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January 3, 2013

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


At the beginning of November I also went on a four-day trip to London. There, we went to Windsor Castle, Canterbury Cathedral, The Big Ben, Piccadilly Circus, the wax museum of Madame Tussauds, Buckingham Palace, The Royal Observatory and saw an amazing Michael Jackson tribute musical.

In early October I went to Chimay with my host aunt and uncle for a beer and cheese festival. I also got together with Cooperstown’s own, Anna Weber (previous Rotary Exchange Student who is now attending university in Brussels). We took a short trip to Brugge, which is in my opinion, one of the most beautiful cities in Belgium, where we ate delicious pasta, walked along the canals, and visited the huge windmills. For a holiday celebration, the Rotary organized an exotic dinner for all the students in Belgium (held in my city). Everyone made a special dish, traditional to his or her country to share with everyone and their host families (I made a creamy pumpkin spice soup). It was really fun tasting all the different dishes and seeing everyone together.

My French has progressed a sizable amount as well. I am finally able to carry on full (intellectual) conversations, correctly conjugate verbs automatically, and understand most of the dialogue in movies. This experience has been amazing so far and I can’t thank Rotary enough for allowing me this unforgettable adventure. I love my host family as if they were my own. I care for my friends here as if I’d known them for ages. And I’ve really embraced the Belgian culture as if it were my own. I can’t wait to see what new things I discover throughout my exchange.

Haley Hohensee is a Cooperstown Rotary exchange student.

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