Thursday, March 31, 2011


hi reader! well thanks for reading, it means a lot more than you can imagine. today was day 226. nothing exciting happens on thursdays, i tell ya! well sometimes. i guess you sort of make your own luck in this world now dont you? today..hmm. i went to my normal school for most of the day..except the first couple hours when they have french and stuff, because thats pointless for me. as much as i wish i could speak a 3rd language, its an absolutely horrible idea to do while still learning a 2nd one, or so they say. speaking of a 2nd language, i get my dutch exam results tomorrow!! i'm 99.9% sure i passed, and i'm hoping for a really high percentage because i can just FEEL that my dutch is getting better and better every day, or i'm feeling more and more confident about it. its something so simple but i enjoy it just so much! a whole life of speaking english just seems so plain now. for all you belgians reading: add me on skype so we can talk when im back! (of beter..ik wil met jullie skypen als ik terug in amerika ben :)..) anywho! in school we learned more about our trip to italy. we leave tuesday night the 5th and get back the 16th, and i dont know why but i cant seem to make myself super excited about it yet! im slightly excited, and i will be really happy if its nice weather, but i think i'm more nervous or scared than excited, how can that be? i've done so many group trips before..and i came to belgium all alone no problem..but now a trip with my class and other people from the school makes me a little afraid? think positive and clearly now jamie! ITALY for gosh sakes. it will all be fine i'm sure. so other than that, in school the class worked on a song they wrote this year and are going to record in a studio thing on monday. at first i wasn't going to go with because monday is my first day of my new dutch class, but i sort of want to hang out with them and see what they now i get to play the tambourine and help make spaghetti since we're there all day. try everything once eh! i'm a little less of a yes man these days, because i think at the beginning of the year saying yes to everything was overkill. then i think i maybe said no too much in the middle, and now its evening out. who knows. maybe finding a balance will never be my strong point. other than that not much else to say host mom made really tasty chocolate muffins/cupcakes. comments asked for today: what's the difference between a cupcake and a muffin? i sincerely don't know and i will mail you a chocolate bar if you give me an answer ;) goodnight all

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


225, and i'm officially going to call this my pancake blog. but first, a brief summary of my day..slept in because i didn't have dutch class, suuuuper nice. then made my best attempt at working on my rotary presentation almost the whole day..i got about 15 slides done, and i already have my outline done. i'm hoping for about 20 slides in total and talking a little less than a minute over each slide..i dont know. presentations are always fun and easy to make, but if i don't have a direct deadline the next morning then my motivation is ZERO! anyways. back to my blogging about PANCAKES! pancakes, or "pannenkoeken" in dutch, are extremely tasty in belgium. they rank very highly on my list of favorite food here..probably even higher than waffles! how can that be!? but let me first say..for those of you american reading, its not an american pancake. nor is it exactly what we would call i crepe, i don't think. along with music, i've found that pancakes are also an international language. each culture sort of has their own version. we have the thick ones, france has their crepes, and for that matter..norway has lefse and mexico has tortillas, close enough right? <--sort of an interesting site about pancakes around the world! but the reason i'm talking all about this is because we had pancakes tonight, because its wednesday. wednesdays we usually have waffles or pancakes for lunch or dinner. its sort of the equivalent of junk food friday with my first family ;). heres a picture of the leftover pancake tonight..nobody had room to finish the poor guy...

i could have taken a prettier picture with a pile of them there still warm, but i'm jamie the procrastinator remember. so these special thin pancakes are just awesome. what makes them even awesom-er is the recipe. i HIGHLY recommend you to grab some paper and write down what i'm about to share with you, because i promise you that someday you'll want to make some pannenkoeken, if not already today!

pannenkoeken! (van mijn 2de host mom!)
200g self rising flour (flour with a little baking powder and a pinch of salt)
250ml milk
250ml BEER! (seriously like a can of beer...normal beer, not like guinness or corona!)
1 package vanilla sugar..aka one teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
50g melted butter or oil

mix everything but add the oil/butter at the host mom adds about a cup of oil when the rest is already mixed instead of butter..cook them in a big pan on really high need to butter the pan with that much oil in the batter, hah!

[attempted conversions into american use: 1.6 cups flour, a cup of beer and a cup of milk, and vanilla sugar simply does not exist in the usa, so just add vanilla..sweet toothed americans might also want to add more sugar to the recipe in general haha]

my serving suggestion...with NUTELLA! so that was my pancake blog. i hope you enjoyed it, and i hope you go make pancakes someday. i definitely know what i'm making for my friends when i get home......!!!! goodnight world.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


spring is in the air! beautiful day 224. almost 60 degrees fahrenheit, and lots of sun! on top of nice weather, i think i did really well on my dutch exam today! hooray! oh and wouldn't you know it..32 WEEKS IN BELGIUM! golly gee how time flies. seems like a couple weeks ago i left home, a week ago it was snowing, and now BAM..springtime and i'm sitting outside in a beach chair enjoying the sun. i think the sun helped a little, because my summertime freckles are starting to appear...

