Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 297

Woensdag, 30 Mei 2012

Got up, downloaded my econ textbook to my kindle, and went to school.  Normal class the first period, then a period in the library where I started my econ notes.  There was a computer free, so I went online and lo and behold! the class was in my online profile (it takes up to a day to have it show up, so I didn't have it the whole first day of class).  Went though all the material quick, figured out what I needed to do, and then did more notes.

Had English next (just read short stories), and the science.  They had to do some study for the exam, so I had another period of working on econ.  Home, watched some TV and worked more (see a theme yet?).  There is a discussion post due every Wednesday, and since I didn't know what to do until today, I had a lot of reading to do before I could do the discussion.  Went and got a haircut - first one since being in Belgium!  Got only the split ends off, which was like 2 inches :P

Home, just studied and ate and studied more.  Took like 10 pages of notes overall today.  A lot of it is still review (since I took a microecon course fall of 2010, though through a different school), but it's good to rewrite and really make sure I grasp the basics.  Probably writing a bit too much, but better that than too little.  And a looot of graphs and tables.  I'm using a lot of colors in the notes to keep me interested.  :P  Finished Chapter 1 with notes, like a third of the way through Chapter 3.  Each week we have like 2-3 chapters to do, a discussion post due on Wednesday, a response to someone else's post due by Sunday, do the problem set by Sunday, and do the quiz by Sunday.  It's 5 weeks long so afterwards I think I'll really appreciate what time I have left in summer :P

Anyway, I just posted my discussion question, so that means I can go to bed without worrying (I can post it up to 7am my time because of the timezone difference~), so slaapwel!

Day 296

Dinsdag, 19 Mei 2012

Super tired day.  Met Marcela before school to give her the camera, and then went to Dutch class.  Was basically falling asleep the whole time (well, everyone was though).  Got something to eat with Marcela at lunch, hung out.  Went to my one class at school, watched the movie we've been watching, and then caught the bus home.

Went to check out online classes at my college, and then found out they had Spring semester stuff up, so I tried to figure out that as well.  Turns out a lot of classes I thought were in Spring are only offered in summer, so it's a lot of changing things around right now.  Hopefully I can figure it out soon.  :/  Saw that there was a microecon class offered online during the summer, same time as my anthro class was (today - June 29).  So, I signed up for that.  Something to do, and it will make Fall semester easier.

Ate, napped a bit, and then fanfare.  Did new music the whole time - one of the new songs was "Misty", which just snapped me back to jazz band in high school.  Afterwards, someone brought in monkey meat for us to try. It was tough, but it tasted okay.  I managed to save a piece to bring Marcela later.  Stayed for a while (last 10 rehearsals now D:), and then straight to bed.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 295

Maandag, 28 Mei 2012

So, when I got to the station I knew that at least Ben would be picking me up.  And I didn't see anyone, so I did the woop.  Turns out Ben and Jenna were there :)  I rode on the back of Ben's bike, which was NOT fun because there were a lot of curbs and he kept swerving (he said it wasn't on purpose, but he was laughing too much for it to be on accident).  Got to his place where Allen and Bernardo were waiting around 1240.

Tried to do the Avengers movie night, but failed.  Watched Captain America, Iron Man 1 and 2, and then they wanted to skip The Hulk to watch Thor, but everyone except me fell asleep.  Well, Allen was sleeping like the whole time, Ben and Jenna fell asleep during Iron Man 2 (but woke up for the movie change, just to fall asleep again), and Bernardo fell asleep in Thor.  We actually had a bunch more movies (they rented a lot because it was a promotion at the store), but after Thor it was like 9am or so (I can't remember), so I just turned off the TV and such and took a quick cat nap.

We woke up at 10 when Allen needed to leave, and then the rest of us left around 1030 to walk to the station. Bernardo took the bus there, so Jenna and I got the train together.  When I got to Herentals, it turns out the bus left like a minute before I got there, and there wasn't another bus for an hour.  I got mad at that, so I decided to walk home.  It was nice weather, and the exercise was nice too.  Turns out it's a little over 4.5 miles, and since I had my backpack with all my stuff from the weekend (and since I decided to go barefoot for parts), it took me like an hour and a half.  Not that bad really.  So, that means I was home like quarter before 3.

But yeah, I mentioned it to a few people (I was texting a bit on the walk), and someone I knew saw me, and they were all like "Oh my god, why didn't you get the bus/ask for a ride?!"  I mean, yeah, it's kinda long, but it's really not that bad.  It was a nice day, I don't get the big deal.  Then again, I used to do walks with friends or my brother that would take 3 or 4 hours (I think in Colorado once my brother and I were walking for like 5 or 6 hours).  Dunno, if you're not in a hurry to get to the place, why not walk?

