Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Backlog - November & December

I can’t believe that I haven’t blogged since end October. But before I dive into the last few months, here’s wishing everyone a very very happy and prosperous 2015! Hope you had an amazing year filled with cherished memories. Wishing you a year that is even better than the last J

As you know from my last post, P2 (Period 2) at INSEAD began the last week of October and let me tell you – it hits you like storm and goes by in a flash.

For the students, it’s six subjects crammed into one and half months of classes plus two national weeks, national week bidding day and of course crazy INSEAD parties (more reasons than usual because it marks the end to their very first section and very first group… everything changes here on.. well not as dramatic as that really but the students party like it is the end of an era.. lol)

For Partners, it was a crazy one and half months as well because we went from just being acquaintances to friends which meant more get togethers and in addition, we organised various activities – one almost every week! So yes – a packed P2 for Partners as well.

I wish I could blog in detail about every event but because of the backlog, I am just going to give a summary ( (which by itself seems long enough) of the events during the two months. In case you want to know more about anything in specific, feel free to write to me or leave a comment below.

It's going to be a long post...So here I go:

Oct 31 - Halloween Party at INSEAD
This was organised at Tavers and man! They did some serious Halloween décor. It was fantastic. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE (about 200 people) dressed up and it was a CRAZY party.

November 3 - Kids Halloween Parade & Desi Week Amphi Storming
INSEAD organises a Halloween party for kids - a day when all the baby INSEADers dress in adorable costumes and parade the galleries for trick or treats followed by a small get together at the restaurant.

The same evening was the Desi Week “amphi storming”. It was the first day of Desi Week and as a tradition, some students storm the amphi, do their thing  (for desis it was of course dance to an awesome Bollywood number), showcase what’s to come for the week and finish off with a bang. The Desi amphi storming was FANTASTIC. My husband was a part of it and he went absolutely crazy. Yes! I mean every word of it. He got up on the desk and danced… Never seen that side to him.. I guess INSEAD brings out the BESTEST in people. Lol.

November 4 – Visit to the Farmer’s Market
As a part of the French Immersion activity, we decided to visit the local market to check out the local produce, food, cheeses etc. One of the French partners decided to share with us some local insights. We also learnt some useful phrases :) Nice day but it was starting to get so so cold in Fonty.

November 5 - Desi Dinner
Mid-week of any national week is a dinner with a traditional fare. The desi dinner was very well organised. The décor was so pretty, people dressed in their best Indian wear, there was a Desi IQ quiz, Fashion Show, Dance performances and finally a dance party. Everything was so lively and everyone seemed to have the time of their lives. This set a huge expectation for the end of the week Bollywood party (Which sadly wasn’t as good as people thought it would be… Nevertheless, they still had a good time)

November 6 - Colombian Breakfast
One of my friends, a Colombian, invited few friends for a traditional Colombian breakfast. There were Arepas, some other traditional breakfast items – like a dough ball filled with savoury cheese and eggs. The highlight of course was the banana walnut cake she had baked. It was SO good!

November 7 - Birthday and Ukrainian Cooking Class
Yes! Happy birthday to me!! J Was a very special and memorable day indeed. My husband organised a surprise get together and had put together a video montage of 15J Partners’ birthday wishes (which they had sent in their native language). It was so so sweet. A lovely cosy birthday celebration!

The same afternoon, a group of Partners met for a Ukrainian cooking class. On the agenda were all vegetarian dishes - a salad, a pumpkin porridge and cheese filled ravioli/dumplings. I couldn't make it to the session, so waiting for round 2 which, hopefully will be soon. :)

November 10 - Day Out at Vaux Le Vicomte
A few partners decided to spend an afternoon (turned out as a whole day trip) at the Chateau – Vaux Le Vicomte. It’s a beautiful place, lovely gardens. Once a year there is chocolate exhibition at the Chateau and lucky us, the day we chose to visit happened to be “that day of the year”. A nice day out from Fonty and would definitely recommend it.

November 12 – Birthdays of the month
We had decided to start a tradition of celebrating birthdays of the month and had a small get together at the family room. It was a fun evening – there was cake, games and best of all – a lot of fun! Unfortunately, we haven't been able to keep up the momentum. We hope not to miss Feb birthdays. Have to put it on my calendar.

November 14 - National Week Bidding 
This is something you definitely do not want to miss at INSEAD. It’s the day teams bid for the National Week and it’s absolutely crazy. It’s the day when the teams showcase their local culture and it’s so much fun. The day ends with a presentation which is “must-see” when at INSEAD. The teams bring out the best of best and it’s packed with so much energy and surprises! Highly recommend that you attend it.

November 17 - Baby Shower
A few of us threw a surprise baby shower for one the 15J Partners who was soon leaving for Singy. Was a lovely evening. Most of all, was so nice to see how much she enjoyed it.

November 19 – Social Impact Week Panel
I have always been really interested in anything and everything around Social Impact and so I decided to attend the panel organised by INDEVOR (INSEAD’s social impact club) during the Social Impact Week. The panel was on “Impact Economy” and the panellists consisted of some amazing people from Impact Investing, Venture Philanthropy to Incubators. I couldn't stay for the whole panel but I would highly recommend anyone interested in this area to attend events like these. You get to meet and hear from some brilliant minds.

November 20 - Thanksgiving lunch/cooking class
As a part of the cooking class series(We'd had a Indian, French and Ukrainian classes so far), one of the Partners decided to cook us a traditional thanksgiving meal and even gave the group a demonstration of the famous pumpkin pie. She'd put in so much efforts and everything was so perfect. A big thank for such a lovely afternoon and a bigger thank you to my friend who has been so regular in organising these cooking classes. They have been super popular :)

Last week of November – A few friends got together for a fun filled evening on Thanksgiving and the same weekend, we visited Strasbourg for this Christmas Market. Oh yes – also Fonty light up this week. It was so so pretty!!! So Christmassy. I so love this season!! :)

And before I knew it, December was here. It was exam time again and it was also the last two weeks in Fonty for those leaving for Singy for P3 and beyond. So there were a lot of farewell dinners and parties amidst the exam craziness and not to forget a national week - Africa week. Some highlights for me were:
  • I'd organised a Crepes and Galette afternoon for the Partners as a part of  the "French Immersion" events. Jeromine from INSEAD Student Relations helped make it all happen as her friend happens to be a chef at a lovely creperie  - La Poterme at Moret sur Loing. I fell sick and couldn't go but the Partners enjoyed a live demonstration and set-menu which includes an aperitif, galette (choice of 5), cidre, crêpe dessert and coffee!!! For 25 Euros per person.
  • Dinner with Friends – We hosted a dinner for a few friends who were off to Singy. Such a fun night!
  • Son's first birthday – This certainly was the greatest highlight! We celebrated it in the family room and had all our friends attend the party. A party I will never forget. Was so special.. will remain a cherished memory indeed./
  • Friend’s baby shower and farewell dinner – Yes! We had another surprise baby shower this month. The ladies turned Salamander (house) into a pretty pretty place. So beautifully decorated and organised. Was so glad to be a part of it. The following day, one of my friends hosted a lovely dinner for us before we all of us left for the holiday season.

So there you go! A super long post.. but I guess this is what happens when I am not regular with my posts.

Hope you enjoyed going through it. 

Signing off :)