20 September 2011


I sleep often during school.  I got used to it in United States, and I do it here too.  I don't know if I've said that.  But the kids in the class think it's funny, and it gives them something to joke with me about!  So that's contact.  And that's progress.
    I worry I'm not doing enough.  Or that I should be making more progress.  I've felt quite restless this week.  I tried to blame it on the fact that I'm living in the country and not the city, but that's not true.  It's really quite pretty, and there are ways to get to things to do.
    I've talked with some Rotex from outbound camp, and oldies here, and I've come to a realisation.  I was restless and I let that make me unhappy.  I said that the only thing I can do here is keep on living and hope the next day is better.  But I don't mean it in a morbid way.  It's just that that is what makes an exchange different than a vacation: the living part.  Not every day is an adventure, progress, or even a good one.  You have days or weeks where all you do is live, and that's what you do.  So my restlessness is normal, and I don't have to feel guilty about how I fill my time.  I just need to fill it, whether it be with sleeping, journaling, blogging, listening to music, or wandering around with no idea what's going on.  And that, for now, is progress.
    Not to mention the point that my Rotex, Mandee, mentioned, "it's hard to go from being so socially and intellectually active to...pretty much being a toddler."  Not that any of us exchange students would consider ourselves intellectually toddlers, but for now, at least my language skills render me with the communication of my intellectual level at a level less than that of a toddler.  Which is a frustration, but everyday I hear French, I pick up some.  Just living here is enough worry without having to worry with teaching myself the language.  I get by really just fine right now, and the language will come anyhow!  Furthermore, just as with anyone who moves to a new place, it takes time to make friends and get used to a new lifestyle.  Once you've done all the fun stuff you need to do immediately upon arriving, you need to figure out the pattern of just living there.  And the social life takes time to cultivate no matter what new place you go to.  So I shall continue to live here, and not worry myself that I could be doing more.  Just living does plenty for now.  Patience, Ben.
     And so, I walked the dog today, and took pictures of the countryside.  Liege with rotary kids tomorrow!  And I ate brussels sprouts tonight!  In Belgium.  Les chous de bruxelles!

My tartine brings all the boys to the yard!
on the left is Kwatta! (choco) the middle is
raspberry jam (I mixed it with the choco)
and on the right is sirop de Liege
(made of pears and apples).  YUMMO
good late night snack.

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