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So I thought I would have more time to respond to e-mails, check my lj, update my facebook-status and keep my internet life kicking. Turns out that was a rookie mistake. Now I know that living together with 40 kids steals all your precious personal time and transforms it into playing games, making jokes or swinging in the garden. I'm having a lot of fun here in Iquitos. I made friends with some other volunteers in the city and in the weekends we often go out. I also have a really cute boyfriend that I'm actually in love with. He's the coolest guy. Our relationship isn't easy, but it's worth it. Now it's christmas vacation and the kids have gone home. Now I have time to search for my breakfast in the market, go to the swimming pool with my scooter and make myself a batman cape (I already bought the fabric). Then on the 4th of January I travel to Lima where my trip through Peru begins. Happy Newyear you guys. I'm keeping you all in mind!
So in general I'm enjoying myself. However I would like to ban two things out of this world: mosquitos and heath. They really get annoying. Little red spots all over my legs (itchy) and around noon I'm even melting in front of the airconditioning. I would like to live in a refrigerator... Good news is that I didn't scare my admirer-frog away, he keeps on coming back and I'm developing skills to lead him out of the room without using a broomstick.

Hours, days, weeks go so fast over here. I managed to work out a schedule which satisfies the teacher in me. I spend my mornings in a little school helping the children with individual reading practise and my afternoons in front of the kindergarten. The most striking difference with my life in Belgium is that my free time is limited to the weekend (from saturday afternoons to sunday afternoons). Because my weekdays are just filled with activities with the children. Playing volleyball, reading stories at night, giving swimming lessons, making jokes with them, and all other kind of camp stuff. I like it though.

Last weekend I went out with two new friends and we ended up in a karaoke bar. For the first time in my life I had to sing a song. I'm sure it was awfull :) But I gave it my heart and soul, I promise. For those of you who wonder: Everybody - the Backstreet Boys. Ow yeah!

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Yossi and Jagger in Iquitos

I found a toad in my room this morning. He was sitting in a corner just watching me. Trust me when I say it's not the nicest thing to wake up to. After a few minutes of silently freaking out , I broomed him out of the room. I don't care if he was my prince charming in disguise, I just won't allow toads in my room.

So I'm allright. I arrived on Thursday in Iquitos and since then I'm slowly getting used to life here. Some things remind me of Africa but in general I'm suprised at how modern the city really is (it is a jungle city after all). It's a perfect mix between my life in Africa and my life in Spain. Which is a good thing considering I'll be staying here for the next nine months. The kids are great so far, communicating goes smoothly thanks to my Spanish, the food is nice, my bed is soft, the weather is hot but the showers are cold and I'm getting to know more and more people. In the next couple of days I just wanna find out where I can help out as a teacher. To remind me what I'm here for :)

This summer I downloaded some movies and television shows so last night I decided to watch Yossi and Jagger. I completely love that movie! It's a little heartbreaking but I love their moments together. The way Yossi smiles at everything Jagger does. Man, so cute. The setting is very cool as well, with all the snow surrounding them. Yeah, that movie just won my heart in an instant.
My internet connection kind of sucks here but I'll try to keep up with you guys. Take care!

Atreyu has this great song called Blow

And here I thought Kick-Ass would be the best movie based on a comic book ever. And then I saw Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. Man, that movie is funny, smart, sassy, colourful and just very very cool. My oscar of 2010 goes to Scott Pilgrim! You might think I'm a little ahead of myself since 2010 has four months left but since I'll be staying in a jungle town in Peru from Tuesday on, I don't think I'll be seeing lots of new movies anymore. Thanks to inpurity for the opportunity to check it out. I stayed with her in Cardiff last weekend and once again had loads of fun looking at pretty boys and chatting away.

Tonight I'm going to a BBQ hosted by a friend for her birthday. The costume theme is Grease so I'll have to take my (fake) leather jacket out of the closet again. Yesterday was my turn to host a party as a chance to say goodbye to some of my friends. We played Jungle Speed and Time's Up, my two favourites games in the world! I still think this summer kind of sucked because of too much work, but I made some really great memories with my friends. Don't know where I'd be without them. Just this Wednesday we went to a concert in open air and rain started pouring down on us. It was hilarious trying to cross roads afterwards since they were transformed in little rivers and waterfalls.

