Week 5 – Rocky Road-trip and Romania

Week 5

Here’s my first weekly post, so for all those who read by previous post this will be a lot shorter! By this stage, the ‘honeymoon’ period is supposed to be over, and reality/homesickness setting in. However, week 5 has been the best week to date!

The week didn’t get off to the best of starts as our football team drew 0-0 with the Rocket Scientists. I then broke the can opener whilst cooking, and made my best attempt at loosing my fingers whilst trying to prise open the can. On Wednesday, I had my first mid-term of my CU career in Mountain Geography. It seems bizarre that many of my colleagues in Lancaster are getting prepared for freshers week and all what that entails, whilst I’m taking tests! At model UN, we had to do impromptu speaking in order to help select for the Washington DC conference. Unfortunately, I was given the task of acting as Arnold Schwarzenegger and trying to persuade neighbouring states to give California some water! Never talked so much rubbish in all my life. After my ego had taken a bit of a battering I cooked crab cakes and rice and subsequently ate it ALL solely with chopsticks. Possibly my proudest achievement to date. It did take well over 30 minutes, but I got there in the end and subsequently felt on top of the world. How sad am I!

Friday was certainly an interesting day as well! Managed to eventually book a car for a proposed mini road trip on the Saturday. Went to C4C ( aka Heaven) with Phillipp, a German friend and basically ate for 2 hours non stop. Even tried Persian food, which was surprisingly tasty. In the evening, I had a AIESEC alumni ‘mixer’ in a place called Broomfield, which is on the way to Denver.  Broomfield (or at least the part we went) seemed to be just a huge soul-less shopping area. The event was in a swanky hotel and did a bit of casual networking. After the event, there was a somewhat less formal AIESEC after party back in Boulder. Here I was introduced to the concept of a ‘keg stand’ (Disclaimer: I did not personally try this!), which involved a participant doing a hand stand on a keg and guzzling as much beer as they could in 10 seconds! Crazy concept.  Very chilled atmosphere though and got to know my colleagues a lot better.

Next day, I woke up at 5am to complete another early weekend get up. The ‘gang’ of Woosin, Saori, Yusuke and myself set off at 6am, and picked up Phillipp shortly thereafter in a brand new Toyota Camry. This is probably the first time in history that a South Korean, 2 Japanese, a German and a Brit have come together for a road trip. This sort of randomness is pretty standard nowadays. We had a stop for supplies in Estes Park as well as to formulate a plan for the day. Driving past numerous elk herds, we finally entered the Rocky Mountains National park at 8.30am. Our aim involved a hike for the day, so we tackled Deer mountain. Even though it was a comparatively small peak at 3,006 meters; the views at the top we’re spectacular. After descent we continued along the scenic 34 highway deeper and deeper into the park, stopping at viewpoints along the way. Eventually, after passing over the highest paved road in America, we reached the continental divide. At this point, water west of the divide flowed into the Pacific and water east flowed into the Atlantic. This excited the geographer within me no end! From here we had to turn back. Corkscrewing down, passing past golden aspen trees, I was reminded how lucky I am being over here. The remainder of the journey was a bit stressful as the car had to be returned by 5pm, but even though we were 10 minutes late, the guy was very accommodating, despite it being past closing time. I crashed out when I got back! Plans evolved over the course of the evening, but in the end I watched a Japanese film with Saori (called Whistle in the Wind?) and then met up with Giulia from AIESEC for some pizza afterwards. Very tired after all of this, but I enjoyed the day so much. So many great photo’s which I urge you to look at. I think this has been my best day in America!

Sunday was relatively quiet. Had a C4C breakfast with Giulia, but was far more restrained this time. In the evening, I played football with the rest of the Bearcelona boys. It got dark so quickly so we could barely see each other. At 10.30pm, just as I was about to go to sleep, a Facebook message came through. I had been selected for the Model UN team for the Washington DC Conference!!!!! So unexpected. I have the task, along with my partner, to represent Romania at the General Assembly. Wow! Getting to sleep thereafter was rather challenging as I was so hyped. What an cracking week.

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