Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.
- Robert Frost

Monday, 26 December 2011

Surviving Christmas :P

Ho Ho Ho!!!! Christmas update!!!  I had a fantastic day yesterday!!  Woke up at 8, and my cousin Tansy and I ran into all the other rooms to wake everyone up :) I felt like I was 5 years old again! It was great!  Then we went and made tea (because that is the English way :P) and took it into my aunt and uncle's room, where we all opened stockings together :)  Then I went to church with my aunt and uncle, and that was beautiful!! It was a very old, tiny church, and the service was lovely :) 

Once we got home, I changed into something fancy and the whole family went up the road to a neighbor's house for drinks and such :)  What great people!  I met a lot of the neighbors, and everyone was so nice :)  We then went back to our house for appetizers and more drinks :)  My cousin Jonny's friend little Dave and his parents came over, AND THATS WHEN WE OPENED PRESENTS!!  I got some really nice things from my British family, and I even had a couple little things from home :)  I actually got a little teary reading the cards from my parents and siblings, it was kind of hard not to be spending this day with them.

After presents was dinner, which was absolutely delicious!  I tried Christmas pudding for the first time, and even though I can't say it was my favorite :)  it was certainly an experience!  We also opened Christmas crackers, and inside each was a bell, and we played Christmas carols with them, because we all had a different note! Well, we tried to play them anyways :P

Throughout the day I kept trying to skype my real family and my host family, which I finally managed to!  It was great seeing them, and it looked like both families had a happy Christmas :)  I also skyped many, many friends from around the world: Belgium, Canada, US, Brazil and France, to name a few :P  Also, sorry to Carolina in Peru for waking her up!  But it was nice to talk to her and my friend Luke (who is staying with her :P). Oh! I don't know if I told you guys this, but Luke's blog from Peru is the reason I started mine in the first place :) Love you buddy <3

So that's it for my Christmas day!!! It was fantastic and incredible and I love my British relatives for inviting me here to experience it with them!!  yes, it was hard not being home for the holidays, but  I feel so fortunate to have been with family and friends that I love very much!!

Much love!


Friday, 23 December 2011

Christmas from across the Channel :)

So I'm writing this post from a different house, different town, and a different country than usual!  That's right!! Where am I you might ask?? I'm sitting in a house in the charming little village of Trotticliff, West Malling, Kent in Merry Old England!!  I was invited here for the holidays by my borther-in-law's family, and so far I'm having the best time ever!!

I took the Eurostar on Wednesday to get here, but even trying to catch that train was an experience, due to the MASSIVE train strike in Belgium!  HUGE thanks to my host dad for driving me through crazy traffic to Brussels so that I made my train on time!  But once I got on the train, it only took two hours to get to England!! (they built a train tunnel UNDER the English Channel! Good thing I'm not claustrophobic!)  My bro-in-law's aunt, Sally, met me at the station :) It was so wonderful to see her again!  She hugged me harder than I've had in months!!  I felt right away like I was with family!
She drove me back to her place, where I was greeted by the rest of her family: her husband, Stephen, her son, Johnny, and Tansy, who is one of her daughters :)  The other daughter, Holly, got home yesterday :)  They are such a funny  and warm family, and I'm so happy to be with them for Christmas!

They are also really great about showing me around!  Sally has been taking me around the countryside and has explained all sorts of interesting things about it!  She even showed me the road that the pilgrims traveled down in Chaucer's "Canterbury Tales"!  How awesome is that?!?!

Yesterday Johnny took me for a tour around London! I SAW EVERYTHING! Buckingham Palace (the Queen was home!), Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Camden (a very cool marketplace), Trafalgar Square, and so much more that I should stop now before I write another 2 pages :P!! Don't worry, a video is coming!
Whew!  That's all for now!  I'm actually surprised I wrote this much after playing hardcore rounds of DANCE CENTRAL on the Kinect with Johnny and Holly :P haha I can't wait to see what the adults look like playing that after drinking mulled wine of Christmas day!!

Much love and Happy Holidays!!!


