Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Great Pumpkin!

When I was a kid Halloween was easily my favorite holiday hands down, but not that I’m an adult it’s one of my least favorites. Well it was until this year…

When I was little, I enjoyed dressing up in a costume that you could show your grandma, and note that this costume could hold it’s own against the unpredictable MN weather (ie. the great Halloween bizzard of 1991!), and I also liked the pumpkin carving. Oh the pumpkin carving!

While I don’t remember the very first time I carved a pumpkin, I do have many fond memories of carving sessions. I remember going to the grocery store with the family and picking out a pumpkin so big we could barely carry it. Then my sisters, brother, and I would sit on the cold basement floor with newspapers surrounding us and our “tools” (real knives, screwdriver, you name it) scattered about. I have many happy memories about Halloween. And now I will add Halloween 2010 to that list.

Most of my classmates had never carved a pumpkin before. Even one of my classmates said – I’ve only seen that on cartoons. My reply was – we actually do that! So Friday night we had a pumpkin project at school. We went to the Colyurt to buy our pumpkins – since carving isn’t common here, we had to buy pie pumpkins (one-fifth the size of the ginormous carving pumpkins in the USA). Then we went back to campus, spread out yesterday’s newspaper and started carving!


pumpkin guts

even our 3-armed classmated joined in the fun and made 2 pumpkins

I really had a really great time and I think my classmates did too! I want to thank each one of them for a super fun night and I won’t ever forget their first pumpkin carving!

Vlerick pumpkin project team 2010
 See you later!


P.S. Thank you to Tracy & Debby for letting me take your pics from fb!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Mechelen, Be.

As promised, I went out and explored my new home instead of posting a "normal" blog.  I went with a classmate to Mechelen - just 30 minutes from Leuven by train.  Click on the link below to see the whole album!

See you later!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

REM (not the band)

Last weekend (1 – 3 October) was the fall REM. That’s Rotaract Europe Meeting and not the band. I haven’t been to a REM concert but the Rotaract thing is super fun!

Living in the USA, I’ve restricted my Rotaract travels to the location of the Rotary International Conventions aka. RIC (2005 Chicago, 2006 Copenhagen, 2007 Salt Lake City, 2008 Los Angeles, 2009 Birmingham UK, 2010 Montreal). I always have a great time at these celebrations – yes that’s right the Conventions are a celebration. It’s a gathering of hundreds of Rotaractors from all over the world to share ideas, partner on service projects, and to get to know each other and celebrate together our common mission. Just look at these pictures below from the Birmingham and Montreal RIC. Doesn’t it look fun?

Ok, but now I’m in Belgium and I’ll count that as Europe. So I’m going to take every chance I get to go to the Rotaract meetings over here. The first one was REM in Amsterdam – it only takes 2 hours to get to Amsterdam from Brussels. The weekend went by very quick; I arrived on Friday night and left Sunday after breakfast. The committee put on a really good show: opening session in a “not that old” church (which means built in the 1800’s), local pub crawl with host clubs, more meetings, canal tour, Heineken tour, and a fancy dress gala.

But the best part about it was it was so good seeing my friends again – some of those Rotaractors I’ve been Conventioning with since 2005 and some I just met in June in Montreal. This time in Amsterdam I met another great bunch of them from all over Europe and I’m excited to see them again in January at the next REM in Belgrade! (Click below to look at my pictures.)

See you later,

FYI - Amsterdam is far too big to see it all in just 36 hours so I’ll be back sometime this year.