I bought some new comics also (Umbrella Academy 2 for example), but they'll have to wait till I get back. So dear friends, it might take a while till I'm settled in Peru, but you will definitely be hearing of me!


Everybody knows I'm in over my head

I thought I'd share the good news with you: I bought season three of Veronica Mars! I'm currently rewatching the second season so I'll probably take the new ones with me to Peru. A little bit of Veronica-mystery in the jungle, sounds pretty good to me. I also purchased season 2 and 3 of Buffy The Vampire Slayer because they were really cheap. No matter how much I adore just seeing TV-shows on TV (without having to do the trouble of putting a DVD in), I have to think about the future. It was time.

And then there's gay love in American comic books. I've just recently started reading them, but already I notice how homosexuality really is No Problem among those masked superheroes. References, hints, subtle touches, it's everywhere! Here a scene from the crossover Invaders/Avengers where the Human Torch comforts his buddy/sidekick/lover Toro when he sees his own grave. True love, people, it shows in that one simple gesture. Really.

Sleep while moving

It's awesome to hear your favorite songs being played live by your favorite artists. If it weren't for the music, I wouldn't go to festivals at all. Sleeping in a tent, eating overpriced food and being surrounded by too many people for a few days isn't really that appealing. But when bands like Blink 182 or Bad Religion show up on the line-up, I just have to go!

Blink 182 was awesome. Sure, the guys don't look as young and hot anymore as a few years ago, but the songs are still catchy and their crowd entertainment is hilarious. Me and my friend had a contest going on about who could sing along with the most songs. I just felt so good standing there and listening to them. Limp Bizkit was pretty much the same. You know all the songs, you dance a little, you sing along, you laugh at Fred being Fred Durst and you have a good time. The Prodigy, Snow Patrol and Iron Maiden were really good headliners as well. Placebo and Queens of the Stone Age do nothing to me so I only saw a little bit and then moved on to the next thing. That being Parkway Drive or Pendulum, which were my two favorite parties of this festival. Biffy Clyro gave me the urge to download more stuff of them, and NOFX was entertaining because the guys were semi-complaining about everything. All Time Low and 30H!3 really had the youngsters going, which was nice to see but also gave me the feeling I'm getting old. I need to catch up on this shit! Bad Religion played way better than they did at Groezrock festival in March. Or maybe I just had a better feeling about it. They interacted with the crowd and the show was filled with energy. I'm really glad I had another chance to see that band. They can still bring it.

And those were the main highlights. In between I also saw some ska-punk-bands and indiebands. There's always a lot to discover at Pukkelpop. That's what I like about the festival. On a weirder note, an artist killed himself just hours after I saw him play with Ou Est Le Swimming Pool (electroband from London). It even happened on the festival grounds. He seemed fine on stage, although at the end of the show he tried to stagedive and a girl got hurt. It's just weird.

After six weeks of missing my laptop because of a hardware fault, I finally have it back! It's a relief not depending on the computer of my parents anymore. Now I just have to buy a netbook to take with me to Peru. I want some flashy color like red, even though I know black or white would be the sensible choice. My desire for fashion battling against the rational part of my brain, doesn't happen every day.

On the train to work I've started reading comic books to brighten up my day. After reading The Loners I realise that The Umbrella Academy really is a pretty good and original comic book. Because The Loners is just hilariously awful and predictable. Next up is some Avengers-stuff.

Two nights ago I worked a nightshift on a local festival because a friend was in need of a partner. Stopping traffic from 1 am to 9 am. Unfortunately there are no cars after 3 am except the Red Cross or the police once in a while. It should have been boring and hard to stay awake but it was actually quite fun. We were dancing, counting steps, sharing gossip, eating chocolate, playing ghost all night long. At one point we started singing the Catholic classics we were taught in elementary school. These are the kind of adventures I want in summer holiday.

A little less fun is recognizing people and saying hi, and then always hearing the same answer: 'yeah, your face is familiar, but where do I know you from again?'. Happened to me three times this week. Two times with people I got to know during Graspop Festival, we sat in the same circle for four days! My poor ego.

