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A thoroughly enjoyable evening last week at the Keitelman Art Gallery in Brussels, hosted by some of our most charming students in support of the Born in Africa charity. The evening had been masterminded by our Dutch teacher, Sabine, and was a fundraiser and awareness-raising event for our link with the organisation; our students had made a trip to South Africa last summer to work in a hospital and are now planning towards the next service project there when they will visit a school in just over a year’s time.

Each of my visits to Brussels in the evening is a venture into the unknown – but with the help of my trusty GPS and the most generous parking in any capital city I have visited, the trips have so far worked out well, with the exception of a few wrong turns and perhaps driving for a short distance the wrong way down a one way street… I am now waiting to see whether a) I did actually drive the wrong way down the street and b) whether the Belgians have traffic cameras on every corner to capture and follow up on my possible misdemeanour. Time will tell!

Since coming to Belgium, I have been very impressed by the superb hospitality and the quality of the food; Tuesday evening was no exception. The students did an excellent job as hosts for the evening, working efficiently and courteously to look after the guests, serving drinks, delivering a very eloquent presentation about the project and keeping the schedule on track. The food was a mouth-watering mezze selection of salads, meats, cheeses and desserts. And the tables were beautifully decorated with flowers and greenery. By the end of the evening, I was definitely asking myself why I hadn’t moved to Belgium sooner!

The event culminated in an entertaining auction, conducted by our multi-talented English teacher, Mr Jones – so many lovely items to bid for and very generous families meant that the evening raised an outstanding €8,000 for the Born in Africa charity. As I drove home in the dark, sleet falling, I had that sense of being on familiar streets; happy indeed to be part of Brussels and part of this great group of people.

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