Sunday, April 18, 2010

The saga continues -- still stranded in Belgium, the Perrys enjoy Belgian hospitality

Today, we went into Brussels town center (Grand Place, en francais) and just wandered the streets, taking it in. A much more cosmopolitan (and certainly more “discovered”) city than either Ghent or Brugges, it also claims stunning stonework of the kind I have never seen. Every street, every alley… everywhere… is a gem. But, today was Sunday, and it was filled with people... wall-to-wall people, and I actually looked forward to getting back to the pseudo-hangar with the International Red Cross we have been calling home the past several days.

We returned and had a lovely time talking with the Red Cross people – they were from many different places in Belgium and all touted their particular region as we asked for recommendations of places to go tomorrow (we’re stuck here until at least Tuesday morning, when the airport will, I HOPE, allow us to finally head for home). Tremendous hearts, all of these volunteers, and they brought excellent senses of humor with them to share with us today… I was so glad, because I must admit I was getting a little weary. If ever you consider charities, please consider ones who do work with people who are displaced for any reason… I cannot tell you the meaning of the IRC’s kindnesses the past several days.

Well, I finally decided to go do something about freshening up… and when I came back the Red Cross workers said, “Rapide! Rapide! You must go over to votre husband – something wonderful seems to be happening!”

I went over to our cots and found two pilots - a couple with two children – who are, as they are putting it, temporarily “ecologically unemployed” due to Mother Iceland - standing there asking if we would like to share the hospitality of their home. I nearly cried, took a chance and we said yes.

Well, we are at this moment in this lovely village outside Brussels. It is quiet, peaceful… there are goats in the field next to us… and sheep a few doors down. The fields are greening and undulating … and as I look out the bedroom window I can see a sliver of moonlight… which I suppose you will all see later tonight.

If you wonder where it is, just ask Napoleon. He met his Waterloo here.

I am *not* kidding. We are five minutes away from the surrender site and will be going there tomorrow.

Life takes many twists and turns, but this is surely the least of the ones I expected today. I am grateful.

Laura P.


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