21 & 26 août.

Okay, I want to post as much as possible, but motivation and time have abandoned me. I'm trying my hardest to find the former at the very least. Nonetheless, I wanted to recount two past events that occured during the month of August which deserve to be remembered and shared.

First, on the 21st, which was my first Saturday here, I got in the car with my host mom and dad and their Italian friend, Gio. I vaguely knew where we were going: the only knowledge I had that we were headed off to a concert. So I assumed it was in Brussels because when I think of concerts, I think of cities, and therefore I thought Brussels. Though, after dropping my host dad off at Bruxelles-Midi for his trip to Paris, we continued to drive, and drive, and drive.

"You know where we're going, right?"
"Nope, not really."

Gio, surprised, then continued to explain that we were going to the town of Beloeil in rural Wallonia. Each year, at the domain of the Chateau de Beloeil, thousands of people come to enjoy the acts of classical music playing the whole night among the property of the Chateau.







The last photo shows what was by far my favorite performance: first of all because I love the cello, and secondly because of the imagination and talent needed to think of/perform the act. The celloist acted as if she were an insect hatching from her cacoon and with her she found a cello, representing the wings a caterpillar finds after he metamorphosizes into a butterfly. Her "cacoon" was suspended by the trees, about 30 feet from the ground, and she played the cello with her feet and hung it out her cacoon: she was a musician and an acrobat.


Now for the 26th of August, which is an event most exchange students to Belgium anticipate. All of the three Rotary districts, around 300 students, met in Brussels for a "formal ceremony" welcoming us to Belgium.
I couldn't grasp the concept of how many exchange students there were, and that's simply in the little country of Belgium. My exchange here has consumed my thoughts for months and made such an impact on my life and to see nearly 300 others that have, more or less, gone through the same thing is just amazing, for lack of a better word.
Nonetheless, here's a link of the website with photos and what we saw/did in Brussels that day: http://www.yepevent.be/Photos.htm.
Mais maintenant, I really need to do some school work. But I'll be sure to post soon to share how school in general is coming along.

all apologies.

I've been in Belgium for 13 days, and I haven't updated at all. Desolée, but can you truly blame me?

It seems as if every single one of those 13 days has been planned out, minute by minute. Though, now, I have some time to breathe.

Okay, you don't really want to hear me apologize, do you? What's my host family like? What have I been doing? How's Belgium?!

Well, my host family, in all honesty, is what I expected more or less. Actually, my entire stay so far has been almost exactly like how I expected it to be. I think I spent too much time thinking about Belgium when I was in the United States that now nothing comes as a surprise to me.

Everyone in the family is kind, generous, and patient. They smile with me and understand what I'm going through language-wise since everyone (my mother, father, and 3 host sisters: the youngest being 12) are all fluent in French, Flemish, and English. And yes, the latter is the greatest downfall.

We're always told by Rotary that we shouldn't let our host families speak to us in English, etc., etc. But simply having the knowledge that my family speaks English inhibits my learning. When I find myself tongue-tied while speaking French, I don't become frustrated, I just speak in English. I don't mean to, truly: it just happens. Then at the end of the day I become frustrated with myself for talking in English so much. I tell myself that the next day I'll talk only in French, but the temptation of English is too strong.

But don't get me wrong, I'm learning: just really slowly. It seems as if I'm in a never-ending French class in the United States. I learn, but just not as much as I would if I was completely submerged in the language like I should be.

Okay, enough with talking about language.. I get frustrated just expressing myself. So what have I been doing?

Well from the 22nd up until yesterday (the 28th) I was at the sea: the town of Knokke to be more specific. Most of the days the sun was out (surprisingly), so we spent hours at the beach appreciating the rarity which is sunshine, making Ségo (my youngest host sister) into a sand-mermaid, and walking along the shore.




We also went on a day-trip to the Netherlands



as well as a day-trip to Brugge



and I loved every single minute of both trips (although it was raining). They're both my idea of Europe: beautiful architecture and small, independent shops bordering every crammed, stone street.

And I apologize, once again, but I have to go. We're eating dinner and afterwards I'm going to a welcoming party for another exchange student.

à bientot!

waiting.

It's currently 1:30pm, and I'm sitting in Pittsburgh International Airport. I've been here since 11am, and now in 15 minutes I'll finally be boarding my connecting flight to Washington.

I didn't sleep last night so that I could sleep soundly on my flight, but, unfortunately, excitement is the strongest caffeine. I don't think I'll be able to sleep, at all. But I'll hope, since I usually pass out in any moving vehicle.

From D.C., my flight to Belgium leaves at 5:47pm, and then, after eight hours in the air, I'll arrive in Brussels airport at 7:30am, finally meeting my host family and beginning my adventure.

& now I need to go, my flight is boarding.

Au revoir,

Jordann

this is a blog

that you may find profound, deviant, or insipid.

It may teach you, inspire you and leave you lost in thought; or it may bore you and cause your eyes to drag slowly shut.

You may read it for an hour, or maybe not at all.

Maybe you'll get to know me, maybe in ways I don't even know me.

I left the United States in August 2010 as a Rotary exchange student. I'll leave Belgium in July 2011 as Jordann.

about me

My photo
Braine-l'Alleud, Belgium
I follow the sun.