WELCOME TO MY YEAR ABROAD IN BELGIUM!

Here you will find posts about, my struggles, my thoughts, what I am doing, where I am going, cool people I have met, and just cool stuff in general I did throughout the day.

I will post daily! Also I will definitely put pictures up about very interesting things, like what I have seen, what I have done, who I have met, and other pictures!

Stay tuned and make sure to keep in contact with me and up to date on my life in Belgium as I move on into a completely different culture!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

GERMANYYYY With My Best Friend :D

Today was really stressful but it paid off in the end...

Noon: I woke up ate breakfast took a shower and made sure I had EVERYTHING I needed for my trip, because knowing my family we are always the ones who forget that one important thing that happens to slip your mind! :D

1:30 pm: I walked almost the whole way to the station which is an hour walk, but then a car stopped and I hitch hiked with him (nice guy, not a child molester who offered me candy) 3/4 of the way through and he dropped me off at the stop which then I went to the store and bought Elias and his family some gifts for letting me stay there as he did for my host family when he came to my house.

2:25 pm: My train to Guillmins (the liege train station which is big and beautiful and hosts trains from all over the E.U.) was late originally at 2:19, but knowing the Belgian train system...trains are not always on time, it was pouring outside so I waited for another 10 minutes outside luckily under shelter from the rain.

2:50 pm: I arrive at Liege Guillmins and I wait for my ICE Train (which is the high speed train that only took me 1:30 hrs to reach Cologne Germany) which was late another 10 minutes originally set for 3:14 but it arrived at 3:27.

4:46 pm: my train arrived in Cologne after being delayed ONCE AGAIN somehow... The person on the train never even came to clip my ticket but the train was sooo big so it didn't really matter from that point. The train is a very very nice looking train almost like a plane but in the train form :)

6:10 pm: I had no idea how to speak German to anyone so I missed my train because some lady told me it was a different platform than it was set to. I called my best friend who had been hopelessly waiting at Gelsenkirchen Station for me since 4 pm. I accidentally told him I would arrive at 8pm because in Europe they count with military time so 18:10 is actually 6:10 pm. I already knew this but I was tired so I said the wrong thing. Elias was not mad, he just thought I would arrive at 8pm because I told him that so he left and told me when I was close so he could take the tram and meet me when I arrived at Gelsenkirchen Hbf.

6:28 pm: I arrived at Gelsenkirchen Hbf which is the station where Elias lives. I called him asking where he was, he said I had accidentally said 8pm and so he told me which tram to take near his house and he would meet me there and all would be ok.

6:40 pm: I took the tram to Elias's house and he said get off at the last stop which was Buer Rathaus. I passed his stadium FC Shalke which is the 5th largest soccer club in the world on my way here to Germany.

7:00 ish pm: I arrived at his stop and we went to go buy a Pita from a Pakistani shop here (which by the way is REALLY GOOD! They have these in Belgium but I haven't had one in a while.) After that he greeted me with a German Beer according to their culture.

8:30 ish pm: He called his friends (who are around 18-20) to take us to go play pool at a place called FireBowl (which is a REALLY NICE and NEW Bowling/Bar/Billiards/Casino Place) and hit up the pool tables for about and hour or 2 with around 7 of his friends. His friends are really chill and cool!

9:00 ish pm: Elias, his friends and I all went to the casino (which you had to be 18 to gamble but the security wasn't that good... but it was a really nice small and NEW casino) I lost 20 cents and Elias lost 1 Euro 10 on gambling while his friends won 10 euro from spending 50 cents in a machine! :D GOOD TIMES!!!

9:30 We went to his friends house and played a game called Mayan where you roll to dice and the next person calls you on your bluff or not a game similar to B.S. (This was really fun! Elias and his friends are chill as heck! Elias and me went home around 1 and his house isn't far at all. That has been my first day here in Gelsenkirchen Germany :D LONG BUT GOOD!)

Tomorrow Elias has school but I am going to sleep in and his friend Joe is going to show me the city and we are going out to eat... and after we all hang out again! AWE YEAH! GERMANY!!! :D SER GUTE!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

ITS GUNNA BE A GOOD LIFE!

