Friday, 2 August 2013

Playing Catch Up

It seems that in the past week and a half since being back from Europe, I’ve been doing a lot of catching up. Catching up on sleep, catching up with friends and family, and catching up with paperwork for med school. And now I feel an obligation to my blog followers to catch up my blog, too.

The day after my last post at the end of June, the boyfriend arrived in Geneva to spend two glorious weeks adventuring around Geneva and Switzerland, biking through Geneva wine country, enjoying the famous Chocolate Train tour through Gruyeres (tour of a cheese factory and the beautiful Gruyeres castle) and Broc (tour of a chocolate factory and the consumption of utterly too much chocolate), attending the Montreux Jazz Festival on three separate occasions and going back stage with BadBadNotGood, enjoying the many parks and beautiful waterfront of Lausanne, spending a hot, sunny summer day on a paddle boat in Annecy (in France), and good byes at the WHO before leaving for ten days of vacation.


We traveled to Nice, and from there visited Monaco and Antibes (my favourite being Antibes) for some fun in the sun and beach-filled days, and then flew off to Paris for our final five days of vacation. We explored the Louvre, did a boat tour of the Sienne, went to the Moulin Rouge, and even caught the final stretch of the Tour de France (a real highlight), before flying home.



I’ve been home for a week and a half, but already Europe and the big vacation seem like so long ago! As soon as I got home I had to get together a lot of paperwork and administrative stuff for med school, which involved a lot of appointments, at the doctor’s office, bank and police department, and now I have possession of the new house I’ll be moving into with 4 other first year med students, and I could not be more excited to begin preparing for the big move. It really has been a whirlwind since being home, but I’m looking forward to the next 3 weeks before med school starts, to prepare my new house for my fresh start, reflect on my summer and everything that I’ve learned from my experience abroad, and to mentally prepare myself to begin this new, challenging chapter of my life.

More posts to come soon! 

Friday, 28 June 2013

A Weekend in Photos: Interlaken & the Swiss Alps

This past weekend a friend and I spent in Interlaken. We spent an afternoon and evening exploring Interlaken, which is a beautiful (and tourist-filled) city, and then spent a day hiking in the Bernese Alps (part of the Swiss Alps). We took a cable car from Grindelwald to First, and enjoyed a somewhat snowy hike (despite not having proper snow-hiking equipment at all!) from First to Bachlapsee. We had a wonderful time admiring the view and breathing the fresh mountain air. The story of our weekend is best told in pictures, so here are the links to my tumblr photo posts from Interlaken and the Swiss Alps.

Some thoughts on work retreats...

I spent a couple of days this week at a work retreat in Gex, France, hashing out a paper that will be submitted for publication hopefully before my internship at the WHO ends. Perhaps the idea of spending 48 hours with colleagues working on one single project can sound exhausting or intimidating, but I found it refreshing to be out of the office in a beautiful French village and working with young colleagues like myself. The four of us worked well together, and I found the mix of being focused and productive, with being silly and relaxed, made for a very successful retreat. I’m new to the whole work retreat thing, so I have little to compare it to, but I must say that two things stood out for me which made it an enjoyable and productive experience:

1. We spent a considerable amount of time making and enjoying each meal. The combination of cooking the meals together and then enjoying lingering conversation when meals were done was a very nice way to break up the day and focus our energy on work when we needed to.

2. We went for a late walk through the village on the Monday night, and this time physically away from the house we were working at, as well as the peacefulness of exploring a new place in the calm of the night, was an incredibly successful way to unwind after a long day of working.

I feel quite lucky to have had the opportunity to have had such a positive work experience. Now it’s down to the grind to finish off the paper and submit it for first review by this afternoon, eep!

The view from the balcony, in Gex, France