HELLO NOVEMBER!!!! Well, I guess the statement “time flies when you’re having fun” must be true! I cant believe it is approaching the holiday season already! I have been living in Belgium for 10 weeks and am thoroughly enjoying myself. I have finally found a great network of friends here, and planning trips around Europe is so exciting!
For updates in my life (I try to do bullet points to make it an easier read…)
Brugge – I went to Brugge by myself for just a night to experience the “Venice of the North” and it was absolutely perfect. I got an 8 Euro train ticket (round-trip) and just went up there spontaneously. I didn’t know where I was going to stay, or what I was going to do. I found a great little hostel for cheap, and grabbed dinner and walked all over the city admiring the pretty canals and the autumn leaves. The next morning I woke up early and ordered pancakes by the kilo ( for those of you who are not good with the metric system – which apparently I am not good at either, that is equal to 14 pancakes – it was QUITE a surprise when they arrived at my table), and then biked to the beach. I did some shopping at H&M and then came home. Joy’s 8th Birthday Party was the following day so I was the designated “photographer” for the day. It was absolutely priceless!
Amsterdam – I went to Amsterdam with Hannah and Louise (2 other au-pair girls that are SUPER) for Halloween weekend. We stayed 2 nights and had just a BLAST! We took the bus up, it was a 4 hour ride, stayed at a really nice hostel, and enjoyed the scenery. We took a 4 hour walking tour around Amsterdam looking at all the historic landmarks and learning about the background of the city. We got great hot chocolate at a cute café, and then went back to our hostel to get ready for the “Ultimate Party” pub crawl. It was 5 clubs, 8 hours, and 400 people. SO MUCH FUN!!!! The next day we went on a Canal Cruise and then got the bus back home!
Berlin – I am going to Berlin for Dani’s 23rd birthday, and also to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall! I am really excited to see Dani again since we had such a great time at Oktoberfest in Munich, and am looking forward to seeing another part of Germany!
Madrid – In 2 weeks I am going to visit Jessica in Madrid, one of my amazing sorority sisters that is studying abroad there! I have never been to Spain, but am really looking forward to meeting up with her and experiencing new culture, food, and people!
Autumn – The leaves here are all vibrant yellows, oranges, and red. A few weeks ago when the children had “holiday” we went out to the garden and raked up a lot of leaves and jumped in them! Europe in the fall is just breathtaking (but cold)!
Week off of School – When the children had a week break, I helped them carve pumpkins and pick out Halloween costumes. Overall, it was a really nice week! The kids are super funny and they make me feel young again. It is SO refreshing to just be surrounded with children. The best part: you can be 100% yourself, and they don’t judge at all.
Harry potter – I am only reading 15 pages a day so it will last longer….
Volleyball tourney – Tonight my volleyball tournament begins: single elimination, 2 games a night. I am really excited about this! I love my team and it is so fun to be a part of an adult league! And not to brag or anything (haha, well kind-of) but we are still undefeated! WOOT WOOT!
Mail – My mom has sent me 2 packages and my sister has sent me 2 as well, and I just love getting mail!! Craig sent me a 4 page letter which made my day, and overall, it just makes me REALLY excited when the mailman comes to the door! SO… THANK YOU!
Photography – One (of the many) benefits of living here is the opportunity to take photos of such wonderful places. Traveling around has provided some great photos, and being with 3 ADORABLE children makes taking photos so rewarding! I love it here ; )
Rain boots – I finally gave in and bought rain boots.
Thanksgiving and Christmas – For the first time in my life, I will not be home for the 2 greatest holidays of the year. This makes me sad, but it also makes me really happy to look back on all the great years we have had as a family. Being away from home is a good way to remember to be thankful for all the good times!
Nikkies wedding – Nikkie P just got my bridesmaid dress for me! I am really excited for her and her big day, I will be flying back to the states on June 5th to make it in time for her WEDDING! awwwwwwwww
Skype – thank God for Skype. For those of you who I have not skyped with yet, lets set up a time. SERIOUSLY! Skypename: chrissyjopepino
Thailand – I think moving to Belgium was 100% the right decision. First of all, I remember Dani telling me that whatever you choose to do with the year after you graduate, it will set the tone for the rest of your life. I am finding that to be very true! I have gained a lot of confidence by being here, by moving to a new country, learning to get adjusted to the differences, and making new friends. I am strongly considering doing a year-long program in Thailand to teach English. I had a phone interview with the program, and am now working out logistics. I really do want to teach (as previously shown with applying to TFA) and think this may be a good option.
Anyhow, thank you for taking the time to read my blog, and please (as always) provide me with updates on your life! My email is firstname.lastname@example.org And just a small reminder, you are all welcome to visit AT ANY TIME!
All my love ~ Chrissy