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🇧🇪 Dreaming in Brussels: K2’s Week

What were you grateful for this week? 

What I’m most grateful for this week is my friends in Belgium and everything they’ve done for me this week! What was the most difficult or challenging part of this week?  I’d have to say the most challenging part of my week has been travel. Even if I have just a 1 hour plane ride it takes me 6 hours to get to the airport, which gets confusing and frustrating for sure. Tell us about a “wow” moment you had this week.  My “wow” moment this week was teaching a sports class in English for 2 age groups for my host mom when the normal teacher called in sick. Tell us about your week!  This week has definitely been one of my best weeks yet since arriving to Italy! I’ve gotten more comfortable with living with my host family. I taught a sports class for 2 hours to kids who don’t speak English and made it work somehow. On Thursday I traveled to Belgium and stayed with a friend I made back in the states a year ago.

On Friday I went to Ieper and Bruges. In Ieper, I went to Tyne Cot Cemetery, a military cemetery from world war 1. The feeling I had while walking around was indescribable. The cemetery is right on the battle line, so you could practically feel the history of what happened there. The number of graves that were unidentified was crazy to me, and there were walls with rows and rows of names with no identified body. Reading the different names and seeing the graves where a lot of them fought and died is something you just can’t get by reading a history book. The cemetery was eerily beautiful, and definitely worth the experience. All of Ieper, and Belgium really, has history that can still be seen and experienced, which was amazing to me. 

Bruges, which is sometimes referred to as “Venice of the north” because of its canals, was one of my favorite places to see. It’s beautiful, but in such a different way than Venice and italy in general. All of the buildings are brick and medieval looking, it was quite the sight to see. The cathedrals in Belgium are so grand and so intricate that I could spend an hour just outside staring at all the little details that make them so beautiful. The cathedral I visited on Saturday in Antwerp, the Cathedral of our Lady, had amazing paintings inside. Some are lifesize, like the ones by Peter paul Rubens, and give you the feeling of being there and experiencing the painting. A couple of the cathedrals had crypts underneath that you could go down and see. All in all, the cathedrals were definitely my favorite part of the trip!

On Sunday I went to Brussels, starting with a visit to the Atomium, or the “balls of Brussels.” The structure was huge, and i even got to go inside. Each ball had multiple floors, some with museum displays and some with techno art displays. It was a really cool experience. For lunch I was able to meet up with 3 more friends that I haven’t been able to see in almost a year because they live in Belgium. It felt so good to see their faces and reminisce with them! The city square, known as the Grand-Place of Brussels, was absolutely breathtaking. The buildings on all 4 sides were all so stunning that when you stand in the middle you just don’t know which way to look! At night, the buildings are lit up and look even more spectacular! City hall looks like a castle fit for a Disney princess and the museum just across from it looks like a castle from a Tim Burton film. I absolutely loved it. I also saw an actual castle, and the only way i can describe it is that it was just sooooo cool! Looking at the castle made me feel like I was in a story book or a movie, it just didn’t feel real! Belgium was definitely a trip I will never forget, and I really hope I will be able to visit again! 

China Teaching
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