This weekend's adventure was a spur of the moment trip to Zurich. I meant to go to Lyon, but the weather forecasted rain, so I decided to aim for somewhere sunny. So, I changed my ticket to Zurich and set off on a three hour train ride with a vague plan to wander about and see the sights. I didn't really process the fact that they speak German in Zurich until I found myself staring blankly at a cashier, suddenly aware that my emergency French skills were of no use to me here. Nevertheless I end the conversation with a mumbled, "merci, au revoir." (Ironically, the only two words I know in German are "Danke, auf weidersehen.") Otherwise, Zurich was a pleasant city. It's a bit too modern and bustling to interest me much. I prefer the small towns with more nature than architecture. But I found cute little side streets where - in what I can only assume is an extreme aversion to stairs - the streets incline four stories which equals good exercise and me feeling good about eating ice cream.
Steep path to park
I visited a lovely castle that was converted into a museum on Swiss history. I particularly enjoyed the collection of Swiss coins and a funny wooden gallery which ended in a slide. (To my disappointment, the slide was limited to children and there were people watching; I had to use the stairs.) My favorite exhibits were the rooms that were recreated to look like rooms in an old monastery with painted ceilings and stained glass windows. There was also a miniature model of - according to my hazy translation of the French and German explanations - a Swiss civil war during the middle ages. They even had a little telescope you could focus on various parts of the battle to see the cool little details. After the museum, I walked to the lake, watched people feed the swans, discovered that I am allergic to the trees, and took a tram to the two main cathedrals. All in all, Zurich was a pleasant day trip and the train ride was gorgeous.
View from park
I am really excited about work! Two new interns have arrived: Anting, from Taiwan, and Yen, from California. This means that we are starting our eLearning project in earnest. I am doing lessons on general skills while others are researching for specific countries. Tomorrow I get to record myself narrating these slides - which means that my voice will be on these presentations on the internet. I've decided not to let this fame go to my head. When people stop me on the streets of Burundi, I will just graciously use my fame to promote IBJ.
Honestly, the plans my manager has for this project are so ambitious that I have become eager to contribute to the best of my ability. This means that I spend ages perfecting the design and the content, agonizing over which word or color to use. I really want this to look as professional and prestigious as I think it could be. I have been trying, especially, to think of innovative / effective ways to present the information. To get IBJ noticed - and thus utilized - this course will have to be memorable and instructive. Though it's odd to think that I'm creating programs that will educate lawyers in other countries when I just finished my first year of law school. Still, I really like feeling useful: being a part of this massive undertaking - especially as one of the people who will design the actual curriculum and foundation of the whole program. This is the kind of work that makes me feel as if I'm really doing something.