ok first of all i know im weird, and secondly i know i don't have that many freckles. but when i'm used to seeing my pale white winter skin and my bland blonde hair, a couple little freckles makes me happy, haha. i'm so easily entertained. anywho! dutch writing test this morning, then came home and had lunch with manuella, then went back in the afternoon and did my speaking test. it was all really easy. friday i see my points, i think it should be one of my best exams yet! i'm excited to start level 4. i really think dutch is just a good language for me to learn. i might not do much with it, but its just sort of nice and motivating to go to the class and feel like i'm doing something productive..because we all know that in my other school i do close to nothing!! anywho. i procrastinated my rotary presentation the whole afternoon and managed to distract myself from baking things for once. i was bored so i made a video. its sort of pointless, but it shows the pretty day in the little city quite nicely. tonight my host brother went to the "frituur". thats the place that fries everything, so after some chicken nugget type things and a lot of french fries...the healthy salad i had for lunch just gets completely canceled out. but it was oh so good. i will miss BELGIAN (not french) FRIES, a lot. you win some you loose some eh!! thats life. goodnight!

Monday, March 28, 2011


day 223, hello! nothing exciting today. monday monday monday. no dutch class this morning, because our teacher had a meeting. its actually really inconvenient! normally we have our exam over a two day period..the first day writing/reading/listening, and the second day speaking. but since our first teacher is sick, our substitute came and i guess she was busy, so anyways..i have everything for my level 3 dutch exam tomorrow! wish me luck, i didn't study..but whatever. i speak like..only dutch with my host family and at school. there are like 5 people that aren't exchange students who i still speak english with, and thats because its weird to just switch languages in the middle of a anyways, even though i only have to get above a 50%, i hope the exam goes well! anywho. today i went to english class at school. it was all about australia. personally, i liked learning about america more, but maybe thats a bias opinion? after that i went and bought a few things. i was looking for a sweater, and what will you know.....i ended up buying two. little to my knowledge were the both RED! argh..that was stupid of me. i didn't even think about the first one as i bought the second one. i just thought, oh this is nice! they're different styles and slightly different colors..but still. silly jamie...
but on the bright side, i did get the sweater i was looking for, haha. we'll see what happens with that. i dont want people to think i always wear the same red sweater when really its two! odd. after that i baked a cake from random things from my american food. it was supposed to be a bisquick coffee cake, but then i added applesauce, apple cider spices, and apple cinnamon instant oatmeal. its..not bad, but not award winning. well thats about all for today. goodnight folks!

Sunday, March 27, 2011


222 today! i shall continue my story from yesterday's blog post. sooo in the afternoon we took the bus to the beach, because after a while Bruges becomes sort of too touristic. not that the sea was any better, but i still was really happy because i got to finally see the beach! it was really cold and the water was gross and grey, but we walked around, had some warm drinks and collected a few sea shells!

after some more cold walking we took the tram, the bus, then another bus and finally were back to our hostel. well, turns out you can meet some interesting characters at hostels! a couple australians, scottish guys, and a chinese dude later we got all the information on the cool places in town to go. so reluctantly tired jamie followed the crowed and walked back into town (our hostel was a solid 20+ minute walk to the middle of town, and we ended up going to a cafe and drinking and playing foosball. that will always be weird for me to type, considering i'm not 21. but you all know me well enough to know i just had one cherry beer then i wanted to go back to the hostel and sleep. so we walked back and just maybe had to stop and get some french fries for the walk back ;) darn belgian fries! just so tasty. time is just going quickly, gotta eat the fries while i can eh! horrible excuse, haha. so that was yesterday! this morning we got up early, or what felt like early..because we had to check out by 10am and also we finally switched with daylight savings time last night. belgium does it as well, just always a couple weeks later than america. then we took the trains and now i'm back! i will leave you all with something funny tonight, a little something these belgians call a "biking bar"(fietscafe? hoe vertaal je dat?). we saw one in Bruges by the station and i got a big kick out of it. they jokingly suggested doing as a going away party for me, and i just found the whole thing hilarious. so try to get a good laugh out of this biking and drinking mobile bar, and have a very nice day/night :)

Thursday, March 24, 2011


so saturday was day 221! at this point i was in Bruges with three other girls. two belgians from (sort of) my class, and another exchange student. i think its cool that i can say one of my first girls-weekend type of activities was in belgium to BRUGES! impressive. oh, you don't know much about Bruges you say? Well, its located in the northwest part of the country and i must say its a pretty big journey by train. if you're lucky you can do it with two trains and it takes a couple hours but if you're anything like we were today then it takes almost 4 hours and 3 trains (bruges to brussels, brussels to antwerp, antwerp to turnhout) to get there. oh well! i like trains. so Bruges-its the capital of the province of west flanders.. and it's commonly known (but not really amongst belgians) as the "venice of the north" because of its canals. sooo naturally, the first thing we did saturday morning after eating our free hostel breakfast was...

a boat tour!
and so here are a few pictures from the boat!

