Helping old ladies and an invitation to Brussels

Last Sunday we were invited to enjoy some stampot, a traditional Dutch food, with our Dutch friends. It turned into a very multinational potluck that was a lot of fun. Our Italian friend was kind enough to make a variation of tiramisu without coffee or alcohol so we could enjoy that too. I brought a peach cobbler to bring a taste of America. Paul quickly made friends with the young daughter of our friend from Finland.

When she first arrived, I told Paul to go say hello to her. He went over, didn’t say a word and instead just gave her a kiss. Already starting to pick up chicks at age 3.

Wednesday I was on a bus with a driver who was hitting his brakes a lot harder than normal. I was sitting down reading a textbook when he hit the brakes hard. An older woman was walking down the aisle and wasn’t holding on to anything at that particularly inopportune moment. I saw her falling in my peripheral vision and reacted quickly enough to catch her before she fell. I figured that move is worth helping three old women across the street in karma. It seemed like it was going to be a good day.

Sure enough later that evening I got some very good news. It turns out that the Polish Fulbright Commission has selected me to travel to Brussels to attend a Seminar on the European Union. It will be hosted by the Belgium Fulbright Commission at the end of February. I had applied back in October. During the course of the seminar, I will get to see the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, visit the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament in Brussels, and see SHAPE (Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, AKA NATO headquarters) in Mons. There will also be many discussions on issues facing the EU and NATO. I am looking forward to getting to travel to Western Europe and meet more incredible people. What an exciting opportunity this will be.

Friday we had our mid-year Fulbright meeting in Warsaw. Many of our group had to travel a long way. For me it was quite convenient since we live here in the city.

We had a very nice lunch at a nearby restaurant afterward. Annika and Paul were able to go with me. However, Paul fell asleep right after his pumpkin creme soup, slept through the main course, and woke up in time for apple strudel.

On Saturday I was at the main University of Warsaw library and I noticed this large plaque for the first time:

I thought it was pretty cool that there was a marker for Senator Fulbright, whose program has made it possible for me to experience Poland.

It was a very busy and enjoyable week. I am learning a lot and gaining a wider perspective every day.

1 Comment on "Helping old ladies and an invitation to Brussels"

  1. This post is chock-full of cool, cool, and thrilling! I am beyond happy for you and all that you are learning and doing! As for Paul being a ladies' man, he started down that road a long, long time ago- remember Brad's wedding reception? The only man dancing at the time and completely surrounded by women. 🙂 Love that kid! Hug Annika for me. Love, love, love you!

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