Thursday, December 16, 2010

This past weekend was my last weekend of traveling in Europe, I went to Madrid, Spain with a couple of my friends from Butler University and one girl from Australia. It was a trip I was sort of looking forward to because there weren't many big "must see" things there so it was more of a relax and enjoy the culture type of trip. We also knew two guys who were studying there so they told us quite a bit about what places we needed to eat and what else we should do. It was an overall nice trip where I ate quite a bit of good food and enjoyed getting to speak a lot of spanish. I was very caught off guard by the fact that the people in Madrid spoke absolutely no English. Luckily though 3 of us at least took spanish in high school and I took spanish last year at college as well. The first night we went to eat at this place call the Museo de Jamon, which directly translated is the Museum of Ham. To be honest it looked and felt like a spanish Bob Evans, they served mostly breakfast food and there were sooo many old people everywhere. The food was delicious and relatively inexpensive which was good as well. One of my other favorite places we went while in Madrid was a tapas bar called El Tigre. Now if you don't know Spain is know for many different things, one of them being Tapas. Tapas are basically free finger food when you order a drink at a bar. El Tigre was a place that was known for there tapas as well. So four of us went there and ordered a couple drinks and with that we got two heaping plates of random fried finger foods. They were absolutely delicious too! The cool thing about it too was that the cooks at the bar just made whatever they wanted and then the waiters threw some on a plate randomly and brought it to you so the food changed randomly throughout the night. The place was absolutely pack too and the way it was set up was that the only tables were like ledges along all the walls and everybody just stood. This made it very interesting for the waiters to bring the food and drinks to you but entertaining to say the least. One of my other favorite kind of experiences was in another bar where we stopped because everybody wanted to get some Sangria (which Spain is also known for). We were all chilling in the bar talking and watching soccer and I randomly starting talking to this guy in Spanish, well as good of spanish as i could and then come to find out later, He was German. He was studying in Spain and also spoke english so we then started talking in english which we were both fluent in. I just found it funny that two non-spaniards first met and spoke spanish until we discovered that we spoke a different language better haha. The other "interesting" thing about this trip which i tack up to laziness was the fact that we missed our flight home on monday. We showed up to the airport about 4pm with the thought that our flight left at 6pm. The person who had all of our tickets was meeting us at the airport because he went to Seville the day before to visit a friend he had there. Well once we got to the airport we were in for a surprise. The last flight home that night on a discount airlines was 3:40 pm, apparently our tickets said 06:00 which since we're in Europe and they're in military time means 6am. The guy who printed our tickets and such hadnt thought about that. So needless to say 24 hours later, a night in the ariport, and about 100 euros later i found myself getting off a train in Maastricht and walking straight to my class haha. Sorry if this last story is a little lack-luster i'm slightly exhausted from all the studying for finals and such. I currently only have about a week left in europe and two finals and a presentation. But as long as i can make it through next tuesday i'll be fine and can enjoy my last two days here! Hopefully all of you are having a wonderful Christmas season and Hope to see you all soon!

