wow. let me start off with an apology for my loooong neglect of my blog. i hope youll all forgive me and hope you havent forgotten me.
first, ill tell you about christmas and new years. it was nice. i was with my old family, and at Noel as they say here in Belgium, we got together with the WHOLE family. i swear, the table was so long, it could have been a catwalk. lol. At New Years, we had just the intermediate family together for dinner and drinks until midnight. we watched the fireworks along the horizon of the house. very pretty.
THEN, January 2nd, i went to Italy. THE most beautiful country ive ever seen. well, one of, at least. lets just say, i will be spending maany more years in my future there. i went with my AFS friend named Mariela and her host cousin Melanie. Mariela is from Ecuador, and she has a real cousin who lives there so thats were we stayed for the week. His name is Christian and he is soooo nice. he was also so generous and made our time in the house really enjoyable. the trip itself was a little disorganized, but what do you expect when you drop off 3 teenage girls in Italy? haha. but it was still awesome. we went to Venice, Milan, Verona, Pisa, and we even made the 6 hour trip from Christian's house to spend a day in Rome. i really want to go back soon to see Florence and to spend more time in Rome. :) but Christian's sister and 4-year-old niece were also staying in the house and they were so awesome and Karina(4-year-old) was soooo cute. we watched movies with her and went out in the evenings to eat with them all when Christian came home from work. it was all just an amazing, beautiful, independent experience. and it was cool for me to go from speaking French with Melanie and English with everyone else and to also hear some Spanish going around in the house. They are trying to teach Karina Spanish as well, so it was really cool to hear her randomly say a word in Spanish when shes speaking in English. Also, of course, we hear lots and lots of Italian. and whatttt a beautiful language it is. Christian knows kick-butt Italian and he would order for us at restaurants and when he would talk to people selling different items, it was just super cool to around all languages. i wouldnt mind one day learning Italian. haha.
Anways, while we were there, we saw LOTS of things that a person should see in their lifetime. lol. The Leaning Tower of Pisa, the water channels of Venice on a gondola, The Vatican, and maaany other beautiful, wonderful sights of Italy. and of course, the food was to die for. we ate pizza after pizza, comparing which was the best. and the pasta! we ate pasta like there was no tomorrow! lol! it was fabulous! :)
Only one complaint of Italy though. i know, right? how is that possible? but seriously, whoever invented the train systems in Italy should really get some help with that brain damage, because the trains in Italy are awfuuul! they are complicated, with sometimes 2 trains for the same location, BUT at different prices AND not clearly marked on which one you payed for. also, if you dont get your ticket stamped before boarding a train and the conductor comes to check tickets, you have to pay a fine of 50 euros!! crazy, right? for one stamp with the location of where you purchased the ticket and date? i know. insane. another thing, if you take the train thats more expensive than your ticket, you have to pay the difference, and if you take the train thats cheaper, your out of luck. and money. and lets just say, that the people behind the ticket counters that are suppose to be there to help anybody, are NOT the nicest of people. you could say that i had my share of frustrated rants screamed at me 30 seconds before we would miss our train by the conductors in Italian. lol. sometimes funny, sometimes not at all. ;)
Let's see, since then, i have changed families and things are so great now. its cool because my old family and i are on good terms now, so no hard feelings there. i have 2 sisters. one 16 and one 14. my host dad loves tractors and my host mom loves to decorate, either the house or her clothes, it doesnt matter. :) and we go spinning together. for those who have no idea what that is, its bike riding on exercice bikes, but more intense. we're talking about 30 bikes in a small dark room, disco ball rolling, and music pumping. certainly gets the blood flowing. lol! anyways, im still figuring out more and more things about them, but so far, its going a lot better.
another thing to add to what seems like this never ending post of mine, is that this weekend was the Mid-Stay Orientation weekend with AFS! oh my gosh, i cant believe half the year is already gone. craaaaazy. i got to see everyone in french-speaking Belgium and we had a lot of fun around the times of head nodding in small group. but it was still really cool :)
my new school is fine. hah. but i do go to school with another AFS friend, Asli, from Turkey! shes so sweet and even though were not in the same class, we still make the effort to see eachother often :)
Lastly, but certainly not least, thank you so much to my wonderful peers/friends/youth leader for making the beautiful quilt currently resting on my bed. i received it yesterday, and i love it so much. that gift means so so much to me and reminds me that i have friends who miss me at home and are waiting for when i get back. i love you guys. it even made my host dad tear up a little. no joke.
well, anyways, thats pretty much all the majors events that has happened since like november. lol. ill try to update more often, but dont be suprised if it doesnt happen! hahaha! talk to you all soon! bisous!