Been so Busy!

Thursday – 2ndAugust

Today we came back to the Campus Poppelsdorf for two more module lectures and a guest lecturer. International Development, Financing Development Policy and a look into the NGO, CARE: Deutschland/Luxembourg.

Would you like to see my notes (8 pages!) from the first lecture? We talked about the importance and challenges of International Development Corporations within states and organizations. How development has changed in goals, reactions, funding and stakeholders.
We also talked about the 2030 Agenda and the 17 sustainable Development Goals:

Lear more about them here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs 

After the classes ended for the day a group of us went for a little picnic. With beer in one hand from a local store, and a plate of currywurst with Belgium fries in the other, we were ready!
Even though we had a second wasp sting of the day (Sorry, Esther!), and the wasps were particularly aggressive, we sat in a circle, ate our food, drank our beer and talked, laughed and enjoyed the sunset. There is something special about having a really long and intensive day, and then being able to sit and relax with a group of fun, friendly and fantastic friends.

Friday – 3rdAugust

We went to Belgium today! Brussels to be exact. Did you know that Belgium has three primary languages?
I did not.
Today we took a bus (at 6:45am!), and drove to Brussels to visit The Commission of the European Union and the Representative of North Rhine Westfalen. If you say Nordrhine Westfalen quickly it sounds like North Australia. So that was confusing for a time.

The EU Commission is fascinating. I mean, the EU is fascinating. An important thing to know about trade and the EU is the aspect of exclusivity. For example, Germany is a part of the EU, and so if anyone wants to trade with Germany, they have to trade with the entire EU, and not Germany alone. Fun fact: Trump didn’t know that when he met with Angela Merkel. #Idiot

Brussels is a much larger city than Bonn. Or at least, so it appeared for the short time that we were there. Now we are on the bus back and I keep falling asleep! It’s been an amazing week and it’s ridiculous to think that it’s only been a week. But also, we only have a week more to go. I could learn in this city and with this group of intellectual change makers for much longer. But, as we go into the second week I know we are all looking at our future with more determination and a clearer understanding of the field, and how we can challenge the status quo, find more efficient ways to create change and success, and network with organizations and other people.

Saturday 4th – August

Today I rode my bike from Poppelsdorf, which is where I’ve been living, south down the Rhine River to go see Schloss Drachenburg – Castle Dragon/Drachenburg. Even with it being super sunny, and super hot, I made the 8.5 mile ride to the base of the mountain and on a tram to the summit. It was an incredible ride one the river. You can see very old buildings, new buildings, others training on their bikes or boats, and a general peaceful vibe.

Once I got to the summit I ate lunch, had a beer and enjoyed the view. After a long week of using my brain it was really nice to sit and enjoy the space and environment. There are so many things to think about but when you are on top of a mountain, the fresh open air pushes all of those busy thoughts aside.

After lunch I went halfway down the mountain to the actual Castle and property.
This place is incredible, and while not as old as you might think, it seemingly has an interesting story. I could summarize it, or you could read about it here: https://schloss-drachenburg.de/index.php/en/discovery-tour/history

It’s a huge building and an even larger property complete with ruins, a restaurant and two weddings. (Congratulations!)

If you’re in Bonn, take the hike and go see this beautiful place.

On the ride home I was going to stop by the Beethoven House. But, after being in the sun ALL day, WITH sunscreen. I started to feel over heated. So I made like long bike ride back, saw the Museum Mile, and had a relaxing night at home. I know I should be going everywhere and seeing everything, but sometimes you just need a moment for yourself. It was the best course of action. I had to rest up for Sunday, which is program is picnic day!

Also, the sunscreen I used worked so well. But I missed a spot on my shoulder and now it’s super burnt. Story of my life!