Time to hit up the highlights of the last couple weeks before I forget them. Alors.
Last Saturday night I went to a friend's surprise birthday party. It was great to see her face when everyone yelled surprise and started singing from the balcony above the deck where the tables and chairs were all set up with the dj's equipment and strobe lights. It was a beautiful night and we could see out across the lake to the rampart ruins and ziplines that cross the water. We had a good time munching on pineapple out of our sangria and rocked out to Thriller and Alors on Danse (this song is Belgian, by the way. Check it out) when were weren't just chatting and enjoying each others' company. Good times. I am going to miss these people.
The next morning I came back once again to the lake, this time with AFS for our last committee activity together. Already. It feels like we were getting to know each other on the train to Amsterdam only yesterday. We had a wonderful last day. Our first stop was the swimming pool, which had a pretty cool waterslide, which was also apparently dangerous because Julia came out with a quite spectacular bruise on her shin. After a picnic lunch in the parking lot and playing on playground equipment like the mature adolescents we are, we walked to the Accrobranche to try our hands and feet and everything else at ziplining and tree-obstacle-coursing. It was pretty cool to go swinging through the trees on ropes and various types of bridges, we were basically playing at Tarzan! I also discovered that I am not Tarzan or even Jane as I am definitely not a fan of bridges that consist of little swinging pieces of wood that also spin when you step on them. The biggest two ziplines went over the ruins and across the lake---so cool! We then hopped in the van and took off for lasergaming. This time we played at being Luke Skywalker and had an absolute blast running around a dark maze with laser guns. At the end of the day we were all pretty exhausted and happy. A huge thank you to all the AFS volunteers who organized so many cool activities throughout the year!!!
This week at school clicked right along. Tuesday I was invited to my English teacher's home for dinner, which was nice. I got to meet his Italian wife and 3 adorable children (also their new bunny) and got to know him a bit better too. We had Pizza (can't get much more authentic) and Italian wine and a good time chatting over language differences and school systems. While Europe is united by its money and lack of border control, their school systems have remained pretty much unique according to the country. This makes for a large headache for trying to use professional diplomas in other countries, but otherwise makes sense since education is such a big part of culture and Europe's cultures are all so different.
Wednesday afternoon a couple friends came over and we worked on a psychology project. We took a blanket out into the garden because it was absolutely gorgeous---heat wave weather! When we'd finished we took the dogs for a little walk, not too far because Mamie Rouge got pooperated pretty quickly with her bad leg and the heat. It was great to walk along the canal with two and 4 legged buddies. All the roses and poppies and flowers of all kinds are out and make you catch your breath.
That night we had a full house for supper as usual, plus Jon and his girlfriend came to pick up their dogs who'd been boarding here. Sabine and Marianne just beat Jon and Marianne's operating record of 102 dogs in 2 and half days in Spain, so there was much joking and threatening that Sabine would just have to go every time from now on. We all had a good time and enjoyed some good belgian ham cooked in beer.
Thursday Jade came home from Costa Rica! We were worried that with the Icelandic Volcano (poor Julia was just enjoying the lack of volcano questions, but now they've started up again) her flight would get canceled, but she made it home just fine. I made quiches for dinner, which turned out really good even though what I thought was cream turned out to be sour cream. So, in case anyone ever needs to know, sour cream is just fine in quiches. Thank heavens. They were a hit, and my yogurt cake wasn't half bad either. I'm getting better at this cooking dinner thing. Jade showed off her spanish for us and there were many bisous and hugs that night. We're going to have so much fun together for these last few weeks!
Friday we had our duathlon at school. Julia and I did the same one, swimming and running, and came in 15th and 14th overall(6th and 5th girl), respectively. Yet another new experience. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I might even be in a persuadable frame of mind to do it again. At any rate, I'm happy to be done with the last involuntary gym class of my life!