see how the tree's are already blooming for the spring..

after that we went to a couple churches. one that had this little vessel that apparently contained the blood of Jesus or something. we also saw the city hall, the bell tower, the market, and the coolest thing in my opinion was the "madonna and child" sculpture inside the big important "our ladys church" in bruges by michaelangelo.
i think its important, according to wikipedia and other tourists. anyways! after that we were bored of bruges, and decided to go to the sea. i'll continue this in the next post because this one already has too many day's blog!


hello all! friday was day 220, and i guess i don't have much to say about friday! after school i quickly came home and packed up my things..then i met a girl at the train station and we left for Bruges! two others girls were with us too, but they all stopped on at different stations. we ended up missing our first train to bruges because there was no conductor for the first we had to wait till somebody showed up, but we got there and then took a taxi to our hostel because it was dark and scary and only 9 euro in total. so yeah, all we did friday was take the train and find the hostel! next blog..... ;)


hello! day 219..i don't know if i remembered to say it on day 217 or not (the bad hairdresser day) but now its been over 31 weeks in belgium! weird. soon the countdown till the end will begin, but before that nonsense..i'll keep telling you about my days! today had sort of a rocky, crabby, negative start..but it definitely got better. i ended up finding some shoes i want to buy and also making a.....
strawberry pie! complete with some fresh whipped cream. because its just so nice outside! like i've probably said, pushing 60 degrees here. it's going down now the next few days, but not much under 50 i think. i cant believe i forgot to mention this, or i think i forgot, wait..maybe i already said this.. but i will be gone this weekend. yippee! i'm leaving tomorrow after school to go to Bruges! (maar eigenlijk vind ik brugge in het nederlands een betere naam..)! i'm going with two girls that are sort of in my class and another exchange student that lives in antwerp. it should be fun! i'm excited to see Bruges, and also excited because we're going to go to the sea as well. i hear the sea is really ugly, grey, and cold...but after over 7 months here you'd think i'd have seen it by now and i havent, crazy! sooo yes. thats the good news. bad news is that i won't be back blogging till sunday. so you guys have a few days off of reading! but i'll try to put something on here tonight just for fun..and maybe our hostel will have wifi but i doubt i will write anything. darn i love my blog! i'm sad that i won't be able to blog when i go to italy over easter vacation...because its through the school and stuff so its probably not a good idea? who knows. hmm what else. we had ceasar salad for dinner..and at the grocery store the chicken wasnt very good so i suggested salmon with the salad and apparently that was a surprising request. but we made it with some spices and it was nice! not as good as the sams club ones my mom has at home :p well thats about all for today....goodnight!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


good evening world. today was nice, but nothing over the top cool, but still nice! this morning i had boring dutch class, and afterwards manuella and i came home quick so we could eat and then go with our rotary counselor to antwerp to meet all the other inbounds in our district to go to the zoo! the zoo was nice, but it wasn't anything special. it was nice weather so that made a difference, but the zoo itself is really old, right inside the city, and sort of small. plus nothing is that pretty in the spring and they are still working on it construction wise so i wasnt super impressed i guess. it was fun to see everybody though!

although i didn't find the zoo super fantastic, there were still some nice animals i guess! i guess i'm just not a zoo person. i feel so weird seeing animals in cages, ya know? especially when they dont look happy or excited, then you just feel sort of awkward! especially when you see buffalo and deer in cages at the thats weird! i was sitting there thinking..gee deer are annoying to hit with your car, and oh buffalo yeah those are by the lake house. but here's the buffalo statue!
after the zoo a few of us went to the shopping street and looked around. its sort of weird, because its not quite warm enough to think totally about summer clothes..but some people wear really summery things already. and other people are still in parkas and thick scarves and boots. its sort of in between! and plus as an exchange student you really cant buy much and take a lot back home, plus we've all gained a few pounds anyways so whats the point in buying things? i guess its all sort of weird and in between for a few weeks. i think even the animals felt in between! its definitely a completely different feeling than the something like the first sight of snow melting at home..theres no sense of relief or thankfulness, its just like..oh hey theres sun today, goody! in south dakota its like SUN ah lets worship it. whatever you get the point. thats all for today! goodnight!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


hi world. i'm not sure what i should say tonight, because i'm actually feeling not quite 100% myself. i'm a little down, because of a stupid hair appointment. haha that sounds so pathetic when i write it that way. but heres the deal, i went to get a haircut and the crazy barber with her thick beautiful asian hair was just shocked over my wimpy thin head of hair that i have. she then took it upon herself to diagnose my hair as "sick" along with telling me that it will all fall out within the next 5 years. i'm going to hope and pray that she is not correct!!! but who knows. i guess i believe pretty strongly in fate, so if the god of hair decides to be mean to me then so be it. for now i am content with my normal not too voluptuous hair. life is life, eh. i let things get me down soooo easily, and i guess that just proves that i do in fact need to stay here and not give up and go home, because then when its done i can say that i accomplished something great and anything after that should't seem so dramatic. speaking of making things a bigger deal than they should be, i actually got a 7.5/8 on my dutch test. so that was a good point of the day. another good point is that i didn't have any real school today, because i still had to go to dutch class but my real class was on a field trip thing. and the bad part of it all...i still have to get a haircut! life always seems to go that way eh..good news, good news, bad news. ups and downs. i guess its what makes us humans. thanks for baring with me all this time, reader! goodnight.
enjoying the sun from my bedroom..hmm. (pre haircut attempt)

