It has been a long time since I did not write anything here, but today, sunny and cold (as usual in Belgium), I will tell you about my experience at the Klimbos.

Before coming here, I had no idea about Klimbos or any kind of activity that requires efford and patient. In my interviuw, I knew they told me something about Klimbos but, as I told before, I did not know what was that. I looked for it on the Internet and I saw some pictures of people going through one tree to another one doing different activities: crossing a trunk; jumping from one small rope to another one; ride a zipe-line; and so on.  In that moment I thought: woow, that is really cool, I want to do it.


But, once I arrived here, everything looked different: This is really high, I thought, and then, I had a panick attack and I star to cry. It was impossible for me to cross for one tree to another cause I am afraid of heights and my brain was telling me: if you want to live, do not do it.

However, next day, I still do not how but I did it, I finished the green loop of the Klimbos all by myself and almost without having a crisis. Then, they asked me if I wanted to do the rescuer training (to rescuer people if they get stuck on the activities of the Klimbos) and, the word yes came out of my mouth. I tried to convince myself I was able to do it, but, up in the tree everything looks different.

I started the trainning and, I almost give up the first week, and then the second week, and the third week, the fourth week … wait, I am almost finishing the training… How is that even possible?  Time passed by and I was almost a rescuer. But first, I have to pass the exam.

I thought I would not be able to do it, but, when Johan (by the way, he is a great guy and a better proffesional) told us that all of us had passed the exam, I was super happy!! I could not believe it. I did it!!!!!

Now, I can rescue people from the trees!!

But, I have to thank Jan, without him I am totally sure I would not have been able to do it. He was amazing!! Patient, thoughtfull, kind… he was just great. So, Jan, if sometime you read this, thank you for everything (I know I have already thanked you like a thousand times but it is still not enough).

And thanks also to Elisia, Veronica and Gerlinde, they were also great with me and very patients.

Summing up, great experience.



From Veronica’s writings…deel 2

Here we are with the second chapter from the adventurous Belgian story.
March 2019, what a month!

A really intense period has just ended. A super special one actually, both for my personal and professional growth.
During this month, I have experienced not only a crazy weather, but most importantly I have explored and tested my power and weakness.

But first, did you know? To get something you must want it like hell!
And of course, keep training.

Let’s start from the beginning.
At De Hoge Rielen there is a lovely place called Klimbos, where you can climb, walk, hang, dance and fly and dream into the trees.
As a volunteer I knew I could be an assistant there, when groups come to take part into the activity, but I didn’t know I could have been a Rescuer.


Thanks to Jan, in a little over a month, I’ve learned how to do the exercises between the trees, how to climb a tree, how to do the nodes, how to save myself and how to save the others. When I started, I was not so that comfortable and I was preoccupied of not being strong enough but day after day I have been able to see how much I was improving, and the exam of the 27th of March was a success!
I am so grateful for the patience of our trainer, and the positive attitude that he has always exhibited and helped me indeed in succeeding.  

And now I am looking forward to spend a lot of time up there and be a great rescuer.

Veel bedankt!
Because day by day I am more confident in my abilities and I can feel that…
I can do everything

Tot volgende deel 😊


From Veronica’s writings…deel 1

I am Veronica, a 24 years old Italian girl and one of the new volunteers at the Hoge Rielen, thanks to the project of the European Solidarity Corps.

I am writing to you from my cozy and warm bedroom, located in Gebouw 59, just next to the Onthaal and luckly surrounded by the trees.
I feel at home.

I was welcomed by a cold January and after a month I am settled down and I can already feel how the climate is fastly changing.
And even if here in winter it seems to be more quiet than usual, there’s always something to do because no season stops The Hoge Rielen.

But first important thing, since the 16th of January I have a new friend: de fiets.
As soon as I arrived, the organization gave me a bike, to let me move in the forest and in the surrounding area. I immediately started to cycle in every direction to discover the near villages (no matter how the weather was like).


But something even more exciting happened: DHR gave us the permission to use the electric bike to reach the village where the Dutch course is held.
One word only: amazing.
Riding fast, feel the cool air of the mornings in my face and feel so ecological-friendly.
I will definitely buy an electric bike when I will be back to Italy.

Every day is a new discovery and day after day I’m falling more in love with this experience and this place.
I have never seen a so peaceful, luminous, welcoming, safe forest as this one.

I have so many things in mind to write and share, but I still have (fortunately) a lot of time to spend here.

Stay tuned and be ready to read the next chapters of this amazing Belgian book.


Elisia in Leuven!

