Monday, October 24, 2005
Made it to Luxembourg
For anyone watching my blog, I made it to Luxembourg! I had an overnight flight to Franfurt and then an early afternoon flight to Luxembourg City and short car ride to Differdange. It is absolutely beautiful here. I'll post picture when I get some taken. The lingering green of summer is mixed with the growing brilliance of red, orange, and yellow leaves. Differdange is as colorful as the leaves - row houses and shops painted in a rainbow of colors. It was overcast today but the color still shown through.
Differdange was a steel center in the early part of the 20th century. Therefore, it has an interesting feel of an urban industrial center that has been gentrified by age and by shifting work and the worker population to other things. From what I understand, moving the Miami University Dolibois European Center to Differdange from Luxembourg City has had a significant impact on the economy of this area. While there are only 130 studetns at MUDEC, they appear to get out a lot. All are on home-stays with their families. They have breakfast at home, lunch at the Chateau, and then go out for dinner in Differdange before they head home to their host families in the evening.
I didn't get that much done work wise today - getting here was enough. The Frankfurt Main Airport is huge and a bit daunting. I did figure it out and the people were very gracious. I tried my German a couple of times but it was very obvious that I'm a U.S.A. citizen who doesn't have the language fluency of all those around me. It's a very interesting thing to realize that, while I'm proud of my education, it has a significant gap in terms of languages.
I'm going out to buy some snacks for breakfast, get dinner, and go for a walk. Since I've only had 3 hours sleep in the last 36, I think I'm going to be able to fall asleep early tonight. My first meeting is with Universite du Luxembourg faculty at 8:45 a.m. tomorrow morning. I'm delighted to get started immediately and to have the opportunity to engage with the people who are constructing this new University.