Monday, February 6, 2012

Wait, I’m getting fatter...this isn’t supposed to happen!

January 23, 2012
I came to Europe for multiple reasons. One of my big motivations was to once again lose weight, like I did over the summer in Spain. I figured Europeans tend to be smaller, therefore Europe, in general, must offer an overall healthier lifestyle. No one told me that Belgium was the absolute WRONG country to move to if weight loss was one of my goals. Not only are they known for their WAFFLES and CHOCOLATE, but they are also huge in the industry of BEER and FRENCH FRIES. That is the worst four-some of culinary delightfulness a country could offer, in terms of weight loss. And I have fully been enjoying them in the few weeks I have been here. 
Therefore, beginning this week, I have decided to reign myself back in and start focusing on health. I don’t really have anywhere to work out yet, since there are always people in the house and I am not a fan of having an audience while I awkwardly sweat my way through a workout DVD. Hopefully my “au pair suite” will be completed soon, and I can begin then. Until then, I guess I have to give up the wonderful waffles, chocolate, beer, and fries.....or get over my pride and work out even with people in the house. Hm, I wonder which side of that choice will actually win this war? 

Feb. 6
Since writing this post (which I am just now publishing, because I am a slacker), I have fallen ill. I mean REALLY ill. I spent this past wednesday (Feb. 1) vomiting and being feverish. That on top of the cold I have been nurturing since I arrived sent my poor body over the edge. Thanks to the magical stomach shrinking effects of vomiting combined with the horrible side effects of Augmentin antibiotics, I think I have lost a few pounds! Sure, it wasn't done the right way or the healthy way, but I definitely didn't do this to myself. So I think I'll take the weight loss and build on it! Work outs just might commence tomorrow. Or my fast from waffles, chocolate, and beer. (Come on, if you know me, you know that telling me to avoid potatoes is like telling the Pope to not read the Bible...NOT going to happen). 

Friday, oh Friday, wherefore art thou Friday?

January 22, 2012
The weekends cannot get here fast enough! Don’t get me wrong, I love the family I am working for, and spending time with the kids throughout the week is great, albeit tiring. But, in the weekends I get to explore! I am loving it! I haven’t been too many places yet, since I haven’t been here very long, but I had the great pleasure two weekends ago to travel to Brugge, a very old city in Flanders (the Flemish region). Vince had class that day, so his mom took me on a wonderful tour of this lovely old city, which is completely protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. More on that in another post later. 
This past weekend I was with Vince in Koekolare, a small Flemish town. He had a wrestling event, and it was the first time I have been able to see him wrestle live and in person. Actually, it was my first EVER time attending a wrestling event of any kind. I’ve never much been in to the whole wrestling thing. I would even say that I disliked wrestling the most of all sports. The theatrics of the WWE never did appeal to me and I found them quite ridiculous. I mean really, its a bunch of grown men in outfits that are way too tight throwing each other around inside of a ring (which is actually square and not round like the name would suggest). What’s the awesomeness in that? The outfits alone sometimes are enough to make the cringe. But people apparently love it.

So, of course, I would meet and fall in love with one of the VERY few Belgians who actually participate in the sport. It wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, though! Dare I say, I actually enjoyed it. I went early to watch them warm up and prepare for the big event, and seeing everything come together in the ring was kinda neat, in a weird way. After seeing all of the behind the scenes happenings and getting some inside knowledge on how it all works, I have a bit more respect for the technical aspects of the sport. A lot goes into it, actually. Don’t judge me for somewhat-liking wrestling. I guess I can’t complain, it does keep my man happy and looking fit ;-) So of course I support him in it! 
I can actually see myself really getting into helping and supporting him in his wrestling. Sadly, I have already begun playing around with ideas for a logo for him to use for his character, Vinny Fuego. Who knows? Maybe I’ll find myself ring-side one day. But, for now, I’ll stay in the crowd, cheering loudly and proudly ;-) But, if you would like to help me in supporting Vince in his wrestling, find him on Facebook- Vinny Fuego. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Update #2!

