This weekend, I spent in a lodge where Queen Victoria frequented. I am, after all, in England. The MPA program took us away after a week of intensive math and stats classes to Cumberland Lodge which is one of the royal properties entrusted by the current Queen. Situated just outside of London in the lovely town of Windsor (where Royal Family's Windsor Castle is located), the building now has an agreement with many of the University of London institutions and many students are able to enjoy a piece of this royal life. It's strange to think Queen Victoria was hanging out at the same place I did.
Even though I'm sure Queen Victoria did not eat out of a buffet line nor sleep in a converted Mews (horse stable), it was nevertheless a fun weekend full of lots of meet-and-greet for the MPAers to get to know each other better. The 70 of us who made it to the retreat compose quite the interesting bunch. Though there are more people who came straight from undergrad than I expected, everyone has had a myriad of experiences and it seems that having a "complicated background" is prerequisite. It is not at all uncommon to find people who can speak 3-5 languages. I love the diversity, though wish there is a larger representation from Africa.
Anyhow, the weekend was good fun. Lot of drinking, eating, and repeatedly talking about what I did in the Peace Corps. Some strolling around English countryside, Jenga playing, and girl bonding. Looking forward to starting this year with all these interesting individuals!