Rotary Outbound Exchange Student
Katie Pellegrino
January 2016
 
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On January 3, 2016 Katherine Pellegrino  wrote:
 
Actually...not the Alps.
 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

I can't believe yet another month has already passed! ‚ÄčAt the beginning of the month I hit my official 100 Days in Belgium which was quite exciting! 

 

I had a week of exams at school followed by three weeks of vacation, which, compared to the two weeks of vacation in the States, I found quite enjoyable! For the holidays I took a trip to visit my Aunt in Switzerland. Unfortunately, with the unnaturally warm temperatures, there was no snow yet. But it was an amazing visit and the Swiss Alps are so beautiful! After living all of my life in the flatlands of Ohio and Belgium I found it amazing to have such immense mountains on every horizon. It was quite lovely indeed.

 

I celebrated Noel with my host family, which I found very calm and relaxed. We had a nice dinner followed by midnight mass on the 24th and on the 25th we had a big dinner with all of the extended family. It was so nice because I now know a lot of the extended family very well from seeing them at birthdays, dinners, or at the wedding. So it was quite splendid to see everyone for Noel!

 

I spent my last week of break traveling as much of Belgium as I could! I love how easy and simple it is to be able to take a train basically anywhere in the country. 

 

Then came the change of the year! I can't believe its already 2016! Unfortunately, the New Years fireworks were canceled in Brussels for safety reasons, but it was still a lovely turn of the year and I honestly couldn't be more thankful for everything that I did and learned in 2015, especially for the opportunity to live and study here in Belgium for a year. Thank you Rotary so much for this amazing opportunity! Only 4 months in and it has not only changed my life, but changed how I see the world and the people around me. So thank you very much for making all of this possible for me and for everyone who is on exchange.

 

And now it is the 3rd of January and my second day with my second host family. I switched families yesterday which, to my surprise, I found quite challenging due to all of the things I've accumulated these past 4 months. I had a wonderful time with my last family and my new family is very kind and amazing as well, so I have no doubt that my time here will pass well!

 

So there it is! On to another month and another year of fun!

 

I hope you are all well and that you had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

Katie Pellegrinof snow!
 
Katie Pellegrino