Sunday, 18 December 2011

It's gonna be a white Christmas :)

So I'm sitting here after an awesome night out with my fellow Canadian, Sylvie :)  We are feeling especially happy right now because IT IS SNOWING OUTSIDE! YESSSSSSSSSSSS! And we're talking A LOT!!!! HAPPY DAYS!!!!! Time to go brave the blizzard!!!

Much love!


Monday, 14 November 2011

Paris 2011: a trip to remember!!

kk try this link!! i hope it works!!

Walk like an Egyptian :)

                                          The mask covering the mummy's face

How cool is this!?!?  Yesterday I went with my family and a family friend to Brussels to see the Tutankhamun exhibit while it was in town. IT WAS UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! So much history!!!

                                                           The sarcophagus

                                                          The outer casket

                                                                  The inner casket

It was a mixture of original pieces and replicas, because apparently transporting hundreds of gold statues around the world is hard :P  But the mummy was real!! And the replicas of King Tut's tomb were so realistic!! WOOOOOWWWW SOOOO COOOOL!!!!!

                                                                         King Tut :O

I think I'll have to add Egypt to my world travel list now!!!

Much love!


Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Paris, Take two!

Just got back from Paris last night, and I know now that it really is the people that make the place!  Totally different this time around!!!  Paris is still as amazing as ever, but what I loved the most was sharing it with my friends!!  It was so unbelievably awesome!!  We took a bus down Saturday morning (which I loved, because long bus trips rule :P!!!) and we started sightseeing right away!! Day one consisted of a LOOONG tour of the Chateau Versaille, dinner, a tour of Paris by night on the bus, and a quick stop in front of the Eiffel Tower :)

Day two: Up by 7, Croissants and crepes for breakfast...très français!!  Another quick morning stop at the Eiffel Tower :) , then on to the Musée d'Orsay.  Many beautiful impressionist paintings (Van Gogh, Monet), but no pictures allowed :(  hehe did manage to get a couple though with my fellow Canadian, Cat :)  The next stop was where my dreams were realized: We ACTUALLY ENTERED THE LOUVRE MUSEUM!!  We spent 3 hours there, and it was nowhere near enough, but I did manage to see the Mona Lisa, the Italian paintings, the Egyptian exhibit, the Greek exhibit, and a little bit of the African and 18th century France exhibits as well!!! IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!  We then stopped at the Champs Elysées for a little shopping and dinner, and then we took a beautiful boat tour along the Seine river (my camera died as this started :( but no worries! I am stealing pictures from other people! :P)  As soon as this tour was over, we had to sprint to make it on time to climb the Eiffel Tower!! ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!!!  It was UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Day three:  Up at 6h45, pack, breakfast, load the bus, and arrive at the Notre-dame Cathedral pretty much before anyone else :)  Then we drove through the streets of Paris (Holy wow TRAFFIC!! the French are crazy drivers :P) and then we climbed up...and up, and up to Montmartre (We felt the burn :P)  This is where the souvenir shopping kicked in :) Lunch was at THE Hard Rock Cafe :O Then *sigh* it was back on the bus and back home to Belgium.

An unforgettable trip, full of unforgettable people!! Paris Trip 2011!! I love you all!! xoxoxoxoxo

Much love!


p.s It's my big bro's birthday today!! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATT!!! <3

Friday, 28 October 2011

here we go again!

YAAAAAAYYYY!!! Just a quick not to say HERE I COME AGAIN PARIS!!! leaving early tomorrow morning for three fun-filled days with my favorite people ever!! YAY ROTARY KIDS!!!!!!  So excited and I will have a Paris video (Take two :P) for ya'll when I get back!!

Much love!


