From Amsterdam we flew to Koln Bonn airport. The airport was so empty. Maybe one plane in the area, and then no one in the airport except us. It was a Sunday so it struck me as odd. Or maybe I am just used to those busy airports. This must be one of the smaller, “provincial” areas.
While waiting for the pick up from Friedrich Naumann Foundation, I met other delegates to the seminar. We were in the same plane, and even beside each other all this time. Ha ha. Goes to show I just shut down when I enter an airplane. Saiful from Malaysia, Tenzin from Tibet and Bhibuto from India. Then Ying from China came too. Asians represent!
The Akademie is about 30 minutes from the airport in the mountains of Gummersbach. A small town with almost nothing around it. No mall, just a small grocery. And everything was closed that Sunday as we drove to the venue. Each one of us got our own room, and this is the view from mine. Beautiful.The seminar will deal with Coalitions and how we can set them up, advocate our ideals and everything else in between. Almost 25 countries are represented, and alongside me are colleagues from Morocco (Chayma) and Brazil (Beatrice). We have translators who help out the Arabic speakers.
The whole area is WiFi enabled except the dining area where it is encouraged for people to socialize and talk. What a wonderful idea. 🙂 Even the venue of the Akademie is purposely this far so as to keep delegates in and promote brotherhood and create bonds. Quite ideal, actually. Reminds me of the Center we have in ALPADI. Not too near any mall, you can’t regularly walk out of it – we would just need to fix the facilities.
The sessions officially started yesterday with a lot of input about Coalitions and Strategic Partnerships. We even ended with an American style debate. Passionate people from around the world defending their positions. Doesn’t get more UN than that (or does it even get that passionate in the UN?).Happy to have been given the opportunity to be here. Philippines represent! Today we hear case studies from all around the world. From Egypt to South Africa to Bulgaria. Here we go!