If my second winter here has made anything clear about the relationship that Belgium and I have with each other, it is that she often does little to cheer me up during this time of year. The combination of gray and drizzly skies, permanently statically-charged hair, and an aching brain brimming with language and terminology combined with the stress of approaching exams in multiple languages has made me realize that during this time of year it is more important than ever to see the things I love about this place and to cling to them, allowing them to warm up my thoughts and inspire me to treat Belgium a little kinder until she starts to return the kind thoughts in spring.
Here are five things I can say that I appreciate about Belgium:Read More
3 weeks since classes started at the University. My brain is still intact but there is no definite amount of time to say how long it might remain so. I sometimes bike to my lectures (that is, if I deem the Belgian skies trustworthy) and about half-way through my ride to the city I encounter two lovely murals. They are painted on the sides of the building just at the base of the pedestrian bridge that crosses the water. It really must be one of my favorite spots in Ghent. I love how in this place nature and art seem to blend with industrialism.Read More
To live is to learn, to learn is to grow, and to grow is to change.
Life is comprised of change. As children we grow and change physically; add more words, both beautiful and vulgar, to our vocabularies; learn what it is to love, what it is to be hurt. We grow older and we learn what it is to care for someone else even more than we care for ourselves. In some unfortunate cases, age brings with it the learned behavior to resist change. These are processes of life and sometimes change can be a scary and overwhelming thing. Beginning a life abroad can be described almost entirely through that word ‘change’.Read More
To make a comparison between the technology that we have presently and the technology that existed when I was a child often leaves me in pure astonishment. I remember the first mobile phone that my family owned. In fact, it probably shouldn’t have really been called ‘mobile’ because it still had a spiral cord connecting it to its fashionable leather case complete with velcro flap. I also remember when we added the first computer to our home. It was a noisy monster that took up a large portion of the desk, but MS Paint was the best thing I had come across in all my 7 years. A couple years down the line I was waiting away hours of my pre-adolescent life for the dial-up internet connection to connect so that I could check my Hotmail account. Hotmail changed to Myspace, Myspace changed to Facebook, Tweets started flying about, and now you can let someone know where you are and what you’re doing via check-ins, Instagram photos, or video chat just about anytime and anywhere you want.Read More
It’s hard to fathom that I’ve been living in Belgium for a year now, but it’s true. The year has gone unbelievably quickly and yet so many important things have happened in its course. Before we moved to Belgium, I envisioned myself writing many more blog entries to help create concrete memories of all the experiences. As I discovered, life takes up way more time. I feel that this one year mark in Belgium is a sort of milestone and it’s nice to look back and see all of the accomplishments that comprise the last year.Read More