Monday, March 21, 2011


hi all! sort of short post today, sort of have a headache! i'm guessing its because i came home from school and sat in the SUN (almost 60 fahrenheit today, WOW!) and had a beer, haha! i find that funny. but i think the combination of the two gave me a headache thats not going away. anyways. this morning in dutch class i had a test! it didn't go as well as the rest of my tests usually do, but i probably passed anyways. after that i ate lunch outside with other music people. it was just such a nice day! the sun makes everything different. on that note, it was also sunny yesterday, so i made a really cool video as i was biking to my first families house! check it out, its worth the watch! normally its about a 10 minute ride, but i sped up the video for your pleasure, haha. its pretty close to the same route i took to school every morning when i still lived with my first family!
can you tell when i go on the cobbelstone? haha i found it really funny. it was my moms idea actually, she wanted to see how far it was and how i got there and stuff. so my family helped me put a tripod in a bike basket and off i went! i went pretty slow because its difficult to bike with a camera and a cheesecake in your front basket! but nonetheless its cute to see all the buildings and the blue sky! weird to think that people ride their bikes here through the whole winter. i should take a pic of all the bikes at school sometime, its completely ridiculous! brookings could never imagine something like it. another thing i did today was had english class. there was like a student teacher lady teaching the class, and the entire lesson was a "quiz" she made about the usa. there were wordfinds, matching names to pictures (like mt rushmore) and easy questions that nobody knew like the biggest state, how many states, or locating new york. nobody knew anything! it was weird though because there was a question over the battle of wounded knee, which was in south dakota. its all just so ironic! other than that nothing much happened today. i tried to take a nap because of my headache and it didn't work. then i promised myself not to have coffee after dinner and i did it anyways, but i'm going to try and shut my computer down earlier tonight otherwise i'm not very good at sleeping. seems my need for sleep is decreasing, can that be? weird! well thanks for reading, and hopefully you (watched and) enjoyed the video!!! much love from belgium.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


good evening all! thanks for tuning into the blog de la jamie! hmmm today, sunday. lets see! first i woke up a lot earlier than yesterday, and we had eggs and bacon for breakfast. gotta love that! afterwards, we went to the "rommel markt" and if you macbook translate that, its "cheap goods market" or junk market or something, but actually its like one giant flea market garage sale thing. people bring their stuff and sell it outside every sunday morning, right next to the castle thing in town and it was nice weather today so i really liked it!
check out that (sort of) blue sky! the camera doesnt do it justice, although i can honestly say the sky is a lot bluer at home. sort of weird how that works, dont you think? maybe it has something to do with all the land and snow we have at home? who knows. i ended up buying a couple little flower pot things, some comic strips, and a scarf. its like one giant goodwill right next to a castle?! there were also scouts that were doing some kind of boat game or race or something around the castle, it was funny and therefor picture worthy
sooo after that we came home and then i made little lemon cheesecakes! in cute little ramekins with a yummy lemon curd on top. why did i make more dessert do you ask? because tonight i went to my 1st host families house! to talk and eat dinner and stuff. because i was coming it was allowed to be JUNK FOOD NIGHT!
there is not much that i like more than the kebab from oud-turnhout. chocolate, yes. and that blue brie cheese and kriek is also good. but this is up there! check out that greasy meaty goodness. real junk! but along with good junk we also had a nice conversation! its always cool to go back to my "first" family, because they will always feel like, well, family! i took a video as i was biking there, its actually super hilarious. but it's editing now trying to make it less bumpy (biking on cobblestone = horribly jerky film) and that takes a while longer and im going to bed soon so! that is for tomorrow. you guys will love it!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


hello world! today was a nice day, and although i didn't get my lazy self outside to enjoy the sun, i still am content with my day. i woke up really late this morning, probably because i went to bed sort of late...i think i spend too much time on my computer! it can get quite addicting. but whatever. so after waking up around NOON(!) both of the "grandmas" (host grandmas? what do you call that) were over for the day so we had steak and french fries and it was especially tasty because it was still breakfast time for me, haha. here's the dessert i made yesterday :)

cute lil brownie cups eh! then i went on my computer some more, and finally accomplished A LITTLE bit of progress on my rotary presentation. i got the outline done, and next i'm going to write it all out in english and make a powerpoint of pictures, then translate it all to dutch and double check it with a few people, haha. not as easy as it sounds i guess. so tonight after dinner i was trying to go to bed early but of course still on the computer when my awesome friend BECCA (and her sister) called me on skype. it was so fun talking to them! i really love getting emails, blog comments, skype calls, and the occasional letter. all that stuff makes me really happy! there are so many nice people back home, and here too. i think sometimes i just forget how kind something like a skype call is and how happy that can make me or anyone else, haha does that even make sense? but seriously. time for bed now. goodnight!

