Liesl Wendt

Lwendt

Liesl Wendt




Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Malá Strana October 27th 2010

So, here's the actual Prague posting...a beautiful city by day and night. So, pictures came first on this city—the city is one history lesson after another and visually exciting no matter which direction one looked. We began the day with a lunch at a traditional restaurant followed by a guided tour in the downtown area—a tour on the way to the castle passing several small castles which were places nobles would come for the hunting season). Walks up a hill to catch a glimpse of a mini-eiffel tower and a quick immersion into the bustling tourists also here to see the city. I can’t quite imagine this city in the heart of tourist season since sidewalks were overflowing with tourists in the middle of fall. Our first evening was a dinner with a renowned author—Arnost Lustig ... read more
Lou reflecting on Kafka in a replica of his library
Bohemia
Cross at old castle grounds

Europe » Czech Republic » Prague » Malá Strana October 25th 2010

This city gets multiple posts—not because of its lack of ease of finding wifi but because of its beauty. I have taken more than 150 pictures in three days and must share. This city is magnificent—the buildings and churches and castles and roads are preserved in a way you can’t imagine. Every person I talked to who has been to Prague has said, “just walk, you can’t go wrong. " And, indeed the advice has been right on. This trip is never without its dull moments and most of our time is programmed but on this trip we were incredibly fortunate to have Saturday to tour the Bohemian countryside followed by a down day in Sunday that we programmed for ourselves as busy as the rest of our days! As much as I love this trip, ... read more
prague2 009
prague2 004
The city!

Europe » Spain » District of Madrid » Madrid October 20th 2010

Sunshine and laid back would be the first few words that come to mind to describe this fast moving city of 3.2 million. Well, laid back except for the driving--round-about's are everywhere and admittedly I never fully got my bearings. Our host had arranged a van for most of our trip so we were simply grateful we survived and arrived everywhere in one piece! Travels from Berlin were fairly smooth. Our flight was delayed due to an air traffic controller strike in Spain, not France though that has become the running joke since France has been in full protest mode during our travels. While waiting, I took a stab at a car racing game on my fellow traveler's ipad and, turns out I stink at driving an i-pad. Sean better be driving when I get home! ... read more
In front of the castle
Prepping for the Mozambique President
Host dinner with Brandon and Carmen

Europe » Germany » Berlin » Berlin October 16th 2010

Berlin has captured our imaginations. It's hard to summarize the trip here and so far we have been too busy to adequately update the blog. So, where to start? The wall was both one of our first visits and still most profound. Following a lunch we went on a bus tour through Berlin that ultimately took us to Berlin's divided past post war at a visit to the Berlin Wall Museum. Parts of the wall were still in place and were augmented with art to indicate the direction of the former wall dividing east and west Berlin. The area of the actual monument was formally "no man's land" and is now represented with descriptions of the wall--the watch towers, the attempted escapes and consequences for example. The museum itself sits on the west side of the ... read more
Propaganda Poster
Youth resistance leaders
Tour of Reichstag

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 13th 2010

European Union all day long.....Today was our last day in Brussels and the final stage in our indoctrination into the Euro-perspective. Our morning began with a gentle, yet direct reminder from our fanstatistic city coordinator, Christina that our group had some work to do in the punctuality department. (Right and for everyone who knows me....so far I am not one of the "late" ones. Yet!) With that behind us and our own group organization needing a few moments to recalibrate, we welcomed our first speaker John Richardson, Senior Transatlantic Fellow and former Official at the European Commission. He painted an overview of the EU challenge, namely to bind regions with different economic interests and different national identities. Mr. Richardson had spent some time in the states so was able to do some compare/contrast as he went ... read more
Our Brussels city coordinators
Yeah--MMF Team!
Brussels News...International!

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 12th 2010

Lobbying the EU Our morning started with a brisk walk to The Brussels Office, a public affairs agency specializing in the EU and the European Economic Area. The weather today was still clear but cooler than the previous, near summer like conditions. The presentation by Finn Myrstad provided an overview of the EU but this time from the perspective of someone attempting to influence them to take specific positions. The theme of growing EU power was reiterated and a new idea was presented...issue groups may turn to lobbying the EU when they are unsuccessful influencing their own country on a specific issue whether that be related to climate change, energy policy, etc. The EU is fairly transparent though it was interesting to learn that lobbyists are not required to register. In terms of lobbying strategy, one ... read more
Le Petit Chateau
Briefing on NATO's plans
Discussion at FEANTSA

Europe » Belgium » West Flanders » Bruges October 11th 2010

After a decent night's sleep to reorient ourselves to the time zone we are now in, we started the morning with a guided tour of the Museum of Fine Arts in Brussels. Admittedly, guided tour/museum first thing in the morning while still orienting to the time may sound sleepy yet the tour has made me a believer in guided tours! Our guide, an art expert who clearly knows this museum's fine works, steered us through the collection. At one point, she spent about twenty minutes describing a Bosch painting. I could have listened for another hour for the painting itself was complex with political and social themes of its time. In fact, she mentioned that she had briefed Michael Palin for two and a half hours and I'm sure the painting had some influence on Monty ... read more
Archway
Center of Town--quaint!
On the boat

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels October 9th 2010

Before we left from DC, we spent the morning learning from Professor Weaver of American University. He has spoken to every group of American Fellows except one. His expertise hit upon American and European Beliefs and Values outlining the differences between Americans and Europeans from a value perspective. One his insights was along the lines of...."best way to learn your own culture is to leave it." We shared lunch with the team of European Fellows who were just getting ready to head off to various US states for similar experiences. Landed in Brussels at 7:30 am with 15 fellow travelers (who you'll start to see in pictures along the way). The trip was a bouncy one and relatively quick (after flying to South Africa anything seems quick!). A driver met us and we boarded a bus ... read more
Town Square
Famous Fountain!
Notre Dame du Sablon


Well, let's start today off with a proud mom moment....As I left off last night....today is Sean's 16th birthday which is pretty darn hard to believe! Jesuit played Beaverton tonight and he had a goal and an assist on Jesuit's way to a 4-1 victory! What a great bday present to himself, competitor that he is. Ok, on to travel news....I visited with Sen. Merkley's Senate HELP staff to advocate for the Calling for 211 Act. See picture at Capitol Hill. Thanks to the Senator and staff for their support! Then....the fellowship really began. At 2:30, we met as a group of 15 fellows from all over the country to meet each other, learn more about the program and to review our itinerary. A couple of unique things about the German Marshall Fund of the US: ... read more
Speakers at welcoming dinner


Well, let's start today off with some proud mom moments....As I left off last night....today is Sean's 16th birthday which is pretty darn hard to believe! Jesuit played Beaverton tonight and Sean had a goal and an assist to help Jesuit to a 4-1 victory! What a great bday present to himself--competitor that he is. Ok, on to travel news....I visited with Sen. Merkley's Senate HELP staff to advocate for the Calling for 211 Act. See picture at Capitol Hill. Thanks to the Senator for his support! Then....the fellowship began. At 2:30, we met as a group of 15 fellows from all over the country to meet each other, learn more about the program and to review our itinerary. More about all the fellow travelers as we go along the trip. A couple of unique things ... read more




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