donderdag 12 juni 2014

My first time out of Europe

5 June 2014, by Kim Dieleman (Wageningen University)

Thursday morning the 5th of June my Wetskills adventure started. For the readers that do not know, Wetskills is a series of events where Dutch water-related students meet foreign students, this time in Canada and work on innovative solutions for existing water cases.

05.30 I heard the sound of my alarm clock, it was time to wake up. A shower and a breakfast later I said goodbye to Wageningen, the small university city I live in and where one out of three people is a student. 06.48 I was arriving at the train station, after loading my travel card (in Dutch OV-chipkaart) my train left at 06.56 to Schiphol. I was enjoying the window view until the conductor came along, I realized I forgot to check in my travel card after loading. He planned to give me a penalty, which includes the price of the train ticket and on top 35 euro, which is around 50 Canadian dollar for our Canadian reader. He asked where I was going, after telling that I was on my way to Schiphol he asked how long my journey would take. He said that normally you should pay the penalty within one week, but as there was nobody at home to pay my bill he decided to neglect that I didn’t check in, as the bill would rise if you do not pay immediately and it than would be really expensive. After promising I would go out at the next stop to check in he wished me a good trip, what  a luck! After running back and forth at Utrecht to check in, my journey to Schiphol went flexible and

I arrived at 08.00. After checking in, dropping my baggage and a lot of waiting I met Heleen at the gate. For the readers that do not know, Heleen is a student that also is joining the Wetskills challenge and before going we had some email conversations as we both had the idea to extend the journey after the Wetskills program. We left at 11.15 in Amsterdam and after a stop in Washington DC and some delay we arrived in Toronto. After taking the bus we arrived at the metro station, I think we must have looked like tourists as immediately two people were so friendly to point us the way. At 19.00 (01.00 Dutch time), we arrived at the International Learning and Living Centre in Toronto, where we are staying for the two weeks to come. It is located in the central business district, called downtown Toronto. After I met part of the group we went out for a dinner. At midnight, after being awake for almost 24 hours I went to sleep.

The group consists of 9 Dutch, 9 Canadian and 2 American students. I am looking forward to meet all of them and have a nice time in which we challenge our self,  each other and meet inspiring people in the water field. Tomorrow the teambuilding event starts, we will have our first breakfast together and after that we will go to the Niagara Falls to have fun, learn the place, get to know each other and become a team!  

Enjoy,

Kim

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