Goede Donderdag! :D

I had dinner at 6 p.m. today, the Belgianization has started! :D
So, my dears, last weekend I went to Leuven and thus, this week I have a few things to say about it and a few pics to show you!
Leuven is amazing! So many things to see!

1. The University library

It is spectacular! All wooden and with colorful windows that give the impression you are a princess in a castle who is looking at her reign!
The stairs are animals engraved in wood and with a symbolic meaning!
Really, a must visit is you are in Leuven!

Leuven Biblio

2. Begijnhof

If you don’t know what a begijnhof is, you must google it! It is full of them here in Belgium, i really like visiting them. They are basically, in a nutshell, old bunches of houses aged 1800-1900 where women called “Begine” used to live at. they are now houses of common people. There is a very suggestive atmosphere in those places. Another good one is located in Turnhout, if u ever wanna visit it, it is worth!


3. Botanic Garden
The Botanic garden in Leuven is another must see!
It is amazing, very well cured, There is a nice outdoor part, but the part I liked the most it was the indoor greenhouse full of cactuces :D, some of them were soooooo biiiiig!
They also have a greenhouse with many exotic plants and flowers, if you go inside make sure to take off your jacket, it is incerdibly hot and humid inside! :D

Leuven botanic

Time to say goodbye

Stay Hoge Tuned! :D



Goede Avond! :D
How are you? I hope you are doing great! I am exhausted, I just finished a full-day training on the klimbos ( wooden paths connected by trees) :D ! My muscles are very sore, but I feel accomplished today. The training on the klimbos is one of our tasks here, you can be an assistant or a rescuer. Both ways, you need to know how to secure people and how to make them feel comfortable while they are trying the exercises.
In Belgium, the sun is shining, spring is almost here! :D
EVS means also fun so, last Saturday, I went to Turnhout, a very nice town close to Kasterlee. On Saturday, there is a lovely market where they sell basically everything. Below is a pic of the awesome castle of Turnhout. It is very nice to sit in front of it on a bench and enjoy the sun :D


I also went to Antwerp a couple of times. I really like the city centre, you can go shopping, go to church or enjoy fries and a beer in a cafè. And they have a lot of street art or “murales” as we call them in Italy.
Below, me standing in front of one of them :D. They are incredibly colorful and detailed! :D
I love them, especially in big cities, they give people the energy to keep on!

Time to say goodbye,

Stay Tuned,

Elisia :D

Elisia at de Hoge Rielen!

Hello everyone! :D ( Dag iedereen),
I am here to tell you a bit of my story at the Hoge Rielen!
So, I am Elisia and I will be a volunteer at the Hoge Rielen for 11 months (one has already come to an end, sig :( ). I come from sunny Italy, and I am an English and German teacher back home!
I always wanted to live closer to nature and so, here I am! :D
On 16th of January we arrived at the Hoge ( nick name for Hoge Rielen, too long to say it every time :D ). I say ‘we’, as we are in 3 ( me, Veronica, the other Italian girl and Toni, the Spanish of the group :D ).
Just one month, but so many things have already taken place!
For today’s blog, I have two pics for you that represent some of the good vibes moments of my stay in January and February.
The first one is a picture I took at the very beginning to show my family the “forest”. I often go walking and running in the bush of the Hoge and I love it! It is full of supeeeeer high trees and animals that come to say ciao every now and then!

    The second one is a photo of the klimbos training we had on the 20th of February, where you see me very happy to have completed my task very well and having nailed my fears! :D

  I like Hoge as it follows the rythm of nature. I reckon life should be more than just work, money making and mortgage.
For today’s blog is all, I write to you soon,

Stay tuned!!

Elisia ;D

Hallo De Hoge Rielen!!!!! ^^

De Hoge Rielen… where is that place? That is what I first thought when I applied for the European solidarity corps. I didn´t look into it very much cause I thought they wouldn´t reply to me. But, what a surprise when I found out that they liked me!

I was really happy to be part of that place that I didn´t search for it yet! Well, I will discover it when I arrive there, I thought.

Time to say goodbye to the family, friends… everyone! Goodbye Spain, hope to not see you soon.

Three hours and forty five minutes later I am in Belgium, eager to find out what this place holds for me. I finally arrived to Tielen! And Evelien, a beautiful and really nice girl came for me with the car from De Hoger Rielen. Let´s go! I got into the car and go directly there! I arrived at home and there I met Luis and David! We waited for the Italian girls to arrive, while speaking about the domain. This is huge! That was my first impression. Minutes later, Elisia and Veronica arrived!! The five of us were together and it was really nice!

Now we are like a big family here! Having dinner together, riding our bikes together, and discovering this amazing place!!!