Sunday, January 5, 2014

December


I wanted to come up with a super witty title for this post, since it's going to be ridiculously long and I've got a ton to say right now. Anyway... let's just go through some stuff I did this month... 

 So I went to a water purification center with the rotary as a Wednesday activity. OKAY, So not a lot of people went, but it was still fun.       Basically we were taken on this huge tour showing us all of the facilities and the guy was cracking jokes the whole time and comparing bacteria to spaghetti (I still don't see why). The whole process is kind of a 5 step process (or a three depending on how you look at it). All you need to know is that the waste water goes in, and clean, non-potable water comes out so it can be returned to the river (which is right next to the facility). And, of course it being a Rotary activity, they fed us waffles and orange juice at the end (they really need to be more creative with the snacks, I know). okay, next thing...



This was the first "Marche de Noel" that I went to. It was on a Sunday in my village and my host parents took us. The thing I'm eating is this... Pizza... type thing that has (I think) cheese and lard (?) on it... or something like that, it tasted like bacon pizza, so either way it was delicious. Plus when we were there some friends saw me and asked me to go drink hot wine with them (which, I have to say, is NOT the greatest drink offered here in Belgium, it's really... yuck). THE POINT IS that I have friends!!!! Friends that are like "Hey come have a drink with us!" So, I'm totally cool with that. 


This ---------------------------------------------->
Is a picture from the Rheto Soiree (#1) for my school (CRMT). Which was REALLY FUN (partly because I am rheto) because all of my friends were there, which was great! (from Left to Right: Gabriel, Sacha, Paulina, Jessica, Me, Laura, Karen, Benoit, some guy I don't know)




St. Niiiiiccccccccc!!!!!!!!!This was one of THE GREATEST days of my life here in Belgium (and my life as a whole).  Basically before this everyone got a lab coat and you had to draw/pain/whatever a dessin (I mean drawing) on the back (mine had a mustang painted as an american flag saying "Born in the USA") then throughout the week leading up to the St. Nic day you have all of your friends and teachers or whoever you want to sign it, and a lot of them are heartfelt messages, which is nice (especially for an ES). So then the day came, it was great, and we went to one class (my teacher wasn't there, so we didn't have to go) then after that you go to a spectacle put on by the Rheto class (which is a bunch of skits and stuff, and a talent show), then we returned to school for a lunch (paid for by the school, because they will feed us when we drink my friend said) then everyone went to the Melo (a bar) to drink the rest of the day. Did I mention that throughout the whole school day people were drinking? like even at school! Some people came to school wasted, and I'm like, YOU DO THIS HERE? WHAT? 


And I sang the cup song for the spectacle (during the Belgium's Got Talent part)  so there's a video for that that I will upload in a different post (for some reason it won't load here,sorry).


This month I also turned 18 (which means in Europe you can then drink hard liquor I guess). So being the amazing person that I am I made over 100 peanut butter m&m cookies from scratch (they tasted SO GOOD). And having the best host mom ever, she let me invite like, more than 10 friends over to celebrate. Not only did she let me have people over, but she also amazingly served us food and drinks and didn't freak out about having a bunch of rowdy exchange students (and a couple Belgians) going crazy in her living room (not really...). Plus she then helped clean up the next day (she did basically all of the work) so I obviously have the best host mom ever, right?!
So there's my birthday cake---------------------->
The crazy Mexicans conned me into "taking a bite" out of the cake because "it's a tradition" being my gullible self I fell for it and ended up getting my face shoved in cake... Which I have to say out of all my 18 years has never, ever, happened to me. Everyone sang happy birthday of course, but then it was so awesome because someone started the Belgian exchange student song (you don't want to know) and it was the best birthday ever (that not only included skyping with my mom, but also putting just dance onto the tv and watching everyone try to dance, which was hilarious).

(to the right) One of the only pictures with more than, like, two people in it taken at my party because we forgot to get a group picture before everyone left so... yeah. Anyway, the guy is Benoit (Belgian), me, Frida from Mexico, and Nathalia from Brazil.







These next three are from when Rotary took us all to Aachen, Germany to the Christmas market to see the market then give us hot wine, or in my case, hot chocolate. It was really fun, not to cold, and my friend Jessica and I ended up going into a toy store where we found a slide which we (of course) went down and almost freaked out because we didn't realize how long it actually was (and super fun). 





 
The next two are from when my host family took us to Maastricht to another Christmas market (I went to like, ten Christmas markets, very festive, and very fun). So we had some hot wine (hot chocolate) and a waffle and then when we went to leave for some reason none of the cars could get out of the parking garage (we were all stuck) and it took forever to get out (there's a more embarrassing part to this story, but that's for me to know, and for you to wonder forever about). Eventually we made it home.

 So, As you can see, I got a haircut this month (which is a big deal for me). I THOUGHT the lady was only going to cut it to the middle of my back (she obviously didn't) so at first she had it where the back of my hair was to the middle of my back but the front of my hair was really short (I about freaked/almost cried when she just chopped the front pony-tail style). Basically, it looked really really weird (honestly) so I was like... umm.. can we fix this? so this is what it turned out to be, which isn't that bad at all. In fact, everyone (hopefully) loves it, at least that's what they've been telling me, but it will grow back (thank god).
This is just a really good dessert that I had with my family. It was like a brownie filled with hot fudge and then the pink stuff was strawberry flavored whipped cream. DELICIOUS.

 So one week on a Tuesday I went to Liege to ice skate with this girl (Disney obsessed Floridian Jessica) And it was super fun and then we had lunch so over all greatness. After that, for the end of the exams, all of the people from my school were going to the square to get together and celebrate the end of the exams (it's sweet that they do this here).






  Here's a picture my friend Thomas took with his fancy camera. We were in the old west type bar (in Belgium, I know right? what are the odds?) and the stools are saddles (haha). Anyway... That's Jordan, Valentine, Benjamin and me :)
 
After Tuesday was Wednesday and my original plan was to go to Brussels but that was a bust so I went to liege instead and this is basically the only picture from that day/night that turned out non-blurry for some reason so here ya go, me and Meaghan the Canadian on the train home (we couldn't stop laughing, if you were there, you know why hahaha).
The next seven (I think seven, or six and a video) are from when I went to Brugge.
These first couple are from the Brugge Ice Sculpture festival thing, I guess. Anyway, it was Frozen themed (the Disney movie) so they had a bunch of Disney sculptures and sculptures from the film.
Here (this is for you mom) I'm pictured with Cinderella, she was giving me the cold shoulder though...



 Here I'm ordering a beer with a 20 euro note but, again, the guy from Frozen gave me the cold shoulder so I went beer-less, oh well!



 






Of course we took a group photo!! Here's Ana-Lucia from Mexico, Me, Luisa also from Mexico and Olivia from Colorado!

Oh, also, here's a video of me going down the ICE SLIDE. YES I said Ice Slide!!!! :D  video


Went with my host family to Spa, they took me to a cafe, I got a gauffre mikado (waffle). It's basically a big waffle with ice cream, melted chocolate, and whipped cream (no wonder exchange students gain so much weight!)

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