UPDATES IN MY LIFE VIA CATEGORIES: Germany: I am now back from Oktoberfest in Munich, and had just a marvelous time! I met up with Dani, another Psychobiology major from Chapman University, and we just had a freaking AWESOME time! We Couch Surfed with some amazing people and met some fantastic friends! It was overall a very positive experience, and I will be going back to Germany, but this time to Berlin, to celebrate Dani’s 23rd birthday with her! YAY!
Harry Potter: I am now on the 7th and Final Book of Harry Potter, and oh my gosh I don’t want it to end!!! If you have any recommendations on the next series I should read, please let me know. My host family says Twilight, any thoughts?
Fresh Fruit: There are fresh apples and grapes that grow in our yard here. Pretty cool!
Host Family: I have been here almost 2 months and am acclimating quite well. I am getting along with the family, and the children really are wonderful. They all go to school and are very smart, and I am just really proud of them!
Swimming: There is a swimming pool at the Castle Club, and the children LOVE to go swimming. I took them swimming a few weeks ago, and it was probably the funniest experience I have had here. Long story short, we were in the pool for 3 hours, and I was exhausted by the end!!!
Au pair club on Fridays: A few good friends and I meet at a cute little coffee/ice cream parlor on Fridays and visit for a couple hours called Mont Blanc. It is wonderful to meet such a nice variety of people from all over the world, such as Finland, Sweden, and the U.K. Overall, I am very excited to have met these wonderful gals, and am happy to be here!
Volleyball Team: I am so grateful to have met Kerry and Kathleen, they are 2 American girls that live on the estate, and are kick-ass at volleyball. They asked me to join the adult league and the games are so fun! It is just nice to be back on the court and smiling again, even though I am out of shape and cant jump serve to save my life. We had a match vs. a team from Lithuania and WON! Heck yes!
French Class: Updates on that – I am enjoying French, but cant speak a lick of it. Patience I guess.
Parallel parking: Parallel Parking with a Stick Shift Car in EUROPE gives me ulcers. End of story on that one.
Visitors: I am delighted to say that Jessica, who is living in Spain, is coming to visit me the first weekend of December, and JP is also coming to visit me in January before he starts his amazing adventure studying abroad in the Netherlands.
MISSING YOU: I miss my friends and family and get super home-sick sometimes. Thank God for Skype, because it really helps me still feel connected with most of my friends and family. I still have not skyped with a few close friends back in AZ and CA, but it is either because a) they don’t have a good comp, or b) our schedules are way too opposite, but I am not giving up hope!!! However, I know I will (God willing) be reunited with everyone very very soon when I get back to the states! ORRRR, when you come visit me here : )
Teach For America: I was offered another final interview (in person) for TFA, but was actually able to defer my final interview until March since I am considered an international applicant. This is good in a variety of ways, now I can really think more about this decision and commitment, as well as buy a cheaper ticket to New York (or where ever my final interview will be).
Possibly teaching in Thailand: I applied to teach English for 1 year in Thailand. Carpe Diem. Right?
Cake Decorating: I have taken 3 cake decorating classes already, and to be honest, I am terrible. I don’t have patience for that kind of stuff, but it is hilarious and I am enjoying the ‘attempt’. It took me 2 hours to make rose petals out of icing, and another 2 hours to dye them the proper color. I just wanna eat cake, lets be honest. Who cares what it looks like?!?
Future Travels: I would really like to go visit Jessica in Spain, Vanessa in England, JP in the Netherlands, and also take a trip to Ireland, Switzerland, and Greece, but will be saving some of those destinations for when my mom comes to visit, or take a bit longer to explore and do it over Christmas break, not sure yet… Overall, Belgium really is the ultimate location for traveling!
Markets: Here they really support local farms and businesses, and each Friday there are markets in Stockel, Tevuren, and Leuven and you can buy any thing you want! Fresh produce, flowers, cheeses, meats, and of course, baked goods! I love to just go and walk around, it is a nice atmosphere!
Transportation: The Metro here ROCKS! I love well planned out cities! And everyone here walks and ride bikes too! COOL!
Mi Casa: Living on an Estate is pretty nice!! This house is just picture-perfect and I love being surrounded by green grass, big trees, and a little stream full of ducks!
My Comfort Zone- GONE: This whole experience has forced me out of my comfort zone. I am beginning to look at this as an opportunity instead of a hindrance. Life is all what you make of it.
Time for Myself: Time to relax is a change of pace! (I am learning how to do this…. )When the children are at school and the grocery shopping and laundry is done, I can just sit and relax. I read, listen to music, go for walks, go work out, or just sit and mediate. In college, I never had time for myself, so this is a nice change in routine.
Congratulations to the Pepino Family: My mom and dad just got a new dog, Munchkin, a 3 year old boy from the Humane Society, and I am happy that they now have a new companion at home. Of course, no dog will ever replace my best 4-legged friend, Benji, but I am happy that we have a new member of our family. I just wish I could be there to help celebrate in my mom’s happiness. I also really miss my sisser. She can always make me laugh when I am having a not-so-good day.
The Weather: I miss nice weather!!! Belgium is great location in Europe, and I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to live here, but the weather is just a whole different experience that I have never been through. RAIN RAIN RAIN!!! Coming from Arizona then moving to California, I really have no idea what “winter” is, but will be experiencing COLD weather from about November to March. Heating blanket anyone???
I am not trying to sound materialistic but….. I miss having more than 7 outfits to choose from. I only took one big suitcase here full of clothes, then a smaller suitcase full of cosmetics/vitamins. Long story short: living with one suitcase full of clothes for a year is also a new experience, and a humbling one as well!
Pardon???? I miss being able to read road signs/ingredients/maps/instructions etc. Not much English is spoken or written here…..
The Fat Kid in Me: I miss In N Out and Taco Bell. Yes, this did just make my blog. Don’t judge me.
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