Much Love,

Devon Latimer

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Holiday spirit

Ok so i know that i said i would post again the next day but let me tell you so many things come up randomly here I got so busy and finally have a "day off" today but still have so much to do, but this just happens to be on that list ;). Ok so I'll start with the first Holiday that we celebrated here and that was Thanksgiving. So just to set things up we normally do these big dinners where some people from different cultures get together and make like Indian food or American food so we already have like a group of us who do that. So within this group there are a decent amount of Americans so we decided that we needed to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. So we kinda divided up the tasks and started our search for the many necessary items. The number one item being the turkey of course. We finally found a 12lb bird at some local butcher who like raised a lot of the meat that he sold so that was pretty sweet. In addition to the turkey we also made green bean casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls, steamed vegetables, and apple pies for desert. If you were to tell me before I came here that i was going to be cooking a Thanksgiving turkey and all the other things we had to bake in a German kid's oven (since we don't have one of our own in our guesthouse) I would have flipped out haha. Now the strange thing about my German friend's kitchen was that it was all gas powered. Now I understand the gas powered stove top and even oven, which i thought was pretty dangerous haha but we survived, but that was not all the sink in the kitchen was also gas powered..... If you're not sure what that means, this means that there was this big box which kinda looked like a paper towel dispenser above the faucet. Now when you turned on the hot water a small flame poofed inside of this box and was very intimidating since you could kind of see inside the box. But anyway We made it through and cooked everything to perfection and i was astonished at how good everything turned out as well. for a bunch of American kids who had never really cooked much in their live i was impressed and so were all the other kids from other cultures who Loved! our food and thanksgiving haha.
Now this next little story isn't based on a holiday but more of the giving spirit. The Saturday night in Rome that I left out from my last blog is what I'm talking about. So anyway I'm wondering around Saturday night in Rome seeing all the random sites when I stumble upon this Irish Pub with the game (Michigan vs. OSU) on and decided to watch it. It was already half time and I wanted to at least watch some of the second half because it wasn't too bad at this point. I walked in and it was pretty packed so I stood kind of by the door but still could see the half time highlights and such and then I got to talking to this guy who I could tell was a Michigan fan from the way he was cheering. We started talking and he invited me to sit and have a drink with him. So we got to talking and and watching the game, got to know each other pretty well, he got his MBA from Michigan and was living in California currently but lived three years in Italy prior so spoke fluent Italian and was now back on vacation with wife and couple colleagues. Well just as the game was wrapping up he asked me what I was up to tonight and since my friends weren't in yet i didn't really know. He then invited me to dinner with his wife and such and I accepted haha not sure what really to expect. But he picked up the tab (which i was happy about being a cheap college kid) and we starting walking towards the place where we were meeting people for dinner, all along the way he was pointing out random little things that i never would have known on my own, such as the first pub ever in Rome. But anyway we got the Pizzeria which was packed and got seats pretty quickly (it helps when you have someone who speaks fluent Italian haha), we sat down in this small hole in the wall place which was completely packed with Italians and Jay started to just order a bunch of stuff in Italian. We ate some traditional Italian appetizers one of which a deep fried pumpkin leaf with an anchovy flavoring which was delicious and other stuff. Then came the pizza. I got a cheese and honey baked ham pizza which was AMAZING! the crust was so buttery and the cheese and ham were sooo good. Then on top of that when i was stuffed already he ordered some dessert for us all to share, Tiramasu, Lemon sorbet, and some baked cream with fruit on top. This food and atmosphere was almost too much for me, i actually felt like an Italian it was crazy. Now once the bill came as you may have guessed, he looked at me and said, "Devon now here is the deal, when you get older and you are traveling for business or whatever I want you to pass this on. Remember it's not about the money but the experience you can give them". Then as we got out of there he just shook my hand and we headed in separate directions, such an amazing time that i was soo beyond blessed to experience.
Ok I know this is getting long and i debated actually blogging about this but it's worth it and really pretty funny. So after Thanksgiving as you all know is Christmas and the entire month of December getting in to the Christmas spirit. Now there are two guys here, from Indiana actually, I've gotten to know pretty well and i hang out with them a lot and we decided a long time ago that we needed to decorate for Christmas and originally we thought just paper snowflakes and such. But then one day before we left for this Christmas festival a couple towns over I saw this small pine tree out behind our dorm through the hallway window and I looked at them and said that we needed a Christmas tree. Long story short, we got back from the Christmas markets that night and found ourselves out back in the wooded area with large cerated kitchen knives sawing at this nearly six foot Christmas tree. We then proceeded to sneak it in the window of our friends room which was on that side and move it over to our room. It is now currently sitting in a large cup of water in a trash can to support it. We decorated it with the most random colorful items which we found around our rooms haha. So yea, um.... Christmas! and now as i am typing this it is snowing outside!

Much Love and Merry Christmas!