January 17,2012
May 2012 be blessed and filled with many wonderful memories for you :-) <That is, if anyone is out there reading this...before 2013....if there is going to be a 2013? Hmm... ;-)  >
So, here I am in Grez Doiceau, Belgium, two weeks into my crazy European Adventure-part 2. Actually, I’m 18 days into it, but who’s counting? It stills feels like a surreal dream. Something that began back in October, when I got the Facebook message from Jeanna, has now been my reality for almost three weeks. 
Boy has a lot happened since that day. I have a diploma! A Bachelor’s of Arts in Foreign Language with a concentration in Spanish, to be exact. Its sitting at home in my room in Georgia in its lovely ASU diploma frame. 5.5 years of torture, tears, and breakdowns for a piece of paper. I hope it proves worth it someday when I get a real job. But for now, it’s just nice to know I have it, and that it signals the END of the torture. At least, for now. 
So, what does a college graduate with a degree in Spanish Language do after graduation? Well, the normal thing would be to find a job in translation or working for the Man somewhere in a multinational corporation. Nope, not me. Two weeks after graduation I moved to the FRENCH speaking region of Belgium to be an Au Pair for a lovely family. Not much Spanish is spoken here, unless you count the Tapas bar I went to with Vince and his good friend Josafin the other night, where we did proceed to converse only in Spanish. But, other than that, I couldn’t be further from using my Spanish. No, instead of doing the normal thing, this Spanish major has decided to be a language snob and add a third language, French, to my repertoire. And possibly a fourth and fifth, Dutch and German respectfully, just because I am in Belgium, and why not? We shall see how my Language adventures go...stay tuned! More to come later! 

Update! After 7 months....

**Quick note...I tend to write my blog entries in mac pages, and then copy and paste them when they are finished. So, some of these entries might have been written well before they were actually posted. Like this one, which was written a month ago........I'm a slacker, what can I say? It's a busy life!**

So, I realize that I never did post anything while I was actually studying in Salamanca. I guess I fail as a blogger! So, I guess this post will be an update on the past six months, which have been VERY eventful, to say the least. 
To update on the weight-loss thing....I ended up losing about 25 lbs last year in 2011. Unfortunately, due to a turbulent semester and the holidays, I have gained a bit of it back. BUT, 2012 is a new year and I’m planning to whip myself back into shape! 
Spain was an absolute BLAST! I wish I was still there. I fell in love with Salamanca (and maybe a boy....but that is for later). I stayed in an apartment with four other students. Two were from my group, Tonya (my incredibly awesome roomie!) and Kristin (another awesome apartment mate!). The other two were not from our group, but were from Belgium. The girl, Aranea, was only with us for the first two weeks, the other Belgian, a guy I like to call “mi amor” (aka Vincent), was with us the whole time. He ended up stealing my heart. Once again, more of that later. 
Our Spanish seƱora was named Isabel, and we absolutely fell in love with her and her husband Agustin. They were the best Spanish parents EVER and treated us like we were truly their own children. We had a cool set up too, with our own apartment. Isabel and Agustin had their own elsewhere in the city.  They also had an awesome house out in the pueblo, which we got to spend a day at before we left. Isabel is the BEST cook. We had homemade lunch and dinner every day and it was a miracle I actually lost weight instead of gaining it! Now more about the city...
Salamanca is an awesome city! At the heart of it is the Plaza Mayor, which is arguably my favorite hang out spot in the world. I love how it is lit up in a golden light every night at sunset. It is full of many wonderful cafes and the night life is amazing :-) Such a fun city. 
I will keep this post short since I have a habit of rambling on and on.  If you want to know more details (and there are so many more!), ask and I will gladly give you the rest of them!  July was one of the best months of my life. I learned so much Spanish! And I made wonderful friends for life, as well as meeting a great guy ;-) 
Since I returned home from Spain, I have survived a crazy awful semester and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Foreign Language from Augusta State University. I decided that I like Europe so much, I wanted to go back and see the Northern part. I am leaving this coming Thursday, December 29, to move to Belgium for a year or so to be an Au Pair. Who knows what the next year has in store?!? Stay tuned to find out ;-)