December 30, 2012

Bon Voyage Mathilde!

I made Mathilde a stocking for Christmas representing some of the fun we had while she was here. One side is all about Halloween, which I believe is Mathilde's favorite holiday ever. Ha ha ha. (Scary stuff freaks her out.) The other side is a flower made out of the same material that I did my banner out of. The stem is Christmas material...the big toe went a little mutant on me, but since I finished it Christmas morning about 2 am, there was no time to fix it. They don't do stockings in Belgium so it probably doesn't matter what I put on it, it will always remind her of our house.

My Aunt Gay came for Christmas and stayed a couple of nights with us. She worked in France for almost 30 years before coming back to the US to care for my aging grandparents about 20 years ago. She and Mathilde got along well and spoke a little French together. I think they have plans to meet up at some point at my aunt's place on the French Riviera. Speaking of which...I've been dreaming of making that visit since I was a teenager. It's about time we made the trip!

Mathilde went home a few days ago and arrived safely. Next week, she will live with another host family, this time in the Netherlands. In order to get a good job in Belgium, you have to speak French and Dutch (the national languages) as well as English. So she is splitting her first year post-graduation between two host families to perfect her speaking skills. Mathilde has really spent her time with us to the fullest. We did a lot of activities in the summer and fall and the past month and a half she's lived at the school with the basketball team. Well, she didn't really live there. But it sure seemed like it sometimes when we'd pick her up at 9:30 pm after a game. Here is a photo collage from her last night here.

Bon Voyage Mathilde! Until we meet again....
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