Friday, 21 October 2011

Devyn is "Divine" :) (that's what my name sounds like when they say it here, except with a french accent :P)

Excuse me for any spelling mistakes here, but my hands are so cold that typing is hard :P I know I know!  As a good Canadian girl, saying that it's cold goes against my nature, but I think all that warm and delicious Belgian chocolate is making me soft :P  However, because I love you all so much, I will power through!
A couple days ago marked my two months in Belgium!! WHAT???? How did it happen so fast??  I have done and seen so much, and have met so many people, yet I can't believe that time has flown by so quickly!  I guess being so occupied all the time, I haven't really noticed :P  And I am always on the go!
School is great!  As I have told many of you Canadians back home, you cannot understand how liberating it is to not have to worry about schoolwork! I FEEL SO FREEEEE!!!!!  And the kids in my class are amazing!!  I have friends here who I know I will remain close  with forever!!
As far as the Rotary goes...I LOOOOOOOVE MY ROTARY PEEPS!!!!!  They are crazy, fun, awesome..I could go on but I think you get it :P  We always have so much fun when we get together, and it isn't that hard to get the whole gang rounded up! I mean, Belgium is not that big :P

 So there it is for another post! Forgive me for not being the most faithful blogger, but I still love you all!!

Much love!


Sunday, 9 October 2011

J'adore Paris!

Wow! Almost two months in, and I have already done so much!

I know I know! I have been slacking on the blogging recently, but that's just what happens when your having the time of your life!  So here is what has been going on...
As you saw from my last video, I went to a wedding up in Leuven, which is in the dutch speaking part of Belgium.  It was an amazing and beautiful ceremony, even if I didn't understand a word of it!  What made it all the more fun was that my brother (the real one from Canada :P) was there with me, and then we spent the following Monday together in Brussels.  It was so great to see him!  However, I know now why they advise no visits within the first few months of exchange, because it was so much harder this time to say goodbye!
The weekend after his visit, my host family took me to Paris for the weekend!  We spent two full days exploring all the sights, from the Eiffel Tower to the boat tour on the Seine river!  I will forever be grateful to my host family for taking me there, it was such an amazing experience!!!
And just yesterday, I spent a fun-filled day with all the Rotary kids in Belgium!  It may have been raining and cold (what else is new right?) but it doesn't matter when you are hanging out with some of the greatest people on the planet!  Of course, we did have to sit through another super fantastic replay of the rotary rules (FUN!!) but then we went for a boat tour through Namur.  What could be better than a day on a boat with your bffs from around the world?  A few of us stuck around afterwards, and I had so much fun, I ended up taking the train home a 11 pm!  Originally, I thought I would be home by 7 :P  Time just speeds by when your having fun! :P

So there it is. My life is full of crazy times, crazy people, and crazy memories that I will cherish forever!

Much love!


Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Congratulations Laurent and Isabelle!

Hard to believe that Laurent, my brother's friend from Belgium who I met when I was only 9 years old has gotten married!  I'm so happy for him and his wife! Congratulations to them!!!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

It's all in the little things....

Pre-made packaged burger anyone?  Haha it  was a trip to the supermarket that made me think of writing this next thought.  Coming to this country, all I could think of were the amazing things I was going to see, the great people I was going to meet, and all the adventures I would have.  Now, it's true I've had all of those things, but the things I have come to appreciate the most are the ones that make Belgium the unique little corner of Europe that I have come to love!  I love the weird food that line the grocery store shelves, how you can stop by any one of the hundreds of cafés that line the streets of every town for a cup of hot chocolate,  the way you get most delicious bread from the bakery everyday and the completely stacked chocolate cupboard that almost every family here has!  I even love the fact that I still can't find my spanish class, so I have to ask someone random everyday to show me where it is (It makes for some funny conversations :P)!  The fact is, I don't need to go on a wild adventure everyday, because I find that the greatest discoveries lie in the little things.

Much love!


p.s.  Let the record show that I still do want to go on crazy wild adventures!!! :P hehe

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Dancin' Crazy :)

So I know it's been a week since my last post, but everything got really busy when school started on Tuesday.  School is HARD.  I know everyone says I'm lucky because I speak french, but that really does not help when the teachers and students are speaking a mile a minute!  At least everyone noticed I was there.  At least I think they did, because they kept pointing and staring :P  The kids seemed a little scared to approach me, but once they did, it was really quite fun!  They are all very helpful, and they enjoy laughing at my Canadian accent :P  They also find my name very amusing :)  Still, all joking aside, school leaves me feeling a little stressed and crazed, so today its was great to get back to the one thing that always calms me down.  Yep, that's right! First ever Belgium ballet class today!  It was different, and at times a little weird, but it was exactly what I needed:  a little familiarity in this strange place.  So what if the teacher was different?  So what if the other dancers where hesitant to welcome me in?  Dancing is a universal language, and so even though I can sometimes barely speak the language of this country,   I now have a place where I am always understood.   That's all I need to make me feel like home isn't that far away.  So to my fellow exchange students, or even my friends only a few hours away from home, find the one thing that makes you feel like home, and hold onto it, because it makes the tough times seem not so tough after all :)

Much love!


