Thursday, 16 November 2006

The Winschoter Chamber Choir

Just creating some publicity for my mother's choir. :-)

Practice Match

On Tuesday, my team played against the 1st team of our club. Just a nice practice match, although no fun and pretty useless for us. First of all: we lost with somewhere between 7 till 10 to 0. Second: we don't have teams like our first men's in our competition, all the other teams have a totally different game, so for us this wasn't a good practice. I am glad though that I didn't join the first team. The atmosphere in our team is way better and I really dislike the coach. Good choice after all.

Wednesday, 15 November 2006

EIDP - the battle

As you might have read in an email or on my weblog: I started a new adventure with 2 other idiots. The three of us have a common interest in eastern Europe and combined a whole lot of experience in participating and organising projects, living and working, and travelling in eastern Europe and the Caucasus. My companions both worked for another organisation before; the one that I joined as a participant to Moldova, but due to miscommunications, or better the lack of communication, the dictatorial style of how the president was leading the organisation, and the kind of projects the organisation was organising they decided to leave the organisation and we got in touch and talked about a new, better one. :-)
Of course, it is always easier to say than to do, but we do want to do things different and we do have a clear vision and goal in our minds. We do communicate and we want to do the more difficult projects in regard to EU funds etc. Not only the week drinking and cultural exchange in Turkey or Hungary with 40 foreigners. Of course, this is also fun, but it doesn't provide us with the incentive to make a change and to stand for a challenge. We would like to do the Election Observer Missions, the TACIS-grant projects, the working-experience exchanges/study groups, and more. It may take some time, but we have a very wide network already and are all born (sorry to sound a bit posh) networkers. Besides that: we are highly motivated and ready to do some work.
The other organisation has some problems with us, in regard to our existence, as it is not highly appreciated. Some background information to understand the matter. The other organisation, DiDEE, was formed out of 2 liberal youth organisations in the Netherlands, but operates independently. The liberal organisations (of one I am a member of) didn't have much to say and "lost" control over DiDEE. Not a problem, as long as the organisation works, but lately some bad publicity harmed the image of the organisation. A participant complained that the president didn't pay his bills, gave false information, and only goes on seminars to party instead of participate. Now I am not going to comment on that, but the complaints made it to 2 different university papers in the Netherlands, in which also the dubious financial reputation of the president was discussed. This all, coincidentally, came up at the same moment we were about to launch our organisation. Now the battle started about which organisation the 2 liberal organisations would support: the new, motivated one (EIDP), or their old, dictatorial, baby (DiDEE). Some sentiments play a role, in trying to rescue the old organisation and to revive it, but this weekend, 2 of the remaining 3 board members resigned, explained that some statements made by the board did not have their support, and the president stands now alone. I give him credit for being so optimistic and continuing his struggle, but it seems like a hopeless task. In my opinion he is still bluffing and trying to regain control, by making statements that this weekend a new, full board will be presented, they will have an office and a full time employee etc...
In the meantime, are we setting up our first projects, contacting our friends, professors and other acquaintances to start to build a new and great organisation. Wanna join? :-)

European Institute for Democratic Participation (EIDP)

Dear all,

A couple of months ago, the idea, and vision of an organisation that deals with east-west cooperation were formed in our minds. We have been involved in different organisations before and have gained a lot of experience with (running) projects in Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia. Now the time has come to do something with this knowledge and our common enthusiasm for working on these affairs.

It is this enthusiasm that gave birth to the European Institute for Democratic Participation. (Please visit the preliminary website at EIDP).

The goals of the EIDP are:

• To support young Europeans in democratic participation

• To serve as a platform where young Europeans can jointly develop and conduct projects that stimulate democratic participation

• To promote east-west cooperation

• To support and develop civil society

We have been writing our first project proposals and concurrently we are studying ways how best to organise ourselves, in a way that we could create an organisation that would be able to both inspire and retain enthusiastic people to work on issues of democratic participation and East-West cooperation.

The idea with the EIDP is to not only organise YOUTH projects, but also the more extensive, adult and difficult projects in regard to MATRA, TACIS grants and EU/EC tenders. Projects financed under the YOUTH programme often lack its intended impact and tend to be more of "trips" or "holidays." With the EIDP we want to have a more professional and experienced approach, covering all the topics and possibilities concerned.

The reason for writing to you is to inform you of this new organisation and perhaps to make you consider working with the EIDP as a participant in a project or even as a project leader for any of the (upcoming) projects.

We offer our cooperation to you. It is our belief that in good partnership we can make a difference in the countries of the Former Soviet Union, and generally Europe as a whole

If you would like to know more, just reach us personally (Leander, Luc, or Olaf) or send an e-mail to the newly established office.

By all means, we look forward on cooperating with you, and finding common ways to act as citizens in our ever-changing world!

With regards,

Leander van Delden
With Luc Vocks & Olaf Koens


My dear friend Sönke became a father a couple of months back and I usually don't post pictures of kids or babies here, but for him I will make an exception! :-) Here's the kiddo.

