Friday, August 27, 2010

Home Away From Home

Is it weird that it doesn't feel weird to be living in a different country? Living with my host family feels like home. I think school is going to be strange, though. I have never been the new student in a school, but at least both my sisters will be there too. I went to visit the school on Tuesday, and I found out that there is another AFS student there! She is from Spain, and she isn't in the same year (she's in the 5th year and I'm in the 6th, or last, year), but it's nice to know I'm not the only student who doesn't completely understand the language. At school, I'll be taking 'education artistique' -which is great for me. And seniors at my school actually get senior privileges! We have a special study hall that only 6th years are allowed into (and that means no teachers as well) and we are the only ones allowed into the garden. It's quite different from OFA. On Tuesday evening, I went to the track-and-field club with Michel, Florence, and Victoria. I tried the javelin, but I decided that I'm going to stick with mid-distance running. I haven't been as busy as I usually am in the States, but on Wednesday Florence and I rode our bicycles to a nearby village where Flo went to primary school and on Thursday we went back to the athletic club. I'm taking advantage of this time before school starts to get used to everything- the house, the village, the goats that live next door, and, most of all, ma nouvelle famille, which I love already.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Luxembourg :)

Finally, I am in Luxembourg with my host family. I have been at home for two full days now and it is wonderful. Tomorrow, I will go to Arlon to see my school so I am not so lost the first day. Flo will be in some of my classes since we are in the same year, but we are taking different options so the classes will not all be the same.

I landed in Brussels with my AFS group on Friday morning. The Americans were the first to land, so we had the entire day to meet everyone (and to wish we were asleep). When we got to the hotel, I was able to eat my first Belgian pastry. Oh. My. Gosh. It was so delicious (I ended up eating three). During the day, we were able to walk around Brussels a little bit, play games with the other students, and take a nap. I actually slept for a few hours that afternoon. I had thought that if I slept in the afternoon, I would not be able to sleep at night even though I lost six hours from New York to Belgium. I was wrong. I slept for part of the afternoon and all night, except when I woke up at 3:30 am. Jet lag gets confusing. On Saturday, everyone was excited to meet their host families, but we didn't get to until about 5:30. Isabelle and Florence came to pick me up, since Michel and Victoria had a competition that day. Flo and I talked all the way home. At first it was in French, but then English. Now, we speak in French all the time unless I need something explained and I don't understand the French. Yesterday, Victoria and I went for a bicycle ride around Beckerich. Everything here is so beautiful...and the food is absolutely amazing. This keyboard might take some getting used to, but I can do that.

For now, I am loving my life. :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Oh, man.

I'm leaving home today.

I hardly slept last night, I was so excited. I had to turn on my light at 3:30 a.m. to read myself The Lorax and Where the Wild Things Are so I could actually get some sleep. Then I got up at 8:45 so I could do laundry and I went to soccer practice to say goodbye to everyone. So, I'm running on a little under 5 hours of sleep...maybe I'll sleep well tonight.

To everyone at home: I love you. And try not to miss me.

To everyone in Belgium & Luxembourg and AFS students: I can't wait to meet you.

No day but today.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Packing and Goodbyes

So, today I finished packing. Mostly. I still have a few things that I have to wash, but I'm going to do laundry tomorrow. I have a before & after picture of my suitcase. Everything needs a before and after picture, right?

Before... ...and After.
So, yes. Tomorrow, I will leave my childhood home. I have everything I need: my visa, my passport, my packed suitcase, all my paperwork. Tomorrow, tomorrow,'s still so unreal. I won't believe I'm leaving until I am on that plane. Life is crazy right now...I have never lived anywhere other than this city, so it's time to take an adventure! But saying goodbye is bittersweet. Yesterday, Mathilde and I had our "Bon Voyage" party, complete with Belgian-flag cake. It was so nice to see everyone...all the people I'm going to miss next year. Still, it will be worth it. Sure, I'm leaving everything I know and love, everything I have ever known, but I'm leaving all this to learn about a new culture, learn a new language, and learn to live with and love a new family, another group of friends. It will give me another reason to travel in the future, but also give me a reason to be glad to come home. This is really the adventure of a lifetime.
Oh, man. Tomorrow. The final goodbye.
But every goodbye brings another hello.
au revoir.