Went online, ate, showered (which was the most amazing feeling ever after a parade + movie night + walk), and then took a nap upstairs.  The family was at the sea, so I slept until I heard them come in.  Had some tea and watched TV with Bart, and then back up to get ready for bed.  My online university class starts tomorrow (at 7am, because of the timezone difference), so I want to look over the class before I go to school.  Oh!  And Marcela said she'd buy my second camera!  It's totally a win-win: she gets a cheaper camera and card because I'm asking a lot less than the store, but the difference is worth it for having gotten good pictures in Norway.  Yay!

Speaking of, it's funny to have some Norwegian things pop up on facebook now.  Before it was mainly Dutch, French, and Spanish/Portuguese if it wasn't English, with like a little of other languages every now and then (mainly Finnish, oddly enough).  It's fun to have to translate everything.  I always make a game where I try to guess what they're saying, then I click the translate button on facebook, which translates it to Dutch (my fb is in Dutch), and then I recheck in English to make sure I'm reading the Dutch right.  It's a good exercise :P

Anyway, I should be getting to sleep, so slaapwel!

Edit:  Oh, apparently my online class was cancelled and they just didn't tell me.  The comments I have for the school right now are much too inappropriate for a blog my family and rotary reads, so I'll just leave it as, really?  f7u12

Day 294

Zondag, 27 Mei 2012

Got up, hung out at Kelly's, went to her grandparents for a bit, and then went to the clubhouse.  Loaded up the bus, and then we were off to France!  Got there, did the usual parade thing of getting dressed (in full uniform, aka long sleeved jackets, hats, long black pants), and then did the whole waiting game.  We saw some really, REALLY strange groups in the parade, and a bunch of music groups.  There were some just basic marching bands, and it really was hard for me to watch.  I miss marching trumpet so much.  I hate marching cymbals in summer parades - summer is when I march trumpet.  I almost felt cheated because I wasn't playing trumpet, I was so upset.

Anyway, did the parade, which was hot and involved a lot of stopping because the groups ahead of us were slow.  Had a drink, and then we had to do a little concert in the grass.  Packed up, went back to Dadizele, and then got a ride to Kortrijk.  David and I talked about marching in the US the whole time, so hopefully I can start to make some tentative plans for my marching career before my age out.

Got a train to Gent, ate pita, and then got a train to Genk.  Got there around 1220am, so I'll just put everything on the next entry :P

Day 293

Zaterdag, 26 Mei 2012

Another Saturday, another day of drumline.  Left the house around 1030 or so, got to rehearsal around 140.  For the first two hours it was just Kelly and I with David (Kelly is a new cymbal player), so we worked basics.  Man, I miss basics.  (Never thought I'd say that).  Then, worked on music for the next show.  I won't be here for it, but since Yemin was out sick I just played his part.  Pretty easy, though I keep forgetting they do SC waves for all their crashes, which bugs me (that probably doesn't make sense to anyone, but I needed to do a little vent about it.  You don't need to do that type of crash all the time, especially if you're playing lots of notes - it just doesn't work).

After rehearsal, had a drink at the clubhouse, and then I walked with Kelly to her house.  Since Gio had the weekend off, he arranged for me to stay at Kelly's house.  So, we just talked a bit, ate, and then sat on the terrace watching the finals for Eurovision and drinking sangria.  Pretty fun night, actually.  There were some funny groups in the contest, and some that were absolutely terrible, so it was a good watch.  Then, went to bed.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 292

Vrijdag, 25 Mei 2012

Long, fun day.  Got to Turnhout, talked with Marcela for quite some time.  She's been sick lately so we haven't seen each other in a few days.  Just caught up, it was nice.  Then Dutch class, where Santi, Stefana and I got lectured for talking in class.  We weren't really talking - we were trying to communicate without words so it involved a lot of extravagant hand movements.  Thank goodness the teacher didn't see us throwing notes across the room :P

Ending up making paper airplanes during the pause, tried to throw them out the window but we kept missing.  Then Kinga, who sits by the window, stole it and chucked it out.  We got someone in the area to pick it up and bring it up 2 flights of stairs to our classroom, but May got a hold of it and threw it out the window.  So, we made another, only to have it hit YuanYuan and then she slowly unfolded it and smoothed out the creases, while we were telling her to stop.  So we made another and colored it, and played with it after the class.

May, Carolina, Stefana and I got food at Hema and then ate it outside of the castle, just chilling out and talking.  After about an hour, we all went our separate ways.  I went to my one class of the day, then got a bus home.  Napped (soooo tired), had fries, and then got a ride with someone in the fanfare to a sort of military fanfare thing.  It was pretty fun.

