I must say to see my parents for the first time in 8 months produced a plethora of emotions! I was so excited, but also a little nervous! “Will they think I’m different?” “Is my exchange weight super noticeable?” “What are we going to talk about?” However everything when great! We have been able to travel in Belgium and next we are going on a cruise in Italy! I have also had one of my best friends come and visit me! She has finished her schooling and will be coming on the cruise with my family and I. I know these next few moths will fly by because my brother will be coming to visit me. Also I will be going to Prague with Rotary and Germany with my host family. And yes, I am now in my last host family!!! It’s a little scary to think about! They are very kind and thoughtful. I am living here with another exchange student from Brazil. It’s fantastic because we get along really well. My host family asked to have both of us at the same time because they no longer have kids at the house and they didn’t want us to feel alone. Just yesterday I did my Rotary presentation and it went really well! I was a little nervous, but everything went really smoothly. It was nice to hear that my French has improved a lot and that my club here is happy to have me. Bisous! (Kisses)
A lot of people say that on their exchange they always have one family better than the others. I’m finding that really difficult to say because I have loved my two families! I have met my third family and they seem really nice too, so I can’t see myself having one problem! I am so lucky yo be able to say that I have not really had any problems on my exchange! It’s be so picture perfect and has flown by so fast I can’t even believe it. I’ve almost been in Belgium for 7 months! It blows my mind! Now having my return flight booked, I feel like I have so little time to do all of the things and see all the people that I want. I still have the same group of friends that I am loving! Because I am able to speak better they are including me more which is really nice! In Belgium there is a Dutch part and a French part. They are two completely different cultures and languages, however they are both very beautiful. I met two girls from the Dutch part and we have become really good friends so I am happy to say that I have friends from all over Belgium!
I have gotten so carried away with the life here! I have a good daily routine, so things are a little bit slower and not as crazy. I have made several new friends and rarely feel alone. I have an amazing host family that I absolutely love. They are really helpful with my French and want to show me the best life possible I can have in Belgium. Speaking of my French, like all others I have good days and bad days! But just yesterday I had a very small snippet of a dream in French! I am not thinking in French, however I am finding it much more easy to form sentences. School is still hard, but I enjoy going because I get to spend time with my friends. I think I am very lucky in that regard, because I have heard that there are a lot of exchange students who hate their school because most of them have already graduated and find no point in being there. Just like me in English people speak very fast and sometimes in slang, so it can be hard to follow conversations. Never the less I try or just zone out! Depending on how much energy I have. I know a lot of my friends and family are concerned about me right now because of all the terrorist threats and what has happened in Paris. But I am doing just fine in my little town! Of course the Belgian people are taking precautions but they are not stopping their lives at all. People are continuing their lives because they know that Isis wants them to be afraid and stop. On that note, all of the large exchange student gathering have been cancelled because it has been the places that have less security that have been targeted. Although, we are still able to get together but maybe at someones house where its more secure. I do not live in the Brussels area so I’m not hugely affected by that. It’s definitely a scary and confusing topic to talk about and I honestly don’t know all of the details because when I watch the news with my parents I don’t always understand what they are saying. Moving on, I met the host sister of my second family and am really excited to get to know her! She seems very nice and accepting. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a sister! I’m sick right now, so I’m missing Canadian medicine but I think I’m through the worst part! It’s hard to believe I have been here 3 months!! The time just keeps slipping through my fingers! On to my new adventure! Bisous! xxx Mac.
Time flies by here! It’s insane! At school is necessary to have a journal de classes, where you can write down all the assignments and what you have worked on in class. Just today I was flipping through the pages and realized I have been at school for a month! I still find my self lost in the halls! After a month of school the schedule changes and the courses you have are set for the entire year. I just received my new schedule and am pleased to see I have 4 blocks with a younger grade in French! The teacher is very kind and really wants to help me improve my French! It’s great, because sometimes I don’t know the conjugation of a verb or how to form a certain sentence and I can’t ask my friends because they have never learned French like that so they are not entirely sure themselves! I am the only Rotary student at my school of 1600 students, but there are 4 other exchange students that are here for 3 months. It’s quite humbling to speak with people who can also speak 3 other languages. Most people can speak a little bit of English, Dutch and of course French. Others speak German, Spanish, or Italian. My courses have become no easier because the material builds, and I wasn’t able to understand the first chapters. Although, I like my teachers and it’s fun to be with the other students. I am playing on a local basketball team and really enjoying it! They have taken me in like a little sister and want the best for me. I find being busy really helps with not being too homesick. Honestly, I have’t really gotten homesick. Having experienced my brother away for a year I know not much at home changes. Of course I miss my family and dog, but I know I can talk to them soon. I do miss being able to always express myself! But I am getting better at French and it’s becoming less and less of a problem. I’m not thinking in French or anything, but I sometimes stumble over the odd word or forget words in English. Oh!! My spelling! I have completely forgot how to spell in English! I told a guy in my English class that “stole” was spelt “stool”. The Spanish exchange student corrected me! Haha. I am loving it here! I just hope I stop gaining weight! Darn waffles, chocolate, and fries! Anyways! I’m trying to listen to my mom and do an update when I get time! Bisous!
I have passed the one month mark! It has been a whirlwind of so many fantastic experiences. I am loving the culture and the people. I was a little nervous about starting school because I didn’t know how the other students would welcome me (or not). Although, It ended up being better than I could have imagined! I have found an amazing group of girls that are so sweet and curious to know about me and Canada! My French is slowly improving, I am able to make simple sentences without having to think about it, which is really nice! I never knew how much I took for granted talking without really thinking. I can’t just blurt of a random comment or joke. I actually have to think!! Haha. So I am finding myself a lot more tired in the middle and at the end of the day. However, having such a helpful family and good friends at school have made it a lot more easy. Of course the courses at school are hard, but I didn’t expect them to be easy. The teachers are kind, and just expect me to pay attention in class and try my best. I am finding a lot of my classes boring because I don’t understand and it takes a lot of energy to have to focus for a extended period of time! But I know that the more my French improves the better my classes will become! I can’t believe an entire month has gone by! I feel like I just started school 2 or 3 days ago. Everyday offers something completely different and exciting. As tired as I sometimes feel, I am happy to start every day!