Thursday, August 28, 2008

This looks like a cool place to Kick it

Yesterday we found out that Lina is having a boy. As we can see in the picture she is showing a little belly.. doesn't she look beautiful? A few things that I already know my nephew is going to love:
  • Motorcycles
  • Baseball
  • Camping
  • Gourmet home made food
  • By the age of 2 he is going to know idiasabal, tetilla, drunken goat, garoxa (Different kinds of cheese.)
  • Disney movies
  • He is going to be a tree huger because his mommy loves organic things
As we are approaching our anniversary, Cristian wanted to get us a great present. That is the second big news.. yesterday we brought home two beautiful folding bikes. We haven't name them yet but pretty much they are Trasnformers, they are not Japanese but look at their cannons!!

Cristian has been infatuated with these bikes, he probably spent 20+ hours looking for them. Keep in mind that a week has 120 hours (Monday to Friday) and this is Cristian's schedule:

Work: 40 Hrs/week
Commute: 10 hrs/week
Dinner: 5 hrs/ week
Soccer: 12 hrs/week
Sleep: 35 hrs/week

That is around 102 hours a week and the other 20 he spent them in looking for bikes. Where did Kika time go? I am going to quote Barr "mmmm hmm." You would think that with the high demand for bikes in Amsterdam it would be easy to find one.. it is not

Now for the third news I am going to quote Kellie in:

Dear Nike: Thank you for calling me and scheduling an interview for us to meet. Yes, that is right I have an interview on September 10th. Seriously, my heart fell after the call and I had to pick it up and place it again. As some of you guys have heard me when I talk about Nike "it makes me faster and I promote the passion I feel when I am equipped with Nike. What can I say "I got soul but I am not a soldier."

The forth and last update was that Cristian decided to quit his soccer career in Amsterdam. In his last training he met these two Brazilian "ballers" as he called them. They are currently playing for Vasco Da Gama and came to Amsterdam for tryouts at bigger clubs then FC Amsteland. Cristian wanted an autograph but these kids were 16 and 110 pounds and thought he was 44 so he held off.

The last updates of the week:

1. It was Oxanas B-day and Gaby and I did Tiramisu as you can see in the picture..Yummy Yummy

2. We saw Hannah this week and she is talking so much. She recognized us through the camera and sent us kisses

3. I thought I had some skills in cutting hair but as you can see I failed completely by trying to cut some of my hair, it is completely uneven. My mom almost killed me when she saw me in the webcam
4. This is Cristian studying Cisco so hard.. LAN lines, Proxies, etc

5. Thank God I still have some hair left.. you can barely tell the bad hair cut
That is all for now.. see you next week?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

What is the word in Amsterdam?

Do you know that the secret to understanding a city and its people is to learn- what is the word on the street?" Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, pray and Love

Amsterdam: At this point it is SEEKING.. cause we have not found it yet

This past week was Cristian's 28th B-day. Juan Pablo (Our Argentinian neighbor) was born one day before Cristian in 1980 so we celebrated both of their b-days on Friday night with a Pasta Party and strawberry cake with Nutela.

Making a wish and blowing the candles

Cristian got an amazing B-day present by approaching a guy in the metro station who was wearing soccer gear and asked him for some soccer info and he introduced him to his soccer team manager. Cristian went for a try-out the next day and was invited this week to play again for FC Amstelland. As Cristian said, "that was one of the best things that could happen on my birthday"

A Cisco Update, Cristian has been taking communication classes where they teach him: Eye contact, pose, gestures, tone of voice, use of the room, memory hook and the closing statement. One of the videos taken by the Cisco instructor.

This is Cristian practicing at home with us

The public speaking training is going well underway since Cristian is a few of the native English speakers, he gets a lot of compliments as some people still assume he was raised in Chile.

My parents and mary came to visit this weekend for a couple of days.We went to Bruges in Belgium. It is known as the "The Venice of the North", unique little town that has supposedly preserved its former look in such a striking way.