Monday, 29 August 2011


Remember those movies that show a scene with the girl riding a bicycle leisurely through the European countryside?  She's so elegant and calm, and the ride is smooth and beautiful.  Well when my host dad said "lets go for a bike ride Devyn" I thought it would be a little bit like that.  Big news: It was not.  At all.  Completely different.  It was over two hours of trails that were mostly just lanes of rocks and my butt lost all feeling 20 minutes in! :P  It was like mountain biking without the mountains! I was covered in mud!  It was still a lot of fun though, because I got to look around my town and the neighboring town, and see the gorgeous countryside from a different perspective.  It was also great to spend time with my host dad and brother; they are very competitive and its funny to watch them :P  But fun or no fun, I need to take a nap!

Much love!


Friday, 26 August 2011

The First Week is done

Rotary get together :)

Awesome day yesterday!  More than 200 inbounds and rebounds set loose on the city of Brussels!  It was crazy!  We visited the Palais Royale, Parliament, Town Hall, and walk around the main part of the city!  what a spectacular city!  I met so many interesting a funny people, and I didn't want to say goodbye at the end of the day.  And believe me, it was a LONG day; my feet are killing me!  Other than my pain, yesterday was the best, and I can't wait for the next big reunion!

Much love!


Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Ah the sound of thunder in the morning!

Another gorgeous day here in Lillois :)...that was a joke..haha :P  I woke up to lightning outside and within 5 seconds it started to rain.  However, this is the price I pay for such an amazing adventure!  Who needs sunshine anyways!  I've been talking a lot with my host brother, and he thoroughly freaked me out by talking about horror movies.  They are his favorite, so yay! Guess I'll be watching a lot of those! Oh well, I guess it's good to be scared once in awhile.  For example, this whole experience scared me too death!  But now that I'm here, it feels like home.  My host parents are a lot like my  mom and dad, they are not so different from what I'm used to.  As for my host brother, well he's much less annoying than my actual siblings :P hehe and we talk all the time.  We compare countries, and even try to outdo each other by telling stories of our different cultures.  Just like real sibling rivalry!  It's awesome having a younger sibling!  I don't know why my brother and sisters complained so much :)  That's it for this post!

Much love!


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Uh oh! tenptation, temptation, I must resist!!!

au revoir Virginie!

Well, Virginie (host sister) is now in the USA!  It was a tearful farewell at the airport; lots of her friends were there, her parents, brother and grandparents.  It made me sad, only a few days ago that was me!  All I can say is good luck sister!! I know she will have a wonderful time!

Much love!


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Day two done

So sitting here with my host sister and her bff..well dancing actually because they are all about the music!!  It has been a crazy couple of days.  I met all my sister's friends, and then we went clubbing at "Ping Bar"! It was lots of fun, and wow! do the Belgian boys LOVE to dance :)!!!
Well, gotta get back to dancing! My sister leaves for her exchange to the USA tomorrow :O I hope she has a killer time!!! I will miss her; kit's been nice having her here :(

Much love!


Monday, 15 August 2011

The Final Countdown

Ok everybody!  So let's try out the blogging thing.  I will try my hardest to post as much as I can, but as my family can tell you, I'm sorta bad at keeping things up to date :P  But because I love you all so much, I will do my best!  So anyways, four days till I leave behind the Great White North and take on Belgium.  OMG, who's idea was this again??? I am beyond excited!  I will be living in Brain-L'Alleud, just south of Brussels!  My first host family seems pretty cool!  I have a younger host brother and a sister who is my age, but she will be leaving for her exchange to the States on the twenty-first.  I hope she has a great time!
Well, I think I'd better keep it short for this first post, so I will just say au revoir to you all, and I hope that you enjoy my blog!

Much love,