...I continue working at the European Centre for the Regions in Barcelona, it seems that finally we are taking off after a year of struggling to get the office, the organization, the programs, the personel, etc... fixed. It is interesting enough for the moment.

Maybe most of you think I am crazy [but] I have started my PhD in Barcelona, in Management Sciences. I continue to choose topics -Pol.Sci., I.R., C.M.- which need a long explanation for people to get an idea of what it is about, because it is not exactly in Business Management, it is more on International Economy -this can shock as well my Economics Professors and the people who helped me to feed my brain with Economics!- and Politics. It is fun, it is a sort of mental exercise I enjoy very much.

Summerwise, I had a wonderful month of rest in a small village by the Mediterranean... I do miss the US but I don't know how well this sort of preferences will be understood by bosses there :)

Congratulations to all the people who got married.

This is my new e-mail address:

alrizzi@hotmail.com

Since February 1997 I am working as a Junior Expert in the economic section of the delegation of the European Commission in New Delhi. This is my address in Delhi:

200 Golf Links
110003 New Delhi
India
Tel. 91-11-4643614

After landing in Iceland on my way to Holland, I decided to follow Stefan's advice to give rejuvenation a shot by taking a dip in the Blue Lagoon and then spent a day sightseeing in Reykjavik.

At the Hague I met Kenae Watanabe (who is doing her PhD at SAIS in international law) and studiously began attending the public international law session of the Academy of IL, which is located next to the International Court of Justice. I was pleasantly surprised to run into a couple of recent interns at the UN who were also attending the course; it's a small world, especially for anyone involved in this field. The chance to sit in on some of the hearings of the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia proved to be most interesting. Needless to say, both Kenae and I also devoted a lot of time (though not enough in my view) to socializing, visiting the major tourist attractions, eating Indonesian food and checking out the nightlife in Scheveningen (can't really speak of nightlife in the Hague). Both of us promoted SAIS as a good option for some of the participants in the course. We thoroughly enjoyed the three weeks at the Hague and I think we'd actually be interested in returning to the Academy at some point in the future.

On the evening of Friday, 19 September, there were a few of us who showed up at the Wollman Rink in Central Park: Dan Prieto, Martin Buhr, Harp Greewal, Sharon French, Laura Anthony, Nicole Altneu, Yoko Okuda and ... I'm missing a couple more names here. SAISers were a minority amid the Fletcher and Columbia alumni [It was a mixer for alumni of all three schools--Stefan] , so hopefully next time more of you can make it. Bye.

  • Ivette Barbeite / DC-Miami / Sep 22
Hi, fellow SAIS grads. As some of you already know, I am relocating (going back) to Miami to start a new job with KPMG Peat Marwick. I have been working in DC for 2 years since graduation with an international development consulting firm called DevTech Systems, Inc. It's been a great two years and I have learned a great deal. (I highly recommend this company to anyone interested in international development. For more information, check out the website at www.devtechsys.com.) Now the time has come to explore a new opportunity. I will be working with KPMG's Economic Consulting Services group in Miami. I hope if any of you find yourself in the neighborhood you'll look me up. I'll post a new e-mail address sometime next week. My new mailing address/tel: Ivette Barbeite / 9890 S.W. 70 Street / Miami, FL 33173 / (305) 598-1019. Keep in touch!
  • Kathryn Newsome / London / Sep 22
Kathryn Newsome called (being temporarily unplugged from the internet) to let everyone know she is moving to London. You can reach her there at Princes Court, Apt 9 / 88 Brompton Rd / London SW3 1ES. She'll post her email address when she gets one, she said.
Just a note to say hello and to let you know that my organization (Financial Services Volunteer Corps) is currently recruiting for a Program Officer for its Warsaw office. Interested candidates can call or fax me at: (48.22) 651-4315. We will be moving our office at the end of September and I can update the tel/fax number at that time. Of course, I can always be reached via email at: Aideen@compuserve.com

Getting married is not as bad as it sounds (to me at least). I do feel awkward to admit to strangers that I am a married woman now though. As I had to in my last (and only) job interview with the bankrupt Amsterdam public transportation company. It made me feel settled and boring. Next week however, I am going to have my navel pierced, so don't give up on me yet. I do realise I am becoming one of those desperados wanting to stay young and wild, even after turning thirty. But, I have always felt that as long as one is aware of one's shortcomings, one is allowed to enjoy them.

