Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Workin' Woman

The week of October 15th was my time to finally dust off my suits hanging idly in the closet and jump back on the professional train. Last week I attended three college fairs throughout Germany to represent Baylor to generate interest in the school and hopefully recruit some students. All in all, I sat at a table for 15 hours last week answering questions about admission requirements, areas of study available, scholarships, etc. And I loved every minute of it. In Munich and Berlin, I was joined by my boss, Mike, the Director of the Center for International Education at Baylor. It was nice to have some company during the long afternoons and it provided him an opportunity to see what these international recruitment fairs were like.

The Munich fair was on a Monday, so Jon came with me to Munich a couple days earlier to explore the city. The day before we left for Munich, we learned that the Munich marathon was going to be taking place on Sunday, the 14th. Although we weren't quite ready to jump in the marathon, we didn't want to miss the running excitement, so we signed up to run the 10K. It was a really great race as it was completely flat and the final 400 meters finished in the 1972 Olympic Stadium.

We hung around after the race for a while to have some post-celebratory beer and pretzel and to watch the marathon winner cross the finish line. This was definitely the highlight of our Munich weekend!

That evening, we made plans to meet up with Mike and his wife, Nancy, for dinner. On our way, we spotted this statue of a catfish that Jon simply had to pose with. As a wise man once said...., "Smokin' Catfish!"

Jon and me at the Marienplatz before dinner.

At dinner with Mike and Nancy Morrison.

Afterward, Jon and I trekked to the infamous Hofbrau Haus which was still completely packed even though it was a Sunday night.
We were able to snag a table at the back of the restaurant amid some very rowdy German tables. In fact, the majority of the tables in the entire restaurant were quite rowdy, and it made Jon and I miss our rowdy friends very much. We look forward to coming back to the Hofbrau Haus when we can have our own beer-drinking song-singing posse!
The following day, I geared up for the College Day fair, and Jon decided to tour the city with the famous Mike's Bike Tour. He took some great shots of Munich below from the Town Hall Tower.

It was a fantastic weekend in the Bavarian capital filled with the competitive spirit of racing, a reunion with friends, and of course, partying German-style in the beer hall capital of the world with oompah music and pretzels. Prost!
The whirlwind of events continued when we drove back to Wiesbaden Monday night. I flew to Berlin on Tuesday for a Wednesday fair, and then flew back to Wiesbaden that night to gear up for another fair for military high school students on Thursday at Ramstein Air Base. The week was completely crazy and exhausting, but as I said earlier, it was wonderful to feel like a workin' woman again and be on-the-go.
Sunday night, our church performed a Gospel Concert to raise money for our missions fund. I sang a solo of "His Eye is on the Sparrow" and it was quite a success! I've missed singing in a choir so much and the entire evening was perfect. I feel so blessed to have found such a great church with caring and supportive friends. It certainly helps being so far away from home sweet home.
The weather in Germany has turned quite cold and the highs have been in the mid-40s lately. It is entirely different than those Texas Octobers I'm used to, but at least the sun comes out occasionally, like today that is completely perfect.
Have a wonderful Tuesday, friends and family. I miss you!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Catlins and Cloughs

Greetings ye few, yet faithful. The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of events and during this hectic time we have failed to update our blog. We will try to be much better about this, and I feel that as we are now almost 5 months in to living in Europe, our schedules have become somewhat more routine, and therefore hopefully we can be a bit more organized about sharing our many experiences.

In an effort to be certain all events are covered, the most recent events will be shared before the big sha-bang of the two-week visit from my favorite mother and father in the world, Charmen and Larry.

After my parents left on Sunday (the 30th) morning, I packed my bags for my first business trip on behalf of Baylor, serving as a representative at a recruitment fair (or "College Night," as they are usually referred to). This was not my first recruitment fair, but it was the first time for me to attend a fair solely on my own. The event was in Brussels on Monday night, and I felt oh-so-professional taking the train to Brussels, staying in my business-like hotel and then heading to the venue later that evening to set-up for the fair. It was the perfect event to serve as my first fair, as it was a smaller crowd and mostly Americans (ex-pats and military families). I absolutely loved every minute of talking to the parents and high school students and sharing about my alma matter and can't wait to do it again and again. After the fair, I attended a reception, held for the presenters, and met several other people from all over the States and Europe and it amazed me how many people are in the growing field of international student recruitment in higher education.

The next day, I spent the overcast and dreary morning walking all around Brussels and was able to see the Grand Place, Mannekin Pis, Avenue Louise and much more. Although I was so grateful to travel somewhere completely new, one thing was for sure, traveling and sight-seeing by yourself isn't nearly as fun. I was glad to return home to Wiesbaden on Tuesday night and have a week to rest and recuperate before the next set of fairs (3) during the week of October 15th. It's great to feel truly professional again!

Now back to the fabulous two-week visit from the Catlins. After our back-to-back trips to Sweden and Ireland, we returned home again for one day to tidy up the apartment and welcome the fabulous Charm to our home on Saturday, September 15th.