Just loving life....thats it! I am going snowboarding tomorrow in Switzerland (I am there now just relaxing, arrived at 4:30 my time) all weekend and start school again on Monday... ! And Girls are treating me great! I love being American! :D My friends are awesome both exchange students and my Belge friends! The whole school knows me in a good way (2,000 people more or less 12-19 year olds, mostly 15-19 year olds know me) IDK JUST c'est la belle vie eh? Thank-You Rotary, and the best thing... it's just getting started!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Brussels... Chyeah!

So yeah good night in brussels for one of my oldies birthday he's from Australia and is sad because the Kiwis lost in the Rugby World Cup but now the final match is tomorrow and its the All Blacks (New Zealand) and France... Rugby is huge here in Belgium. And everyone is excited and I am starting to understand Rugby now a little and also I am developing an accent a little british because they speak with a british accent here they learn british english "mum" for example sooooo kinda a bit hard for me eh? But its all good cuz I could have not asked for better friends in my life!!!! FUNNIEST, BEST, NICEST, MOST FUN PEOPLE you could ever be with! I LOVE BELGIUM!

Last night I went to liege to hang out with a lot of my friends and it was really fun! yeh soooo. and Today I went to brussels to celebrate my friends 19th birthday and there was about 35 people there just for him hah i can't wait for my birthday talk about one big party :) with soda. sooo yeah and also good night thats all I can really explain good night idk just fun chilling out walking around Brussels eating chocolate covered waffles with strawberries and bananas and whipped cream.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Switzerland!!!

Last weekend I was SUPPOSED to go to David Guetta!!!! I had planned it with me friends since the beginning of September when I bought my ticket but after I bought my ticket 3 weeks later, everyone gets an email saying... you can't go to David Guetta because its the nightlife its not what Belgium is about and because the owner of the concert owns nightclubs...... that was the reason..... because the owner of the concert who set it all up owns some night clubs.... YOU CAN IMAGINE HOW MAD I WAS!!!!!!! I bought my ticket with my own money and after everyone bought theirs the head of the districts said no! So I want them to pay me back since I didn't get to go.... its only fair since it was 50 Euros... (A lot for an exchange student...)

But I had a great weekend anyway because I ended up going to Switzerland with a friend and my Host family!!!! It wasn't for a good reason though, my host family had friends that were climbing a mountain while it was snowing him and his wife and they must have fell and they 2 fridays ago and they didn't find the bodies until monday or tuesday.... after the snow melted the bodies were under it. :( SO SO SO SAD! I give my condolences to them! But Friday after school we drove there 6 hrs in car... then we got there at 11:45 ish and we went to bed at a friends house. Saturday morning we drove in car another hour to the funeral in Vevey Switzerland a VERY VERY VERY pretty part of Switzerland with the biggest lake in Europe. Saturday was a sad day for my parents...

Sunday was the best! We hiked a mountain and went to the top where the charley is (idk how to spell it...) its a house that host ski clients and mountain clients so you can go with guides skiing or climbing. IT WAS SO SICK! Beautiful I want to live there!

And that was my weekend oh then I got to miss Monday of school because we drove back so good week :) East France is pretty too! We drove through it...

Here are pictures of Switzerland or as they call it (SUISSE)-----














Monday, September 19, 2011

Waking up for school.. and my past weekend! Happy Birthday Mom!

I feel it's still very hard waking up for school on a monday morning after a big party that lasted late sunday night... but it's weird because here it's way easier for me to wake up except I'm tired in the morning but I wake up as the day goes on and everything is ok!

Anyway tonight my host dad, host mom and I went on a night walk on a trail and we saw Bats and horses and some foxes while our dog searched for animals it was actually really fun! After I showed my parents an app I have on my Iphone where you can tell which stars you are looking at and they thought that was really cool!

Last weekend was great Friday September 16, 2011 I went to Brussels for Memorial Van Damme (like the olympics but not the olympics) to watch Usain Bolt win the fasted 100m race ever!