213! 213, i don't like 13s! but i liked today, although the weather was...not good. i'm actually sort of jealous of brookings with their melting snow. the feeling of seeing the snow melting and knowing that spring is right around the corner is always so refreshing, i really miss that! i mean, there are sunny days here but then there are days like today where it drizzles and is cloudy all day so sometimes i think a nice solid winter then some heavy melting would be nice. who knows! so today in language class we learned more words about weather and natural disasters like hail, thunder, lightening, volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes and stuff. nobody could believe that in south dakota there are actually tornadoes!! people thought it was no big deal to have a volcano in the back yard or the occasional earthquake, but when i said that we had tornadoes they were like...WOAH! haha, weird. anyways! after that i found my class for lunch..then went to boring school. in the last lesson they talked about their field trip next week, which i guess i'm not going to because i have dutch class, and monday i have a test in class and then the week after is my exam already, so i suppose i should be there instead. sometimes people like to have a voice for me, which is good in some situations but other times its like..i'd like to choose things for myself. although i probably would have ended up with the same conclusion, haha. after school a girl from (sort of) my class came over because we needed to look up hostel's for when we go to brugge/bruges next weekend! i'm excited. we ended up submitting a couple things on, where you stay at random people's houses for free in hopes that you'll return the favor someday or just be a good citizen haha. we'll see how that goes, more about that later. then i went grocery shopping quickly with my host mom. it was a cold wet bike ride to the grocery store and its only like a block away! we had taco's for dinner. i also made guacamole and then brownie cups. i think it was pretty good. its a sure sign that i'm comfortable here when i keep doing all this baking! seems to be no matter what country i'm in, everybody always says i make them fat, haha! so thats about it for today. since i am too lazy to take any pictures today, i have a video of my band concert to share with you, ya lovely reader you! so enjoy, and have a nice day/night/afternoon!

Thursday, March 17, 2011


hello! HAPPY ST PATRICKS DAY!!! and happy 7 months in belgium to me!!! oh man, and happy almost 14,000 page views. what a good day! nothing exciting to say about today. cleaned my room, got a lot of things ready to send home like hats, heavy scarves, mittens, things i'm hoping i won't need in my last few months here! i can't decide if i want to send my beer card collection home or not...because i will definitely add more to it before i leave, and they dont take up much weight in my suitcase but hmm..we'll see.
these things and my pins on my rotary jacket are my favorite things to collect. haha im not a collector, but its sort of fun after a while. anyways! tonight i made dinner! it was fun. i made some good ol american chicken and rice cassarole..just like home, mmm. then i made a cabbage asian-ish salad, which i always find nice.
but the best part had to be the cupcakes. not only was the cool coffee machine fixed (its been broken this week) but i also made some neato irish flag colored cupcakes. such colorful cupcakes and things are still sort of weird to these belgians, but with my help maybe they'll get used to it..after all it IS st patricks day, i remember being in ireland when i was 12 or so and they drank green beer, haha!
actually thats sort of weird. thinking about how i was in ireland with my parents 7 years ago..and here i am back in europe, just making some colored cupcakes and thinking about that trip. hmm. weird! but thanks for reading, and for letting me write here for the past 7 months. have a nice day!


hello! short post tonight, its like 1am and i'm still not sleeping. we all went out to drink something after the concert tonight, and its a long concert to begin with plus packing everything up.. so thus i'm home sort of late! today my lucky self got to wake up early and head to the performing place so we could have a concert for little kids. by little i mean like, 8-12, and they were sort of obnoxious but nobody was nervous and it was probably good practice so it was fine. after that we had an hour or so to eat lunch, then after that we watched a movie. we watched "music and lyrics" which was actually sort of a cute movie. more of a romantic comedy than anything. and as much as i tried to fall asleep like everyone else by laying on multiple chairs, i still was awake for the whole thing. i would have rather gone home to take a nap and get ready for the concert but whatever. after that we actually DID get to go home so i came home and curled my hair, put some make up on, and ate dinner. my hair and makeup ended up being redone (or just a second time..two layers, great) when i got there. anyways, eventually we had our night concert and here are some pictures. you can thank my host dad and his great front row spot for the nice pictures!!