Devon Latimer

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I cannot even do justice in explaining how cool Italy was first off. Prior to coming to Europe there were only a handful of places I knew i would have liked to visit and Rome was one of them so I had been looking forward to this trip for a while. I got there about 3pm on saturday afternoon and was picked up from the airport by a friend who showed me where to get a map and a public transportation ticket. She then had to go work on a paper for a class so I was off on my own. I was not really sure what to do first but then thought about what i may end up doing with the group of friends who were coming later that night. So I set off first to see the Spanish Stairs which I did not know much about but they were really cool, not sure the history behind them along with a lot of the other stuff but will definitely look in to it in the future. Those were really sweet and after some pictures and an amazing slice of pizza folded into a sandwhich i was off to look for the Trevi Fountain. The Trevi fountain was one of my favorite things in Rome and I'm not sure why, I had no idea what it looked like prior to going and no idea how immense it really was. I was in awe when I saw it because there was so much design and like there was basically an entire buidling side dedicated solely to this fountain. I also enjoyed the overwhelming sound of rushing water from the waterfall in the middle of the fountain and just the general joyous attitude around the fountain while people were tossing coins and making wishes. I then wondered around randomly map in hand constantly stopping to take pictures of random things that I had absolutely no idea what they were but they were all unlike anything i had ever seen in my life. It was seriously like the stuff you see in text books but like i was seeing it in person. Even things like this mall i strolled into randomly had huge pillars outside and like huge ceilings with very intricate designs. The next big stop i made for the night was the Pantheon. This was one of the things that I knew was in Rome and was pretty excited to see but not sure why haha. When I got there i was a little dissapointed because they had scaffolding put up on half of it which is something that is really beggining to annoy me because there is construction on everything in Europe like almost all the monuments or big buildings are all being worked on, so annoying but oh well. Besides that it still did really make me stop and think about how this is the building i've seen in movies and in textbooks my whole life and seeing the words on the front of it was soo cool, that was really what did it for me, just made it kind of surreal. The inside of the Pantheon was also really sweet even though i really had never heard much about the insides or seen anything about it. It was now a type of church/holy place with an alter and paintings and sculptures all around. After I left the pantheon I did quite a bit of wandering around again, seeing random plazzas and fountains and buildings highlighted on the map which were all spectactular. Until I randomly stumbled upon this irish pub named "Scholars" which only looked familiar because my friend who is studying there told me about it and how that is where they went to watch American sports. Since it was saturday and I was well aware that the Michigan vs. Ohio State game was on I decided to stroll in and watch the remainder of the game. Now my night from that point on was an amazing experience where the only thing really bad was the outcome of the game haha. I will definitely blog about that tomorrow I hope which is a whole other story in itself. But skipping that. We come to Sunday Morning after I met my friends and we stayed the night in our hostel we made our way to another country, the Vatican. We made it there around ten or so due to some of the kids not wanting to get out of bed so early (actually not me). Once we go there we wandered around the area for quite some time and my italian roommate had informed me that the Pope spoke every sunday at noon so we waited around until sure enough he popped his head out of a window and did some readings and addressed the people in the square, which was absolutely packed, in about 7 different languages blessing them all and thanking them for stopping by. I did not get a chance to get into the sistine chapel because there was about a 4 hour wait and needed to make it to the colleseum by 2 because it closed around 3. Sure enough though we caught the metro and made it there in time. It costs about 12 euros to get in but was definitely worth it. This was another one of those things that you see so many pictures of it and read about but i was actually there and walking around in places where some really crazy things used to occur. I walked around reading as much as I could and it still amazed me at some of the stuff that went on there. The Colleseum itself was so massive too. Like i know it was supposed to be big but wow. It's crazy to think that it was built so long ago before they had any modern technology or machines to assist them really. The other thing about Rome and italy in general was the food. The best part about it though was that even though it was amazing, it was also cheap compared to other places. The pizza there was incredible by far the best pizza i have ever eaten in my life and the gelatos were equally amazing. I did not get too much pasta while there but the pasta I did get was good. Monday morning we got up at 5 am and caught a 4 hour train to Florence at 6. Once we got there everyone was in a good mood and just having a great time i think it was the lack of sleep but everyone was very chipper, more so than usual haha. Florence was just one of those cities which was really cool, kind of like Bruges. Florence had a little more to offer than Bruges but it was equally as pretty of a city. There was a huge church there and so much artwork everywhere. Random fountains and more sculptures than I had ever seen in my life. We did eventually find the museum where the famous statue of David was held but for some insane reason it was closed on Mondays. We were a little upset by that but after wandering a little more we did find a replica which was the same exact size of the real one and was an exact replica so I guess i was pretty satisfied with that. It would have been neat to see the real one but hey you win some you lose some. That night after a little shopping around an a nap we decided to chill at a little pub nearby and get a drink. We asked the place what was good and this guy reccomended a shandy if we had never had one before so me and a couple other guys decided to get a pint of shandy which turned out to be half lager half lemonade and all good (haha lame i know). But anyway that was a nice time where we had a drink and caught the second half of the Barcelona vs. Real Madrid game. The next morning i caught another 6 am train back to Rome where there were some sort of riots going on in the streets which didnt totally surprise me because my friend who studied there was telling me about them. It was mainly a bunch of people marching down the streets chanting in italian which was rather cool at first but come to find out later they were protesting the government and something with public transportation, not good for me who decided to hop on the metro take it a few stops over and see a couple more things before having to catch my plane home. I ended up having to walk close to 2 1/2 miles back to catch a bus to the airport which was also delayed due to the increased traffic fromt the halt of public transportation. Long story short after about 12 hours of public transportation that day i made it back to Maastricht and returned to some white powdery stuff on the ground which was a really nice surprise!
I will post pictures within a couple of days on Facebook from the adventure and as usual if you have any questions feel free to ask because i had to condense some of the story and also as i said i will blog again soon about some of the other things going on here!