Saturday September 17, 2011 My Mom's birthday who I sent a gift to! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I saw an amazing concert by Puggy, a Belgium band here that will make it BIG! They sound like Muse but with a different take to them...

Sunday night September 18, 2011 I saw Stromae in concert for free, he is VERY famous in Europe but not so well known in the USA. He is a DJ slash Rapper and he raps to house music and other types. The only rapper who actually is fun to listen to and not raps about sex or drugs or bust'n a cap in someone. Or at least I think he doesn't I can't really understand French but he's pretty dope...!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School on Wednesdays!

Great day at school today I ended at 11 am because I don't have math class anymore it was too hard and they think since I don't even know the language yet and the math is calculus that it would be better just to not have it at all and have off periods! SO I AGREED for now at least until I learn more of the language!

WOW! all of my weekends have been packed this month!

Starting out with Liege on the 2nd

Then 3rd going to the pool with my brother Clement and My father's Brother Bernard.

Sunday the 4th I don't remember but I do remember I was tired then.

Last weekend I had my Village party of Esneux beer, games, and petanque which is a game where you have a little ball the size of an avacado center and you have 2 metal balls that weigh approximately 3 or 4 pounds not too heavy but a good amount of weight. You throw those two balls closest to the small ball kind of like horseshoes without the horseshoes and the peg thing. It's hard to explain but when I come back I will teach everyone.

Last weekend all weekend Friday I went to a party in Tilf and met with my Belge and Rotary friends.

And Saturday and Sunday (1   0-11) we had our Village party

This weekend friday (16) I am seeing Van Damm which is an athletic conference and my families are into working out cycling running soccer beer. So its a big conference where all olympians meet and practice and also run races and Usain Bolt is going to be there, this is in Brussels.

Saturday (17) a big band in Belgium (Puggy, search them on youtube) will be playing in Liege for free at a big festival and I will meet my friends of Belgium and Rotary and hang out listen to some Alternative Rock and have a great time.

Sunday (18) one of the biggest artists in Europe (Belgian Dj) will be performing at liege for free! His name is Stromae also search him on Youtube. So I think I am meeting friends or going with my family.

Then the weekend after that Friday-Sunday (23-25) MY BEST FRIEND ELIAS is coming to visit me for the weekend and we will go out to liege and celebrate with other friends, belge and rotary!

And finally the weekend after that is David Guetta in Nandrin Belgium which isn't too far from me thats on Friday september 30, after the concert my friend Katie is spending the night at my house for 3 days and we will just chill out and maybe go to liege!

FUN! I find it hard to find time to meet with all of my friends because all of my weekends are packed so I tell a lot of them no a lot but I will eventually get all this sorted out.

But as of yesterday, I have officially been here for a month and loving it!!!! Nope not homesick yet! But I do miss my friends and family! :)

AND SOME PICTURES THAT I TOOK. Some random




Monday, September 5, 2011

Random words... FUNNY!....

Oh and another thing words here are WAY DIFFERENT!
FOR EXAMPLE:

"Douche" = shower here (first day my mom here said do you want to douche... I was like, no I am definately good, and she thought I didn't ever want to take showers here???? HAHAHA)

"Perservatives" = Condoms (don't ask me how or why?)

"Je Suis chaud" - (which when translated I am hot as in temperature) Here it means I am horny... I made that mistake a couple times and my family corrected me.

"Je suis bonne" - I am good (no it means I am ready for sex)

YES! the culture here is a lot more laid back and liberal, sex jokes all the time and nobody cares. Young or old make jokes its just a conversation starter I guess hahaha :) anyway a random word fact!


First Day of School:

Today was not what I was expecting. I have a different schedule everyday.

