I'm done! I'm done! I'm done! Even though it was pouring rain and cold when I exited my last exam, I couldn't help feel anything but elated. I have yet to receive all my marks, but if I have passed everything, then I can legitimately say that I have survived law school! (In French nonetheless.) The novelty of finishing exams still hasn't worn off. I can now chat with my housemates after dinner without having to rush off and go study, read books that have nothing to do with law, watch movies and generally, just have a good time.
|Jumping for joy - literally|
All this to say, I have not exactly been twiddling my thumbs for the past two weeks. I celebrated the end of exams by attending a conference: an international study day on the proposed amendments to the Rome Statute (for all my non-law readers, that's the legal foundation for the International Criminal Court). I was amazed as I looked down the list of participants - there were so many VIPs (at least in my eyes). I made sure to chat a few of them up over lunch ; ) I’ve also discovered that there are one-hour lunch time discussions at the nearby European Peacebuilding Liaison Office. The subjects vary from how to reintegrate Taliban fighters into Afghanistan to the impacts of donor and government policies on youth and urban violence.
|A German dessert made with crushed meringue, cookies, nuts and dried fruit all delectablty covered in dark chocolate.|
I've also been devoting a lot of time to my internship at the Centre for International Law at l'ULB. I'm adding Canada's experience with universal jurisdiction to the information available on their website. (Again for the non-law people, universal jurisdiction is when you can prosecute an individual on Canadian territory regardless of where the crime was committed or the nationality of the perpetrator. At this very moment, the trial of Jacques Mungwarere is taking place in Ottawa. He is the second individual to be accused using Canada's universal jurisdiction laws which came into force in 2000. His case is related to acts that he allegedly committed in Rwanda during the genocide. I submit the third draft of my work to my supervising professor in two weeks so I had better get cracking on that.
I'm also still working at the Irish embassy as the Help. It continues to go really well. The kids have been excelling at school and eating food other than macaroni and cheese so I think I'm doing ok.
|Most of my new house mates and some friends|
Funnily, after the race, I lost all motivation to run. I just didn't see the point anymore. I have therefore joined a touch-rugby team. "Touch-rugby" you say? You are quite right to chuckle - I had never heard of such a game either. Apparently the sport is gaining ground, particularly in the UK and Australia. It's co-ed so that ups the intensity a bit. I still have a hard time taking it seriously, being a former 'real' rugby player myself. It's kind of like a child's game of tag except the person you touch must be holding the ball. At the very least, it gets me exercising in fresh air and meeting new people. That is what I tell myself every time I feel the need to roll my eyes.
I've also been doing some holiday stuff - I organised a huge house party last week which was great fun. The composition in my abode has changed significantly: out went a German and a Latvian girl, and in came a Brazilian and a Czech girl, and a German guy (but he has an English accent so in my mind, he's English). We're a great crew and the conversations at the dinner table are certainly entertaining. I also treated myself to a meal out and a shopping trip in Antwerp, and had brunch at my favourite café Belga. I'm trying to appreciate every ounce of my stress-free life before I resume school again at the end of August.
|voted once of the most beautiful train stations in the world|
|Ginger tea at Lombardia's in Antwerp = divine|
|Eclectic veggie meal at Lombardia's|
|Me and my new friend Louise|