I suppose this counts as “hitting the ground running.”
After arriving at 7AM, making my way to the hotel and getting settled in, I checked email and found an invitation from Judy Magub, who is the Rotary liaison for Peace Fellows at U.Q. She said there was a Rotary meeting Wednesday night where three of the current fellows were going to be speaking, and that the director of the Peace Fellow program, Espen Malmberg, was in town from Chicago, and that they would be pleased if I would join them.
So I went to dinner with those folks and got to meet three of the current Fellows. I was really taken with all three of them, and sad that they will have all graduated by the time I start. These are pretty amazing people:
Cecilia Ndzewe is moving back to Zambia to become the Operations Director for an NGO there. Vikas comes from a family of Ghandians in India and has spent the last ten years working with disaster relief, including work on the tsunami. Cassio Furtado was the youngest person from Brazil to attend law school when he went at sixteen. He now holds three undergraduate degrees as well as the law degree and the Masters he’s finishing now. I could spend the whole time here talking about each of them, actually. Fascinating folks.
Cassio offered to meet up with me tomorrow and show me around campus, so I’ll get my first glimpse with a good tour guide at any rate.
Note to self: Look BOTH ways before crossing the street. This is a left-handed driving country, descending from the British Empire as it does, so all of my instincts are wrong. I’ve been very careful, but it’s amazingly easy to just walk out into the street with a car coming because I’m looking for cars in the wrong direction.