Much Love,

Devon Latimer

Monday, November 22, 2010


One of the best unexpected places i've been so far was Bruges in belgium, it was absolutely beautiful. I never really knew much about if before coming to Europe although i didn't know much about Europe really before coming to Europe but thats ok. The city itself is great as you can see from my pictures on facebook. There were never a ton of people wondering about, like an over-abundance, there were always people around but never like a huge city feeling. The streets were all brick or cobblestone and the houses were so cool looking. There were so many interesting buildings and I don't know it is hard to explain I just enjoyed my time there immensely. I went on a day trip with one girl from indiana and we had really no prior knowledge of the city or map or anything just kind of wandered around for the day and I wouldn't of had it any other way. It was so peaceful and casual. Insted of taxis or many cars there were a ton of horses with carriages that would take people from place to place. Just a nice overall city. Now having done two smaller trips the past two weekends I had planned this out for a reason because this past weekend which I just returned from was a 2 1/2 day trip to London and next weekend is Rome. I loved London so much as well but for completely different reasons. The entire city was so proper and professional. All the men walking around were wearing not necessarily expensive clothes but just had a nice style which appeared more fomal. The city was very clean and seemes and seemed more like an American city more than any other ones i've been to(I did not expect any different since US and England are very similar). On top of that everything was finally in English again which was so convenient. No guessing what you were ordering to eat (except the night we ate indian food for some reason), no confusion in the stores or on the metro. The one thing that took a bit to get used to was the traffic on the streets, not just the fact that it was a big city and there was a lot of traffic but they also drive on the opposite side of the road so when crossing the street you have to look the other way. It is nice because they painted like "look left" and "look right" on the street right before you crossed. The taxi cabs were also very classy looking too, they looked almost like a 50's style car but a little more modern but not like a normal taxi you would see anywhere else. They did also have all of the double decker busses and the telephone booths. I was a little disapointed though because one the guards at buckingham palace were so far away you couldn't get close to them and two the ones you could get close to at the palace where the princes and stuff lived they put up like a chain rope thing so you couldn't get close enought to take a picture with them. Funny story though apparently the reason they did this was because some guy pissed one of the guards off so much recently that the guard just flipped out and went off on the guy haha. So I guess that makes sense but still they were wearing grey coats instead of red, Lame. Oh well haha still really cool to see. I also got the chance to check out this evening service at St. Paul's Cathedral which apparently is pretty famous i had never heard of it. But that place was insane and the service was soo cool. The Organ and choir sounded amazing in the giant dome of the cathedral. Did a lot of other random stuff as well in London tough to recall though just thinking about it because a lot of it was random when you were walking around and it was sparatic. I did love the fact that they called oatmeal porridge, and yes I had two bowls of it haha. I also had two types of fish and chips while there which was delicious. Overall I enjoyed London a lot and the trip was a lot of fun, the 7 hour overnight bus ride there wasn't the best but was interesting when the bus got on to this train that took us under the water to get to London but definitely glad we took a speed train home instead.
The best thing about seeing all these different places and cultures is being able to take what I enjoyed the most from all the lifestyles and implement them into to my own. I love how professional they were in London and have always admired that type of style and the contrast between big city or more of a chill place like Bruges will always be a tough one. I have learned that all big cities are definitely not the same and even different parts of different cities are very different. Well that is enough reading about my two trips but if you have any more questions feel free to email me!
This week is also thanksgiving but as you may realize they do not celebrate it over here for obvious reasons haha. But a couple of my American friends and I are trying to organize some type of dinner for thursday with turkey and potatoes and green bean casserole and pie so wish me luck in that haha. Really trying to just let all of our friends from other countries experience our culture a little bit while we are here too. It is nice also to have a little bit of home while i'm here. Definitely going to miss seeing all the family and friends over the holidays. I will be in class for those day but oh well make it through this week and the working ahead for next week and it'll all be worth it for Rome!
Thanks for all the support and it is always nice to hear from everybody from back home and always trying to respond as soon as possible,