One of the groups had a few people I know in it, so that was fun to see.  They did a bit of marching, but it was like A class level, with not straight lines and corners being a mess.  But it was fun to see actual marching again.  Another group was hilarious - kind of a Govvies/Chops mix with good sound and humor.  So much fun to watch, and good marching technique, though the cymbal player had TERRIBLE technique and inverted the cymbals every time he played.  Then there was a bagpipe group which was fun, and a group that was like 3 drums (who weren't that good) and a pseudo colorguard that only did flags.  They were pretty good!  Only flags, but they did a few tosses, and they were pretty in time.  They did a flag move I don't remember seeing before, so I got a video to send to my colorguard friends to see if they know it.

Had a drink after, and then got a ride back home.  I probably won't be writing again until Monday (more likely Tuesday, since I'll be dead tired when I get home Monday), so just expect a mass amount of updates around then.  Rehearsal tomorrow, sleeping in Kortrijk, and then a show in France, and then going to Genk for movies until Monday afternoon.

Anyway, slaapwel, and see you later!

Day 291

Donderdag, 24 Mei 2012

Still a warm, warm day.  Wore the sandals Marcela brought me from Brasil today, so that fun.  May was back in class today, so it was cool to catch up with her.  Not much else in school.  Went out to eat with Carol at lunch, had a nice talk.  Went to the school, couldn't find my classmates.  Like, there was a picnic today I guess, and so I didn't know where my class was and couldn't find them in the normal class and no one I asked knew where they were, so I went back to the Dutch school.  Talked with Carol and Sina, and then their integration classes started.  Sina's class was in English, so she dragged me in until 3, which was actually pretty fun.  The teacher was great - he lived in Princeton for a long time, so he said if I ever get homesick we can meet up and talk about the US.

Then to the castle to study.  Paged though my anthro book so I know what's going on with it when I start class, and then did some of my Dutch homework while laying in the sun.  Pretty nice.  Got the bus, went home.  Chilled a bit, ate, read some more, watched TV, and now then slept.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Day 290

Woensdag, 23 Mei 2012

Woke up tired, so I was not ready for the day - though it turned out to be good.  The listening class was first, but it ended up with just me sitting in a classroom on the computer because the teacher had to do something and the other students left to do something else.  So that was nice.  Then a period in the library, a study period (aka, sleep period) since the English teacher was gone, and then Science, which was just me doing some writing and talking to my classmates.

Went to Santi's after school, had lunch there, and then Emi picked us up to go to Leuven.  She had a hard time with the GPS and roads, so we were a bit late.  Got there, and it was HOT.  Like 32 degrees, so like 90 for the Americans reading this.  I am not used to that this early, and especially after being in Norway (where I saw SNOW - I miss it already).  I was practically dying on the tour.  Afterwards, we all got to have a drink and talk, so that was fun.  Around 5, Santi and I left with Emi to go home, slept in the car.  Got to Turnhout, realized I missed my bus by like 5 minutes, and the next bus was in over an hour.

So, went to Santi's, and his host mom was a sweetie and got dinner for me (and of course Santi as well).  Ate with them, got the bus home, took a nice long shower, managed to shock myself in the outlet (I am not very intelligent it seems), watched some TV, read, and now it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Day 289

Dinsdag, 22 Mei 2012

Waking up was pretty difficult, and Dutch class was SO BORING today, so it was a fight to stay awake day.  I swear, the first hour and a half of Dutch class was this one guy just asking questions about grammar that WE JUST WENT OVER.  Santi and I just kept looking at each other like “Are you serious?”

At normal school, I guess my classmates switched it so we had Dutch instead of the acting class the first two periods.  And I’m not in that Dutch class (because I’m not in like ANY class), so I just had to sit there for two periods.  Read a bit on my Kindle, which I haven’t done recently, but I wasn’t really in the mood for that book, so it was slow going.

Had a library periods where I researched the Long Riders Guild, aka, a thing for people who ride horse - you qualify for membership if you do a 1000+ mile ride in one go.  That’s been a dream of mine for years, so I was really happy to finally find some real info on people that have done that.

Watched Macbeth the last period, and then bussed to Herentals, where I PICKED UP MY CAMERA!  HE’S HOME!  And all of the pictures are still on it!

Bussed to Lille, picked up Flavia’s package from Patrick and Truut, home, ate, napped a bit, and then fanfare.  Did the usual thing there, stayed a bit late, and then back home. It's already weird to think I was in Norway yesterday.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Day 288

Maandag, 21 Mei 2012

Woke up, had "breakfast" (wasn't really breakfast foods, but whatever), packed the last of my stuff, and Deuce and I left his place around 1110.  Got a bus to the center, said goodbye, and then I got a bus to the airport.  It was weird saying goodbye - we usually don't see each other more than once a year because he went to school in NY, but now that he starts a job there (in June), I don't really know when he'll be back to MN, and I won't have money to go see him in NY.  So it was kinda an unsure goodbye.

