27
Mar

Day 4 in Brussels:

It is 1 am and I am absolutely exhausted from the day! Today was the long awaited NATO trip. We had some logistical issues with NATO since they sent their transport bus to the wrong hotel, but after a few phone calls, the problem was resolved and we were on our way. The compound is quite guarded with barbed wire surrounding the perimeter. To enter the compound, we had to surrender any recording devices, including our cellphones, and pass through security. After entering, we had a series of speakers come in to talk to us about the organization. The room that we were placed in had a unique character about it. It was painted in a light blue pastel color with a long rectangular table that stretched throughout the length of the room. The table was covered with microphones and headsets that were neatly placed in front of each seat. One particular speaker was a retired military officer in the British army especially captivated us with his chummy and witty humor and his willingness to answer questions without dancing around the issue. We also were able to have lunch in the NATO facility which was quite delicious! I had a French inspired duck dish with croquets and vegetables.

After the NATO visit, we had free time until 9 pm that night which was when we would have our program dinner with everyone. A few of the students and I decided to use this time to explore downtown Brussels and to get some tourist traveling done. Despite the cold and rainy weather, we had a blast navigating the city. Once we returned to the hotel, we headed to our dinner. The menu was absolutely delicious! The venue was very nicely decorated and had a very unique character about it. Everyone was having a great time with the delicious food, wine, and good conversation. Tomorrow we have one more seminar before having the official field work portion of the trip be over. Time to sleep! Good night!

Calvin

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This is part of a series where current Master in International Relations (MIR) student Calvin Nguyen will share with us updates about the MIR program´s yearly trip to Brussels.

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