MONDAY: (Lundi)
- Biology (already learned all of it)
- Math (Uh yeah.... Calculus... so hard)
- French
-Religion (with a guy who randomly shouts it is a bit like Turrets)
~LUNCH~ (1 hour I get to walk around Liege)
- English (DIFFICULT! It is British english which is REALLY different! It's fun listening to the class speak it though and today I gave a presentation on where I come from how its like back in the USA, my personality, and so on...)
- History (cool teacher but I almost fell asleep)
- English AGAIN!
- Off period

There are 8 Periods in a day school starts at 8:20 but I have to ride the train to get to it because it is in liege so I still have to get up at 6-6:30 or less to get ready. School ends different each day. Today we ended at 4 pm. Each class is 1 hr long and WE DON'T CHANGE CLASSES, we sit in the same class all day long (except for language class) We have a 20 minute break at 10 am and lunch at 12-1 and then another break at 3 or so. My school is 4 stories tall it is HUGE bigger than 3 of fossil ridges.

TUESDAY: (Mardi)
- Physics
- Geography
- Spanish
- French
~LUNCH~
- Religion
- Spanish AGAIN
- Math
- OFF period
I end at 4 pm again

WEDNESDAY: (Mercredi)
- English
- Spanish
- Math
- Sociology
END! HALF DAY ON WEDNESDAYS!!! We end at noon!

THURSDAY: (Jeudi)
- Gym (we only have 2 hrs of physical activity a week no school sports here just academics. also no school spirit day or our school television station) (Ridge TV)
- Gym again
- Sociology (I don't even know what that is?)
- Spanish
~LUNCH~
- Geography
- French
END! I end at 3 pm today!

FRIDAY: (Vendredi) "friday, friday getting down on friday, everybody's looking forward to the weekend... ??" (seriously school is strict here, no hats, no cellphones they call gsm, no ipods, and eye contact at all times! So We are looking forward to the weekend because all the students are partying) (Belgians don't know who Rebecca Black is???!!!)
- Math
- French
- English
- History
~LUNCH~
- Sociology
- Sociology TWICE!??
- Chemistry
END! at 4pm then straight to liege with friends to celebrate the weekend! :) which they call holidays every break its "oh what are you doing for your holidays?"

This is what my class room and my "class" for the year  (group of students around 20 students) (our grade (5) has around 250 students and there are 6 grades here 1 through 6 it begins at 12 and ends at 18 so thats around 1500 students more or less) I got in trouble for taking my phone out to take this picture too! this is my math teacher... strict!!!!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Elitches?!?!

Today I went to Walibi Belgium (Amusement Park South of Belgium) which is smaller than Elitches (around 1/4 the size of Elitches) with my 2nd host brother Jerome (24 almost 25) and it was really fun! Very small only 3 Roller-coasters and a tower of doom and a bunch of shops, a kids land type thing and other rides like at a small amusement park. It's the only one in Belgium because it is a small country. Disneyland Paris is not too far from here and I will get to go with my second host family! Anyway We had a great time, took the train from Esneux to Liege then Liege to Namur which is the town where it is at! It was a really nice double decker train on the way back.

Tomorrow Liege with some Belge friends and then meet up with my exchange student friends to hang out!

I start my orientation for school on thursday and I get my schedule (I picked some classes that were full so now they put me in Spanish 1 and Math and science (chemistry, biology, some other science) English which will be good practice because I help student with english and they help me with french! And other stuff... Oh, and we have 2 hours of PE a week :( In school there isn't a lot of physical education or activities but my school is HUGE! like I am talking 3 stories huge and old it is cool looking. After school I have football practice at 7 (I will be tired!)

Then Friday I meet a girl I like that goes to my school but is 17, but I meet her at Liege and she invited me to hang out later around 6pm-12am but I don't know if my parents will allow that? If not she said I could hang out with her from 3pm-6pm. All of my classes for school start Monday! All my days have been busy! I love it!!!

I LOVE BELGIUM! :D

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fun to Done...

Yesterday I had one of the best days here! I WENT ZIP LINING! Never been before but it was really amazing and I did a ropes course that really wore me out to the point of passing out but everything was good it was too extreme and I got back to my house literally done! I had soccer but I couldn't go because I was too warn out!

