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!