Last weekend I went on an adventure of grandiose proportion: IBWE 2008. IBWE stands for International Business Weekend and is meant as a way for students from across partner schools to gather together, have a great time and interact through sports/team spirit and to win the Coup d'Ambiance.
Thursday: Paris, France -> Reims, France -> (small stop in Luxembourg to pick up Germans) Frankfort, Germany -> Kerry, Ireland -> Cork, Ireland
On Thursday night, my roommates and I grabbed our assorted luggage and sent ourselves back to Reims to go to one of the only clubs in Reims, Soa. What transpired after was both hilarious and exhausting. We took the 45 minute TGV back to our wonderful oasis of Reims and were welcomed by a committee of our student council. They made us sing songs, cheered for us and were downright amazing. Then we went to the club and it was so much fun to see everyone and partake in old jokes and make new ones! We danced, laughed, and had a fantastic time. Then it was 3 am and time to load up on the bus to get to the Frankfort airport. Because you know it is always necessary to go to Frankfort to get to Ireland if you are starting from Paris.
Friday, we continued our 12ish hours of traveling and got to our destination Trabolgan (an Irish camping resort) and the festivities began! Every year it is the tradition for each school to have a relay team to get to the IBWE destination. It is an amazing endeavor that takes a ton of work and also a great level of dedication to coordinate, find sponsorship for and actually partake in (I'm planning on participating next year). Our team was amazing and they brought spirit, a sense of fun and an overall surprise to this year's relay! They had told everyone they would be swimming to Ireland (of course they didn't) but they biked to Bretagne and back and then went on the journey with us. But then once we got to IBWE they went off and later we found out that they were arriving by BOAT! They had rented a boat and came in with a wondrously glorious entrance on top of waves and overall with undoubted panache.
We have a school haka. Inspired by the All Blacks and a bit by Missy Elliot . . we have a school haka that we all get together and grunt, yell, whoop and smack our arms to in unison. I have never been a great possessor of school spirit, but IBWE seems to bring out something in me that gets me gloriously spirited. I was wearing my gaulois horns the entire weekend, rarely ever took off my gaulois sweatshirt and t-shirt, and sang la Marseillaise as loud as the next person.
Friday night was the video competition. You can see ours below. I can promise you it is class. Watch them both. It is a part 1, part 2 kind of deal.
One friday night, the theme party was "childhood heros". My penthouse roomies and I had got to thinking the week before that it might be AWESOME to dress up as the Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles. I
can promise you it was. I was Donatello, the smart one ;). The night was so much fun, we danced, posed, did ninja kicks and had a wonderfully excellent time.
Day two brought teaching the French a thing or two about the favorite American pastime: Flipcup. That night the party was a headphone disco. We got to switch between two competing DJ's as they worked through their mixes and we worked through our mixers.
Sunday morning were the sports competitions and our own Penthouse Ciara scored a goal for the ladies soccer team! Woot! It was also the time we did an amazing group haka. . .in true All Black's style to intimidate the Old Boys volleyball team! That night was a pirate party! I have never laughed so hard trying to pose with my roommates like we were in a boat or whilst sword fighting. We didn't win the Coup d'Ambiance, but we definitely put in our best effort.
That morning I woke up to get on our 6am bus, still a little buzzed from the night before. . . and still dancing.
Next year, I am on the committee to plan IBWE, and I have got to admit we have our work cut out for us. I have never seen a group of 200 drunken international students been corralled cross countries and to different events... flawlessly. This year's BDE, MadMix, has done amazing work, and I can honestly say I'm proud to have been able to see them do such a great job. We like to say they are superhumans, but even more I just think they are just superbly wonderful, kind and extraordinary people.