Rotary Outbound Exchange Student
New Spring Report from Brussels
Katie Pellegrino
April 9, 2016
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On March 22, 2016 Katherine Pellegrino  wrote:
Actually...not the Alps.


March was really nice, especially considering that the weather is starting to clear up a bit from the almost constant rain of winter. 
School has been going well. It seems like every few months we have a week, or at least a couple days, long break which is definitely something I could get used to! Earlier in the month we took a field trip to a small village in France to see an art museum. I still find it so cool that we can take quick and easy field trips into a completely different country! I also participated in a basketball tournament with my school. The school itself doesn't offer organized sports as schools do in the USA. We compete against other schools in the area, but it's more like intramurals as there aren't really any organized practices. You really just show up and play for fun. Here, if you want to compete for real in a sport, you would do it through an athletic club outside of school. As it was, however, it was fun and super neat to experience something that's the same between the USA and Belgium because basketball is one of those things that really doesn't change.
On the 22nd of March, as you probably already know, Brussels was hit by a joint terrorist attack that targeted both the Brussels Airport and a metro station that is near to the European Union. It was a very different thing to be in the middle of, especially in the days that followed when the streets became flooded with news vans and the public transportation system became interrupted with new security measures. There are so many people that I know who only just missed the attacks or who knew one of the victims in the attacks which makes the whole situation a lot more real. However, I would not like to linger on this topic and, instead, I will finish with the grand finale of this month which was my trip to Greece!
The Greece trip is a trip organized by the Rotary and our group totaled around 60 students. It was absolutely amazing! We traveled all along the south of Greece doing a nice mix of sightseeing, hiking, biking, swimming, and relaxing. It was the perfect length and the people were amazing! The whole experience feels so surreal! It was my first time ever seeing the Mediterranean Sea and it really is exactly, if not better, than how it appears in photos. We took a bike trip around the small island of Spetses, and the views of the baby blue water calmly flowing next to rocky caves of the island was something I've only ever dreamed of! Also the time of year couldn't have been more perfect. It was Spring time and all of the flowers and trees were blooming. Even in the cities you would see orange trees or lemon trees and the scent in the air was so fragrant. It was absolutely spectacular and I am so thankful to have been able to go!
Anyway, it was a spectacular month and I look forward to what April brings (hopefully not more rain)!
I hope you all are doing well!
The Island of Hydra; We hiked to the top of this mountain on the island to see a monastery. The monastery turned out to be closed, however, the view was spectacular! I believe I took this photo when we were about halfway to the top.