jazz band, jazz band with a singer, and the whole group (who i nervously had to click off with my sticks..) blahh. but nonetheless i think people liked it, or i hope so. the teachers, my family, and the other classmates haven't said anything negative anyways ;) if anything i think i was maybe too loud. and in the concert this morning, a guy counted off this swing tune for like a jazz choir, and apparently i didn't like his tempo so i just pulled them all up with me with my brushes on the drum set..and afterwards all the teachers were telling me what a good job i did, i laughed because i didn't even realize i did it. i guess i'm sort of a tempo person. as in music, your life has to have a good tempo as well. finding your tempo is like finding your balance, and i guess i'm learning to make my own tempo and find my balance here in belgium goodnight world.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011


day 210, 30 weeks, crazy! well today started out sort of bad, but ended well and thats all that matters. this morning i went to dutch class where we had a new teacher..i thought it would just be for a couple days but turns out our normal teacher is sick and won't be here for the rest of the level. thus, we have a new teacher till the end of this month when we take our exam. oh well, its really not that long i guess..its just always hard to switch teacher in the middle. this is the second time this has happened with my dutch class! super weird. but after that i went to real school where everyone studying music gathered up their instruments, clothes, backpacks and junk and walked a few blocks to "de kuub" which is where we practiced all day then had our concert. here's a picture i found on google.

here they have a big performing hall in the building next door which is like the PAC, and this place is like the little theater within the PAC at home..which explains why the tickets were sold out so quickly. good news is that my host parents got tickets for tomorrow nights show! although they dont get to sit by eachother, but they still got tickets and that makes me happy. but we practiced allllll day and it was quite boring. its such a long concert, almost 2 hours..with every transition between groups having a little film played on a projector and then a piano song played between acts too. it just takes up a lot of time. i'm hoping i can buy a dvd of it and show my real parents back home! anyways..the day was long, and eating bread for lunch and a little bit some weird pizza super quickly for dinner was not the greatest deal in the world. the "run through" of the program lasted like four hours, so we didn't have any time to leave to change and eat dinner. whatever! but i think i played well and a really nice girl even curled my hair for me so i can't complain at all. i'll try to take pictures tomorrow! tomorrow we have two concerts, one in the afternoon for kids (i guess?) and one real one at night. better get to sleep! goodnight world.

Monday, March 14, 2011


hello reader. i have a horrible headache, i'm just going to throw that out there! somebody should go and count every post i say i have a headache in, probably about 1/4 of everything i have on here says that haha. i'm super prone to headaches somehow, definitely don't know where i got that from. anyways, today i took a test quickly in dutch class which was super easy, then i went to real school where they practiced the whole concert and every song over and over the whole day. i dont understand this system AT ALL. nothing about it makes sense. we practice the whole year a few different songs, then end up only choosing two songs per group which we get to play at the concert. first of all, why is there only one concert per year? secondly, why torture us and make us practice the same boring songs over and over the whole school year, then three days at a camp thing, then the whole day today? wouldn't you think we know it already?! i dont mean any of this in a negative way, its just so different from what we do at home that i'm struggling a little bit to understand it. they just want to make a good concert like anybody else would in the world, i know that. we all just go about it different ways i guess! for example, tomorrow they practice the whole day from the start of school till the start of the concert. i have to bring my concert clothes with me there, argh! then there are two more concerts on wednesday, one for little kids i think and one at night. but what gets me the most, and the thing i dont understand at all is that both night concerts are SOLD OUT. how does that happen? thats the other part of only one concert per year that i don't like. if my dad or grandma couldn't make it to the fall band competitions or winter concert, there was always the spring one. also give you more music to play throughout the year instead of the same songs over and over, i really don't think they'll ever get out of my head, haha! i sound so frustrated, and i dont mean to. i'm just sort of sick of it all and confused over it tonight, and my headache doesn't help. its sad that my host families can't get tickets to go, because i'm always too shy to start playing the drums in the house haha. the good news is that tonight a cousin of the family (host cousin? how do you call that?) came over and we baked cookies! she wanted to see a little bit about american cookies with all the colors and stuff because she's going to be a teacher and maybe the kids find that cool. so here's a picture of our cookies, and now im going to bed. so tired. goodnight!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


hello everyone! happy sunday, and happy 50th(am i allowed to say that on the blog?) to my current host dad! this morning they had a sort of surprise brunch for him with some of their friends and that's actually what i made my cheesecake for last night, haha. couple pictures...
so other than that, i really didn't do much today. somedays i'm so lazy.. and i love it! i tried to unpack, tried to study for my test in dutch class tomorrow, and ended up just wasting time on facebook and talking to people on skype. i talked to my friend yang for a little while, it's his birthday happy 19th birthday yang! an advantage of having a macbook is the super awesome webcam, so yeah...i guess i sort of take pictures of myself if i'm bored. dont worry everyone, my feet arent actually on the leg is resting there but not my shoe!
so thats the excitement of my day. back to a routine week here in belgium! not too many left, so i guess i can't complain. actually, i'm over here chillin in europe, i should never complain. goodnight all!


