Tuesday, October 19, 2010

carib mon.

So my island adventure had been amazing thus far! The job is going great. Super hard work, but wonderful partners and an incredible atmosphere to live in! Last week, I even got the chance to meet with the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda. Borderline terrifying, but absolutely wonderful. He was so sweet.

I feel blessed to be in such a beautiful location. My weekends are like vacations, and we have definitely made the most of it. Last weekend, we flew to Barbuda for the day. Although I risked death on the tiny (and I mean tiny) plane there, it was well worth it. They actually have pink beaches. It was surreal. We also hiked a little and went through some caves, which was fun despite the million degree Fahrenheit weather. This past weekend, we went swimming with stingrays. Very scary, but so great. They were as big as me and felt like gigantic mushrooms.

Fun fact: The one thing I am missing most about being away from the states is (yes, Chik-fil-a – I can’t even talk about it..) but seeing movies! I’ve been to the cinema twice here, but everything comes out so late. I feel behind, as I usually see a movie once a week in the US right when it comes out. I want to see The Social Network. Jesse Eisenberg is my favorite.

We are finishing up things here in Antigua and will be heading to Barbados later this week. If you didn’t know, Rihanna is from Barbados, so my goal is to see her while I am there. Since Barbados is very developed and has a lot of potential, I will be there for a couple months straight, flying out to other islands as necessary for meetings.

Side note/warning.. When I come home for Christmas holidays, I am going to be awkwardly tan. It feels like Antigua is located less in the Caribbean and more so on the face of the sun.

Friday, September 3, 2010

out to sea.

So, I am learning that in our company, ANYTHING is possible. Today, I got my official assignment for a new project. After working on The European Times Slovenia project for a week or so, I will be switching to US Television, Fox 5 NY. In two weeks, I leave for our location…. dum da da dummm…. The Eastern Caribbean Islands! These are the islands between the Dominican Republic and South America like St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua, etc. (Consult map above). Good way to spend winter I suppose. I am extremely excited!

On another note, first football game tomorrow! GO STATE!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

the real world: belgium

Hello world. So, I’ve made my temporary home in Belgium. Just as my research predicted, it is indeed the country of waffles, beer, and chocolate. Also, french fries were invented here, so they have a million “Frituur” shops. With that being said, don’t worry, I haven’t gained 100 pounds.

Work has been extremely intense! We had a full week of consultant training last week every day from 8 to 5 – classroom style – and even finished out the week with a written test. Monday we had to do a super-structured 30-minute-ish sales “role play”, and it was basically defining whether or not you would be getting a project assignment. So, good news. I did really well and will be getting my assignment tomorrow! No idea where in the world I will go. You could literally hang a map up on your wall and throw a dart at it, and that would be as good of an estimation as I have currently. So, try it out if you like.. If you land on the country I actually get assigned to, I’ll give you five bucks.

Our company owns a few different houses throughout Belgium because consultants are always in and out, so we are staying in a huge house about 15 minutes away from the office. There are 8 of us, all from COMPLETELY different backgrounds. I feel like I am on The Real World Belgium, zero exaggeration. We have trainees from Ohio, Norway, Indiana, Africa, Holland, Illinois, England, and of course, me from Mississippi. So as you can imagine, I stick out like a sore thumb. Everybody is really wonderful though! A few of us took the train to Antwerpen (a big city in Belgium) last weekend to shop, eat, go out, etc. (Notice picture above.) There is also another big house on the property where some of the consultants and senior consultants are staying. We had a get-together the other night complete with a dance party to really weird foreign techno music. Fun times.

So, more news on my destination to come soon! I will find out in the morning and will then be flying out sometime early next week :)
Side note: With my down time at night, I’ve been watching the first season of Pretty Little Liars, and if you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s amazing. The last five minutes of the finale in intense, so prepare yourself.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the art of preparation.

Meet my closet, dresser drawers, bathroom cabinets, and desk for the next year. Yes, don’t be fooled. This is a terribly ordinary suitcase set. No extra space hidden away anywhere. I have a whopping 29-incher and the generic 20-inch carry on. If you have ever been anywhere near my closet, you are probably thinking, “how is this possible?” or maybe “this must be a joke.” Well, don’t feel bad because I am thinking the exact same thing. I have been doing an adequate amount of preparation though, I’d say. I did only start packing today (yes, I leave on Saturday), but I seem to have found space for a few grown-up items. Exhibit A: a sewing kit. I think my mom was scared to send me off on my own armed with a needle, but it was vital for Exhibit B: two 3-piece suits. Both came equip with slacks, skirt, and business-like (but currently stylish) blazer. One black, one gray, which will perfectly match Exhibit C: a briefcase. No, not a messenger bag or laptop case. It is a real-life, working lady briefcase. The company "strongly suggested" I purchase one or else it never would’ve crossed my mind. Embarrassingly enough, I don’t hate it.. It’s kind of cute. Does this make me lame? Probably.

My departure is Saturday afternoon from Jackson. Which means after drifting between connection flights, restless naps, and reading one of the 5 books I bought earlier this week, Belgium should expect me around 2 p.m. their time on Sunday. (Belgium is 8 hours ahead of Mississippi time for those of you that were wondering.) Sunday is actually a holiday in Belgium and many other countries in Western Europe. It is called the Assumption of Mary, something that Roman Catholics celebrate, and is basically the anniversary of the day the Virgin Mary went to heaven. I can’t figure out if anything exciting goes down to commemorate this, but after a bit of light Googling, I did find out that many people have a feast… Then, I start thinking that a feast in Belgium would probably consist of a smorgasbord of waffles, chocolate, and beer (the only 3 things Belgium does), which I really wouldn’t hate. So #1 goal before becoming a working lady on Monday at 9 am: find a holiday feast.