Sunday, November 28, 2010


Our house is located in Thieusies which is in the "county" of Soignies.  Soignies has a custom of holding a welcome reception for its new residents every six months.

The reception was held at the cultural arts center.  There were over a hundred people in attendance.  We got to shake hands with the mayor and the council members.  The mayor made a short speech welcoming all the new residents and then a short film about the area was shown.  Following the film, the SHAPE jazz band offered a concert and following that was a ceremonial toast.

This reception marked the first time that SHAPE families were invited.  This was not because Soignies didn't wish to welcome SHAPE families, rather they did not have a way of tracking us down.  They worked with SHAPE to make that possible.  In addition, they provided an English translator who translated the mayor's remarks.  

All in all it was a pleasant evening and while we could not stay for the whole reception, it was nice to be included in such a hospitable tradition.  

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