Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sorry for the Wait

Well. It's been much, much too long since I wrote a post. In order to save time (and jog my own memory!) I'm going to make a little list of everything that I've done since Bruges and January (a whole 4 months!)

- "La Festival de Liège" - a month long performing arts festival that I went to with my class here. We saw 7 different shows in a month and the majority were excellent!
- Eurodisney in Paris with AFS! Lots and lots of fun, but one loooong day! However for all you Americans, this is a good example of the differences in distance. If you leave early enough (and come back late), you can go from Liège to Paris and back in a bus and still have a whole day in Paris. I also (sort of) got over my fear of Roller Coasters!
- The last weekend of January was the AFS mid-stay weekend. Which, despite lots of talk about feelings and stuff, was a lot of fun - and it reminded me how incredible it is that so many students from everywhere around the are so similar in so many ways.
- During the Carnival Vacation in March I went to Paris for 3 nights with some friends (one from New Hampshire, one from New Zealand, and one Belgian). We had an absolutely amazing time being tourists and just having fun together!
From La Belgique (blog)

From La Belgique (blog)

- In the beginning of April, I went to London with my school. We had a lot of fun and saw about a zillion things in just 3 days!
-The first week of Carnival Vacation I went on a biking trip for 3 nights with my scouting group, in preparation for our longer trip in Austria this summer! Again lots and lots of fun, and we got to see the beautiful Belgian country-side!
From La Belgique (blog)

-The second week of Carnival vacation, my family (Mum, Dad, Sister, Cousin) came to visit! It was amazing see them and showing them my life here. We visited Brussels, Bruge and then spent the rest of the week in Liège. It was a little hard saying goodbye, but if 10 months went by so quickly, 2 months will be nothing!
From La Belgique (blog)

-The first saturday of May, I passed the SATs at the International School in Brussels with friend (also on exchange in Belgium) from Maine. Such an out of body experience! It was exactly like an american school, complete with sports teams, clubs, guidance counselors and english speaking students!

-One wednesday during May I went to Brussels for AFS, we were on the radio and took a lot of pictures to use as ads. I'm now in an AFS ad!
From La Belgique (blog)

Last Thursday I went to Antwerp with some friends. Most of the Museums were closed because it was a holiday, but we had a lot of fun - it's a beautiful city!
From La Belgique (blog)

And then here we are. I've started exams, and I'll be doing exams for the next week and a half. After that I have a schedule filled to the top!
First thing to explain is that I'm staying a month longer than planned - I got my visa extended so I could do a trip with my scouting group. We're going to go biking in Austria for the last 2 weeks of July! And before that, my schedule is full of goodbyes, music festivals, vacation with my host family and lots of fun!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Last week, I visited Bruges with some other Exchange students. I was awed by the canals and the architecture. It was a truly beautiful city, and I can understand why it's called the "Venice of the North" - there are canals everywhere! We stayed in a fantastic, friendly hostel (called the "Snuffel Backpacker Hostel" - it already wins points for it's name!), and spent the day being tourists. I took way too many photos (if you look down two posts you can see them all).
What was really bizarre was that everyone spoke English! It took some getting to used to to say "Hello" when walking into a shop instead of "Bonjour"!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

So, now that I have a good method of putting up photos - take a look!

However, I am slowly losing my ability to write and speak clearly in English - so please excuse any mistakes! : )

The holiday season was a lot of fun here, although there were certainly times that were a little tough.
After St. Nicholas (which I explained in the last post), the holiday season really, truly starts. The Marché de Noel in Liège is (and was) incredibly festive, and since it started snowing near the beginning of December it became fairy-tale perfect. Belgium got record-breaking snow's this year - almost a foot. And, as a Mainer it was really hilarious watching the poor city-dwelling Belgians trying to figure out what to do with all the snow! Half of them don't even own shovels, the snow was on the news every night, and the buses were shut down with each new snowfall. The huge staircases by my house became incredibly dangerous and going to school each morning was an adventure. However, the night of Christmas Eve I went sledding on the stairs!
We also finished our exams the 20th of December - then we didn't have school just until we had a half day the 24th to exchange secret santa (in french that's called "cacahuetes" which means peanuts, I'm not sure why!) presents and got our report cards. My report card certainly isn't perfect, but I'm confident I'll pass by the end of the year.
Christmas with my host family was bittersweet - only because I wasn't home.
Christmas Eve, family came to our house and we had a Raclette (melted cheese on all sorts of things - super yummy!). And then, Christmas day we all went to the Grandmother's house to spend Christmas with the other half of the family. It was certainly hard, but everyone was incredibly nice and understanding.
Since Christmas, I've gone cross-country skiing twice, once with friends from AFS and once with my family. I also made Eggnog and Chocolate Chip cookies! They loved the cookies (and I'm planning on making another batch soon), but they were kinda iffy about the Eggnog - I think the raw eggs kind of scared them!
And for New Years, I went to Bruxelles with some friends from AFS and Rotary. It was a lot of fun! Unfortunately we could only hear the fireworks, because there was too much fog.
But, that is pretty much where I am right now. After a little more than 4 months here, I'm already starting to feel like the time is going way too quickly! Also, last night we had sauerkraut and sausages (traditional for the new year) and we put a little piece of money under the plate, so we'll have good luck throughout the new year.
So Happy 2011 to all of you!


So, being not incredibly technically talented, I'll put up the slide show in one post, and then I'll write in another post.
So, here goes, I hope it works!