August 2008: Transatlantic
I returned from the old world. I have nothing but rave accounts of my friends and LSE and everything I did in London. It goes down as one of the best year's of my life. In a way I achieved a level of happiness with my self and surroundings that could satisfy me for a lifetime. In another way I'm eager to take all those positive sentiments and move onto the next stage.
Goodye, Dear Bankside
Despite the small rooms, mediocre food, and fire alarm triggering undergraduates, Bankside Residence will be remembered fondly - the seventh floor inhabitants at least. On my penultimate day in London many of us went to Primrose Hill to spend a final day as a Bankside clique. It was a fitting finale.
Pictured Above: Khrisha Swampillai, Ken Knowlton, Anna Glockner, Sid Kalita, Usma Qureshi, Me, Caitlin McMullin, Gunther Baumgarten, Andy Cowdrill
Four of my LSE friends and I visited Guinee, in West Africa. It was the light at the end of my studying tunnel - what I used to motivate myself during the long, repetitive slog. One of my friends, Bouba, is from Guinee and graciously hosted us in the home. He lives in greater Conakry, Guinee's capital. I had a wonderful time there. Guinee is a place that I felt was both very different and very similar to what I'm used to. It's true that the income disparity is large. Nonetheless, it also reaffirmed what I've felt since Bolivia: in most fundamental ways people are all the same. Bouba's family were friendly and welcoming and we enjoyed interacting with one another. This was true for all the Guineans I met. It's hard to describe my time there, but I think this slide show helps.
My four traveling companions: Monika Schrod, Nikoo Paydar, Andrew Shelton and Drame Bouba.
Omeed's and My English Holiday
Omeed came to visit in early July. A splendid time was guaranteed for all. But being primarily for the benefit of Omeed I organized a trip suited for a first time visitor. That's not to say I didn't have a blast. In fact several of the main attractions that I'd missed while studying, like Cumbria and Bath, I worked into the trip. He came for eleven days and we got to see a handful of what London offers. Oh, and I recommend Avenue Q, a musical. A highlight of the trip for me was traveling to Northern England where I'd never been. We toured the Lake District as well as Hadrian's Wall (the northern most point of the Roman Empire). Trip slide show.
Omeed and I in Bath, bringing back juice boxes.
Boulder and 19th Annual Darrouzet-Nardi Summer Vacation
Jeanette and I visited Anthony in Boulder. Although I'd been there for a night two years ago I enjoyed spending six full days. One reason we went was to see Anthony's research. As a now fifth year graduate student his research is well under way and it was great to go up to the field site. I have a much better understanding of what my bro's been doing up there. Jeanette and I even helped him pro bono for a couple days using quadrats to collect ecological data.
Another surprise of the trip was meeting up with our younger Texan cousins, Claire and Jonnie. They happened to be in the same area visiting grandparents. How'd we find out? Facebook. Here was a tangible, in-person benefit of the network. We went with them to Casa Bonita, an amusement restaurant featuring cliff divers, spooky caves, mariachis and more. Casa Bonita. Awesome!
Jaclyn, Anthony, Jeanette, Me, Cousins Claire and Jonnie
Hey Nineteen! The Darrouzet-Nardis were at it again in a whirlwind tour of Colorado and Utah. On an eight day road trip we saw Great Sand Dunes, Mesa Verde, Hovenweep, Bryce and Zion. Each location offered something wonderful and unique. Anthony called this trip our most collaborative. He was right. Very few nerves were gotten on and we effectively took down and erected camp five nights in a row. Plus, our meals were delicious and creative. I highly recommend the slide show which has great photos of all our exploits.
Anthony and Jeanette descend Star Dune, North America's tallest.
The barber shop
For the first time in my twenties a blade touched my hair. For more photos look at the 19th annual vacation slide show.
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Updated August 21st, 2008