Oh, and you know how the general rule is to be like 2.5 hours early for international flights, to make sure you have time to check in, check your bags, and go through security (and then find your gate)?  You know how long that took me?  10 minutes.  From exiting the bus.

So I had a bunch of time in the airport in Trondheim.  Ate, read a bit, slept a bit.  Got a flight to Copenhagen, and I didn't need to do the stupid get my bags and then check back in routine I did in Oslo, so I had some free time there as well.  Got back to Brussel, got the train to Herentals, and then got picked up there.  Home, relaxed, ate, put up pictures, and now it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 287

Zondag, 20 Mei 2012

Woke up, decided to be a bit lazy considering that we had plans to meet other people around 130. Just hung out until 1 or so, and then got the bus to the center of Trondheim. Since we had some time until the meeting, we decided to look at the church in the city. Turns out it's actually a nice church, with a bunch of museums in it. We took a quick tour around the army museum (the only free one there), and then met everyone at the cake place.

That place was really cool. For around $16, it was unlimited tea, coffee, and cake. So, we stayed there for quite some time. I met the other exchange student from Minnesota (he goes to the U!), along with just hanging out with the other people I had met. After that, we walked to Rockheim, which is a great rock music museum. Man, that was a lot of fun. It was really interactive, and just sooo much fun, so we spent a good deal of time there. Got a pin for myself :)

Bused back to Deuces place, ate, chilled out a bit, and then went for a walk to Trondheim Tower. It's kinda like the hotel in Duluth where you can see all around the city, so that was really nice. Since it was still bright out (even though it was like 930), we kept the walk going, and went to the top of this hill on the other side of the town. Got some great pictures of the sunset.

From Trondheim Tower

Dat sunset

Back at Deuce's place, we couldn't really sleep, so we watched some more things and chilled, and then went to bed late.

Day 286

Zaterdag, 19 Mei 2012

Got up, ate a little, and then met some people outside for a walk. We did this hour long walk to a cabin that was up a ways, and it was really nice. Beautiful weather, good nature, the whole shebang. Had a tea and some lefse at the cabin, stayed around chatting, and then we took the longer route on the walk back down. Split up there for lunch, so Deuce and I went back to his place to have spaghetti and hang out and watch things.

There was a thing going on for the exchange students at the university that night, so we went there to check it out – didn't see anyone we knew. Went back to his place straight away, texted some people, found out that there were two different times floating around, so we just hung out until the second one. Went back, met with some of his friends there, talked with some other students, etc etc.

After that a lot of people went to a different party (it was getting chilly outside), but I decided to cut out so I could figure out my flight things, and I knew I would want to come back quite a bit earlier than Deuce. So he went off and did that, and I went back to his place to figure out times for getting back to Belgium and just chatting with some other people.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Day 285

Vrijdag, 18 Mei 2012

Real lax day.  Got up around 1030, only because someone texted Deuce's phone.  It was one of his friends inviting us to breakfast, so of course we went.  The guys we ate with were a Norwegian who studies in Germany, so he was on an "exchange" back to Norway, and a guy from St. Louis Park, which was fun.  Had brown cheese on one of the sandwiches, which was... different.

Back to Deuce's, and it was raining and gross (and we were sick of that after yesterday), so we stayed in to hang out and watch movies.  Watched "Troll Hunter", which is actually a Norwegian film, and a few episodes of "White Collar".  Had a bunch of fun foods during that, including more lefsa (yayyyy), and bread with chocolate spread and apple jam on it, or bread with just potato salad.

Then met some people at the grocery store to get stuff for tacos (apparently on Fridays people in Norway eat tacos?).  So the two guys we ate breakfast with, two girls from Wednesday (we went to their apartment), and their roommate was there occasionally (she was in the orchestra, so we talked a lot during the parades yesterday).  That was a lot of fun - just sitting around eating tacos, talking, having a blast.  Glad to have met all of them.

Plans for hiking tomorrow, so we're just gonna watch another "White Collar" episode and then go to bed.  Slaapwel!

Oh, and I got an email from the train station in Herentals saying they found my camera!  I hope this isn't a joke, because I miss that camera so much~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Day 284

Donderdag, 17 Mei 2012

Happy Norwegian Constitution Day (or National Day of Norway!)

