Been a long time since I have updated this blog, but I felt that now was an amazing time to get on the ball! So I have been in Belgium for over a month now and I am still in love! It has become a little chilly here, but not too cold, which is good, but the change in temperature prompted me to buy a winter jacket which is a bright red and made of wool :) I fell in love with it immediately, despite its price!
So, I have started school, and it was incredibly difficult for the first two weeks. I remember walking into school on my first day and being teased for not being able to understand. I know that it was just the other kids' way of welcoming me as one of them, but it was still a little discouraging. Good to know that I amuse people though! I was so pleased to find out that I was not the only foreigner in my school, as there are three other Rotary exchange students in my school. One of them is also from Canada, but in Thunderbay, Ontario, and for the purposes of this blog we shall call her Bob (her nickname, not something I randomly came up with.) There is a girl from Iowa here as well, and her nickname is Dave. The third exchange student is from Mexico, but as I have very little contact with her at the moment, I have not come up with a nickname for her. I have also gotten a nickname since being here, and that is Nick (the story behind this is really not important at the moment, trust me.)
Anyhow, I was so happy to not be alone that I forgot that Bob, Dave and the Mexican exchange student were supposed to go to an intensive french class every afternoon, so I am forced to eat lunch alone all week. I have made a few friends in my class at school, but as they all have their own cliques, I have found it really difficult to integrate myself into one of their groups. So I sit at lunch in the study hall and write until they kick me out to clean it. Which is not so bad, as I have gotten a lot of work done on my book that way.
I hope to be attending a Rotary meeting again tomorrow, but you never know. Things happen that are completely out of our control... At my first Rotary meeting I met the exchange student who had just returned from Iowa and whom Dave was good friends with. Very nice guy, and he has been chatting with me in French on Facebook, which is good because it keeps me on my toes! Can't have me neglecting my French! I found however, that the more I speak French, the more difficult it becomes to maintain a conversation that makes sense. I said once to a Belgian girl "That makes me funny!" (in french of course) I don't need to tell you how weirdly she looked at me, and to be fair, it had been a very long day filled with lots of conversation, so I was getting tired.
I have been enjoying my Sunday evenings when I wait for my parents to call and play cards or Monopoly with my host family and my host sister's boyfriend. They are so sweet, and they are very patient in explaining things to me that I don't understand. What I have come to appreciate about them is that despite the fact that their English is very good, they only speak to me in french, even when I need them to explain something to me. It has really helped expand my vocabulary!
I have been going to the gym regularly with Dave and my second host sister, whom I shall call George (again, not random.) On top of regular visits to the gym, I walk 7 kilometers to school and back every day (3 1/2 there, 3 1/2 back) and so far have lost 3 kilos (which is the equivalent of about 6.6 pounds! I will be walking to school every day with my first host family, which is awesome because I really do need to keep exercising while I am here. If I consistently lose 6.6 pounds a month for another 11 months.... Wow, I should lose more than 60 pounds. OK, maybe not that much, but 30 pounds gone by the time I leave should be more than enough to make me svelt!!!
Anyhow, seeing as I must get up early for school, I shall leave it at that for now! Much love to all and thanks to those who are following my blog!
A la prochaine!
Ammie "Nick" Ascanius