16 January 2009

Odds and ends

Goede morgen,

It's been quite awhile since our last post so the following may seem a bit clustered and confusing, but maybe that is fitting as we're pretty clustered and confusing people.

A few days ago the Netherlands thawed, bringing an end to the ice skating craze. It freezes very rarely and the Dutch love ice skating so when the canals froze last week they had quite a time. Unfortunately the ice never reached the 15 cm minimum to start the famous 'eleven village race', last held in 1997. The eleven village race is a century old tradition in which hundreds of Nederlanders follow a 200 km path through canals. Despite that disapointment, there were a few other races and a lot of people simply went out skating for fun. 

In thesis related news, Bolivia will be voting on a new constitution on 22 January and I will be eagerly awaiting the results. The president Evo Morales, coca union leader and first indigenous South American leader, was inagurated in 2006 and since has initiated several programs to distribute land, nationalise natural resources, and strengthen the indigenous movement. The new constitution is put forth to solidify this movement. The rise of Evo Morales and his party MAS deserves its own post so I will probably say more about it later. Suffice it to say, next week will be an interesting one for Bolivian politics. I've been looking for an article on the new constitution and it's shocking how few are available in English. It is in El Pais, a Spanish paper, frequently and in Bolivian dailies on a regular basis. The following is a link to a Candadian paper, but it doesn't say anything about the contents of the constitution. http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/view/32592/bolivians_ready_to_ratify_new_constitution

I have begun work with WSO and I have nailed down one or two tasks that I will have. I will be in charge of a few working groups, among them beerco (a beer tasting group), Solid (a group that promotes solidarity with other groups or regions such as Darfur or AIDS victims), student housing, study associations, and I will contribute to the Wageningen Environmental Platform.  Today I will learn my main function, I am hoping to be the eductation chair but that will be up to debate. 

A final random note, in class Wednesday we watched a video on farmer field schools and I recognised my supervisor in Ghana as he was interviewed several times. It's really a small world we live in.

The following is a link regarding ice skating in the Netherlands, if there are differences between what I say and what they say, you can probably take their word over mine. The NY Times has much better research and editing departments than I.

Edit: I found out today that what the Dutch call an 'American pary" is when guests bring different dishes to a party and share them, like a potluck in the US. 
Thanks for reading, Andrew

1 comment:

  1. You have the task of tasting beer? Sounds like a difficult and stressful position.