TODAY was great meeting all of the inbounds, outbounds, and Oldies (Exchange students who've been here for almost a year already!) We went to Brussels and walked around took some pictures and checked out their Parliament which is a mess right now! The Speaker of the House came and talked to us also! I met everyone in belgium in the rotary about! Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bolivia, Columbia, and so on all the way to Venezuela! There were about 400 more or less I am bad with numbers but A LOT of people and about 80 Americans there idk but it was cool! Kinda boring just walking around and standing for 12 hours but you got used to it... Then we ate lunch which was french fries and meatballs in a nice restaurant the specialty of belgium! YUMMY!

But now I am tired and it is 9 pm here almost and were having pizza tonight for dinner :) they have a brick oven! AIGHT and tomorrow LIEGE with my friends and family. EXCITED! And a party tomorrow night and again Monday or Tuesday I think! DANG I LOVE THIS PLACE!

And now some pictures of where we went today on my Iphone because I forgot my camera...








Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Today! Chaud (Very Hot)

WOW it is hot today! last night it was the loudest thunderstorm I have ever witnessed I felt the house shake! it was like a strobe light with surround sound! the dog was barking really really loud and still I managed to fall asleep until my sister called me on skype at 4 in the morning my time! I still don't think that my friends and family have figured out that I am 8 hrs ahead! Sometimes my phone says I am online when i am sleeping!

Anyway, today I went to liege with Julliette and her 2 friends and this other kid I met who was from Africa but comes here for the hollidays! He was cool and was just like me but Marco's age 18 I met him at Marco's going away party! And the girls keep thinking I am justin bieber even though I tell them no! That's good I guess! :) anyway today was fun we walked through Liege got some Turkish food (very good fresh) and some belgium waffles (a desert here)

Haha I am loving life here! I don't start school until around another 10 days. I am excited all of my weeks are planned out with friends already I am trying to see everyone! My little brother said everyone here knows who you are, your a star, I am like cool, but I just got here? I am glad the people here are nice! I can't wait for school to start except I have no classes that I chose yet and everyone keeps asking me to choose certain ones, but I don't get to choose them, Rotary does :(

Thursday, August 18, 2011

This is Life...

Yesterday Marco showed me liege and where I am going to school! My school is in the middle of the city and it is old and I think it looks big but I don't know how big just yet! Then after that he showed me around liege and where he goes with his friends. The best Frite shops (Fries) and also the best bakeries. After that he took me to go get soccer gear and we also went shopping with his mom to buy him levi's.

But today I realized that this is not just a vacation, you have to help your family and stuff! last night I went to play soccer against 30 year olds and I was really out of shape bad!

Today this morning I woke up at 12 pm and then was rushed to help my family dump some trash into the recycle station and I had to be in the city in 3 minutes by foot! I ate before so I had pain in my stomach and I had to sprint there after last night of soccer... I am sore, tired. We got there then drove to the recycle station to dump metal, snowboards, all rusty or old things and working like that was hard they were heavy and it was hot out so I was sweating like no other!

Tonight I meet with my Rotary advisers for the first time, I don't know how to feel, or even what to bring?

Tomorrow shall be extremely fun! It is my host brothers (Marco 17 almost 18) Going away party his birthday is soon I have no idea what to give him? I should have waited to give him the gifts that I brought from Colorado! shoot! Anyway I get to meet most of his friends that go to his school and also some that live close that I hang out with a lot!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I love Belgium!

So two nights ago I arrived and thought this place was just like Colorado but then I saw the houses and they are so pretty! I feel like I am in Italy! Yesterday I met with all of my host families and had a great time eating and laughing but not knowing anything they are saying until one of my host brothers Marco or my host father Francis translated it to me. After that we went to Liege around 8 ish and I finally got to see the part of the Belgian culture where you have fun and meet people and party! It was a huge festival celebrating Mary (Jesus's Mom) so everyone had a good time! YEP then I came back and pasted out I had a good two days so far now today I get to go to Marco's friends house to play cards and to hang out like we did yesterday on the soccer court! I brought a football and they seem to be really interested in it, but don't really know how to play or throw it! I will teach everyone soon enough I just have to get rid of my jet lag and settle in a bit! We will see what happens tonight! Yet another party in liege, I am super excited! I haven't been able to take much pictures yet but I will soon!

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