Belgium Exchange Student Speaks

Belgium terror attacks hit close to home for exchange student

GULFPORT, MS - Belgium exchange student Blandine Lion, 18, woke up Tuesday morning to a long list of missed text messages.

"What happened? Are your parents okay? So I get scared and the first thing I do is call my mom and see if everything is okay," said Lion.

Her mother turned out to be just fine, but was shook up by the terror attack in Brussels. She works in Brussels but decided to work from her home office rather than going into town.

"I don't go to work today, But I went to my office and work with some customers and it was very difficult to concentrate because of what happened," Lion's mother, Martine Marbaix, said.

"I wish to be there to help them to see what's going on, but I feel safe here," said Lion.

Even though Lion is concerned about her home back in Brussels, she said she's also concerned about her safety once the plane lands.

"The airport where that happened is the airport from where I left to come here, and when I will be back in Belgium, I'm supposed to be there," said Lion.

For now, members of her host family here in the US are just worried about Lion's family at home.

"Without the people that are in Belgium, we wouldn't have had this experience with Blandene. So we're very worried about them all and we consider ourselves a huge family," said exchange program parent, Jeanell Todoro.

"I just keep Belgium in my mind, and in my thoughts so I just want to say I love y'all," said Lion.

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