Sony Bravia Commercial

I simply love it. No other words...

Sunday, 12 November 2006

Theory of International Relations

I have to follow the subject of Theory of International Relations and I simply hate it. I like International Relations, but I despise the fact that you have to break it all down to theories and schemes... Who cares if it is Realism or something else? This is something you will NEVER use again for the rest of your life and still they want you to learn it and, even worse, write about it. I now have to take a topic and write 7 pages about it. No problem, and I will happily do that, but what I don't like is that I have to incorporate a theory in it. I have to have a topic hat deals with a question including a theory. Now I came up with: "In which way does R. Gilpin's theory about the role of warfare in change, supports the (possible) use of Private Military Companies by the UN?" Exciting isn't it? I can say a lot about the UN, PMCs and the combination of both, but not a clue what I have to do with the theory. This is not going to be a nice couple of weeks. On a side-note: the guy who gives the course is younger than I am. How much should I take from him? :(

Another win + party

Played against GCHC Gents 7 today and beat them with something like 6-1 or 7-1: I lost track somewhere. Not really an exciting match, but another 3 points and still heading straight to the championships. :-)
After the match, my team was responsible for today's party. Which means that we had to come up with a theme and had to handle the bar and kitchen. It was a blast. Everyone was dancing, good DJ and a great atmosphere. Our theme was "Ultimately Real" and we were walking around in shirts and with horrible, flashy green ties. Some even brought a jacket, but I didn't want to spoil my good jackets on such a beer throwing and bumping evening... ;-) Looking forward to the next party. :-)

Saturday, 11 November 2006


1 GHBS H4 :)
2 Gron.Studs H5
4 Gron.Studs H6
8 Daring H2
9 Groningen H3

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Winning streak

Forgot to mention: we won our match with 0-2 at Daring today. We played against my old team, which I left in 2002. Was a bit strange, but I for sure didn't want to lose. We didn't and we played superb at moments, but still need some improvement. We are #1 in our league now though! :-)


Wednesday after the psychological test, I had a job interview at YER. YER is an international recruitment & selection agency that focuses on Professionals and Managers with a Bachelors or Masters degree. Well, it wasn't really a job interview, but more an informative talk about what I would like to do, what I have done till now and what would suit me. I have to say that it was a very good and enlightening talk. For the first time, someone criticized my CV, had good questions about what I would like, want and am good in. I had for myself the options management and consulting in mind, but consulting turns/turned out not to be my cup of tea. I am way better in general management and am more the person who keeps the overview and doesn't go that deep into details. I do have to work in an international environment however, but am not a very "student-like" type, so not all companies would suit me. I was labelled as the red frog in a pond with only green frogs. All this he said, not me, based on what we talked about, my answers and my CV. He hadn't seen a CV like that before from a starter (flattering of course) and he didn't see my long study time as a problem (what I feared a bit). Overall, it was a good meeting and I revised my CV and mailed it to the recruiter again. Now see what he comes up with. It will either be a management trainee ship or a intern job at a company to grow in. Both options are fine, as long as it is a nice environment, I can make some money and can work internationally.
I'll keep you posted!

Armed forces

Last Wednesday, I had a psychological test at the army naval base in Amsterdam. I signed up for the national reserve (Natres) and am in the process of being accepted. There is the psychological test, the medical and sport test, the 2 week basic army training and then you're in. :-) Sounds easy right? On Tuesday evening, I took the train to Amsterdam already, as I had the test at 7AM, and there is no train at that time leaving from Groningen. Got a bed at the base together with a whole bunch of other guys, also trying out. Either for the Natres, the regular army, naval, or the special forces and both soldiers and officers. The first test was 133 questions on which you had to answer Right or Wrong. I finished it within 10 minutes. After that we had to wait for a talk with a psychologist. I had to wait 2.5 hrs before, they called me. The talk was a piece of cake: questions like "how was your youth", "when was the last time you were emotional", "do you have any bad or traumatic (sexual) experiences", "were you bullied or did you bully others", and more of that crap. (answers only available on request) It lasted about 1.5 hrs and then I was asked to step outside, so she could evaluate the talk. After 10minutes she called me back in and said I was accepted and mentally healthy (she has no idea... :)). The only thing was that I was very down-to-earth and businesslike in the talk and I could show some more emotions. On the question-test I scored extremely well, but I on the scale of being dominant my stats went through the roof. Apparently, I am a very dominant person. Never knew that... :-)
There was no time left to take the medical and sport test as well, so I have to come back the 27Th to do those and then I will know if I can proceed to the training.
Maybe a question you would ask yourself: why is he joining the army? Well, first of all I would like to do something useful in my free time, they pay OK and it's a rewarding job. Secondly: who doesn't like to play soldier and also have the opportunity to shoot with guns? Besides that, it doesn't take that much time: only a Saturday and an evening per month.

Sunday afternoon

I took a shower, made an expresso, put on some comfy clothes and am ready to post a couple of updates on my blog. :-)


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