Bit of a warning for those with bad/slow internet connections - quite a few pictures in this post.
Got to sleep in a bit today, as there was Rotary event, so that was AMAZING. For once it wasn't dark out when I woke up. :)
Got ready for the day, and then Patrick drove Marcela and I to Tielen! (Tielen is like our place - it's hard to explain). So, naturally, we got pictures there whilst waiting for the train.
Met up with Santi, Jenna, and Emi (district chairperson for the Dutch half of the district) on the train. Made small talk until the other exchange students joined us. Switched trains, and then had a spectacular ride to Ieper. Once there, we had an hour to just walk around, eat, and hang out before we went to the museum. So, I went off with Santi, Jenna and Marcela to find some fries. After like 20 minutes of searching we finally found one, and then met up with the rest of the exchange students (just the Dutch speaking kids, so there was only like 20 of us). Messed around, got some icecream, and tried to make a pyramid.
|The pyramid kind of fell down.|
Then, we finally went in the Flanders Fields museum. It was amazing, to say the least. Really great approach, very interactive, and you learn so much. Probably one of the best museums I've ever been to. After spending about an hour in there, we walked to Menin Gate, which was also really breathtaking. It's just a huge gate, with thousands upon thousands of names etched into it, commemorating those who died in the War.
|Lots of names|
Then, we took a walk behind the gate to a little grave yard, which was also really beautiful. Actually, the entire city was just beautiful, and the museum and all of the memorials were really well done. I'm thinking about going back on November 11th with some other exchange students, and staying late enough to watch the Last Post ceremony.
After that though, we had to go home. On the way to Brussels, we were just bonding and laughing and making fools of ourselves the entire time. Before I came here, I never understood how people who only meet a few times a year could be the best friends you ever have, but after being an exchange student, I totally understand it. We're all just best friends, and I know we always will be.
|And Allen will always be best friends with that sandwich|
In Brussels we had to all scramble onto new trains because the one we were going to stay on was going to be delayed like 40 minutes. There were a lot of police, and two guys that were getting roughed up by them, so I assume something bad happened. So, our goodbyes were cut short, and Marcela, Santi, Jenna, Emi and I had to run to catch our new train. Spent the ride just messing around and playing cards, so it was pretty fun.
Jenna got off with Marcela and I in Herentals to catch another train back home. We hung out with her for a bit, but Patrick picked us up pretty soon after we got there. Home, ate, emailed some people, put pictures online, and now it's about time for bed. Slaapwel!
|My train buddies - Santi (in the back), Jenna (in the front), and Marcela|