Shortly before I left for Switzerland last July, my sister Valerie and her family moved to Uganda. Needless to say, it was a crazy, crazy time for our family. Although Valerie had lived abroad before, the whole family had been in the US for the past few years.
I was used to seeing my family every few weeks when I was back home. Parents, sisters, brothers-in-law, and 5 amazing nieces and nephews. We all lived close by, and my sisters and I would frequently meet up at my parents' house over a weekend, or occasionally even just for dinner. Seeing my family so often was one of the very best things about living in DC, and is certainly one of the hardest things about living here.
While I was able to visit with my parents and my sister Allison over Christmas, I hadn't seen Valerie in 7 months. So with my February break coming up, I hopped on a flight to Kampala for a visit!
I fell asleep as soon as I sat down on the plane, having gotten up at 4:30 to get there. I woke up an hour later to find that we were still on the ground in Zurich. Grr. Arriving in Brussels, I rushed to the gate only to find out that the flight had been delayed for 5 hours. Grr. Although perturbed (this now had me arriving in Entebbe at 4 AM, precisely what I had spent so much time trying to avoid), it also gave me the opportunity to take the train into Brussels and see a bit of the city.
What do you do when you're stuck in Belgium for 5 hours?
Buy chocolate and eat waffles, of course!
At about 7 AM, I finally arrived at my sister's house and started a fantastic visit!
Since I last saw them, Natalie celebrated her 4th birthday, started preschool, and she is learning her letters and numbers.
Nathan celebrated his 1st birthday shortly after learning how to walk. Now he won't sit still!
I had such a blast playing with the kids and catching up with my sister and my brother-in-law. In addition to two kids, they also have an attack dog who couldn't quite decide whether she'd rather let me pet her or attack me, as well as an insane cat whose name is constantly changing. She used to attack suddenly and without reason (read Val's blog for more info), but now she's pretty calm most of the time. However, she does love to play with her food, including giant cockroaches she's caught.
We wanted to capture it on video.
This was taken immediately after Val said, "No Kelly, you take the video. I'll scream if I do it."
That thing was huge, ugly, and REALLY fast.
I also didn't know that I was capable of making that sound.
I ate a lot of great food and drank a lot of tea. And I enjoyed a brief respite from the cold Swiss snowiness. I must say, though, as nice as it was to be warm, I'd have a tough time living in a hot climate year-round. I like my seasons.
Now if only I could learn how to sleep on overnight flights.
Kelly is an American teacher living in Switzerland and enjoying everything the country has to offer.