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March 21, 2013

Local Voices From Around the Globe: Making another life in a new land

I’ve been in Belgium for almost seven months now and am having the time of my life. There is always so much going on and so many amazing and interesting people to meet.

I’m living with my second host family and they’re great. I have four sisters (Alice, Perrine, Wendy and Julie), two dogs, a cat, a mom (Marie-Claude) and a dad (Eddy). My two eldest sisters (Wendy and Julie) live with their boyfriends, but they are always stopping by, and Julie runs with us three or four times a week. Perrine is studying at University so she only comes home during the weekends.

For the most part, it’s just Alice and I. All of them are great though. Very accommodating and family-oriented. We’re all hooked on “Top Chef: France”, so every week we all watch it together (each episode is incredibly long, about three hours). My host sisters and I are in a serious tournament of cards as well. I also fell in love with the cat. Although I’ve always been a dog person, our cat, Mia, is the most adorable, relaxed creature I’ve met in Belgium. Plus she’s always great at listening to me.

I really miss my first host family. It didn’t really hit me that I was really changing houses until my first night at my second host family’s house. There are a lot of little things I miss about the first host family, like cooking with my mom, playing board games with my brothers and joking around with my dad. Luckily I still see them pretty often at track, parties and Rotary events.

My parents from Cooperstown are actually coming to visit me really soon. I’m so excited to introduce them to everyone and show them Belgium. That week I’m moving back in with my first host family (because they have extra rooms and they speak a bit of English), which I’m looking forward too! We’ll be traveling around Belgium, but also taking a trip to Paris for a few days.

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