Got up around 11, had some breakfast, and then went to the bus.  It was raining pretty hard, which was a bummer, but I had a little Norwegian flag that Deuce gave me, so I was too preoccupied with that to notice.  :P  Went to the music place, got our instruments and jackets (aka, the uniforms), and then we all proceeded to outside.  Played a bit while walking down to the city center, which was fun.  I had no music whatsoever, so I just got to jam out and make up notes.

Waited around for a long time in the city center, in the rain.  Played some more there.  The parade finally started, so we did the whole parade thing which was fun.  A lot of women were wearing the traditional clothes from their area of Norway, which was really cool, and a lot of guys were in suits, which was pretty boss.  After the parade, a lot of us went to a restaurant and split some pizzas.  Only Deuce and I ate it like a real pizza; everyone else used forks and knives.

Then, walked a bit, and got taxied back up to where the student housing is.  Hung around for a minute, and then did another parade.  I managed to give my camera to a guy I met last night that's a friend of Deuce, so he got me some pictures of the parade.  By then, we were all super wet (it had been raining the entire time), so a lot of us went to the house a few of the guys in the music group were renting (or own?  I have no idea).  Hung out there until like 9 or so, just eating and drinking and talking.  I had a hotdog in lefsa with potato salad, ketchup and a spicy mustard inside as well - it was interesting.  Also had something that was like hot sour cream with sugar, cinnamon, and salted ham.  Odd, but decent taste.

Went back to Deuce's around 9 (I would have liked to stay longer, but he wanted to sauna with friends, so I didn't wanna be all rude and like, beg to stay which would make him miss sauna time).  He left to sauna, I stayed to shower and get dry finally, chill out, and now I'm going to go to bed a bit early.  So, slaapwel!

And here are some pics from the day - enjoy!

Us in our funny costumes


Me with my "I don't know what to play here" face

Day 283

Woensdag, 16 Mei 2012

Got up at 6, and Santi's host mom drove me to the station at 630 because it was raining. :) Got a train to Brussels, then another one to the airport, and then had to do the usual flight stuff. Had a flight first to Oslo, and then a second one to Trondheim. And oh goodness, I didn't think I would have enough time in between! It was an hour layover, during which I had to pick up my luggage (which of course was last on the belt), go through customs, and then recheck my bag and go back through security. Ugh.

Luckily I made it on time. Then, in Trondheim, I had to figure out the busses. Luckily I had everything written down (Deuce was going to pick me up before, but something came up so he gave me all the instructions), so I could just point at the name of the place I needed to go for the bus driver.

Got to his apartment, and finally got to see him again!  It was nice seeing a friend from the US again, especially one I didn't get to see much there, considering he was studying in New York.  Chilled out a bit, ate, got me a week-long bus pass, went to orchestra rehearsal (I play cymbals :D), and then to one of his friends house's for a little party.  We hung out there - there was a girl from Holland, so I got to speak a little Dutch!  Then we went to a different party (which was done), and so we went to another one that was still going strong.  After a while there, we went back to his apartment, talked a bit, and now it's time for sleep.  Slaapwel!

Day 282

Dinsdag, 15 Mei 2012

Got up, finished packing, and said goodbye to my host family. That was pretty weird. :P Got to Turnhout, and then went to Santi's house to drop off my luggage and baggage. Went to dutch class, had an exam. I think it went okay, but then again that could be a bad sign :P

More class, ate, and then had two periods of watching Shakespeare's Macbeth. No class after that, so I went to Santi's house with him, listened to him practice his speech, bought my friend a birthday present, and bought a camera. Yep. Don't expect to be getting an email saying my old one was found, and I would have to buy a new one anyway (how could I go my last 3 months with no camera?), so it may as well have been before the Norway trip.

Messed around with the camera for a while, and then we had to go to Santi's rotary presentation. It was fun at first – Marcela, Santi, Julie, Vincent and I were all at the same table. But after his presentation (which I got to help with!), it was BORING. And LONG. The second presenter took sooo long – over an hour – for their talk. I think I actually fell asleep, and that was after eating sugar cubes to stay awake. The food was nice – I haven't had rice in beans in who knows how long. But it took forever after eating until we left. Finally got back to Santi's house around 1, went pretty much right to bed.

Day 281

Maandag, 14 Mei 2012

Got up and checked my mails, nothing on my camera.  :(  Went to Dutch school, and was rubbing Mr. Smiley for good luck the whole time, so hopefully I would have a message about my camera today.  Well, he didn't listen to me, and spent my good luck on something else.  Got a phone call from Heidi on the way to school, saying I could go horse riding someone this afternoon!  So, cool and all, but I'd rather have my camera.

So, after Dutch school, I went home, ate a bit, and then got picked up to go horseback riding!  It was amazing!  It was English riding, which I've never done - for good reason.  The saddle was uncomfortable, there were no fenders, but it was nice to be on horseback again.