Much Love,

Devon Latimer

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Cultural Differences Never End

I think there are something like 45 days left here which seems like a lot but since my entire trip is a total of like 120 days it actually isn't that much left. I know though that 45 days is a lot of time so going to be trying to make the most of it and things do tend to become more exciting everywhere as the holidays close in. This thursday 11/11/2010 marks the begining of carnival.... not exactly sure what that means all i know is that this thursday at 11 am i'm supposed to be at one of the main squares downtown. All i'm pretty sure that in the months of november and december all shops are open on sundays too which is a pretty big deal here and they have already started decorating for christmas. I think a big part of this is the fact that they don't have thanksgiving here so like their next big thing is Christmas. But do not worry we have not forgotten about thanksgiving, all the kids that we normally hang with are so excited to feast on thanksgiving haha. We're going to borrow my German friends kitchen and just go to town so that we do not dissapoint. I dont think any of us have ever made a turkey or most of anything that we normally eat for thanksgiving but it will be fun haha. For the meal I'm pretty sure we will have Germans, Indians (from india, not the actual native americans), Austrailians, Americans, Portuguese, and Chinese people so should be fun! This weekend I'm looking to go to maybe Luxembourg for the day on saturday but that is not set so not completely sure will just have to see what comes up. I did go on the biking trip last weekend on saturday and will have pictures up sometime soon but let me tell you it definitely and adventure. The place I rode to was definitely not that far from here but like once i go there i decided to ride around some too and took a couple random paths and roads around and long story short ended back up in Maastricht without seeing the one thing i wanted to see so ended up biking bake to Kanne again. Kanne is a small town located just accross the border in Belgium so that was cool riding in to another country and honestly apart from the flags and a small sign you couldnt even tell haha. The trip in total was like 18 miles or something but done in jeans and a cardigan haha so not the ideal apparel to ride in but hey it was a little chilly. Classes are going good still these two new ones are a lot of reading which is occupying my time but they aren't terrible cause they're pretty interesting topics. In one class i'm learning about sustainable development and different aspects of that and in my other one we're going in to the differences in cultures and how that affects their management strategies. Both concepts are pretty basic thus far but it is relatively new information to me so pretty interesting. Ok well I have a lecture in a little bit so need to get going. Hope all is well back in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave!

