This is not a social travel trip, its grad school

Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
Trip End Jul 20, 2010

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, November 21, 2009

Wow, okay, so it's been more than 2 weeks since I updated everyone, so I guess it’s time to do a quick update. I haven’t really been up to much aside from a lot of school work.  I spent this week preparing a presentation for Research Methods and studying for my Mideast midterm.  I just got back from that, which we were all a little worried about, but I think I did pretty well.  I’ll be spending the next week doing a lot of research and writing the preliminary pages of my paper for methods class, but I’m really hoping I can make enough headway on it to spend some time on Wednesday doing site seeing in the city and possibly finally getting to the Spanish Riding School to see a warm up.  But we’ll see how class work goes.   I can’t believe I’m already half-done here in Vienna, crazy to think that Thanksgiving is next week.  I’m not sure what we are doing for Thanksgiving.  The school has a traditional dinner that night, but I have class during it (yep, class, on Thanksgiving evening).  My cohort has also discussed having our own dinner, so we shall see what happens.  Next Friday 4 of us are going to Prague for the night.  This will be a fast trip, barely 24hrs to cram everything in and then we will meet up with everyone else at Cesky Kremlov, so I’m sure I’ll have another update on that in few weeks.

Last week we had our first professional seminar excursion to the UN offices in Vienna.   Pretty cool experience actually.  We got a tour around the facility and then a briefing from the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) legal office and from the UN organization for prevention of organized crime.  Pretty cool stuff actually, got a lot of information in a very short period of time.   On Thursday our trip was to the OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe).  While there we had a briefing on the activities of the OSCE and their 17 field missions throughout mostly the Balkans and the former Asian Soviet Republics and then we were able to sit in on the weekly meeting of the 56 states-parties.   We made it into the room just in time to catch the end of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President from Portugal’s address, and I even ended up in an official photograph on the website.  Go here:  It probably won’t be up for long, so do it fast!  After his address we got to hear the US Ambassador bring up the arrest and sentencing of several youth-group leaders in Kazakhstan and the "rebuttal" from Russia and Kazakhstan.  Pretty interesting, just shows those lingering cold war relations are still there.

So as you can see, not really a lot going on.    But, I do have some observations that I just need to get out there.  People take their dogs EVERYWHERE, I love it!  We were in the mall, and there were dogs, restaurant – dogs, metro – dogs, so cool.  And they are all very well behaved (guess that means Laika won’t be allowed).  I’m not sure the laws, but I think there is something about muzzles on transport lines for dogs over a certain weight, but otherwise they are everywhere but in the grocery stores.  Unfortunately, that also means that there is doggy doo-doo everywhere too, really have to watch where you are walking.  In the “not so animal friendly” category, there is a horse meat market around the corner from my apartment.  I’m really trying to be culturally sensitive to that, but Seriously!!  Horse meat!!  Really people!  After realizing that I figured I should make sure I have my translations for meat, because now I’m paranoid I’ll accidently buy it at a grocery store or restaurant, thinking it’s something else.

Nothing else much to report, look for another post after my trip to the Czech Republic.
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Aunt Sandi on

I love readin all the things you are up to. Be safe and hope to see you soon.
Love Ya

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