour guide! I think
he had fun though. (Damien, if you're reading
this, I hope you had fun! I did!) Then later we
met up with Kamil and Johanna again and he
gave us rides home at like 12 or 1.

I went again today with my family but it wasn't
as fun. We watched this fight thing with people
on stilts. It would be cool but it was like an hour
long. I did get to see something kind of like marching
band...except they had bag pipes. It was cool though
because the bottom bass was a total BA because he
stood in the middle of the circle while they were
playing and he was just beating away. It made me
feel cool for playing bottom bass in marching
band! haha.

But ya, I took some pictures. I'm a little upset
though because I didn't get any good ones!
Sometimes you have to choose between taking a
good picture and just enjoying yourself. I chose to
be in the moment, which didn't render good pictures
but I had a great time so it's ok!

But since I haven't shown you guys pictures in a
while I'll let you see a few:

Candy! I wish I got a picture of one of the peket stands...

This was before it got wild...

I have friends!!!!!!
Johanna, Caroline, Damien,and Kamil.
(from left to right)


I look terrible but I had to get a picture of me being
so Belgian with my fries w/ mayo and beer!


Marching band!

What a bad ass!