Much Love,

Devon Latimer

Monday, November 1, 2010

Half-Way Point

So... sorry for not blogging for a while but had finals last week and i thought that i would have more time because only had one exam and a final paper and no classes but not what i thought it would be haha. The paper I had to write was 4000-5000 words which normally wouldn't be too bad I mean in the typical format in the states you just write down a bunch of opinionated crap that flows and sounds like you know what you're talking about but this one was different. It was actually considered more of a test because we had to compare these 14 scholarly articles based on 4 broad topics given to us and tie them together and show how they relate also while proving some point from them, and the whole time we weren't allowed to have an opinion so quite difficult. The other exam didn't seem like it would be too bad with the average grade ranging from the equivalent of a C+ to a B+ so wasn't too concerned when all i had to do was pass and it was open book open notes with mostly formulas and three hours to do 5 long problems. I swear in Europe they try to fail you (and this is actually true because our tutor told us they change the format of this other classes test not so people wouldn't score as high but so that more people would fail) but it was kinda tough and not well put together like some parts were very vague and one sentence wasn't even proper english haha. But I talked to my german buddies from Cologne and they agreed it was very difficult so they said that he would end up having to curve the tests. The other cool thing about finals was the place where we took it. It was in the "Mecc" which is like this warehouse thing with lots of conference rooms and one huge warehouse thing where probably 1000 people in there taking a couple different exams so that was slightly intimidating but cool. After those were over we got back to the dorm and rounded up the 10 people going in our group and headed out on our way to Berlin in the two cars we rented. I actually like this way of traveling compared to train and flying for trips about this length because it ended up costing us about the same amount of a train even a little less and we had the freedom of traveling where and when we want. On the way there what was supposed to be a six hour drive turned into an eleven hour one due to traffic and other things, we hit some mild traffic right when we left Maastricht which delayed like 30-45 min and then finally got going and got to the Autobahn which was nice cause there are some portions with no speed limits but the roads were a little crowded so couldn't get going too fast traveling about 120km/hour which is a normal speed limit when on the road (74mph). Then around 10pm we were going great until we ran in to traffic and it was soo bad stuck in bumper to bumper stop and go traffic for like 2 1/2 3 hours so normally that would be horrible but we had a blast we were pumping the music and dancing haha, got a couple people to dance with us in cars including an old couple in a nice sports car haha couple people gave thumbs up and such. Then ok to set it up, in my car was a girl from India, a girl from Portugal, a boy from Indiana, and another girl from indiana so the girl from India and girl from Portugal had never heard of a chinese fire drill so once we explained it to them we decided to do one on the Autobahn haha. Then once again with the two girls not from the U.S. had never heard of the stanky leg and if you haven't heard of it, that's ok haha (it's a dance move). It was a good time but lasted a little too long. Once we got out of the traffic we were driving for a while and saw our exit to berlin to veer off and follow for an hour or so more to Berlin we saw that the sign for our road had a giant red X through it. So long sotry short they closed down the road to Berlin and thank goodness for GPS which led us around the closed highway and took a bit longer also. We finally got to the Hostel at 4 in the morning and thankfully the hostel had 24 hour reception so we got checked in and got to sleep. The next day we got up and got breakfast and walked to downtown to go on this free tour which was amazing! I learned so much about the history of Berlin and like WWII and stood above the Bunker where Hitler committed suicide and just all kinds of random stuff. It was such a huge city and so much history could have spent a long time there. Then that night we went to a cool bar to chill and the reason it was so cool was because they had a separate tap in each table. So like they gave you half-liter steins (or cups if you asked) and then you got to pour your own beer from the tap and the tap kept track of how much you poured and you got charged at the end. It was so sweet because then they kept a tally of the half-liters from each table and had huge projectors where they showed your table vs, other tables in the bar. They then showed the top table in your bar compared to all the other branches of that bar (which were all in the czech republic and it was only the second day this bar had even been open) to other bars so it was like you were competing, very cool concept. Then on sunday we drove up north of berlin about 30 minutes to see a concentration camp called Sachsenhausen which was crazy. I don't even know how to explain it because it just was almost too much seeing all the stuff there and they had a lot of information on stuff and just very overwhelming but worth the 4 hours we spent there. Then after that we took off and made our way home which took about 6 hours flat including stops,which was great! Now I get to start all over again and do another period of it. I think this block may be a little more calm with traveling as far as going every weekend, i may do a couple day trips on a couple weekends to see some stuff and may bike to berlin one saturday just cause I kinda think that'd be cool. Right now i have London and Rome booked for the end of this month and apparently one thing I'm really looking forward to is Aachen. Aachen is this little town in Germany which is about an hour east of here by bus, but every December they apparently have an AMAZING christmas festival and like shops and decorations and it goes on for the entire month of December also. I've been told by quite a few people that people come from all over Europe to see it so may have to go there a couple times because I think that'd be a blast!
Ok well this is quite a lot to read in one sitting so i hope i havent lost you and i hope you enjoyed it.
Much Love,

Devon Latimer

Oh, and! today marks the first day of no shave novembeard which a lot of guys here are participating in so that'll be fun haha

