Thursday, August 26, 2010

Orientation: Weekend Pictures

Orientation Weekend
Originally uploaded by Farrell
And finally, the last blog post about the orientation weekend. I've uploaded and described forty-something pictures of the weekend. Check them out here.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Amsterdam Pictures

Originally uploaded by Farrell
Finally, the Amsterdam set is uploaded and ready for viewing. We are having some internet connectivity troubles, nothing like Nevis but more annoying then I had hoped for. As soon as I can get a 220v-110v converter for my wireless router and replace my landlady's router with mine I believe all will be well. I'm working on at least one more set of photos, but I'll refrain from giving a time table for their release.

The best way to view any given set of pictures I upload is to select a picture thumbnail from the page I always link to and then click 'Next' to see the next picture in the set. If you start at the beginning of a set and move towards the end, you will be viewing the pictures in the order they were taken. Be sure to read the descriptions I include on some pictures, those should really help to get more of the experience across, or minimally provide some context.


Monday, August 23, 2010

Orientation: The Middle Third

It has certainly been a while since I last posted. Of course, Farrell has written a few posts, but they have been necessarily short due to time constraints, nevertheless, they have certainly communicated the hectic-ness of life since we left home. Fortunately, everything is finally beginning to settle down a bit. After nearly two weeks here in Nijmegen, we were finally able to do some grocery shopping today. It is sad to say, but prior to today we were mostly living off the few packs of Ramen Farrell brought, the free meals incorporated into our orientation program, and the three loaves of bread that I took (as they were going to be thrown away) from the program this past weekend, which was a lot of fun.

All, or I guess I should say most, of the international students headed out on a weekend trip to Putten, a lovely village in the Dutch countryside. There were a lot of activities planned, but for the most part everyone just relaxed and worked on making new friends. Oh, and we stayed on a working farm, which made it even more interesting – Farrell has several pictures of the goats, I think, and all should be posted fairly soon.

We arrived back in Nijmegen around noon on Sunday, at which point I headed straight back for a nap (as we all did), a four-hour nap to be precise, followed by a solid hour of unpacking, which is happily completed. Today, was a fun day: we met some friends at noon and went downtown to do some shopping. I finally introduced Farrell to my favorite Dutch food “friets speciaal”, which are fries with mayonnaise, curry ketchup, and onions. True, it sounds like it should be gross, but it is really fantastic. The mayonnaise here is remarkably different and is really more of a sauce (in texture and taste) than the globby, fatty mess that we have back home, not to say that it is not good on some things... Anyway, we are now mostly settled in.

Tonight there is another dinner that has been organized (and paid for), and then all that remains in the way of orientation is a packed day tomorrow, and a few meetings for our individual colleges on Thursday. After all that, we have some time off to make final preparations before school starts on Monday or Tuesday. Hopefully, during that time, our classes will be approved, we will be issued student IDs, allowing us to get bank accounts, cell phones, and all those other necessary items. Ultimately though, all is well!

Until Next Time,

Friday, August 20, 2010

They Call Me the Wind...

So, we did our first intra-Netherlands travel yesterday. The International Office arranged a day trip to Amsterdam. I took quite a few good pictures, and will have them up as soon as I finish going through them. As normal, I will write notes on the individual pictures describing anything noteworthy, but no blog post about that trip this time. We are about to leave on a weekend orientation retreat to a farm in the country. I'm not sure if there will be internet, so assuming the negative, signing off until Monday.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Deelnemer Introductie 2010

Our first full day in the Netherlands went quite well. We slept until about 1:00PM local time in a rather successful attempt to catch up on lost rest. First order of the day was to find the 'Sports Cafe' where we were meant to register for orientation and meet our orientation group(s). If you Google the address of the cafe, Heyendaalseweg 141 Nijmegen, you will get a location about two kilometers north of the location of the cafe. If you search in the general area of the location provided by Google Maps, you will find a retirement home, student housing, a gas station and a pub. If you spread your search out, you might find more student housing, professors houses, a bakery, a clothing store, a lab and a bike parking garage. In no reasonable amount of time will you find a sports cafe within a reasonable search grid of Google's o-so-unhelpful location. In our experience, 1 in 8 people within your search grid will know anything about a Sports Cafe. That person might tell you something about being way off, a road to follow, and/or a tall building to look around. Anyway, you get the idea. It took us about 4.5 hours to find the Sports Cafe, which was actually very nice, once found. We registered, ate dinner with our respective (different) mentors, talked to our fellow International Students and eventually meet at a pre-organized, social, orientation event at the same pub we had been walking around all day. We set outside in the beautiful 70 degree Dutch weather talking to students from the Netherlands, Lithuania, Latvia, France, Germany, Spain, Slovenia, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy late into the night. Most noteworthy thing? I made friends with a dude from Lithuania that loves talking politics not quite as much as he loves the Doors. I told him about my envy for Dad's experiences in the 1960's, especially his attendance of a Vietnam war protest on the Washington mall that Jimi Hendrix played at. Luidas excitedly informed me that Jim Morrison and Janice Joplin also played at that show, and we tingly-spine-thinged together.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

Need Sleep...Must Post!

So, we made it to the Netherlands! Its been ~33 hours with out sleep so far, so this post is going to be very short – prepare for sentence stubs. Nijmegen is beautiful. The flat seems cool so far. We missed a connecting flight from Frankfurt Germany to Brussels Belgium. People in the parts of Europe we have visited so far suck at giving directions, they don't use discrete distances or proper names (Terminal C vs 'go that way and take the second right'). There is a old, dutch style, windmill in our back yard. We took 3 cars, 3 trains and 3 planes to get here. My laptop can handle 220v input. This is really turning into a free associative thought spill. I'm going to take a shower and go to bed.


Monday, August 9, 2010

The Final Countdown

I should probably begin this post by apologizing for the paucity of posts, but, as per usual, time simply slipped away from us. For those of you who have not heard, Farrell and I arrived back in the good old U.S. of A. on August 4, but we did not actually make it back to our respective homes until the 5th. Then, once home, well, the blog was de-prioritized, ranked somewhere between sleep and doing anything other than writing a blog post. Besides, in all honesty there is not much to report. We are both just visiting family, (hopefully) seeing some old friends, and attempting to get everything ready before we leave this Saturday for the next eleven months. Anyway, we will try and do a better job of keeping everyone up to date, or at least those of you that are interested.

Until Next Time,
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