Anyway, I did get married on August 2 (with Reyer, whom I have loved most of the time over the past 10 years, and who also used to brighten up my Bologna year by refusing to visit me, but would call me up in the middle of the night after a heavy night on the town with his friends to tell me he did miss me and all that). And thank god I wasn't alone on the 2nd of August. Besides my Dutch friends, 15 SAIS-ers gave me the necessary moral support and partied with me ("us" I guess I should be saying from now on). I thought it was great.

Everything was great. First the civil ceremony and the family diner with my dad throwing a fit...emotions, emotions, family secrets that should have been kept a secret...., my friends making fun of me and telling us how great we are (as well seperate as together - great for one's self-esteem) etc. If I look at the pictures I see my self grinning like an idiot and I wonder what exactly was so funny. The following day we got married in a small chapel in the woods. The priest was sweet enough to let me pick out all the words, so he skipped the prayers for the bishop, the pope, the church and our 'holy people'. Which was nice and saved me from feeling like a hypocrite.At least we made history by adapting Four Weddings and a Funeral to real life by forgetting the rings. (as mentioned before I am aware of my shortcomings and had asked my most trustworthy friend to take care of this responsibility....however, she did not. While she sent her husband back to the place where they were staying - he got there after about 30 minutes, had no key, had to break the window by throwing an iron garden table through it - tension was building up in the back of the chapel. All married people were stripped of their wedding rings, my friend picked out the biggest ones and passed them to the front, where we were wondering what the hell was going on and what the bustle was about (since most people present are not particularly religious, I was afraid they were getting bored or something). When I noticed there was something different about the ring, all I could think of was that the bloody shop had forgotten to put the stone in. I never doubted my friend....which proves something I think (what?).

So we got married (twice actually: when my friend's husband got back with the real rings, we repeated that part of the ceremony. It never hurts to get blessed twice I guess, and as I said, the priest was pretty flexible.). After wedding cake and reception (not my favourite part) we had a great party. J.W. Roy and the One Night Band (remember that name! they have only been to Texas once, but they'll be back...to Cole's opinion they weren't bad, even according to Oklahoma standards) played what I wanted to hear, the BBQ (especially Wilbert the pig) was pretty good and I could pick who to dance with all night long. I know I am not exactly objective, but I thought it was great! And having Tricia, Ayse, Rosa Emilia, Cole, Zach, Stefan, Matthew (+ Kim), Jon Sinclair, Markus and Serra, Jancsi and Sophia, Sebastian and Gioia, and Arend (+ his girlfriend) there (and Stefan van Vliet who was there part of the time) was wonderful made it even better. It made me feel very special that they had come all the way to Geysteren just for me (and the party I hope). And it sure made a big impression on everybody else (that they had travelled so far and, that they were all looking so damn good!).

So that was that. We went to Mexico, Guatemala and Belize two days later. Saw three countries in three weeks (we did better than any American tourist in Europe), and still managed to do a four-day diving course in Caye Caulker. So now we share a hobby. This did mean we had to curtail our romantic moments, but, after all, romance is utterly superficial and sharks are not. On our way back we got to know each other even better when I found out I had left my passport under the mattress in the last hotel we had stayed, so we couldn't get back to Mexico, missed all our flights etc.......Reyer only yelled at me for about 30 seconds so I guess he passed another test (I probably failed all of his tests - including the health test: I spend some of the many bus rides with my head out of the window). After meeting and threatening every cop in Belize ("he man, go slow!" "Fuck you, give us a police report") we were able to get my papers and in the end made it back to Amsterdam.