good evening world! ssoooooo tired, but i can't go to sleep without blogging eh! i love my blog. ummm today we came home :( its actually sort of weird coming "home" to belgium, although i feel at home here..thats not what i mean, i mean just in general its weird. made me think about how its going to feel to actually go home again, sort of shoves everything closer to my face like..yes, the year actually DOES end and i'm actually NOT here forever. odd. but nonetheless, this morning we left an EXTREMELY rainy barcelona after finally getting coffee from starbucks (i think i talked about it the whole week, there was one on the corner by the apartment and i always seemed to casually mention it as we were walking by). anywho, next trip i take i am definitely not bringing a) boots, because after a few days they're no longer fun to walk in and b) a heavy suitcase. carrying that thing through what felt like half the metro system up and down staircases was crazyness. but we were on time to this flight today so that was good! had some potato chips before we got on..and i must mention this, i know i always talk about food but what the heck europe..HAM flavored potato chips? i don't understand it. no sunchips to be found ANYWHERE but there's always ham! and pickle chips here too. not dill pickle, just pickle. from lays brand too, but no dill pickle or susnchips, is that weird to you too? anyways..more important things to talk about than that, i suppose. once we got home i tried to unpack some things from my suitcase but i am always too distracted with my computer! speaking of distracted with my computer...while i was starting to blog tonight, my awesome friend katie came online and we ended up skyping for over an hour. she's hilarious, and we've been friends since middle school. ups and downs, smiles and frowns, everything in between. i'd much rather be talking to her than sleeping any day :D
goofing off together in 2005...2010, and to be continued
but on that note as well, she's going to pastry school starting next month! and tonight i made a cheesecake.
its not a bad recipe, but it always turns out a little weird in belgium. but it's tasty so thats all that counts. anywho! way past my bed time, so thanks for reading and catch yall tomorrow.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


hola! TGIF..but not tgif, because i don't feel like leaving Barcelona so soon :( last day here today...tomorrow morning we go back to cloudy belgium. yippee. but today was a great last day here! this morning we went to La Sagrada Familia, and if you know anything about Barcelona then you must know a little something about the building below...
it has to be the most popular or known thing about Barcelona.. ..but go ahead and click on that if you want the full 411 like we had with our guided tour today! basically, the awesome Gaudi architect dude designed this giant church "for the people" but it still isn't finished and he died but they are still building and it will be done in 15-20 years. i had no idea that it wasn't finished, or anything else about it actually..i just knew it was a big church in spain, haha. but it turns out Gaudi took all of his design ideas from nature. check out the cool curved ceiling..the pillars supporting it are supposed to be like trees in a forrest. and also another picture of the stained glass and pretty shapes..

after our tour we took the lift to one of the towers, and i have to say it was SUPER SCARY. my fear of heights goes on and off, but being so high in a tower of that church was super freaky for some reason. but pretty nonetheless! anywho. afterwards we ate lunch at this little cafe which i think was ran and operated by only one spanish guy. we all shared these random combination platter things...such as: hamburger, eggs, fries, tomatoes, olives, and croquettes. interesting but good..then he told us all to come quickly come inside and see what was on tv. super sad about Japan!!! weird to think that there could be/probably are exchange students there in such a horrible situation and i'm here on vacation..odd. but with no time to lose, we were walking to see a pretty hospital after lunch and decided to stop in a shoe store. i love shoes. so i bought a pair to add to my collection. they're made in spain!
some point after that we went to Casa Batllo, which is another thing from Gaudi. at first it was someones house but now its a museum, although there were apartments on a couple floors still. you walk through with an audio tour and it explains all the different shapes and concepts he used to make it. lots of mosaics and curves and stuff. here's a link for people (such as my mom) to check out better pictures of it:ó because mine weren't very good.
after that we went to see my host sister's university. she's here on a sort of european study abroad program thing studying medicine, so we saw her school and the hospital where she studies/interns or something at too. it was weird being able to walk in a hospital without a visitors pass. i can't begin to list all the differences in health care here versus belgium, let alone here versus the US...or europe compared to the US..oh gosh. long story. but yeah..after that we came to the apartment for a while then went around the block to eat dinner. sad to be leaving here, but so happy and thankful that my host family was nice enough to take me!!! gosh thats cool. as my host mom says...we are "gelukkige vogels" or something cuter that that actually (somebody correct me? vogeltjes? i dont know)..but basically, "lucky birds". more blogging to come tomorrow when i'm back in adios to yall!

Friday, March 11, 2011


hola reader! happy thursday..still in spain, yay! i like it here a lot more than belgium, but i don't actually know if i'm allowed to say that or not? first of all, the weather is a lot nicer. secondly, the food is better. third, shopping is better. and last, i sort of like hearing spanish more than dutch. besides all of that, there seem to be lots of things to see..while i have seen most of belgium already by now. (except Bruges/Brugge, who wants to go there with me soon??) anyways! its cool to be on vacation..while technically already being on vacation (living in belgium, seems pretty much like vacation with the little amount of work i do in school :p) this morning was sort of weird because i didn't wake up and take a shower before everyone else like i've been doing...i think it was because i had a stomach ache around 4am that lasted for like an hour, super annoying. anyways. we went shopping in the morning and i still couldnt find ANYTHING to buy. seriously...NOT NORMAL! we went to so many cute shops, saw lots of neat things..but my interest in shopping is close to none its completely weird. after that we went to another market, then we had lunch. after that we came to the apartment for a little while and then reluctantly (because i was/am super tired from all the walking) left to go see castle montjuic. it's an old castle that we took cable cars to the top of (like i said, tired...and lazy) and then walked around a little.
it was a really pretty view of the harbor(?)/ocean and stuff.
the view of the city was nice too but it was better the past couple days from on top of the other mountains. definitely glad we went even though it seemed like so much effort at the time, haha. afterwards we took the metro back and attempted to shop a little more. i ended up buying a jacket, scarf, and i guess i did pretty well. not exactly what i was looking for but still decent. tonight we went to my host sister's apartment and she made dinner. real shrimp! we had to peel them and everything, it was fun and tasty. the only not fun part was the metro ride there. a dude seriously tried to pick pocket me, but luckily i saw him then ran closer to my host parents so then he ran away. such a scary feeling though! he kept getting closer and closer to me with his hand under his jacket that he had in his arms. that would work if the train was more crowded and i was paying a little less attention..but ah! not cool. i guess i'm a south dakota girl after all. thats all for today, sooooo tired! goodnight.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


