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January 3, 2013

Local Voices from Around the Globe: I've got a lot of catching up to do

My last few months in Belgium have been a whirlwind. I’ve been seeing and doing so much! 

I can’t believe that I’ve been here for four months already, time is passing by MUCH to fast. I am still with my first host family (whom I absolutely adore) but will be switching to my second after New Years, which will be a new adjustment. Luckily I’ve gotten to know my next family pretty well over the past few months. They are all incredibly nice, welcoming and fun. I will have four sisters (ages 18 to 26), two parents, two dogs and a cat. They live a little farther out of my city than my first family so I’ll be taking the bus and the subway to school.

School has been going very well. My schedule includes physics, chemistry, biology, calculus, religion, gym, geography, history, informatics, English, several French classes and theater. I am in the sixième (senior) grade. We are divided up into classes based on what we plan to study in college. We all follow the same schedule, so each class sticks with the same people. We went on a retreat in Liege together in mid-October, which was a great opportunity to get to know the other students. Usually I hang out with my friends after school at a nearby café and then head home around 6 p.m. to gather my things for either volleyball or track practice. Our family always eats dinner together after and lately I’ve been helping my mom cook. She’s taught me so many great recipes that I’m definitely taking back with me.

Charleroi isn’t the most beautiful city in Belgium, but there are always things to do and it’s really easy to travel. Almost every weekend I’m in Brussels, Mons, Liege, Namur or some other city touring around or going to a festival.

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