Back home, ate, napped, watched TV, and watched a movie with the family.  Then, went to bed.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Day 280

Zondag, 13 Mei 2012

Woke up at like 8am after too little sleep, grabbed some food, and then Allen's host mom drove Jenna, Bernardo and I to the station.  We got a train to another city where some Rotarians picked us up for an event.  Basically, we had to stand there and promote exchange, as well as do any odd job they asked us to (sell raffle tickets, etc).

It was fun at the beginning, but we all got really really tired, even after Marcela and Flavia showed up too.  It was really warm, so wearing our blazers was a pain.  I ended up napping on the ground outside, so that was nice.  Around 5 we got a ride back to the train station, and then we got the train to Hasselt, where we all split up onto our separate trains.  Then, on my second train, I realized my camera wasn't in my bag.  We had it on the last train to look at pictures, but it appears to have fallen out when we were all napping after that, before we got off the train.  So, I was flipping out, called Allen to have him fill in a sheet online saying I lost it, flipped out more, and finally got home.

Ate, figured out the last things for Norway (yay not having a camera for it now :/), skyped with a friend, and went to bed.  SOO upset I lost the camera - I bought it in June or so with my graduation money, and it was a great great camera.  Hopefully it gets returned so I don't need to buy a new one - if I buy one here I'll have to use a converter for it at home, which would be a pain.

Day 279

Zaterdag, 12 Mei 2012

Long long day.  Got up, took a few trains and buses to end up in Genk, and met Ben at the station.  We hung out for a bit, dropped my blazer off with his mom, got a HUGE kebab (I would show you a picture BUT I CAN'T), and then we went to the Avengers in Hasselt!  Yep, I went twice this week :)  Shows how much I like it.

Had a great time, got the bus back to Genk, and met Sravya at the station.  Apparently a Turkish team won a football (soccer) game because there where a lot of Turkish people screaming around the station, and driving around the station with the horns blaring with team flags.  It was quite hectic and they made it pretty impossible for anyone to get to the station, so it took us a bit to find Allen's mom, and then it was an adventure to get out of the station.

Then, to Allen's house for his 19th birthday party!  It was a lot of fun - Bernardo, Jenna, Sofi, Sofia, and a bunch of other exchange students were there, along with quite a few Belgians.  I helped serve food with another exchange student's host sister that knew Allen (long story), so that was fun.  At around midnight there was literally nothing left to drink, and not much left to eat, so I went with Jenna and a few other people out to Genk to get some stuff to bring back to the party.

After finding an ATM (which took some woop-ing and running around), a few people got kebabs and then we got some drinks.  Then, for some reason, we sat on a bench to hang out and drink instead of going back to the party.  There we had a hilarious run in with a guy claiming to be Italian who we messed with quite a bit (we had said we were all from all these different countries, which was mostly true, but then we convinced him we were all Belgians and just were lying to him before), and then around 2am we realized we hadn't told Allen we were leaving to get food.  He had texted one of us around 1am, just asking where another girl was (she was with), so we said were in Genk.

Got back and apparently he had been worried about us a bit.  Oops.  Gave him some "I'm sorry" hugs, got set up to sleep (Jenna and I snagged an empty room upstairs where it was quiet), and then slept.

Day 278

Vrijdag, 11 Mei 2012

So, not a normal day!

Got to Turnhout around the normal time, but no Dutch school.  Well, there was, but we all missed it because there was a school festival!  The school is 350 years old, so there was a festival and such.  Had to get buses to the festival place, and of course ours was late.  And of course I needed to use the bathroom really badly.  When we got to the festival grounds Marcela and I just booked it towards the bathrooms - pushed through sooo many people.

Anyway, it was true we were stuck there from 10-3.  There was no way to leave - even if you got around the teachers and the fence, there weren't any buses.  So, spent the whole time with various exchange students.  Did some tug of war with the girl from Turkey, hung out with the girl from Japan, but spent most of it with Santi, Marcela, Bella and Eri (the Italian).

Afterwards, like when we got back to Turnout, I realized I still had Julie's scarf (she lent it to me because she didn't want to wear it), so I went to Santi's house to ask if they could give it back.  Ended up talking to Santi's host mom for like 40 minutes when I was waiting for my bus.  Got home, napped a bit, and then went to Femke's school for a little talent show thing.