hola amigos! short blog, because i'm super tired again from all the fun things here in barcelona. this morning we went to Park Guell (üell) ..we had to take the metro there because it was sort of far away, but afterwards we walked back which wasn't so bad (compared to yesterdays big hike haha) especially since we stopped to eat and shop along the way. here's me at a the top of the park!
so park guell is a pretty park on top of a hill where you can walk through and eventually see things designed by Gaudi (and his former house too)..theres lots of mosaic things like a salamander and a pretty terrace.
it was nice! i was really scared for a little bit though because there were people selling things off the ground like in new york or something, and then all of the sudden they all quickly packed up and ran away and i thought it was a bomb or who knows what...but it was just the police coming haha. nonetheless, i bought some junky bracelet from one of the guys selling things..but that was before they all ran away. so like i said, afterwards we sort of casually walked back..did some shopping, but i was extremely tired apparently because i didnt buy anything. actually, i bought some post cards, a pin, and a fake 500euro bill patch to sew on my rotary jacket. i saw a leather jacket i sort of liked..but i sort of can't see myself wearing a light blue leather jacket next fall to sdsu? i saw a purse i liked but its from paris, not i didn't buy that either. better luck tomorrow maybe! oh..on the walk back we saw this building by gaudi..à mila, i'm not quite sure what its about but i remember seeing and hearing about it in spanish class a while back. cool!
tonight we got pizza and spaghetti and ate at the apartment. i promised myself to go to bed earlier and look i'm still here blogging..ahhh! bed time. buenas noches!


hi world! 29 weeks (i want to say in belgium but now thats not correct) away from home! still can't believe im in the 200s already with days. also 15 followers is pretty nifty. lots more cool things here in barcelona today! got going a little later this morning but still did a lot. got some bread from the baker in the street for breakfast, ate that, then we were off to find the metro to take to where we wanted to go. well, we found THE metro, but i guess there were two different metro companies so we searched for probably an hour and when nobody really knew or wanted to ask more than once (we asked and nobody really knew either) i asked two random girls and they showed us where to go. so we took the metro to Tibidabo ( which is like the highest point in Barcelona apparently. i thought it would be an easy little hike but we ended up hiking for at least an hour and a half up this rocky trail and it wasn't cold out but wasn't warm today, so the minute i took my sweater off i was cold again..haha, it was nice in the end. but those of you that know me know that most kinds of physical activity make me a little crazy.
about half way up...
slightly rocky steep path?

but at the top there is this big church and an old amusement park, and we went all the way to the top of the church and it was super pretty!
^church..forgot to take a pic of the whole thing. check my wikipedia link! sadly it was sort of cloudy today (and kind of windy), otherwise you could see more of the sea and stuff but it was still really nice. after that we took a little tram thing down sort of like the one at the matterhorn, directly and steeply down..haha nobody knows what i'm talking about there maybe. we took the metro back to the center and found a daily market with lots of fruit and vegetables, fish, cheese, smoked meats, and even special eggs and random weird things like heads from sheep..weird spain!
there was also brains, whole skinned rabbits, stomachs and stuff. gross! but there was really cheap fruit and smoothies so we ended up buying some fruit and cheese.
after that we came to the apartment to relax a while since we had already done so much! but a day wouldn't be a day without TAPAS! hahah..we met my host sister (who is here studying this year) at a place and had some tapas for dinner. you just go grab what you want and in the end they charge you for how many toothpicks you have (because each thing is like held together with one)!
cute concept. a never ending catered party sort of. so the last thing we did today was walk home, but not before buying some moroccan cookies! they're awesome..i wish we lived closer to morocco, i'd eat that over chocolate chip cookies any day. here's the nice variety at the little shop (located right next to a sex shop, hahahah no worries it wasn't in our neighborhood).
so we came home, turned the soccer game on tv on and had some cookies and coffee. at this point i can't even imagine being in south dakota with so much snow and cold and no awesome food and hiking...weird weird..amazing what you can accomplish in just 29 weeks. goodnight!