Oh god, February went by faster than I expected and so much has happened!!
Where to start though…I need to do some sort of a recap of the past month because honestly, it wasn’t just a busy month (no weekend in 4 weeks!!); it was, above all things, a seriously fun one!
Beginning of Feb: FRANCE
First, I was in France at the beginning of the month for about four days. I had flown to Lyon for 2.5 days to catch up with some old friends who took good care of me when I was studying there back in undergrad. It was awesome to see them again after five years even though we do keep in touch through email. While I was with them I brushed up my French by talking politics à la Française – arguing about everything from Sarkozy’s jogging to how artisanal bread is made in some tiny region…seriously, we even went so far as pulling out an ancient map of Moldova to better understand its history! Ok so it was a geeky 2.5 days but better a Geek than a Freak!
The next 1.5 days I spent in Paris where I met up with a friend who threw a nice little party where I got to eat too many crèpes (it was la fete de la Chandeleur – a pagan holiday turned Catholic at some point when that was interesting (haha). It commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple – represented by crèpes for some reason). My favourite crèpes are made with beer in the batter. Once it’s ready to eat, I like adding sugar and lemon before folding it. I got loads, it was amazing! After a really great party that started at 11am and went on till 10pm, I went to stay at a friend’s who lives in this really nice apartment. Her boyfriend’s a cartoonist for some really great companies and has had a hand in drawing cartoons we’ve all watched. It was so cool to touch everything at his desk (though he wasn’t exactly thrilled!), play with the lights and then….best of all, flip through cartoons and some other stuff that looked like scripts!
This is Jeanne and me with Laeti back when we were in Lyon in undergrad. I was really lucky to be part of such a great group of crazy friends.
…and the friends I lived with. Coming from a country where smoking isn’t that prevalent, it was quite shocking for me to see that I was in fact a weirdo for not being a smoker. So here’s a picture of all of us smoking – a green bean! In the background is my giant portrait (my passport picture) that was blown up by my roommate as a birthday joke. It scared me to near death the night I came out of my room at 2am on my birthday for a glass of water!
Being back in France brought back so many great memories. It was something I needed and the timing was right because I was getting a little tired of my surroundings. I first met my friends when I was 21. We became really great friends quickly, but I honestly did not think I’d still know them today. It’s sort of the thing that happens when you travel and move around a lot. You lose touch because it’s hard to be a good correspondent, but also because you have to let go to move on. At least, it’s the way I’ve always had to live. As a third culture kid, I’ve had many great friends and many very close friends too but these roles have been occupied by many different people over the years. I know it sounds strange, but I think it’s a symptom of knowing that you have to cope quickly to your new environment – and that requires building up a support network for yourself very quickly. While it has been sad to say goodbye so many times, I’ve been fortunate to live all over the world….and for that, I guess something’s gotta give.
Mid-End Feb: HULT Prize Challenge
The rest of the month was absorbed by my work with two different teams on preparing for both a case challenge at the Hult International Business School and a business plan at Imperial….but more on the Hult case challenge in the next post which will appear much sooner than this one haha! Actually I just gave an interview about it and the article will be appearing soon.
Very briefly, the case challenge this year was based on a subject proposed by President Bill Clinton. Teams selected by Hult from all over the world were tasked with proposing a business idea that would reduce Food Insecurity in Urban Slums. We were given six weeks to prepare a pitch for a social enterprise that would generate sustainable profits to run and scale the business to eventually reach 200 million slum dwellers by 2018 in an effort to meet the UN Millennium Goals. Honestly, I learnt so much from the experience and would recommend it to anyone who wants see change happen in the world. …but more of that very soon!