Monday, October 18, 2010


Hey all,

I know that i created this blog in hopes to write more often and keep track of things to inform everybody of back home. But it is kind of tough because during the mornings and afternoons o have class and that is when all the shops are open so always have to get groceries early and trying to get homework and such and then by the time night rolls around everybody is being social and your still doing leftover readings for you classes and all you want to do is relax a little. That's normally what the weekends are for back home to sit at home and do nothing maybe go out one night with friends but mostly do nothing but watch football and play video games with a little homework on Sunday. Here is a totally different story because half the reason people come here to study is to travel so on the weekends is the best time to do that. So once you make it through the busy week which also includes planning all the trips and booking travel and accommodations then you get on a train and try and see as much as you can of this completely foreign city with which you have a free map from the hostel and a couple broken phrases in the native language which you attempted to learn the week before. I would have to say that even though it is a lot of work and some stress it is well worth it. I am thoroughly enjoying the education and travel while over here. This last weekend was definitely one of my favorite weekends for some reasons which aren't what i expected when coming here. OK so.... It all started in class on Friday when my real good German friend (Philip) asked where i was going this weekend and i told him a couple places we had considered but we weren't sure due to the large presentations we had to give on the following Monday(which was today and my presentation went great, thanks for asking) but one of the places we had considered was a day trip to Cologne (Koln for the Germans) Germany but we were not sure. When i mentioned cologne he stopped me and said that he was actually from Cologne and was going home this weekend on Saturday and would give us a ride and we could stay at his place. I was so happy, in less than 5 minutes i had booked travel and a place to stay all for free haha. So we set out Saturday morning in Phillip's car, the 5 of us me, Brad and Mike from Butler University, Phillip and Ines one of our female friends from Portugal. The drive alone saved us a ton of money and an hour each way. It actually made me feel at home some because this was the first time i had been in a car for much time at all and back home everybody drives everywhere. Anyway we got to cologne and set out after Phillip printed off a map with a couple things that we wanted to check out. I will post pictures on facebook here in the next couple days but we went to the largest cathedral in Germany first and ate a bratwurst and fries from a street vendor which was delicious then we set off to the river which cuts through the city, there really wasn't much else to see in the city besides a couple museums which we didn't feel like going to. So we went to this bridge which also had a cable car track going over it and the river. We all bought round trip tickets for like 4 euro and went across. It was really cool actually despite the fact it was cold and rainy i was having a great time. Next we got to the other side of the river in the middle of a big park with really no idea of what to do next until we spotted a playground. Now this was no normal playground, it was awesome, it's like every ten year old boys dream, there was a sweet ropes course which was still challenging to me haha and a couple really big slides, a tire swing, and a mini zip line. So long story short we had fun and it was a really chill relaxed kind of fun. after that we went back to Philip's house had some dinner and he took us too one of his German friend's birthday party in Bonn. That was also really cool because they were all German and then us, but they were all very welcoming and friendly so it was a nice and fun evening, something we really couldn't of planned on our own. That is how my weekend went though and it was nice haha. But as i mentioned before i am still keeping busy as i am now starting to work on my 45 min case presentation for my class on Friday since i just finished my 30 min one today. As busy as i am still do love to hear from you and sorry if i do not respond right away or anything because just a lot going on, tough to remember sometimes!
Thanks for all the interest and contact,
Much Love
Devon Latimer

Tuesday, October 12, 2010



Like i said i was going to start this week and start posting random stuff to just update any and all people so here goes haha. Ok so as stated in the title i have made many friends while over here and by now i've started to hang out with some more than others and it is always nice to start to get to know people more and more. I was initially hanging out with a lot of kids from california and those are the people that most of my pictures of traveling are with. They are a lot different than me but still from the states so most things are similar. It is really interesting to see how liberal a lot of people on the west coast really are! It's not a bad thing just very different than the surroundings i was raised in in my small town. I've also recently been hanging outj with a lot of Australians and they are a lot of fun becuase they speak english as there first language but its a very different english than ours. They ahve so many cool sayings and phrases they use and slang terms that are so different than ours. For instance in stead of McDonalds or Mickey D's as a lot of Americans call it they call it Mackers. I mean there are a ton of words its really funny. It is really funny to me when i'm talking to people who speak english as their second language and they use words or tenses that don't totally fit, i mean i don't laugh at them i just enjoy the little grammar mistakes. I have no room to talk though because for most of them it is at least their second if not third or fourth language and i only speak spanish otherwise but in no way am i fluent. There are two guys i hang out with a lot now and they are both from indiana so like we all come from a small townish and like very similar and they're just easy to get along with. Other than that i do have so many other friends from all over i have met, Argentina, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Belgium, Finland, everywhere its really nice. Also just on a separate note I am enjoying these theme nights with friends at this local pub type thing where everybody dresses up and goes out and dances its a lot of fun, like last night was hawaiian night and it was a good time. Also I will be going to a Netherlands vs. Sweden Socccer match tonight and am soo pumped! Thats some current news and just some random stuff going on here!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Just wanted to post something short on here so that when i started to tell people about the blog the wall wasn't blank. I think that i will continue to use this instead of writing letters out unless some people cannot access this. But this blog is nice because i can post from an email and i can also post random pictures and videos which i haven't been putting on facebook. If you have any questions feel free to ask i'll probably start blogging here in about a week or so and you can then follow based on how much you want too.
Much love,