The landscape is dominated by 15th to 18th century building but there are this little trinket retailers like H&M, Sephora, and some others that are popping in the landscape as well.

Mary throughout her trip has taken this awesome picture of her jumping in different cities. We called them "got a little Jordan in you" because as we can see in some of them she is able to jump super high.

I tried to copy her but failed. As seen in some of the pictures.

In Bruges I did my first successful jump so I do have the Jordan gene in me. That is me on the left and Mary in the middle.

Last but not least I got this awesome contact at Nike. She is a Colombian girl called Patricia and she internally submitted my resume. She said that maybe I will get a call either this week or next week if they are interested. Keep your fingers crossed.

That is it for now more to come next week..

Monday, August 11, 2008

Take me down to the Paradise City....

Hello.. Hello!!
So we are reaching today the forth week in Amsterdam. I have been putting off blogging for these past weeks but I promise I would get better. In the next paragraphs I will do my best to give you an update of our new life in Amsterdam.

To begin I will officially introduce our roomates. We are living with two Russian couples..From Left to right is Alexey (Oxana's Husband), Dmitry (Cisco member), Oxana (Cisco Member). Dmitry's wife is in Russia and will be here in a couple of months.

Our Neighboors are a Mexican, Argentinian and Venezuelan Couple

Argentinian Couple, Gabriela aka Gabi and Juan Pablo (Cisco Member)

Mexican Couple.. Marisol (Cisco Member) and Josue.

Unfortunatelly we don't have pictures of the Venezuelan couple because we haven't spent any time together.

Second Week.. Cristian started working. From what I have heard this week was pretty much an introduction to Cisco, diversity courses, leadership, and Networking 101. His commute is around 45 minutes in tram so he leaves around 7:15 and comes back around 7:00 to 8:00pm.

During the day while Cristian goes to work I clean, do laundry, go grocery shopping, cook and apply for jobs. So I have been a dear candidate with impressive qualifications but not good enough to a couple of companies mainly Nike.

Third week..The week was pretty slow. Cristian is coming home earlier from work which is very nice because we don't eat as late as we were doing the first couple of weeks. On friday morning we found out that we have mice in the apartment. As our lease contract says " There are mice in Amsterdam. They keep out of your apartment when you keep it clean and when there is no garbage or food leftovers." So I guess we were not being clean enough. We not only got one mouse but two. Dmitry said they were small but apparently they were as big as a beer bottle. Cristian and Dmitry put a tramp and some truffle cheese (11 euros for less than 1/4 pound) and time off death of Mouse aka Chuck Norris around 5:00pm.

That night we went to the soccer match to see Arsenal, Ajax, Inter and Sevilla.. pretty entertainning. Some videos to follow.

This weekend we had the pleasure of receiving our first committe member in Amsterdam, yes Gents Stephan Loose. Steve drove Staurday afternoon and that night we had Mexican food with some Cisco people and later that night we went salsa dancing. It was a lot of fun. The next day we walked around the city and made it to the red light district. We had a wonderful time.. more to come when the other members make it to AMS.Last night we finished the weekend at Gabi's and Juan Pablo's room eating pizza and drinking Wine. Sadly, the night finished by finding another Chuck Norris at their apartment.. time of death is still unknown because it still alive.

I will finish with a couple of bullet points with interesting things:

  • There are 53 steps to our apartment on the 3rd floor

  • Heineken is the cheapest beer.. 5 euros for a 12 pack while hoegaarden is 5 euros for the 6-pack

  • The cheese store in our neighborhood has 400 different kinds of cheese

  • When I introduce myself as Colombian, the first think people say is "you sound American"

  • For having blue passport we don't have to go to the Doctor for immigration services as other people from the Cisco program do

  • The sun goes down around 9:00pm

  • Our question that we keep asking ourselves is when do Dutch people work if there is always people at the bars drinking beer and smoking?

  • Women use hills all the time riding bikes, walking long distances, visiting museums, maybe even cleaning the house

  • and Yay we got the room with the badthroom!!

to be continued.....