Saturday, September 18, 2010

Week In Review

Welp, I have finished my second week in Brussels! A few random bits from the week:

  • Today (Saturday) we fed the homeless--we made at least 400 butter and ham/cheese sandwiches and a giant tub of soup then fed almost 200 or so people at the main train station. I had a blast.
  • It was nice to do something where language wasn't an issue.
  • Afterwards we ate Domino's Pizza, which tasted almost exactly the same as Domino's stateside.
  • Ta Sharafna--That's Arabic for Nice to meet you, but it's so fun to say it that I like to use it as an exclamation and/or insult.
  • Friday I helped with the youth. For fun I gave them a random assortment of items and told them to build something that could transport an egg safely to the sidewalk from the third floor balcony.
  • They were 2 for 4. I was surprised no one used the pillow case or trash-bag I gave them to make parachutes.
  • By Tuesday I was really fed up with French.
  • By today I had reconsidered. I also realized I have already picked up a surprising amount of French (at least when it comes to understanding).
  • Probably the most used French word I have learned so far is m├ęchant which translates more or less as mean, or mischievous.
  • Hary told me I seemed older than 24. Why? He said it was because of my big head. Janee tried to persuade me that he was trying to say it's because I had such big (mature) thoughts.
  • M├ęchant
  • After dinner conversations have ended almost every night since I got here with Hary trying to persuade me to marry some random Arab guy or another.
  • We registered 29 students for English classes. We are offering 2 grammar courses and a conversation class. Students range from Moroccan, Belgian and Brazilian to Congolese, Syrian and Sri Lankan.
  • I adore our Moroccan neighbor's tiny 14 year old son Houssin. He even offered to bring over tea for us when we were doing inscriptions (registration).
  • Actually, I pretty much love the entire family.
  • The African church that meets downstairs in our building is LOUD. I mean, crazy Hell-fire-and-brimstone loud.
  • I have started thinking through travel plans for after the beginning of the year. Very exciting.
  • Greetings I have received so far: wave, handshake, head nod, one cheek kiss, 2 cheek kisses, 3 cheek kisses. It is incredibly hard for me to judge what I am supposed to do. Needless to say I have already created some awkward moments.
  • The songs/instruments/rhythms of the Arabic music last Sunday made me feel like I was going to church where they were singing flamenco
OK, that's probably enough to give you a taste! I should probably also mention that I have been tasting Moroccan/Turkish/Syrian/Iranian/Iraqi sweet after sweet. Life's not too terrible these days! : )

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