And I totally loved Inception with my fave actor, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The lost wife stuff was completely unoriginal, sure, but the rest of the movie was pretty cool. I recommend it!

Go square go

While all my friends are travelling to exotic and warm countries, I'm stuck in Bruges for two months. Work has been okay, mainly because the other girl I'm working with is pretty cool. She went to the same highschool as me and I knew her back then. At night I either meet up with friends or I'm working on my laptop. Already went to see two movies: Twilight Eclipse and Baaria. I had a lot of fun watching Eclipse! The bad dialogues gave me the chills and the plot was ridiculous but it's entertaining that way. So much pointlessness and teenage drama, it's hilarious. The friend I went with is a real Twilight-fan I recently discovered (posters in the hallway and all). It suprised me a bit because she doesn't seem like the type to be that invested in a dreamworld. But I enjoyed her rambling on about Robert Pattinson and the difference between the books and the movies.

Summer has been nice so far. Perfect weather to stop by the nightstore, stock up on beer or wine and just sit in a park with a friend chatting and sharing gossip. It's my favourite thing to do on warm summernights. And it's what I missed while I was in Spain. Ah, last Saturday I went to the first show of Vienna, that local band I have 'connections' with. They sounded a lot like Paramore (which isn't bad in my opinion) and the singer was very good live.

I could use some drama in my life. Untill then I'm just gonna watch ER and Green Wing. And some Veronica Mars.

When I come around

I had an awesome festival day yesterday. I went to Rock Werchter with a friend and her sister who's dating a band member and their friends. (I know, I go up 10 points in your cool-o-meter right now). It was really hot, almost too hot to be standing for hours in a field surrounded by thousands of people watching a stage and having to clap your hands regularly. But the bands were worth it. Rise Against! gave a really good show, lots of youngsters moshing and a positive energetic vibe in general. Paramore was different, equally as good but the audience was less wild. Hayley however was jumping and trashing the stage, and the songs were brought with a lot of enthousiasm. I enjoyed it! Then 30 Seconds to Mars... how ugly is that blonde mohawk of Jared Leto! Very ugly! Not my favourite show, Jared was pulling the plug every 5 minutes to go "how loud can this side scream?" and there was so much crowd interaction that almost every song was interrupted. He didn't even sing the most popular songs, he let the crowd sing.

Headliner for that day was Green Day and they were amazing. They played for two hours and a half, all the big hits and everything in between. I love that they still play their old stuff! Billy Joe also interacted a lot with the crowd, but it didn't suffocate the songs. He brought kids on stage to sing, to shoot t-shirts into the crowd, to dance. One girl got a guitar, as we all expected. During the night he made some mistakes as an entertainer but in the end he kept the audience jumping and enthusiastic for all that time. I like that band, and I loved their show.

Purple is not your color, honey!

Again some very busy weeks lay behind me but now I'm back online. Since my last post I moved back to Belgium. At times it feels very weird to be so far away from my flat and my friends in Spain but I try not to ponder it for too long. My last weeks in Pontevedra were really cool. Me and my flatmates went exploring the countryside by car, the kids of the sixth grade gave me a white chocolate cake as a goodbye present and it was awesome to hang around in the old city at nighttime after a really hot and sunny day. My personal Eden...

Luckily I had some things to look forward to after leaving Spain. One is a BBQ tomorrow. The other one was the Graspop Metal Festival. Third year I've gone and every time I feel great being there. I always meet new people, friends of friends, people that I will see only during that festival but whom I have a great time with. I actually went to a lot of folkshows this year, some hardcore, some emometal and some rock'n'roll. My favourite bands were Bullet for my Valentine, Airbourne, Eluveitie and Killswitch Engage. The vocals of Bullet didn't even suck that hard. He's improving :) Walls of Jericho, Atreyu and A Day To Remember gave a very energetic show which lots of crowdsurfing and moshpits. I loved standing in the crowd and feeling the energy. I never thought I would experience so many parties at a metal festival. Hell yeah!

I'll catch up on you guys soon, give me a couple of days and I'm your personal stalker again. Much love!