Thursday, September 3, 2015

Nostalgia and New Family

We all know that time does not stand still and, especially during my return visits to Belgium, the confrontation with time and change is immense and sometimes shocking. I, and some of my friends as well, seem to realize just now that ten years have passed in a jiffy! Teenage and young adult buddies are all settled in a nice home, with their families, having a good job and a comfortable life, while I feel like I have remained the same, still roaming around the globe without securities, plans or material goods. And, each time I come back “home”, it is still me greeting my parents, family and friends, but my surroundings have changed.

As always, I am truly enjoying my stay in Belgium – this time for eight weeks – with all the luxuries (read: comfort), spoils and social activities it involves. With more time than previous years, having moved off Irie and not needing to worry about her, I managed to do a few nostalgic things. I went to concerts with friends, rebuilt my “old” bedroom with my dad, spent time sorting things out on the attic, browsed through decade old photo albums, and went to a flea market to sell some of my belongings. I also spent days with my “new” nephew Lenn, who can almost walk. I happened to be around for his baptizing and one year birthday party!

During the first three weeks of my visit, my mom and I spent a rainy day in the university city of Leuven, hung out with my friend Rosy and her daughter Yanou, went for a few walks in nature, and my aunt Marleen paid me a nice visit. The weather was unusually sunny and warm; I soaked up every ray of sunshine, finally being able to enjoy sitting outside without suffering from the heat and high humidity of the tropics. The temperatures were around 30 degrees Celsius: perfect! Mid-August, Mark arrived in Belgium. The pace was cranked up and our lives turned busier. More about that in my next blog!
Lenn, my one year old nephew
Rosy, Yanou, Peter and, more importantly, big milkshakes and farm made rice pudding! :-)
Dad, mom and aunt Marleen
Walking with Lenn in nature
The Collaert family: my brother Robin with Lenn, mom, dad with Lena and me in my parents' yard

Tessa and Lenn at his baptizing ceremony

Lenn's baptizing with a happy Lena

Baptizing ceremony with the proud God parents

Baptizing ceremony Lenn

Lena, Lenn and "oma" Agnes

Birthday party Lenn

Lenn, my dear 95-year old oma and me

Re-constructing my favorite bedroom

Handyman dad at work

These are ALL the clothes and shoes I own!

Spoils also come in the diversity of fresh fruit

Pretty city of Leuven

Town Hall of Leuven

A rainy day in the city

Lead singer Tom Barman of the band dEUS

My favorite Belgian band dEUS in concert (Lokeren)


Unknown said...

Wow, it's really good to see your family again through the photos you've posted. There are many bright and smiling faces to be seen there. I'm happy to see that your visit was enjoyable and productive. You even got to see dEUS. :)

Liesbet said...

Thanks, Karl!! It is always good to be back. For a little while... :-)