It was pretty fun - there was a marimba solo that was fun, and Femke's singing was really good.  The other acts were... entertaining.  Went out for a bit afterwards with Femke, her boyfriend, and her friends for a drink and talking.  Then, home and straight to bed.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 277

Donderdag, 10 Mei 2012

Normal day.  Dutch school, didn't really get a lot done.  We spent a lot of the lesson talking about random things, and some didn't make sense (and the Tues/Thurs teacher talks really fast), so I ended up talking to Begona and Carol most of the class.  Then three periods at normal school, didn't do much there either.  We had to sing this one song and "march" (I use march as a loose term here) to this one song that we're doing sometime later, I don't really know why.  And it was all of the music students.

But oh god.  The marching.  I understand that they've never marched before, but it was worse than when I helped at one of the first CR rehearsals last summer, and that's saying a lot.  That, coupled with watching some DCI videos lately, has made me really, REALLY miss marching trumpet.  Indoor just isn't the same.  I might start practicing seriously and try out for a drumcorp this winter - that is, if I'll have the money to join.  But I've always wanted to do at least a year of junior corp just while I still can, so I might have to find a way.

Anyway, at home just watched some TV and read.  Nothing terribly interesting.  Going to bed early - festival at school tomorrow and we're stuck there ALL DAY.  Not saying it won't be fun, but we have to be there from 10-3, and we can't leave.  Apparently there's security guards or something around the perimeter (I heard from a classmate), which doesn't mean you can't get out (case in point: Coon Rapids High School - I only had a problem with the guards ONCE, and that was just because she didn't believe we had a marching band at the school), but apparently there's also a gate, so we'll see.  I'll get pics if I remember.

So yep, off to bed.  It's gonna be a long next few weeks.  Slaapwel!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day 276

Woensdag, 9 Mei 2012

Got up, bought my Norway tickets (so much more expensive than they were last week when I checked...), went to school.  Usual day.  Then, bus to Antwerp!  Met up with Jenna and Kate, walked around the white street, took some pictures, shopped a bit, went to the water, and then booked it to the icecream place because it started pouring!  Of course, Bernardo (who was meeting us there) decided to not remember how to get to the icecream place, so I had to go out in the rain to pick him up.  I was not happy.

Pictured: A not happy Kelsey

Then, we walked around a bit more, hung out, and then saw "The Avengers"!  AHH!  It was so good!  Kate had to leave near the end to get her train which sucked.  Then, I got a bus to Herentals, and I waaaas going to get the bus back to Lille, but the bus was juuuuust leaving when my bus pulled in, so I had to get a ride.  Anyway, rested a bit at home, and now it's time to sleep.  Slaapwel!

Also, check out this blog.  My best friend just graduated with a Bachelors in Art, and she's starting a drawing blog.  Basically, you can send her an email with something you want to see drawn, and maybe she'll pick it and draw it, and then it'll be posted on the website!  Cool, huh?  Even if you don't have any ideas, follow it!  It's good artwork :)

Day 275

Dinsdag, 8 Mei 2012

So, Dutch school was pretty fun today.  Basically everyone got lectured (not the scary type of lecture where you feel like you disappointed the teacher, more of a scolding) for being really sleepy in class.  Then we were talking about pronunciation, and did some words foreigners found difficult (eeuw, ui, ei) and then it turned into the importance of saying it correctly, which examples such as buur v. boer, and huur v. hoer.  Then it was discussing the English translation of hoer and trut, since Santi thought they meant the same thing.

Ate with Bella, and then school.  Two periods of basically nothing (they had to edit speeches, I sat there and read).  Some time in the library, and then home.  Rested a bit, and then fanfare.  And, when I was there, I got a text saying I could go to Norway!  AHHH!!  Stayed a bit, but then went home to check out tickets :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 274

Maandag, 7 Mei 2012

Dutch school, which was normal enough.  Since there was no class for me in the afternoon, I went home and slept/did some math study rather than spending 4 hours in the library.  Read some, watched some TV, just chilled out at home.  Twas nice.  9 month mark today - time flies!  A little under three months left - 87 days actually.

Oh, and my Anthro book came in the mail today.  22 days until class starts :(  Still no news on Norway, of course.  Who knows, maybe I'll find out if I can go like the day before - maybe the tickets would be super cheap then!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Day 273

Zondag, 6 Mei 2012

Got to sleep in again (whoo!), ate, and then back to the clubhouse to fold the floor again and get ready for the day.  Went to Gent, and did two performances there, both outside again.  The floor barely fit in the space we were provided - like, there was a curb touching every side of the floor, it was pretty incredible.  Hung out between the shows, then packed up afterwards and they dropped me off at the train station in Gent since it would have been foolish for me to go back to Dadizele with them.

Got home around 830, ate, checked my messages (and of course, still nothing on the Norway trip.  Which is in 10 days, if I can go), chilled out a bit, and now it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Day 272

Zaterdag, 5 Mei 2012

Got to sleep in a bit, and then got the train to Lier for drumline (which was sooo much easier than going to Dadizele like usual).  We did a parade through town which took FOREVER, especially since the shoes just rub the back of my foot raw.  Then did some beats for the crowd along with a few other show groups (and an Irish pipe band~), waited a bit, and then performed our show.

