05.08.2010 11 °C
Hi everyone. I'm sorry I've been so bad about posting lately. It's been a really busy time for me. Once I got back from Spring Break, I had four large papers and two big exams due in just over a month. I've turned in one of those papers and am currently working on another, but it's taking at toll on me. I've been having a hard time - the weather here is unseasonably cold, according to the Belgians I know, and I know all of my friends at home are finishing up their finals and getting ready for summer while all of my hard work is just beginning. I've been very homesick lately.
Yesterday, we took a field trip to the office where refugees apply for asylum in Belgium. It was in the World Trade Center towers near my residence, and we had a great view of the whole city. It was interesting to hear about how they process applications for asylum. It's something I would consider to be an interesting career someday. After seeing the formal side, we went to a housing facility for people who are waiting for their refugee status to be approved or denied. Depending on how many times they appeal the decision, they can live in places like the one we saw for up to two years. I expected it to be something like the homeless shelters I've visited in the US, but it was much, much nicer. They do their best to insure everyone has as much privacy as possible, and the residents can come and go as they please. Everyone we saw seemed to be happy and healthy - their situation here is probably much better than the one they came from. It was an interesting field trip, but also kind of draining. It was just another reminder of how lucky I am.