So now a new phase has started. My main preoccupation now is to find a job without looking for it. This means I will probably end up at the Amsterdam public transportation company (the last communist stronghold in the country) where I would be joining the struggle of the new director against bankruptcy, the union, bureaucracy, local politics, negative press etc. We'll see. It could definitely be interesting.

I apologise for taking up so much space, but don't worry, the rest of my life will probably be to boring to write about. However, I am already planning my next trip to NY, as well as to Bologna. Also, if I become involved in any corruption scandals I will let you know.

For anybody who's not already tired of hearing me say this, my thesis that New York is the effective center of the Universe is being bolstered by a veritable flotilla of SAIS alumni washing up on the shores of Manhattan. The onslaught most recently was started by sometime novelist and nocturnal denizen Michael Braun, who has kept himself well-sequestered in his west-village haunt, and is thus rarely spotted. Soon after followed Fergus McCormick, moving from a cozy IDB existence in DC to no holds-barred Darwinian banking here in the canyons of finance.

Despite its population of over 10 million, New York throws up repeated random encounters--I ran into Gianfranco Bertozzi this morning during my dazed dash to work. Another recent arrival, it turns out he is a Latin American economist for Lehman Bros, and works in the same building as Liz Jacobs and myself. Julia Holman has just quit her job at the Atlanta Fed, and is coming to NY late September to do some high-powered banking (what else?) Zach Messitte is packing his backgammon board and heading for New York as well, where the wine is being stocked already in anticipation of many a late night session.

There have been no words from me since Stefan set up this fantastic web site, but now I want to change that and refresh the Sighs home page with some news from my Austrian - East European world here in Vienna.

Before I returned to Europe last fall I worked at the Foreign Policy Institute as a research assistant on former Soviet Union issues, and I wrote a report on Deutsche Telekom for TPG, a publishing house in Alexandria. Since then I am back I work at the IHS (http://www.ihs.ac.at/) as project assistant. I am in charge of compiling studies on regional economic development in the Russian Federation. These reports we typically produce for int'l organizations (OECD) or banks. The job brings me also to curios places in Russia, what is exotic and O.K.

I am in touch with a some SAIS-ers scattered around my Vienna location. Ivailo Partchev is doing research and teaching at Jena University, Germany and -I think- enjoys staying away from the troubles in Bulgaria. When we met in Jena in July, we had a very academic tour through one of the historic "heartlands" of Germany. Anthony Randazzo is still doing NGO work in Croatia, and suffers from the high Croatian exchange rate. Michaela Topolnik is doing research administration in a government funded research center near Vienna, and Saskia Kreuzer assists a CEO at the Austrian Postal Savings Banks. Birgit Schwarz works on her career at the state-run Austrian Television, and recently she was sent to London for covering (you may guess). Thomas Fetz could not part with studying and is doing law at McGill in Montreal. Gregor Koessler started to work with the Foreign Service and now enjoys the wild live in Bosnia, where he is on a NATO/OSCE mission for summer. Manuel Terranova has moved to Cupertino California (Silicon Valley) and is now working for Xerox PARC (Palo Alto Research Center). Finally Jim Cerenzia just scored a short-term job with the OSCE and will be an election monitor in Bosnia.

To add to the soon-to-be married folk: Gregor and Sigrid will get married in September in Salzburg, More information to follow......

Hope everyone has had a good summer, and call if life brings you to Central Europe.

All the best
Martin

SAIS Alumni and their friends have formed a partnership with Calvin Coolidge High School to assist high school seniors in the college application process. If you are looking for a rewarding way to make a difference in DC and for a chance to have fun and meet people, then please attend our first information session/wine & cheese reception:

Monday, September 15
Johns Hopkins SAIS
Rome Auditorium
6:30-8:30 p.m.

For more information please phone (202) 265 2750 or contact me, David Frey, at dfrey@kpmg.com.