Updated: Nov 4, 2019
It's been exactly 13 days now since I left home, and started my new life on the other side of the world. It sure has been a whirlwind so far... I'm sorry if the update is a little late for you all. It took me some time to figure out what was going on around here. Now, I feel like I can tell you.
I got to the airport at around 3pm on August 13th for my 5:30 flight to Amsterdam. Said my goodbyes to my Mum, Dad, and brother. I cried allot less than I thought I would. I thought that when I got to the airport I would understand that my life was flipping upside down. Yes, it's the first time I really did realize I was leaving, because I was literally leaving. And exchange was beginning. But it didn't, and still doesn't feel quite real. I think that will take a while.
My flight to Amsterdam was a bit awful. My TV didn't work, the guy beside me was snoring very loud, and by the time the food would get around to me, I always got last pick. I slept for maybe 1 hour. In Amsterdam, I had loads of energy. I went through customs, got food and hung around the airport for my 3 hour layover. I got a notification on my phone saying my terminal had changed. I had to go to the opposite end of the gates, and get on a bus that transported us to the plane. That was a little stressful, but not too bad. On my 1/2hr flight to Brussels, I slept like a baby. When I got there, everything happened so quickly, before I knew it I was walking through the arrivals gate and I saw my host family jumping and waving at me.
Once we got in the car, I got permission to sleep. They knew I had a very long night ahead of me. We stopped at the house to put my suitcases in my room, and pack up for the long weekend. Then we had a 45min drive to Rochefort which is almost at the end of Belgium... Crazy!!! I was then greeted again by 14 other family friends that were spending holiday together.
It was exciting and exhausting. I was so jet lagged :( the sun shined, rain poured, and there was even a full moon! I mostly spent my time trying to stay awake all day, and trying to sleep at night. I had to try and understand what people were saying... ( I couldn't!) I got to try a few Belgian specialty's including waffles, frites and baguettes 24/7! haha! I also tried cuberdons, a candy from Belgium. They're sooooo good. We went crawling through caves, and later that day got to do a less physical tour of the caves, with a light show at the end. We went bowling, played pool, and did some hardcore karaoke every night. We went biking for 42kms in one day, and finished with drinks in the sun. I think it was a great way for me to integrate into my new life.
After that, we went home to Beaufays, and I finally unpacked. I've been living life like a normal kid since then. Except it still feels like a dream. My room is so so nice. I have a huge window that lets me see the backyard, including the pool that I use almost everyday ;) It's the only thing that's keeping me alive in this hot heat! My sister took me to our school the other day to show me around. It's so cool! and very confusing. I think there's 6 levels!? can't remember. There are so many stairwells, and so many flights of stairs. I've been into the city (Liege) a few times with my family. It's a beautiful city, I'm looking forward to spending more time there with my exchange friends.
Some pictures of my school, and Liege :) ^^
Speaking of exchange friends!!! I went to Brussels on Thursday with Rotary, and I got to meet everyone I was so excited to meet. There is 250 exchange students in Belgium this year. 73 are in my district, (D1630) 4 of which are Canadian. There is 12 Canadians in total. So, I didn't get a chance to meet everyone! It was 30+ with no clouds... very very surprising for Belgium. We went to the Grand Palace, the famous Marketplace, and the Parliament building where we all got to sit in the congress chambers. Being able to meet everyone I'll soon have lifelong friendships with is so amazing. Since I'm just trying to translate french all day it's really good to have time I can just be myself with other exchangies. I also got to see MADY!!!! and I cried hahaah. It was so relieving to see someone that was in my old life.
Yesterday my host family and I went to the orientation for D1630 to go over all the rules, and I learned more about the trips. I'm trying to get a spot for Barcelona, Greece, and Prauge!!!!!
I'll keep you guys updated on that, and everything else of course ;) I plan on doing a blog around every 2 weeks - a month depending on how much is going on.
Thank you for being patient! it took me a while to be able to put my thoughts into words.
If you wan to see more pictures I'll have some on my instagram @zoebrygiz