The last week has been full of amazing stuff; here's the breakdown.(and please excuse my typing as I'm on a normal keyboard and thus have issues).
Thursday: I spent the day with Marianne at the pony club monitoring dogs and playing with children in the sand. Touchtou was running basically nonstop all day; normally he is limited by how much his humans will put up with a wet tennis ball, but between thirty kids there is always someone who wants to play! Thus he ran and ran and ran. Come bedtime he crawled into bed and just lay there whimpering he was so sore and tired! Poor silly boy. After being outside and running about all day I might have whimpered a bit too, but the uno-playing (pony-club style, which means cheating just as much as you possibly can without being caught), fellowship, and cute kids definitely were worth it.
Friday: Up and at 'em bright and early to catch the train to Walabi, the Belgian amusement park, with buddies from school. Julia and another AFSer, Savannah, came too. We had a really good time chilling together, and it was really really wonderful to be part of a group of friends again. Since Sharon isn't a fan of intense rides, we did a mix of calmer and scary rides. One, the Vampyre, was like a roller coaster, only the seats were designed so that you were almost standing up and there was almost nothing in front of you. I screamed like a banshee, nearly deafened Benjamin, and put myself in the perfect state of voice to sing Johnny Cash. I also really had fun in the bumper cars...I got to DRIVE! Albeit like a giggling maniac, but still. So we passed a great day together in the sunshine, had fun making fun of the town names on the train (a town named Faux (false)? How Bizarre), and collapsed into bed when all was said and done.
Saturday: After lunch with the family I caught yet another train to Louvain la Neuve, a university town in central Belgium, for a Palm Sunday get together with Marie Jeunesse and other Catholic groups. I found a friend on the train, and she kindly showed me about Louvain la Neuve before the soiree got kicked off. The town is basically the equivalent of an American University town, only instead of dorms everywhere it's 'kots' which are more like apartments. There's basically nothing but University buildings and stores, malls, a movie theater, and a church all catering to students, but there are a few families who could be seen walking around the central lake as well. So it provides a more concentrated University life, unlike other Belgian universities where students live out in the town and don't all use the same facilities. After our little promenade we joined the others for some warming up activities, a supper of soup and sandwiches, and a bishop-led palm walk. No donkeys like at my church back home, but it was still nice and we sang as we walked. Afterwards we had a worship and prayer service that kicked off adoration. I went to bed early, after a couple hours, in the school next door. I didn't expect to sleep much, as we were settled on concrete floors with sleeping bags, but the Lord provided and I found some detachable cushions on nearby chairs that let me get enough sleep to be functional the next morning at 5:45 when they woke us for mass. I left on an early train tired but with a filled soul and renewed spirit.
That afternoon I finished packing up my bags to take the train to WALES, which will be continued on (at least) another post.