Performing the show was... silly, in my opinion.  It was outside, on the cobblestone of the market, and it was raining.  We had to put the floor out, and then do our show (6 pieces, with drill) in the rain.  Of course the floor got muddy and wet, and it was a pain to fold again.  Got on the bus back to Dadizele, unloaded a bit, and then spent like over an hour drying off the floor.  When we got most of the water and dirt off, we had to wait for it to finish drying, so we went upstairs in the clubhouse, watched some TV, ate, and then flipped the floor over a few hours later to dry the other side and fix the holes.  Then we watched "New Kids Nitro" in the clubhouse, which is a Dutch film and was... interesting, to say the least.  Around 12 or so we got to the directors house to sleep.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Day 271

Vrijdag, 4 Mei, 2012

Happy Star Wars Day!  May the 4th be with you :)

No Dutch school today, but something else.  There was a little "conference" thing at our Dutch school, where teachers of Dutch to foreigners all came to learn how to better teach and things like that.  I went to help out, and May and Santi were there too, so that was fun.  Just had to bring people to the classrooms and then sit around and wait.  Got to talk to some other students I didn't know, and talked a bit with a guy from my first two classes that went to a different teacher this time.

After that, went to my one lesson at the normal school, and then came home.  Studied some math (even though I managed to get my registration figured out for my math class so I don't need to test in it again, I still need to study - my last math class was the Summer of 2010).  Read some, and then watched some movies and TV.  Game of Thrones night!  We're like 4 episodes behind America, but I think I'm just going to watch them on the TV now, instead of watching them right away online.  And speaking of, I've almost finished the 4th book in the series :)

Anyway, a long weekend of drumline up ahead - I'll try to update on Sunday (then again, after me being like 3 days behind now I wouldn't count on it).  Slaapwel!

Day 270

Donderdag, 3 Mei 2012

First (and only) Dutch lesson this week!  It was nice to see everyone again.  Did the whole learning thing, and then real school.  Had the music classes, came home.  Not too much after that.  Read some, watched some TV; the usual.

Day 269

Woensdag, 2 Mei 2012

Got up, went to school (ughh).  Listening class, library, English and Science.  Not much of note.  Went home right after, ate, napped, read, watched TV.  Pretty basic night.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 268

Dinsdag, 1 Mei 2012

May already?

Got up, got ready, and was in Brussel around 1230.  Met up with Kate, the other girl from my district that's in Belgium.  Spent the whole day just talking and hanging out - it was nice to do that again, I've missed long conversations like that.  When we sat down for lunch, we were in front of this little fountain just because there were no people there.  So, we got out our food, and then bam! tour group around us.  It was in German, so I didn't really understand, but it was pretty awkward.  When I noticed the guy talking about the fountain, I did the whole Price is Right showcasing thing, which a few people in the tour seemed to enjoy.

Came home, did a bunch of emailing for the Norway trip (gotta get it ready, it's in like 2 weeks...), read a bit more, had some of the last of my soup I brought, and now it's time for bed.  Slaapwel!

Day 267

Maandag, 30 April 2012

No school!  Woke up later, watched TV and movies, read, and then went to see Heidi's brother's horses!!  Didn't ride, just pet them, but that was a lot of fun.  One of them kept trying to grab things in his mouth (so, biting, but not with bad intent), and I know he got my hair at least once.  (But dad, the scratch and sniff was broken on this one - couldn't smell it, and when you tried to get close he tried to nip your face).

Went back home, did more hanging out and busy work on the computer (getting stuff ready for summer semester, putting stuff in one place for applications, etc).  Then, went to the fanfare place to look at photos from their trip to Germany from a while back.  Man, that looked like fun.  I wishwishwish I could go to Austria, but there's really no way to make it work.  I mean, yeah, if I did a benefit and raised a bunch of money I could, but in the end I think it's not worth it.  Once I get home I'll need to go up north and get used to life in the States before classes (and job hunting) starts up.  If I did Austria, I'd come home, go to the family reunion the next day, and then be at school like 4 days later.

So, to make it not even a possibility, I've gotten really close to getting the Norway trip to work, and my friend from MN who is also in Belgium wants to do Ireland, which we've found could be cheap (if you do it our way).    And both of those trips combined would still be cheaper (by like $500) than Austria.  Soo, yeah.  It sucks, but I guess I'll just have to come back another time to make up for it (once I get money again, so in like 20 years).

Went home fairly early (for a fanfare night), went to bed.