The Fernandina Beach Rotary Club recently welcomed its new Rotary Youth Exchange Student, Pauline Almendros. The seventeen-year-old, who is attending Fernandina Beach High School, spoke to the club about her home country of Belgium. Almendros explained that Belgium is divided into three communities – French-speaking, Dutch-speaking and German-speaking – all within one monarchy under the rule of King Philippe. The country, which at 11,780 square miles is smaller than Florida, has a population of 11 million and is part of the European Union. In fact, Brussel its capital is also the capital of the EU. Almendros said the country is renowned for its chocolates, beer and waffles and pointed out that French fries were actually created in Belgium in the 1700s, but were incorrectly attributed to the French by Thomas Jefferson. Another well-known Belgian creation is the Smurfs, she said. Almendros, who said she was already in love with Florida, thanked the club for sponsoring her and presented Club President David Page with a banner from the Rotary club in her hometown of Villers-la-Ville.