Welcome to the webblog of Vincent
The end is near!
Yes people it is nearly time for me to go home. And with home I mean The Netherlands. For the past 9½ months Portland has been my home and my life, but it is time to move on. But first let us look back at the last week here.
A week ago the whole lab pulled pieces of paper with someone’s name on it out of a Christmas hat and we had to buy a small present for that person. Last Thursday we all came together at Mothers Bistro for a Christmas brunch and to do the Secret Santa gift exchange. Everybody put their gifts in a big bag and at random a gift was taken out. After 30 min or so all the gifts were given. They varied from bottles of wine to books, to jewelry , to stencils to make decorative frostings on cakes. Later that day the scientist in me awoke and it set out on a mission to find out who picked who. So armed with my iPad and a working brain I went around the lab making a list of possible combinations. It took me 1hour and the help of 3 colleagues to get a good list.
On Friday CROET (the department for which I work) organized a Christmas gathering with free coffee, tea, donuts, and bagels with cream cheese. This was a really nice start of a Friday morning especially since it was my last one. I took off early from work to pick up my new digital photo camera from the store. After 3 weeks of waiting it finally arrived. So the rest of the afternoon was spent playing around with my camera and testing its limits. All I can say about it is WOW! Check the pictures below and see for yourself.
This weekend I had the daunting task of packing my bags. So I gathered all my clothes (only the clean ones) and started folding and packing. The dirty clothes were washed and packed as soon as they were dry. So now I am living my last days in an empty room, without decorations, and empty wardrobes. The rest of the days I will spend taking pictures of my house, neighborhood and downtown Portland.
This was my last blog here in the USA, the next one will be written from a warm home back in the Netherlands. So to all you blog readers, Merry Christmas and a beautiful New Year!
Do you know where Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas) goes when he is done in the Netherland? No, not Spain. He goes to the USA, gains some weight and swaps the black Piets for cute little elves. Yes people, Christmas time has started! There are (fake) presents in the store windows, trees are decorated with lights in the streets and houses have colorful decorations all over them. Harini invited the whole lab including spouses to her house for a brunch to enjoy this Christmas feeling to the max. Everyone came, even the bosses with kids, and brought something for the brunch. There were some delicious Indian treats but also stuffed mushrooms, lentil dumplings, a Dutch desert Vanilla Vla (type of custard), and of course many more.
For the first time in the 10 months I have been here everyone showed up, even the bosses did which is pretty rare. It was a ton of fun, we talked, laughed and ate a lot! To finish it up we took some pictures in front of a beautiful Christmas tree. After six hours of fun it was time to go home and rest with super full bellies.
Sunday I went shopping. Got an ipad for my dad since he also wanted to have one. You can’t stay behind if your two sons have one, can you? I also bought some presents for the folks back home and something for Secret Santa next Thursday. Last week everyone in the lab picked a piece of paper from a Christmas sock and you have to buy that person a small gift. The fun thing is when you get your gift that you do not know whom it is from. The challenge is then to guess and see if your correct. Also it is just fun to get presents anyway.
Below are some pictures from the brunch, enjoy!
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